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Antwerp: The City with 3 Names

March 1, 2009

Antwerp is known as the best city, outside Brussels and Paris, for clubbing in this part of Europe. Of course I was there during the day…but I busted a few moves in the street. Note a theme in the pictures and blogs to follow. Arms up. All over the world kids. It just makes every boring picture better. Forgive me my tourist transgressions.



Everybody think’s this guy’s crotch is REALLY interesting

Belle and Maggie on a quick beer-stop in the sunshine

So Antwerp. Also know as Antwerpen. Most confusingly known as Anvers. Looking for the train to Antwerp in a Belgian station? TOO BAD. You’re looking for the train to Anvers…who knew? Excusez-moi Madame, où est le train à Antwerpen?? Laughter from a train lady ensues. Europe hates me…even with my very cocky french skills. Let’s be honest, I roll a few RRRRRs and gesticulate, and then I call it French. But it has served me pretty well in the world town.

Antwerp was pretty fantastic. Imagine New York with a soul. Definite city-vibe, unlike the European cities that call themselves cities and are really just trumped-up villages. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too, but let’s call it what it is.

Antwerp is home to Peter Paul Rubens, or should I say was  home to the famed  painter before he died way back in the 1700s. His house is a museum now, right in the center of town. I’m going to put it out there, it may be the best museum I’ve ever been to. His house was kept fully intact, and in the style and decor that he had it in (or rather, that his WIFE had it in, she was an interior-decorating marvel…you go girl). Just a quick 2 euro to get in if you show your student card and WHAM time turns back and you’re in the home of  the master painter. The great thing about this museum was that they mixed his work with the work of his apprentices and the masters with whom he apprenticed, so you could see the evolution of his style. Best part, despite the beauty of the house, were his gardens. We were lucky enough to be in Antwerp on a gorgeous September Saturday, and although the flowers were mostly killed off by the previous cold-snap, the stone-work and fountains were fantastic.

Arms up in the Rubens Gardens

This was NOT in the Rubens house, but it’s hilarious

Antwerp is also known for its shopping, and though I do live on the traveling-student-semi-poverty budget, I was very impressed by the vintage and second hand establishments in this chic little city. Honest-to-goodness YSL clutch for 24 euro?? Just needs some leather lotion? Why yes thank you, I think I will.

I’ve been back to Antwerp with a friend in November, and I also give this city credit for having some pretty decent Indian food- not an easy thing to come by in these parts.

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