Over these past two days, I visited Antwerp with friends. Although I did have fun, it was mostly a field trip as our school has this system where we get to visit a different country for a few days every year in what is known as Trip Week. The usual countries we get to visit are London, France, Holland or Belgium. This year, I got to visit Antwerp along with the eleventh graders. The journey started off with us meeting in the school cafeteria for a quick run-down of basic school rules that people were inevitably going to break, as well as having our chaperones introduced to us. After our luggage was loaded, everyone got on the bus and we began our mini road trip to Antwerp.
We stayed at a gorgeous hostel called Pulcinella Youth Hostel, and the location was great because it was located in the city which gave us access to stores, restaurants and a really interesting sights and artworks.
When we first arrived, we took photos at a statue in the center of the town, called Silvius Brabo who, as legend has it, was a Roman soldier who killed a giant that asked people for money if they wanted to cross the bridge over the river. If they wouldn't pay, or if they couldn't pay, he would cut off their hand. This is where 'Antwerpen' supposedly came from as it translates to 'hand throwing'.
Cathedral of Our Lady
The group then visited the Cathedral of Our Lady, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and also a land mark of the city. It was absolutely beautiful and took over two hundred years to build. For those of who have been there or who know about it, you can tell why it took so long. The detailing is absolutely extraordinary and the cathedral is fairly big. It is large and white with light shining in through the stained glass windows which lights up the whole cathedral and casts almost some kind of glow across the whole room. Pictured below, you can see that from left to right is the outside of the cathedral and the inside showing the stained glass windows and intricate detailing on the ceiling.
|Cathedral of Our Lady|
8 Hours of Free Time
Simply put, my friends and I have a thing for alleys as there are always cool things to discover or a chilled place to hang out in if we're bored. When we found this gem in Antwerp, it was no exception.
|Entrance to alley|
The walls and doors of people who lived there were covered in graffiti by so many talented street artists, it was insane so of course we had to take a few photos.
Because you can't go to Belgium and not have a beer.
|walls and wallflowers|
The Red Star Line Museum
|Poster of the Red Star Line|
The Red Star Line Museum is a museum dedicated to the three million people who emigrated from their home countries to America using a historically famous shipping line. It was incredibly interesting to read their stories and see how different our lives are. One of the things that shocked me was reading about how the people had to shower for an hour while their clothes were thrown in disinfectant as the officials were worried about diseases and infections being brought into their country.
|Reading stories of the history behind the Red Star Line|