Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent.

Unexpectedly, we had a world traveler from the United States visiting us. My family and I were glad he stayed at our place for five days so we had a break in our daily life routine. After my travels to South-East Asia I’m already tired of staying home and feeling useless. It was nice to have some distraction and citytrip around Belgium, we visited Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent and had lots of fun.

I like Antwerp the most of all cities in Belgium especially to shop so I chose to go to this trendy city for an entire day with our visitor. You cannot make a better entrance in Antwerp than by train. The station, once nominated as fourth greatest train station by NEWSWEEK, immediately creates a magical atmosphere. We walked over the most famous Belgian shopping street, the Meir, to the KBC-tower and the Groenplaats. We moved on to the Grote Markt and enjoyed the typical Belgian buildings at this square. The city’s cathedral as well as the city hall are located here and are both stunning at the outside and the inside. The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal is so beautiful a Belgian footballer player has it inked on his arm. For lunch my lovely parents recommended, Het Zuiderterras, not only the food was delicious here but also the view over the Schelde was stunning. The restaurant is definitely worth a visit however we were the only clients under fifty years old at the moment. After lunch we visited Het Steen, a nice castle but disappointing as well. To end our day in Antwerp we decided to go to the MAS (Museum Aan de Stroom) which was stunning. When going up the ten floors of the modern building we learned about the West European history by informative boards. Once at the top the view was way better than I expected and we were able to see all over the city. The perfect view to complete our day-trip to Antwerp.

A couple of days after we decided to visit Bruges and Ghent in one day. I am not a fan of Bruges touristic sites so we stopped quickly in the city known for its lace before heading to Ghent. Wandering in the small streets we passed the city’s cathedral, unfortunately it was under construction and there was not much to see. We saw the most classy Mc Donalds ever in the Steenstraat on our way to the Belfry. After a walk over the Grote Markt and the Burg we enjoyed a delicious waffle.

P1090324 P1090330 P1090329 P1090313After our short break we headed off to Ghent. Starting our visit this time at the Gravensteen feeling like a real princess from the Middle Ages I wandered through the enormous castle and enjoyed the contemporary exhibition. You have to try Cuberdons, the typical candy from this city, when in Ghent. Although I love them, my American travel buddy of the day did not. (He is an exception!) We both enjoyed the young atmosphere in the city created by the lots of student and creative people living here. The St. Baafs Cathedral and its famous neighboring buildings are a must-see as well as the Korenmarkt. Once we saw the most important things we loved wandering through this fascinating city and slowly we found our way to the station to head home.

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I had a lot of fun talking and exploring these three Belgian cities with our unexpected visitor! I am glad I met him and slightly jealous of the trip around the world he will be making the next month I wish him all the best on his journey. Hopefully I will be visiting J. one day in Michigan on a trip around the world…

Enjoy the world!

L.

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