Visiting Antwerp was not in our initial plan. We were going to the Hague that day. Antwerp was just on the way. Why not, so we decided a little detour. Upon the arrival at the Central Station, we were already impressed. This station, designed by Louise Delacenserie, was probably the most beautiful one I have encountered. So majestic, no wonder Antwerp was once the richest city in Europe.

Here, the backpack is making its first appearance. Yup, we carried the bags on our shoulders that day. Luckily, we packed very light

The name Antwerp, or Antwerpen literally means ‘hand to throw’. The legend has it, that the river of Anterwerp was guarded by a giant. If the passing boatmen did not pay their toll, the giant would cut off one of their arms and throw into the river. Eventually, the giant was killed by Silvius Brabo, who cut off the giant’s hand and flung into the river.

Outside the city hall, there is a statue of Brabo throwing the giant’s hand

Similar to Brussels, Antwerp also has a market square.

Our trip has become more of a tour of European architecture.

The weather was lovely and bright, although still quite cold. On the roadside, we occasionally saw musicians playing, adding more characters to the historical city.

Quite a few times, we saw the military patrolling on the streets. I was immediately taken by their uniform (who wouldn’t).

Along the river, there is the Het Steen, a replica of an old castle.

A Dog of Flanders statue, to celebrate the writer and animal activist Marie Louise de la Ramme

From a small gift from in Antwerp. Since I am a fan of rabbits, snap, snap. 

Antwerp is not a very big city, but definitely an interesting place to visit. I would say one day is sufficient to tour around the place, and it would be best done on foot. Food wise, it is very similar to Brussels. After all the walking, it was finally time for us to sit down and chill over a glass of beer, before we jump onto our train to the Hague. So long Belgium!

Backpacking through Europe Part 3: Anterwerp
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