Well, it was my last day in Antwerp but my train wasn’t until 7pm that evening, so I still had all day to spend there. I didn’t go down for breakfast, as I wanted to wait and go to a cafe called Walrus, which was recommended by a good website that I use, called www.spottedbylocals.com I had to check out by 11am, so I packed the stuff that I needed to take around with me for the day and left a separate bag with my clothes in it at reception, so I could pick it up later on.
At 11.20am I left the hotel but Cafe Walrus wasn’t open till 12pm. It was a glorius day, about 25 degrees and I was boiling in my warm jeans, shoes and socks. I hadn’t brought any shorts or a skirt or sandals with me. I should have just thrown a pair of shorts into my bag, but I will know the next time!
I had a walk around the local streets. The area where the hotel is, as I mentioned earlier, is in the south of the city, still only 15 minutes by tram from Central Station. But it’s a lovely area, it’s known as the trendy part of town. I liked it, as it was local and had a very homely feel to it, with lots of lovely little cafes, bars and restaurants within spitting distance of the hotel. Anyway, I got to Walrus just before 12 o ‘clock. It must be a busy cafe, as all of the tables outside had reserved signs on them. As it turned out, it was busy. I took a table inside, as it was cooler and all the “suits” from the local businesses filled the outside tables. It was a nice cafe but what was on the menu didn’t really appeal to me. I had the spaghetti bolognese, which was very good and a cappucino afterwards. It took them a while to bring the cappucino as it was busy, but I didn’t mind because I was tired from all the walking I’d done and wanted to stay put for a little while longer.
I left there at 1.30pm and headed back into town for a last quick look. I stopped off at a small square, behind the Grote Markt, which was right in front of the National Library building. There were a good few people sitting around and two people were playing the cello, busking. I stayed there for a while just chilling and decided to go to the Museum of Fine Arts. As it was the last Wednesday of the month, there was free entry, which normally would have cost 6 euros. Cool! It’s a pretty small museum, with only two floors. There were paintings from several famous Belgian artists and it had one room filled only with sculptures. There was a mixture of biblical and mythical figures, like the goddess Diana, Venus and David, who fought Goliath. The paintings didn’t really grab my interest. I liked the sculptures best.
I left there at 5pm and went back to the hotel to pick up the rest of my stuff. On my way back to the station, I stopped off at a shop called Panos, which make sandwiches to take away or eat in. I also wanted to take a photo of Antwerp Central Station, as it’s historic domed building dubbed the “Railway Cathedral”, is one of the main landmarks in Antwerp and is beautiful to see. It’s definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not taking the train anywhere. The interior is decorated with more than twenty different kinds of marble and stone and it’s the oldest terminal station in Belgium.
It was a good trip to Antwerp, I enjoyed it. It’s a good spot for a quick weekend break, great for shopping and has the mixture of old and new.