Once again it was raining as we departed Ostend and headed to Antwerp...however today the rain was accompained by freezing wind as well!!
Antwerp is a small city (Population of about 500 000) and is about 2 hours from Ostend. It is known as Belgium's fashion capital and is also known for it's diamonds. Unfortunately I could not afford to indulge in the latter and owing to what seemed a fairly unusual practice many of the shops did not open until 1 pm on Mondays, we were unable to fully experience the former as we only had a limited time here.
Once again we began at the Catherdral, however this one contained several magnificant painting by the artist Rubens. After wandering the quaint streets and narrow alleyways were had a hot chocolate in a cosy cafe located in the main square. Followed by a delicious lunch in a different cafe after a walk along the High Street.
A quick trip to a cute little vintage shop allowed me to pick up a funky 70s frock. All we then had time for was a photo opportunity at the reconstructed Citadel, which is all that remains of the original city walls. I wish we had more time in Antwerp as it seemed an interesting and eclectic little city.
We then boarded the coach and headed back to Calais. After getting through UK border control (despite the French waving us through on Saturday, the UK require passport checks, landing cards and a search of the luggage area on the coach to make sure noone sneaks into the country), we boarded the ferry for our return to Dover, The crossing was not so smooth and all I can say is thank goodness for travel sickness medication. The ferry did allow us to induge in a little duty free shopping. Back to London and then home...and straight to bed to recover form 3 hectic but enjoyable days.