I finally get to see Antwerp in its ‘living’ state, after an excellent breakfast at the New International Youth Hotel (eggs, meat, juice and milk!).
Walking down the main street of Antwerp, it suddenly occurs to me how dirty these streets are, compared to those of Germany’s. Also, there seems to be fewer tourists, and a lower tolerance for tourists.
I guess after so many European cities, one more similar city doesn’t strike me as impressive, and hence, my account of the day is just factual; I walked through the Old Town Square to the river and back, and visited Rubens House.
Rubens House is a pretty nice place actually. Here, the pride of Flemish art is tied to the history of the city, and the connection seems special to me.
However, after another dinner of fries, I am once again met with the sight of dead Belgium after 6pm, and perhaps what was worse, was the same reception at the Eurolines office, i.e. NO RECEPTION! Out of necessity, I popped into a pub, and stayed there until a sufficient crowd gathered outside the BUS STOP! Thank God Emily was around, or I’d be freaking out.
Yet, this is not the end of my nightmare. After a 9hr train ride yesterday, I now have a 10hr ride on a coach ahead of me. That would not have been so bad, if not for the sight that I encountered:
Firstly, the bus was FULL, save for two or three seats. Secondly, we waited at a bus stop, on a deserted street, at 23 00 in ‘dead’ Antwerp.
Later at night (or morning), passing through the French customs, four people were detained for over half an hour, resulting in the bus missing the ferry.
And again, at the British customs, probably from some scoop, our bags had to be checked (not standard procedure), and the same four were detained once again, this time, indefinitely, that the bus left without them.
Of course, for the duration of the journey, the kid behind kept kicking my chair. ANNOYING!
Antwerp Town Centre
Kids on the Hand of Antwerp