Saturday was another excursion with my art history class. Destination: Antwerp.
If you thought the Antwerp train station was baroque, I can now tell you that you’re wrong. It’s eclectic, silly.
Students I meet in Brussels really like Antwerp, and I understand why. It’s the second biggest city in Belgium, making it more accessible than Brussels but still metropolitan. It’s trendier, with better shopping, and a lot of diamonds.
The focus of the trip was the house of painter Peter Paul Rubens, and after, the Plantin Moretus Museum. The latter held extensive collections of old books and printing presses.
In a couple of weeks, I’m coming back to Antwerp with ISA, where we’ll do less academic activities and I’ll get a better feel for the city. A group of us will also stay overnight and finally experience what some students say is the best in Belgian nightlife.
On Sunday, I took advantage of the last weekend of summer weather and headed to the Belgian coast. At less than two hours away, Ostend, despite being industrial and void of charm, was a worthwhile journey. Obviously just about all of Belgium agreed — the city was packed!
Hoards of sunbathers took over the main beach. Little kids were digging till they struck water and the elderly were letting everything hang loose.
We met up with a couchsurfer, who after a walk through downtown, wanted to go ride a horse through sand — a reasonable request. We accompanied him for a tram ride all along the coast, ultimately getting off and relaxing on a gorgeous, virtually empty beach. Then the sun started to set. Perfection.