So, it’s been a while since we have updated our blog and we have traveled along several different rivers stopping along the way at Maastricht (where we didn’t get off to join the walking tour of the town);
Antwerp and finally Brussels. Along the way we watched the world go by on our riverboat and enjoyed beautiful weather the entire time.
While most passengers toured Maastricht ,we chose to pass and stayed on the boat for a day of leisure (well, we did do a load of laundry) and relaxation. Once everyone was back on board we motored on to Antwerp.
Antwerp is a major port city in Belgium on the River Scheldt with history dating back to the Middle Ages.
Best know for the centuries old Diamond District where thousands of traders, cutters and polishers work on virtually ALL the worlds’ diamonds. Unfortunately they don’t give out free samples. In addition to Diamonds, the City is a major shipping center and was the home of the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens.
Our walking tour included the sights, sounds, and smells and yes, even the tastes of Belgium.
On our walking tour we sampled some grey shrimp, a unique Flemish sea product described as the ‘queen of seafood’ .They are less than an inch long when peeled, have a greyish-pink color and a more pronounced taste than the traditional pink shrimps.
We followed this with an Elixir d’Anvers herbal liquor that has been produced since 1863 – this was known for its good digestive and beneficial properties and was used on horses to prevent colic!
After this, on to waffles, whipped cream and coffee – yum is all I can say here.
Of course, along the way we saw lovely sights including several Rubens paintings in the
Cathedral of Our Lady – actually four different paintings are on display in the church.
The Central Square is lined with Guild Buildings (recreated after all the bombing from WWII) very lovely with their ornamentation and gilding.
After Antwerp it was on to Brussels (again) where there was another tour (we skipped) and the final day on the ship. Our goal, when back in Brussels was to take the shuttle bus into town to get CHOCOLATE (and a special box for K.B.) at the Neuhaus store.
After the final cruise dinner, the next morning we took a taxi to the train station and boarded the 9:52 train to Amsterdam.