Wednesday, July 22, 2009

wild wednesday in antwerp with guest, nina...

Photo above: Antwerp by night. I took the picture from a terrace in the neigbourhood of our bed & breakfast where we were sitting late at night.

I'm Nina and I live in the south of the Netherlands, less than an hour from the Belgian border. Antwerp is almost as close to my home as Amsterdam, but still a trip to Antwerp always feels much more like a little vacation than a visit to Amsterdam, cause Belgium and the Netherlands are different countries and you can really see and feel that. To non-Europeans Belgium and the Netherlands may seem pretty much the same thing, but there are quite a few differences that make us feel 'on holiday' when we pass the border: the language (they speak Flemish, similar to Dutch but with a completely different sound), the architecture, the food.
Photo above: A Belgian fries restaurant. Belgium is well-known for it's fries. The traditional (and often best!) fries bars/restaurants often look a bit ramshackle, but they have the best fries!

Last 4 Photos above: the Mieke Willems shop

Antwerp has been one of my favorite cities since I was a kid and we went there on a day trip with my family. It's a fascinating city with a lot of history. It's also called the 'Jerusalem of the West' sometimes because a large community of orthodox jews lives in a neighbourhood in the centre of the city called 'the Diamond quarter', that's filled with little diamond and jewelry shops. The orthodox jews look very distinct and have their own shops, restaurants, schools, organisations and synagogues, it's really fascinating to walk through their neighbourhood and feel like you're in a completely different world.
Photo above: me having a mojito at the festival site

Antwerp also has an old city Zoo (we didn't have the chance to visit it this time, but when you have kids you really should go some time), lots of nice museums (we visited the beautiful Photography Museum) and many cool upcoming neighbourhoods filled with little artist & designer shops, bars and restaurants. A pretty special shop that we visited was called Mieke Willems, a little shop filled to the brim with very special and unique art/craft/design items. The shop was very welcoming and not too expensive, so anyone can go there and find something nice, like beautiful stationary, a book or a handmade mobile.

photo above: the cozy festival site

photo above: beautiful colorful containers in the harbour of Antwerp

photo above: my boyfriend and our friends at the festival. We were sitting on a large sort of 'treehouse terrace'

We went on this weekend trip with another couple, and the four of us had booked a nice little bed & breakfast for two nights. It was situated in a great area that was a bit outside the really crowded city centre, but filled with lovely bars and restaurants. Also we visited a nice art & theatre festival. The festival site was situated in a green area close to the city’s harbor, and they had created a lovely festival site with bars, hammocks, treehouses etc. They served delicious mojitos (I had one too many!) and we spent hours just sitting there, having a few drinks and chatting and relaxing. Sometimes just relaxing can be such a good pastime, and Antwerp has plenty of places where you can do that!
photo above: The beautiful botanic garden is situated in the heart of Antwerps city centre. It's filled with beautiful flowers, herbs and plants and it's therefore a great hideout from the cities rumour.

(Thanks for sharing your gorgeous trip, Nina! We love your shop and your lovely blog. It is a total honour having you share with our readers this Wild Wednesday!)


Rebecca said...

what a fantastic post nina! love the pics, esp. the ones of the mobile and the hammocks.

emily said...

wow it just seems so dreamy. the colors are amazing!

cabin + cub said...

It looks so lovely there! I could sure go for some frites after seeing all these pics!

Shelley said...

so pretty! I think I may need a vacation soon!

knack said...

what fantastic photos!

I am such a huge french fry fan.......I need to go there! xo

Olivia Rae said...

aww wow i loved this! such gorgeous pictures.

Melanie said...

i am off to Antwerp in late August. I can't wait! I'll be sure to take these tips with me. x

our little love nest said...

I loved the hammocks and fun relaxed feel I got off of all the photos! Thank you so much for sharing Nina! These are gorgeous. LOVE having this post.

Anna said...

ooh a mojito. good call.


戴佩妮Penny said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.