Nothing went wrong today, which is a relief after the past two. I just thought I’d start with that. I hope it doesn’t make you stop reading.
I woke up to hear of Andrew Koenig’s death and immediately researched and pounded out this article
, getting it to my editors at 4 AM New York time and feeling like a rock star (albeit a sad one). I scarfed down some breakfast and dashed downstairs to meet a guide for a private tour of the De Koninck brewery. (Note the hand.)
After touring and drinking more than one should so early in the day, the guide and I headed for lunch at Dome — it’s actually a trio of restaurants; a bakery, a brasserie and a fine dining restaurant, Goldilocks and the Three Bears style, and we ate at the middle one which was just our size. My guide and I chatted about how hot Paul Newman is and admired the goldfish swimming in the wall. Highly pleasurable.
Next, I went to Burie’s chocolate factory, where I was shown how one makes a car out of chocolate and I met this chocolate moose.
The guy working nearby seemed really pleased that I got the joke right off the bat.
Then, I had my first really good wander in Antwerp. I visited the Rubens Museum, which houses Rubens (and was indeed actually Peter Pauls Rubens’ house!), rare works by Bruegel the elder
, and a stunning collection of gallery paintings — a genre I didn’t know existed in which a gallery of paintings is painted … on one canvas … this is hard to explain. Bruegel the Elder and Francken were the forerunners. It doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Here’s an example
. I’m totally in love with this genre; you could stare at these for hours. I want a large one in a hallway someday if I ever have a nice house and like a bazillion dollars and … yeah, they won’t give me one. Maybe Mr. Cleveland could make me one.
Additionally, ol’ Peter Paul had one of the best darn courtyards I’ve ever seen. Parts of it reminded me of the movie The Labyrinth. It must be so amazing to be appreciated in your own time like that. I guess it’s amazing to be appreciated at all.
Onward I went, got kinda lost for the sake of it and eventually wound my way through brick streets and gorgeous architecture to the famous De Kathedraal, which is not only a huge, amazing cathedral, but it is currently showing an exhibition called “REUNION: From Quinten Metsijs to Peter Paul Rubens.” It was lovely.
Finally, I wound back to the Hotel Julien, did a little work, then took off for dinner at The Glorious. It was, in fact, glorious. Truly. I’ll be sure and review it in more detail when I get back to the US.
On the way home, I considered taking in a nightclub, but decided to get my work done and save it for tomorrow night, the last night of this trip. And now, in preparation for said tomorrow, I leave you. In closing, Antwerp is beautiful. I had pictured … I don’t know what I’d pictured, but this is like being in the town from Beauty and the Beast, the Disney version, only there are cathedrals and large monuments everywhere. Seriously, half of them aren’t even on the map. Twisting through the streets and alleys was full of fascinating surprises. I will sleep well.
This trip was hosted by Cool Capitals.