Day 5 13th April – Antwerp, Palm Sunday Mass and Brussels


After another sumptuous leisurely breakfast, at least we are getting the hang of getting to dining room early enough to linger a while over our breakfast before grabbing our headsets and communication sets and boarding bus for short ride into Antwerp. 



Our tour guide walked us around all the sights and after a strolling along the Scheidt taking in the old Steen




Fortress (medieval castle), we walked Antwerps classishopping boulevard, Meir, with its elegant department stores and trendy boutiques, which then leads into De Keyserlei. A side-street of the latter, Quellinstraat, is also good for fashion, but for jewellery shops, try Pelikaanstraat in the nearby Diamond Quarter. 

Of course being Palm Sunday we choose to attend mass at Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp’s Cathedral of Our Lady can boast arguably the world’s most exquisite Gothic tower (404 feet high) completed in 1521. 


Stripped of its original furnishings, the sober interior contains four magnificent canvases by Rubens. It was a great opportunity to celebrate Mass is such a beautiful old Cathedral, the alter was something to behold.  





After a beautiful lunch of soup and other delicacies we boarded the bus again to head in to Brussels, we were getting weary by this time and I think we slept most of the hour bus ride. 


We visited Grand Place (Grote Markt). which except for its City Hall (with 315-foot-high tower), all of Brussels’ Main Square was destroyed in 1695. Rebuilt within a few years, its ornate guild-houses and Maison du Roi (c. 1870) are best studied from one of the many out­ door cafes


The little bloke everyone come to see

We had Belgium waffles (as if we needed more food, but when in Belgium!!!) from one of these restaurants  and of course who could come to Brussels with out visiting the ribald figure of Manneken Pis (1609) nearby, in the Rue de l’Etuve . 


He was so much smaller than I expected but well worth a look. I managed to secure an extra carry on bag to ensure we could get all our purchases from the trip home. The bus ride home was quiet to say the least, we were all exhausted and most of us slept for the entire journey.


After a short rest cabin we dressed for dinner and were greeted with a five course meal for the captains dinner. 




Included such delicacies as lobster tail and beautifully prepared beef. It was such a memorable meal. 






We ate with a couple from England that were old hands at the travel gig so we were able to swap many travel stories.

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