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Day 5 - rest day in Antwerp - 13km

Always pleasant to awake on any given morning of a long distance bike ride and know that you don't have to pack and put on cycling gear.

Today was one of those days We could luxuriate in the comfort of our room and take a leisurely breakfast and talk over our plans with the host. Which is exactly what we did.

Then it was off to the main train station to do a 2.5 hour guided walking tour. These 'Free Walking Tours' are something we have latched onto in the past few years and usually avail ourselves of them when we have time to spend in a city and want to get a locals view of it.

The following is a pictorial recount of the day which involved quite a bit of walking.

The Main central Railway Station. An impressive building in many regards. Ol King Leopold knew how to spend his money.

Train station interior was equally impressive as the exterior

The Old Stock Exchange that was in operation until 1991 when technology took over and everything was moved off the floor and in to characterless offices.

Old stock exchange walls were adorned with the trade routes of many of the companies trading on the floor.

Believe it or not this is an entrance to a restraurant.

Quaint Antwerp courtyards and lanes in the Old Town were impossibly beautiful.

One part of the magnificent cathedral that dominates the Old Town of Antwerp

The main fort overlooking the main river with the juxtaposition of a modern day crusie ship parked right behind it. Antwerp as we discovered is a popular destination point for many cruise ships given its deep and very wide river and proximity to the North Sea.

Complex Antwerp Street Art

Antwerp Town Hall and main square in the old town.

Window art

The main cathedral was pretty awe inspiring simply because of its size. Having been to a few large churches in Italy I would have to say this ranked up there in terms of grandeur.

Another Belgian beer that will impact you adversely pretty quickly

Funky lines and colours in the Museum of Contemprary Art.

The sheer size of some of the paintings in the MCA were impressive.

Looking up or looking down ?

One of the more camp looking war lord statues I have seen.

We both decided we liked Antwerp a lot and would recommend it for a 2 day weekend or mid-week break. Easy to get to from London too. Eurostar to Brussels and then 20 mins on a local train.


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