Wednesday, 13 December 2017


It's been all go here in Antwerp as we gear up for Birthdays and everyone else is gearing up for Christmas.

Red Roo's crew, Phil, and Maree, fellow Australians, jumped a couple of trains from Vlissingen in the southern Netherlands to come and see us in Antwerp. We hadn't met prior to their arrival but hit it off instantly. Antwerp turned on an excellent few days of weather for their visit. 

The city's Skating rink was in the final stage of installation, along with a Mistletoe house for kissing under. There are Pop-up Xmas stalls in the Groet Market preparing for the Christmas Fair, selling steaming Gluhwein, Chocolate, Waffles and loads of other irresistible delicacies.

The Groet Market getting ready for the Xmas Fair. City Hall in the back.

The Cathedral of Our Lady has dominated the skyline for 5 centuries and no visitor to Antwerp could miss it. The spire, at 123 meters, soars skyward in all its Gothic splendor. 

Cathedral of Our Lady

The Fortress Gatehouse is Antwerp's oldest building and dates from around the 9th Century. The famous Semini statue, regarded as a folk symbol of fertility can be seen in a front alcove but he had his penis hacked off by the clergy who were abhorred by his manifest virility!

Castle Gate The little statue with the missing penis is above Davids' head!

The former Butchers Hall was initiated in 1250. This larger, late Gothic building, of red and white brick with sandstone columns, was inaugurated in 1504. The French abolished Guilds during the Revolution and the building served as wine storage, Theatre and painters Studio.

Butchers Hall

Maree and Kris celebrate birthdays one day apart and like to spread it over a few weeks so combining them allowed plenty of excuses to ignore any restrictive eating practices they may have been subjected to by their captains. We all had a special birthday dinner at LUX, a beautiful Michelin star restaurant just a short walk from the dock. The food, wine, and service were excellent and the venue, a 17 Century  Ship owners house, retains many original features including the beautiful parquet flooring and Belgium marble fireplaces. 

Dinner was followed by an evening strolling the streets.The highlight was the opening night for the light and sound show with an impressive projection screened on the City Hall.

Skaters were skating but we didn't participate in deference to our hips, shoulders, bums, and shins! 

On the final day of Red Roo's visit it snowed. Very pretty, and a novelty for us Ozzies. Taipans first ever coat of snow.
Thanks to Maree and Phil for the memories. See you in Ipswich!

Sorry.. I couldn't resist. So many nice snow pictures!!

1 comment:

RedRoo Crew said...

Thank You for an AWESOME few days.
Great fun celebrating our birthdays and exploring Antwerp together.
The snow certainly topped off a magical weekend.
Love Red Roo xxx