Antwerp (Belgium)

01 – 02 August 2010

I arrived in Antwerp in the evening having spent most of the day sightseeing in Brussels. I was going to stay in a place called Abhostel, the smallest hostel I’ve stayed in to date with a total of only sixteen beds. There are no signs out front, just a small handwritten note on the door asking you to ring the bell and allow them a few minutes to get down the stairs and let you in. It is a family owned and run business and the lady was very nice and hospitable, taking the time to show me around the hostel and pointing out some things worth seeing on the Antwerp map.

The place had a nice little kitchen and I was looking forward to cooking myself something healthy. I popped out to the local grocer and bought tomatoes, aubergine, onion, garlic, ginger, olives and this leafy thing I’ve never encountered before. Of course I bought a selection of Belgian beers and it was while I was enjoying a beer that I met an Irish girl and Jeff, an American who had been studying for a month in Cologne. We enjoyed a beer together then my home cooked meal plans changed, instead we went for a walk to the local bar for a couple more beers (kebab and chips on the way). I was utterly exhausted from my late nights in Brussels so headed back to Abhosel pretty early.

The following day was pretty miserable weather so after I’d slept in suitably long enough and made myself some poached eggs with the provided ingredients I nestled onto a table in the common area and used the internet. This hostel was one of those homely places where you can comfortably chill out and do nothing. Jeff was having a similarly lazy day, finally in the afternoon we decided we better go see what Antwerp had to offer so we went and did some sightseeing in town.

[pe2-gallery class=”alignright” ] Antwerp Train Station-5.JPGAntwerp Train Station-1.JPGAntwerp-18.JPGAntwerp-25.JPGAntwerp-7.JPGAntwerp-28.JPGAntwerp-16.JPGAntwerp Unfinished Cathedral-2.JPGAntwerp-5.JPGHero of Antwerp.JPGHero of Antwerp-2.JPGOdd Statue - Antwerp-1.JPG[/pe2-gallery]

That evening I used my ingredients plus the pasta in the kitchen to cook up a delicious meal, with the Belgian beers that Jeff and I had purchased on the way home it was becoming a perfect evening. For so long I have been buying food out; even when you go to a restaurant and have a nice meal it is common for you to get hardly any salad or vegetables, so my homemade pasta sauce went down particularly well. I expected an early night but Jeff and I met 5 Spaniards who were travelling for a couple of weeks and we ended up drinking and chatting and playing games until 5am! The Spanish, seems they know how to stay up late.

All in all I did practically nothing in Antwerp and had a great time doing it – It’s all about the people.


  1. Glad to read you had a nice time in Antwerp, but you should definitely see more of the city if you can in the future! All the different neighbourhoods, great shopping, lots of musea and performances…