Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Day in Antwerp,Belgium

Dear Family and Friends,

Today we finished up our visit to my friends in Germany, the Ardens. Again I cannot stress what a kind, generous and wonderful family they are. We really enjoy our two days with them..
This morning we left Krefeld Germany for Antwerp Belgium. We started out thinking it would be an easy 2 hour ride there.. It started that way.... As soon as we got on the highway it started to rain... Not a cold rain, but a continuous rain for 2 hours so as you can imagine by the time we got to Antwerp we were a bit wet... well I was. Duane put on his water proof riding suite.. I toughed it out or I was to lazy.... Was that smart??
At least my trusty GPS got us right to down town Antwerp and our hotel. We rested up a bit, dried out and then went out to do some site seeing.
Most of Antwerp was very quiet since most stores here close on Sunday here but once we got the tourist area it was very lively... 
As you listen to people all around you it is hard to pick out the language. For such a small country (less than half the size of California) they speak three languages, Dutch, French and German.. Not that it matters since we speak none of these but is nice to have a consistent chatter around you.
The city is very old but looks more like it has been in continuous use rather than an old city that has been restored.
Again we went to the center of town and toured the Catholic Church there. The design was stunning and I am sure my riding buddy Duane is about to find religion again.. He as asking about being ordained a priest there. He either wants to find religion or his is looking for a free place to stay next time he visits Europe......
We then took a nice horse drawn tour of the city, had some lunch, and ate some great Belgium chocolate. (There was also some beer and wine in there)
All and all a rather easy day.
Tomorrow we head back the Calais, France and then ferry back the England and ride back to London for a few days of R&R, laundry and getting ready for the next half of our adventure..The next few weeks will include some great events including the Classic TT at the Isle of Man, a ride around Scotland, some visits to car and motorcycle museums, the Goodwood Revival, and the Brighton motorcycle festival and of course one of my favorite stops...,,. The Ace Cafe in London.
The next couple of days internet will be spotty so I am not sure about reports...
Fearless Duane leading the exploration of Antwerp

Antwerp is a very old city with lots of history. It does not look restored or rebuilt. The buildings just look like they have been around a long time in continuous use.

The buildings have their corner adorned with beautiful details and religuos icons..

Antwerp is a very international city and even has a Mexican food restaurant..

Reminders that all of Europe colonized the entire world at one time..

The interesting thing in this photo is the church on the left is 500+ years old, the building in the center is about 200 years old and the building on the right is fairly new.. Only in Europe!

These statues prove that at one time people idolized people for being great tinkers, scientist, politicians, and people that actually did something.. Notice there is not one Kardashian up there!!

Some names do not transfer from one culture to another. I doubt you could get away naming a business this in our home town....

Like any big city, lots of street entertainment..

This poor girl was waddling in front of us... Her pants were so tight she could not walk straight!

Our site seeing bus for an hour...

Inside the main church in Antwerp

Duane having a discussion with his boss. I think he wants to get ordained so he has a free place to stay the next time he tours Europe......?

OK I am not a Christian so pardon my ignorance.. but why is baby Jesus wearing a diaper? If he had an immaculate birth why isn't his poop immaculate too?  Also looking at this statue got me to thinking,,,, in the entire history of humans Mary was probably the only teenager ever to tell her parents she was pregnant but it was not her fault, a spirit got her pregnant in her sleep...... and they believed her!

This was a local "Angle" working the street for a few Euros. We looked at the angle for  a while and could not tell for sure if it was a male or female angle.. I think female angles are supposed to have adams apples??

Did I mention this is an old city?

Here was the center of town on Sunday and thousands were gathered in this 500+ year old plaza listening to 1960s Motown music.. Obviously they have good taste..

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