Tag Archives: Antwerp

A Visit to China Light Zoo Antwerp

First of all, a short explanation for our absence of nearly two months.

On Sunday 22 January, Lars and I went to the canal to take pictures of the sunset and to experiment with filters and long exposures. Everything went well, until I made a nasty fall. Although my foot hurt like hell, we managed to return safely.

At first, I thought I had sprained my ankle and rested for a couple of days. But, when after four days my foot was still swollen and part of it had turned blue, we called the doctor. He sent me immediately to the hospital where after two hours of tests it turned out I had a fractured ankle. Six weeks of rest and half my leg in plaster: thank God for YouTube and Netflix!

But now we are back! At least with blogging. I hope that from next week on I will be able to make some excursions. But I am happy that the worst is over and that I am able to write, to photograph and to edit pictures again.

A week before the accident, a good friend of ours and I paid a visit to China Light Zoo Antwerp. This is what we saw at our arrival at the zoo.

I had bought a combination ticket, which included the train trip and the entrance to the light show for 22 euros. Since Leen already lives in Antwerp, she only had to pay for the entrance, which was about 15 euros. While she bought the ticket, I took a couple of test shots.

Part of the light show was dedicated to Chinese culture, history and events.

Gradually the theme changed and the zoo animals became the stars of the show.

The light installations became bigger and bigger. This was truly an impressive event!

There is no need to rush to the Zoo of Antwerp, because we visited China Light during its last night. A night to remember!

The Other Antwerp – The Skyline

We ended our weekend in Antwerp in beauty… There we were, the four of us: Leen, Veerle, Lars and I. Standing at the left river bank, looking at the skyline. The end of the afternoon was there; the sun was starting to set. Simply magical…

Lars and I want to thank Leen and Veerle for showing us the hidden beauty of Antwerp. It was an intense, interesting, funny and breathtaking experience. And we hope that you, dear readers, loved it too!

The Other Antwerp – To The Left River Bank

The end of the afternoon was approaching. It was time to go back to Antwerp. This time we all went to the left river bank, to an area known as Saint Anna’s Beach.

The name of Saint Anna refers to the old village that was located here. It had to make way first for holiday homes and later for huge apartment buildings. Near the river Scheldt, there is a path that takes you along pubs, restaurants, a swimming pool, a camping, a windmill, woods, … Even on a Sunday in winter there were quite a lot of people about, so you can imagine  how crowded it can be here in summer.

The Other Antwerp – The Village That Resists

As I have mentioned before, some villages had to make way for the expansion of the harbor of Antwerp. As you can imagine, not everybody was willing to move. And the village that resisted – and still resists – the most, is Doel.

Every Belgian knows about Doel. We all know and remember the images on television of people protesting against the harbor and the nuclear reactors. We have seen the slogans on the houses. We have seen pictures of sad and angry people in the newspapers.

Since the sixties the people from Doel have been struggling to continue to live there. And the battle isn’t over yet… It is unclear how many people still live there, but most of the houses have been abandoned and have been covered with graffiti. Doel has even become a kind of touristic destination. In the windmill at the embankment there is even a pub. So, after you have walked around and looked at the abandoned houses, you can have a drink and a snack.

 

The Other Antwerp – The River (2)

Our next stop was Fort Liefkenshoek.

Right opposite to Lillo-Fort, on the other side of the river Scheldt, you have Fort Liefkenshoek, which was built at the end of the 16th century. It played a significant role in many wars and conflicts and is nowadays a protected monument. And there is a museum as well, which is devoted to the history of the area. And, last but not least, a cafe-restaurant.

At this place our ways split. Leen and Veerle visited the museum, whereas Lars and I preferred to stay outside. We went to the embankment and after a steep climb, we were treated to these views.

The Other Antwerp – The Charming Harbor

Another favorite of mine: the tiny harbor of Lillo-Fort. I think the pictures speak for themselves…

Can you imagine how this place looks like in summer when it’s flooded by tourists? I am eternally grateful to Leen and Veerle that they showed us this gem when there were not so many people around! And, by the way, while it was cloudy in Brussels, it was sunny in Antwerp.

The Other Antwerp – Little Lillo

On Sunday, we decided to venture outside of Antwerp. Our first stop was Lillo.

Or actually, I should say – as is correctly indicated on the map – Lillo-Fort. Lillo itself disappeared in the middle of the 20th century, when the harbor of Antwerp expanded. All that is left now is a small community living around the fort. This was built in the 16th century to protect Antwerp from invading Spanish troops.

No matter how small it is, Lillo has all the features of a typical Flemish village: a parish church, a war monument (!), a local pub and a restaurant. There is even a museum, a B&B and a small harbor.