Guiding Lisa in Antwerp
10 years ago Lisa had been here in Belgium on an extremely brief 48 hours in which we have cramped visiting the big city of Deinze (oh yes!), a tour with the highlights of Ghent in the evening , a visit to Bruges and a hightlights tour of Brussels (partly by car) before she had to go back on the Thalys to Paris where the rest of her class was on a schooltrip.
So ...Antwerp was missing on her list of great Flemish cities to see. After a long lazy morning, after all traffic jams around Brussels had dissolved, we drove north to " 't Stad".
After a stop in the St Anna pedestrian tunnel unther the river Scheldt, a look at the river from the north, a look at the fortress "'t Steen" and the townhall, we came in the cathedral that was almost deserted! A very enthousiastic guide that was supposed to start a free tour in Dutch, adopted us for an English tour out of lack of other interested people in the cathedral at that moment. For more than 90 minutes he showed us around, borrowed a flash light of a colleague to show a hidden sculpture in the shade on the pulprit (representation of Africa on the backside for those of you who are interested), gave us details of his favourite wallpaintings hidden in a corner, about Rubenses masterpieces and on the side also the dates of the marriage of his 2 sons in the next 2 years, wondered if he could play "God is a DJ" on the organ (he knew the group was Faithless!), .... Hmm very weird guide in a way but he sure was passionate about his cathedral!
By the time we were back outside, it was getting dark, but we did make still a very good walk all the way to the Diamond and Jewish quarter to get a glance there of the diamond fairs and koosjer stores. Our feet were extremely grateful to be back in the car in the direction of Leuven!