22.05.2013 - 22.05.2013 12 °C
We parted from our perfect Belgian cottage today and headed off to yet another new country: the Netherlands. Before we left Belgium, however, we stopped to visit Antwerp. Our plan was to walk around the town for awhile, as well as take a look at the Diamond Museum. As we came closer and closer to the museum, jewellery and diamond shops started popping up. On the corner closest to where the museum was supposed to be there were no less than seven of these stores, all side by side. But try as we might, we just couldn't find the place. We did see a large, boarded up building, and decided that the museum had been closed. So we went looking for a tourism office instead.
We were right about the closure, and the agent recommend we take a walk down Keyser Street instead, which would lead us into the centre of town. We saw numerous stores, cafes and chocolate shops, and enjoyed the unique atmosphere. There were signs and advertisements in English, French, Dutch, German and Flemish, and I think we heard nearly all of these languages today, too.
We ended up in a square where an impressive fountain and a grand, flag-laden building stood. The building turned out to be City Hall, and the flags represented countries that were in the European Union or had consulates in Antwerp. Canada didn't seem to be up there. There were a number of other interesting and beautiful buildings too, as well as a towering cathedral spire adorned with a golden clock.
Before we headed back to our car, we decided to indulge in a couple very Belgian treats. Abby and Mom had warm Belgian waffles covered in chocolate and whipped cream. Mom attempted to order in French, and was given a brief language lesson from the vendor. Dad and I opted for something more savoury and had fries instead, which were shared by everyone.
Then it was time to hit the road again. The landscape became more and more idyllic as we passed lush green fields, winding canals and hundreds of cows and sheep. As we drove up to our new home for the next twelve days, we marvelled at the countryside perfection of everything.