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Central Station in Antwerp.  An architectural dreamfest.

After spending four weeks in Holland, it was time to hit the road. With one week planned in Belgium, I had the opportunity to visit Brussels and Antwerp. Although I didn’t have many (or any) expectations set, I was happily surprised. One thing I love about traveling in Europe is how you can travel such short distances and experience such a completely new place.

Grab a beer, a chunk of chocolate, and put your feet up: we’re going to Belgium 🙂

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Antwerp.  No expectations were set, but I was pleasantly surprised.

 

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Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp – Interior

 

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Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp: Gorgeous.  The clouds were moving behind in such a magical way.

 

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I kept looking up. A memorable sight to see.

 

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Antwerp didn’t feel like a city that was trying to impress anyone. Just a cool city with a lot to offer and a beautiful city center.

 

 

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City Hall, Antwerp. How many flags are flying? 87. (I had to google that.)

 

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City center, Antwerp

 

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This lady caught my eye.

 

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Chocolate and beer. Yup, welcome to Belgium.

 

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Central Station, Antwerp. Heading to catch the train to Brussels.

 

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Antwerp Central Station is that good. You got to see it upon my arrival, and now my departure for Brussels.

 

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Grand Place, Brussels.

 

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Sorry, Portland, Oregon – Brussels just kicked your butt when it comes to beer festivals.

 

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The Grand Place by day. If you keep scrolling you’ll see this place at night….

 

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Such a wee little man, in all of his glory. Manneken Pis is so loved and has quite the wardrobe.

 

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Pretty skies in Brussels during the walking tour.

 

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Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert, a fancy indoor shopping area.

 

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Looks like Notre Dame, eh? Made you look. You’re still in Brussels.

 

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A cathedral. Note to self: Take more notes when I’m sightseeing.

 

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That time we were on a walking tour and then there was a comic book parade. No big deal.

 

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Tintin. Did you know he was created in Belgium? Put that in your pocket for a future pub quiz.

 

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My heart pretty much leapt with joy when I saw these parade balloons.

 

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Superman. Enough said. Look closely and you’ll see the Mario Bros. marching band.

 

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The clash between the architecture and these balloons was fantastic.

 

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Royal Palace. Chilling since I read “King Leopold’s Ghost” …..but we’ll let that one slide and look at the pretty palace.

 

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This is what I love about European cities. Sitting in traffic and LOOKING AT THAT. I mean, seriously.

 

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I love how cities slow down on Sunday night.

 

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This is what they do at the Royal Palace when ambassadors visit.

 

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Where’s Waldo?

 

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How many outfits does Mannequin Pis have? If you guessed 736, then you’re right.

 

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“Blues” are always so negative. Not these blues. These blues make me smile.

 

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I went to the “Little Delirium Café” in Brussels on two occasions with lovely people.

 

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I had a front row seat to a Manneken Pis wardrobe change!

 

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This guy embodied some pretty wonderful traits. Look at that smile!

 

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Looking good.

 

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Told you it was worth the wait. The Grand Place by night.

 

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UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Grand Place

 

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They should have oxygen on reserve: this place took my breath away.

 

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Evening looks good on you, Brussels. And then I flew to Barcelona the next morning.

And with that, you’ve seen my latest photos. Belgium was a surprise for me. I had wanted to visit this country last year, but didn’t have a chance to. A few hotel visits/reviews inspired me to visit, which ended up working out nicely. I found the country to be unique in it’s own way: rich in history, and I found the people to be very kind and welcoming.

Oh and the food, watch out for those waffles. Those waffle trucks and their 2 Euro waffles will get you every time, so you’ve been warned.

Photography note: All photos were taken with a Nikon D3200 HDSLR camera with AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm lens.(I still don’t really know what all of that means, but there you go.) Only edits made were minor crops and resizing.

I’m currently in Barcelona, Spain. Stay tuned for updates and photos from this beautiful country. I’m enjoying the SUN and the 2 Euro Rioja. It feels good to be back here after walking the Camino de Santiago.

I look forward to sharing my current and upcoming Spanish adventures.

All the best and thanks again for viewing!

Katie, the one “Making Her Way”

Photoessay: Belgium in 40 Photos

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