On Wednesday, I was at the beach in Castelldefels and on Thursday I was freezing to death next to the carousel in Antwerp (Belgium). My friend Tudor (whom I was visiting) told me to dress warm – but hey, how cold could it be in August? After two minutes, while waiting for them to pick me up from the train station, I opened my bag and took out the only sweater and the jacket I had with me and wore them one on top of the other. Boy, it was cold!
Except for this (the next day I bought socks and a scarf), my stay in Antwerp was really nice. My hosts were renting a house with three floors and a very green garden – the doorman’s house – with a super-cool laminator in the kitchen, which added extra-charm to the experience.
The highlight of the city is the Ruben’s house (now a museum) which I totally loved. The guy bought a house and transformed it in a modern (for his time, Peter Paul Ruben, the Flemish Baroque painter, died in 1640) building in which he and his family lived.
What else? The city has nice Flemish architecture, good and famous frituur places (like Fritkot Max, a streetcar that also goes underground and numerous jewel stored.
I particularly liked the central area of the city, the main street (but I’m a shopping freak, so what to expect?) and the train station. Its design is simply beautiful and a nice example of integrated architecture with urban functionalities.
Later on, in Dublin, I saw a similar adaptation of industrial areas to host more ‘friendly’ spaces.
I would go back to Antwerp for some cultural events and some movie premieres: they arrive there months before reaching Spain… I got to see Inglorious Basterds next January in Barcelona.