It rained all day. But that did not matter. We were in Belgium.
We were only in Antwerp for a few short hours, yet it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I had no idea what to expect, for I never even heard of this city until we were on our way there. On the ride in, we past by a medieval castle. I wish I would have had more time to walk and explore it. Yet, just passing by was still an amazing experience. It was a castle right out of the pages of a history book.
For such a small city, Antwerp was grand and Gothic. Our tour director lead us straight to the city center, Grote Markt. There was a huge Gothic cathedral and the grand Antwerp city hall. In the middle of the square, a huge fountain stood spraying mist on us all. Yet due to the mass amounts of rain, we didn’t even notice the effect the fountain was having. Quite frankly, the pouring rain wasn’t bothering us either. It was cold and it was gloomy, but we were just the opposite.
We had some time to kill, so we decided to wander about Antwerp. We found ourselves in a touristy shop, where I met a man who spoke broken English that has traveled to my hometown before. He couldn’t understand why I would come to Antwerp because he couldn’t see the beauty in his own city. It’s funny because I could’t see how he could leave such a beautiful place to go to Buffalo.
Next, we went into a beer store where the owner gave us free samples. He was very sweet and wanted us to know what Belgium beer tasted like. It was interesting to try because Belgium beer is unlike most American beers. It is a very strong stout beer. Yet, it had a delicious taste. The perfect beer to drink on such a cold day.
Next we were on to the chocolate shop, where the women there also gave us free chocolate samples. The chocolate was as delicious as I thought it would be. I bought a bag of chocolate in the shape of hands. The woman at the store told me the story behind the hands. Apparently back in medieval times there was a giant who would chop off people’s hands when they tried to sneak onto the ships.
After we were walking around for awhile taking in the sights, the rain really began coming down. We decided to stop at a pizzeria because it was the first place we could find shelter from the rain. We split a tiny pizza between five girls, due to poor communication because of the language barrier. We each only got a tiny piece, but that tiny piece was the most delicious pizza I have ever had.