One of the favourite things about Antwerp is that it is so near Rotterdam. Only just over an hour's drive. So it is silly that I don't go more often. There's this delicious shopping and sightseeing center and people really look like enjoying to go out to pubs and restaurants. Saint Paulus Church for sure! I am in the process of describing it in the Off The Beaten Path Tips.
Foster parents at the zoo...
There are many species of vultures.
You'll find them beautiful or not. The species I
like most are 'monniksgieren'. They are a
species that also find their roots in the south
A special story I want to ad is about the old
couple in the Antwerp zoo. They didn't had
offspring for a long time.
'BUT' they make excellent foster parents.
When the couple of vultures in 'Planckendael'
didn't raised up their kid like they were
supposed to do , the kid was brought to
Antwerp , 35 km north to see if these two
would accept 'Icarus'. We are talking 1997.
You have to know that these vultures return to
nature , but it is important that they are raised
by other vultures. The Antwerp foster parents
did an excellent job. So 'Romane'
came to Antwerp , that one was born in
Villers-les-Dombes. Both of them got
released in France , Causse.
A few feathers get bleached so they can
recognize them from the ground if these
magnificient animals fly.
This year a little drama happened in Spain ,
in Huelva , a wild nest got disturbed...so the
egg was transported to Guadalintin(Spain) ,
and kept warm by a machine. On 11 may
2004'Laurito' got adopted in Antwerp.
The kid will find it's freedom in France ,
Baronnies ofter a stay with the foster parent
for about 11 till 15 weeks.
Isn't that a remarcable story?
Antwerp has a tradition of multiculturalism. As an area with port activities, where traders, sailors from over the world use to have a halt, there is no alternative... Antwerpians are used to welcome foreigners.
Was not here that Spanish and French rivalries had an huge influence on local people? Antwerp was catholic under Spanish influence, hence the statues of Madonna the city still abunds with. Late 18th century, Antwerp counted some 300 Madonna statues. Throughout centuries, and esp. when republican France ruled the area, there were some massive demolitions of statues. Through centuries, they have become parts of local customs, beliefs and culture though.
Was not here that Jewish families establish themselves, bringing to the city their expertise in diamond business? Centuries ago, Antwerp Jewish community is reported to have contributed in the area's financial development...
Don't you remember that Antwerp is the fourth largest port in Europe?
Nowadays, every continent is represented in Antwerp. Many Africans (North and subsaharian), Asians, other neighbouring Europeans... The mix of elements of different culture: churches (many many :-); synagog and an important Jewish community. By the way, it is reported to be the largest Jewish community in Belgium.
New immigrants are those you see on the pictures. Plus, workers from Central and Eastern Europe, though these phenomenons of migration are common to many Western countries.
A city living with port activities is always lively...
..This photo also has some special memory for me...We were at this Fun Park in Antwerp, with lots of merry-go-rounds, full of people with their lovers & kids, people selling fun things, ...etc.
We took some rides & they gave us headaches !...but it was so addictive, the rides ..not the headaches...
Me posing for the camera before taking another ride...
This is the "Sinksefoor". It's a big fair (=foor in Flemish)
that comes to Antwerp once a year starting on Whitsunday (=Sinksen in Flemish)
and lasting for 6 weeks. It's located in southern Antwerp on the square between
the "Vlaamse Kaai" and "Waalse Kaai". Also my night pic ( the previous 2 pix..) were taken near the "Sinksefoor".
The Brabo fountain in the...
The Brabo fountain in the middle of the Market Square tell the legend of the giant Antigoon, who chopped off the hands of sailors refusing to pay their tolls. However, the Roman centurion Silvius Brabo conquered the giant, chopped off his hand and threw it into the Schelde and by so doing became the hero of Antwerp. Legend has it that from this the name Antwerp (hand-throwing) derived.