05 April 2012

Everyone Should Go To Antwerp

After my first trip to Belgium, I call Antwerp as my favorite Belgian city. It's hard to say why it's my favorite.  It may be because it has really great shopping but I hope it's more than that.

Seth and Sunny packed up the kids in the car for a very short drive from Brussels.  The day was warm and perfect for exploring a city that was new to all of us.

Antwerp was the home to the painter Rubens and the Cathedral of Our Lady has four Rubens altar pieces.  We also went when the Cathedral was exhibiting other works by Rubens of Christ which were so powerful.  Rubens is one of my favorite artists and I was excited to see so many of his paintings during the short time I was there.

I didn't take any pictures of them since it was a poor translation of something that should be seen in person.  But the cathedral, built in 1351, is a beautiful building.

I'm sure Tiger also wears his sunglasses at night so he can see the light that's right before his eyes.

The outside of the Cathedral.  It is 400 feet tall making it impossible to get all of it in the picture.

We wandered to the Grote Markt and ran into a parade of some kind with lots of large puppets.  I first admired the buildings and then wandered over to take a closer look.

We took a train ride around the city and saw that we wanted to further explore the Botanical Gardens. The garden was small but the blossoms were blooming.  I took 4 pictures trying to get all of the Blaylocks to look at me and this was the closest I could get. 

One of the coolest art pieces I saw in Belgium.

And of course I found a chocolate shop.  This one is called Chocolate Line and there is even a kitchen in the back to see how the chocolates are made.  The owner and creator, who is kind of famous I think, was wandering around the store.  I didn't realize this until it was too late to sneak any pictures of him. 

The only thing I missed in Antwerp was a waffle.  Next time.

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