I am discovering new and fascinating things about the evolution, of both my travel philosophy and my photography… While I still believe that visiting the “iconic” landmarks is important..
I am finding myself wandering through the lesser known avenues of a city more and more.. Sure, I still make time to see the well known touristy locations.. I mean, can you really go to Antwerp and NOT see the Cathedral of our Lady?
or the Medieval Fort, Het Steen, along the river?
But, let’s be honest here, I travel for a couple of reasons.. exploration of new places and cultures AND taking photos that can be sold as prints for my fine art gallery, travel and blog articles and expanding my portfolio …
Ok, so I am doing a bit of self-promotion..there is nothing wrong with that..I mean, after all, who else is going to promote my work..
Anyway..back to Antwerp.. We originally started this trip in Amsterdam. The trip by rail to Antwerp varies depending on which train system you use.. Thalys is the high speed international train and runs direct from Schipol to Antwerp in about an hour and 15 minutes..
The Intercity train leaves every hour, is only a slightly longer ride (2 hrs) and is less expensive. This is the train we took.. These tickets can be bought at the Central Train Station in Amsterdam or the station at Schipol Airport.. Be aware that there is a connection in Rotterdam for this choice..
Trust me.. the train is a lot better than it looks from the outside. It is clean inside, the seats are wide and comfortable and have a fold down tray..
Either way, you arrive in Antwerp and the Central Train Station.. seems to be a theme in Europe.. the main train station is almost called “Central” …
This is a big, beautiful, and sprawling train station… and you can easily spend an hour here just taking photos.. so grab a 2 Euro Belgian waffle and explore a bit.. It’s well worth it.
It is a long leisurely walk from here to the center.. but you will pass through the diamond district, parks.. see churches and galleries…shopping galore..on your way. Exploration is a good thing..
The center square is where you will find the Cathedral of our Lady.. numerous restaurants, and chocolate shops.. Belgian row houses, statues and monuments
But my favorite places are the back streets.. narrow, cobblestoned and virtually deserted..which is a shame. There are myriads of quaint little shops featuring hand made items, food and beer… Not too mention, almost no people. These are where my favorite photos come from.. daytime, black and white..
or in color
Hidden gems and colorful graffiti around every corner..
Nightime shots, crafted in black and white, and my weird digitally manipulated art are my absolute dream photos..
Sometimes, as above, they are added to the sales gallery… some are sellable but more just for fun.. 🙂
Antwerp, Belgium.. a great city to explore..a beautiful city to photograph..