For the last year and a half about once a month Mauricio goes to Antwerp, Belgium for work. Sometimes an entire week, sometimes just a few days. Last week I got a wild hair and decided to tag along. Before going, my knowledge of Antwerp was pretty anecdotal i.e. Belgian waffles, and diamonds, and well diamonds.
My knowledge is now elevated only slightly, but I blame this on the poor weather which was simply not conducive for being out to explore (cold, windy, AND rainy) and…well perhaps on my part a bit of, wait no, nothing is ever my fault.
Cool things about Antwerp:
1. The Belgium national language is Flemish. The written language of Flemish is actually the same as Dutch, but the spoken language has influences of French. Dutch sounds similar to German, sort of like Spanish is to Italian. It’s not the same language at all but some of the sounds are the same and occasionally a word or two. My ears kept perking up to the Flemish and I had the feeling often that if I could just concentrate a little harder maybe I could understand it.
2. Antwerp is THE diamond mecca. Diamond stores are everywhere, side by side by side.
3. Antwerp is the second largest port of Europe.
4. When ordering food in Antwerp inevitably fries are included. Except for breakfast, every meal we ate was served with fries. For example, our last meal we ordered fresh caught mussels as an appetizer. When they were brought out a side of fries was also brought out. For our main dish we had fresh caught salmon, this was also served with fries.
5. Germany is renown for their beer, but Belgium is too. Belgium’s beer has a higher alcohol content than Germany’s which I would say makes fertile grounds for a fun rivalry!
6. Last and most deliciously not least: the waffles.
Antwerp has waffle stands like Germany has bratwurst stands, Bolivia has fresh juice stands or the United States has McDonalds every 10 sq. miles. (Hehe, see Im from the U.S. so I am allowed to make fun. It’s proprietary.)
All in all Antwerp is a lovely city. I plan to go back when the weather is warmer, and invariably I’ll have prettier pictures and more stories to tell.