This trip to Europe! Was long overdue!
Not because it was another trip to Europe.
But, because of the countries, we were visiting. We have been planning this route for the last 3 years as I remember. Two years of travel were taken away by corona and the only thing we missed was travelling.
So, before we could plan a trip to any other European country. This had to be struck off my bucket list.
This trip was very unlike the trips we have taken before.
Starting with Antwerp we had a friend, Ambassador, An Artist and our local tour guide that was added into his profile as the day concluded since the way he showcased Antwerp. The cobbled streets, the Parks, the cafés and visiting Caffenation. Caffeination is a speciality coffee pioneer in Belgium.
Jeff Vervellen a barista from Caffenation has won the world championship a couple of times.
by giving us insights into the landmarks we were passing by walking around towards the centre of Antwerp by the end of the day our legs were crushed walking 30K steps on the 1st Day of our trip!
Little did we know it was just the beginning of the warm hospitality from the locals we were going to be meeting ahead of our trip.
Bruges & Gent felt light on the feet.
Exploring the canals and small stores while we walked around to get a feel of the place.
Bruges was beautiful the free shuttle service from the station to the centre of the city is another way of looking around the city before you start to explore on your own.
While gent had interesting graffiti street art and cafés it also had an interesting book store. Booze & Books! With some of the finest alcohol and Designer bottles, you wouldn’t have come across until you visited the store. It was also good to notice Paul John a whiskey from India that has gained an international recognition.
Gent & Bruges reminded me a lot about Scotland a lot with so many castles around.
One looked like the younger side of Scotland while the other seemed like the older side of Scotland.
Brussels on Sunday! Was zooming in with the Ferrari which was on display at the central square for the start of a perfect Sunday!
Sun & Ferraris!
Meeting the local person who we have known for a decade now and for someone who we make sure to visit Brussels. It was nice walking around the Sunday markets, Eating Belgium fries, and having Coffee & Waffles at the Galleria from Aksum Coffee house. Had some local Belgium food.
Luxembourg! We had initially planned to stay here for two days! But ended up doing a day trip from Antwerp.
Luxembourg’s view of the bridge from the centre was breathtaking. Two days would have been more than enough to enjoy the country.
The Netherlands journey began with a lot of delays & going in the wrong direction for us because of a train accident on the other tracks. So, we did explore Delft a small town in the Netherlands close to Antwerp & Amsterdam and known for its blue pottery. And tasted a lot of handmade cheese from the Netherlands while we explored Utrecht too on the same day having hot chocolate from Hop & Stork a popular Chocolate cafe in the Netherlands.
The next destination was Amsterdam!
We had a few local guides here! Giving us a tour of the city!
While we explored one thing with each of the guides!
One day! We took the canal cruise from Amsterdam central with one local guide,
Amsterdam is known as the North of Venice. As the water connects you to the other side of the city too. Quite a few people have started renting out boats since there isn’t enough housing space available.
And had local Dutch food in a restaurant while this day it had poured all day long.
With the other guide, we explored the Straat Museum. It’s a street art museum showcasing about 150 artists from the world and Europe.
We also visited Tony’s chocolate cafe a chocolate brand that’s popular in Amsterdam. While the United States have Hershey’s, Germany has Riter Sport, the UK has Cadbury’s. Amsterdam has Tony’s. Chocolate flowing on the taps at the cafés, chandelier made is tony chocolate wrappers and a store, where you can see the process of chocolate making, this was the sugar rush we needed with the variety of homemade fries we had on our trip! We were the typical tourist!
While walking the streets to get some coffee beans from screaming beans one of the popular speciality coffee that is gaining popularity across the globe!
While purchasing my beans I had an interesting conversation with James who was preparing a cup of V60 of the Guatemala beans I was planning to purchase. While the coffee was being brewed James was speaking about the backpacking trip 14 years ago to India! And the places he visited in India one city that he mentioned! I just couldn’t get over it! Nashik! Part of his cities Of Kumbh Mela! Since I am too from Nashik!
The last local guide we met were schoolmates & classmates with whom we walked around the red light street of Amsterdam and caught up with life in the Netherlands.
While the bicycles were all over the Netherlands. We explored most of our cities by foot and trains to get there. Since with Europe, it’s all about the centre of the city, which can be covered by foot.
Travel to Brussels, Gent & Bruges from Antwerp one-way journey.
Antwerp to Brussels : 45 Min
Antwerp to Bruges: 90 Min
Antwerp to Ghent: 1 Hr.
Antwerp to Luxembourg: 4 Hrs.
Antwerp to Hague :45 Min
Antwerp to Amsterdam: 1 Hr 50 Min
NH Hotel Antwerp
Bloemenmarkt: World’s only floating flower market
Cities to Visit: #Antwerp #Bruges #Gent #brussels
Travelling to these cities by @eurarail is easy.
Bruges : * Free Shuttle Service available from the station to the Market every 10-15 minutes.