Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Adventures in Antwerp!

I got really busy in the last half of the semester in Europe and just now am able to finish my blog. 
As you probably have seen, I'm back in the States and working this summer at the Arkansas Attorney General's Office. I took the Law School Admissions Test after I got back and scored pretty well, so things are looking up! Feel free to give me feedback on if you enjoy it, because the more I get, the more I'll post about my adventures. I'm thinking about doing a daily blog about life and adventures and my thoughts, but that will be on down the line, if people are interested!
Thanks for following along, and I hope you enjoy!

 As most of you have discovered by now, I love making my first picture a picture of the train station signs, because they are a fun way to document where I have been and they are a great way to highlight the commencement of a new adventure. That feeling when you step off of the train and see a new city is breathtaking, especially in one that is as beautiful as Antwerp!

No offense, Brussels, but I think Antwerp wins the award for my favorite Belgian city. ;)
This train station is one of the most breathtaking that I went to, because it was constructed so perfectly. There are three levels, all of which have platforms, and there is even a museum on the second floor. Antwerpen is the shopping center in Belgium (or it was for me anyway) and it brings a modern twist of the history of the country. 
We went to get food first, then headed straight to the house of Peter Paul Rubens, which was quite a sight, filled with all of his art. The house was in a square, creating a courtyard in the center of it with a garden that held sculptures of the gods and goddesses. Here are a few of the sights in and around Ruben's House:
                                                      A self portrait of the artist himself!

Zeus in the middle, with others on the side protecting the ruler.

After we left Ruben's House, we then went walking through the city, where I came across something I had never before encountered:

Dread Lovers is a restaurant/coffee shop, where you can also get your hair in dreadlocks while you eat/sip your coffee or tea. This was quite unique and trend specific, but seemed to be popular among travelers!

One of the biggest reasons that Antwerp was on our list of travels was to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, one of the famous churches in the world. This cathedral holds two very famous works of Peter Paul Rubens. Below are two pictures of me posing with the two works, the first being "The Raising of the Cross" and the second being "The Descent of the Cross", which were painted to show Jesus Christ before and after the crucifixion.  Quite amazing paintings if I do say so myself!!!

After our day of visiting the famous churches and museums, we then chose to enjoy the scenery of the port city that Antwerp is known for. We walked out to the coast and had ice cream while taking in the beauty which was in front of us! Quite an amazing trip! Probably why this was just the first of three different trips to Antwerp over the remainder of the semester. It was just far enough to get away, but just close enough to make happen in a day, so we used it as our chance to detour from the hustle and bustle that our home in the Center of Europe (Brussels) is known for. 

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