Thursday, May 11, 2017

Return To, And From, Antwerp

The last place I visited before returning home was Antwerp, Belgium.  I had also been to Antwerp in 2005, on the same trip when I stayed in Brugge.  Across the street from where our ship was docked, but down a few blocks, was the Entrepot du Congo (Warehouse of the Congo), where goods shipped from the Belgian Congo were stored after arriving in Belgium.  (The story of this colony, the predecessor of today's Democratic Republic of the Congo, is quite ugly.)

Looking down the street just north of the Entrepot, we saw the Cathedral of Antwerp looming over several smaller buildings.

This fortress is called Het Steen ("the stone") because it was the first stone building in the city.  Today, it's besieged by tourists, although the couple on the right appear to be locals.  The statue is of the Lange Wapper, a demon found in various folk tales.  Read more here and here.

This bay window overlooks the interior courtyard of Het Steen.

The courtyard includes this crucifix.

Walking toward the center of town, we came upon the Vleeshuis ("meat house"), which is now a museum of music.  One person on the tour said that its striped exterior reminded her of bacon.

After walking around various parts of downtown Antwerp, we saw another view of the Cathedral, looming over the alley we were in.

For more on Antwerp, go to Planet Ware and Lonely Planet.  This was our last full day in Belgium.  It was soon time to have a farewell reception, pack up the suitcases, and get ready for the bus ride back to Schiphol Airport and the flight home.  Thus ends my Netherlands-Belgium travelogue.

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