Belgium, part 1 of many

It’s been three months since we got home from Belgium, and I’m just now starting to get through the hundreds of photos we took in our two weeks there. It’s strange to page through my Flickr and see day-to-day Instagram shots of the beginning of summer interspersed with photos from oh-so-cold weather and the early days of my pregnancy. Oh well – better late than never!

My first impressions of Belgium were colored by severe lack of sleep and motion sickness from our flight from Istanbul. Can I tell you how stressful it is to meet one’s partner’s family on 2 hours of sleep, having thrown up in the airport? You’ll excuse the exhaustion in my face in most of these photos.

On our first day, we didn’t manage much other than the train from Brussels to Antwerp, the tram from Antwerp to Deurne, a long nap, and a walk around Rivierenhof, a beautiful park minutes from where N** grew up. The park includes a lagoon, a terrace full of afternoon beer-drinkers, a fairy tale house (pictured below), a rose garden, and lots of wandering paths for strolling and walking.

Fairy tale house at Rivierenhof

After the first extremely tired day, our visit fell into a comfortable routine. Most mornings we would sleep until 9 or 10, and would wake to N’s mom returning from the bakery with fresh pistolets or other pastries (or bread from a vending machine!!). We would share a breakfast of pistolets, cheeses and meats, kefir with fruit and nuts, coffee, and juice before getting ready to head into the city. I only had the energy for one or two adventures per day, but then most places close by 6pm, so we would take in a few sites with a late afternoon stop for a second coffee, Speculaas, and pastries. In the evening, we would either have dinner in the city or head back out to Deurne for a quiet evening in.

Cathedral of Our Lady
The Cathedral of Our Lady, the dramatic and beautiful centerpiece of Antwerp

Vlaeykensgang
Vlaeykensgang, an alley dating to the 1590s

Via Brabantica
Imagine my surprise as we kept coming across wayfinding devices for the Camino! Apparently Antwerp (and also Bruges) sit on the Via Brabantica. Perhaps we’ll walk it one day.

Riverside, golden hour

Antwerp
Sunset over the Scheldt

**You may have noticed that there aren’t many photos of N on this site. It is his preference to keep much of his life offline, and I’ve tried to respect that here. I hope to include a few photos of him in this series of posts, but will for the most part be sharing photos of the city, our adventures, or photos he took of me.

2 thoughts on “Belgium, part 1 of many”

  1. Thanks for this, E. I spent a semester in Antwerp, so this post was a nice reminder of those times. I look forward to future installments in the Belgium series.

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