05 July 2010

where belgium is a weekend trip away

antwerp01drama. don’t like it in life, but love it in the sky.

i’ve realized that i love the normandy skies because i actually had a chance to appreciate it – being always on a train or on foot.

in texas, we have our own gorgeous skies too. however, i’m always driving, and staring at skies + driving is not a very safe combination.

texassunset[jump to the future] but there is one thing i do in texas that allows me to watch the sky: jogging in the park. with an iphone, which has actually made me spend less time at the computer. but just look at the differences in the sky! it’s just as breathtaking even with all its differences.

antwerp02anyway! let’s time travel back to a friday afternoon in march. to a park bench in paris, with a chausson aux pommes [from du pain et des idées], killing time before you have to catch a bus to antwerp.

you arrive around midnight, head straight to your host, chat, and crash. you don’t really see anything because, well, it’s night and you’re tired. next morning…

antwerp03ah, natural light. and now you can finally take a look at antwerp. starting off with one of the best decorated apartments you’ve seen in a while. full of just random details that work together. like circles of feathers. old binoculars. an amazing cd collection. pink string room dividers. writing on the wall. old doorknobs. and one cool kitty.

and out of the apartment, into the city!

antwerp14your first impressions. polka dots, taxidermy fashion, and bikes. something you can’t explain it. but it just makes sense for certain places. and antwerp is one of them.

antwerp04just like ghent, antwerp is full of subtle surprises. small glass jars = weakness.

antwerp05these little surprises make your walk enjoyable because you love searching for those small things that tend to get ignored. and you love how the people make use of their space – a perfect parking and display spot for a bicycle.

antwerp06water. 17th largest port by tonnage? you didn’t know that, and now you just learned something new!

antwerp07of course, if your name is cathy, you immediately notice a rack of clothing where nothing is being repeated. which can only mean one thing.

and one thing only.

antwerp08vintage. jackpot! ding ding ding! there goes all your euros….

antwerp08ahints of spring are showing up. but it’s still too cold for you.

antwerp08bcold it may be, but cloudy it isn’t! the sun is out in full force and you take full advantage of using it while playing with some windows in the Plantin-Moretus museum.

antwerp08cPlantin-Moretus? what kind of museum is that? why are you there?

antwerp08dit’s none other than a printing museum. another jackpot! ding ding ding! you lose track of time as you find yourself surrounded by all sorts of presses and old books.

antwerp08eyou don’t retain a lot of the stuff you learned – except that the symbol of one of the guys running the place was the lion, so there were lots of lion details that kept catching your eye.

antwerp08fand like so many other museums in europe, it was hosted in the original house. you love how things just seem clearer when they are in their original setting in their original city.

and this is why you prefer non-famous pieces of art and not-so-well-known museums. because normally, the more renowned it is, the more likely that it has been moved. but when nobody cares about it, it tends to stay right where it came from.

antwerp08gmaps and globes and papers and lace and needles and books and old clips and everything that just makes you tick!

antwerp08hand libraries! the owners felt that in a library, one needed to be in the presence of grand authors. so that explains the busts – they are much more than decoration, they’re there to help you when you’re in the middle of reading one of their works.

can you imagine, reading les miserables, and as you pause and look up to take a break, bam, there is mr. hugo himself! perhaps you’ll start printing out images from googles of famous authors since you aren’t about to start a bust collection… not to mention you don’t even have a personal library. yet.

antwerp09more hints of spring! you can’t wait for when it comes full force.

antwerp10 antwerpians (?) like birds. chirp!

antwerp11they also like grand upward looking sculptures that look towad the sky. and you still aren’t sure what the giant inflatable couple was for. but they made their impression, and that’s what counts.

antwerp12bread. of course. no visit to any country or any city is complete without some “research” at a bakery.

antwerp13branches blending perfectly in.

antwerp15back to the water. this time, after sunset, and with some very cool people you’ve just met. aaaaaaaaaaand……..

antwerp16obligatory french fries. you just don’t go to belgium and not eat fries. *though secretly you still haven’t tasted any fries in europe that are better than the ones in texas. even though they originated in europe, it really is america where they were perfected…

stomach feels not-so-well later. but it’s okay, because you’re in europe! and that cancels out everything.

antwerp17night falls. off to sleep, and then another day of exploring!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great pictures as always! I love clouds and skies! I could spen hours admiring them...



cathy said...

with you on that one :)