Along the river, right and left bank, Antwerp
Many radio fans come to Antwerp to visit the former Radio Veronica ship, that transmitted on MW from the free Nothsea in the 60's and 70's.
Location: Kempische Dok; kaai 35 - 2030 Antwerpen.
2008 Update: In the summer the ship has been prepared to be moved. Both main masts have been removed; new masts lie horizontally on deck. There is a plan to buy the ship and bring it over to the Scheveningen harbour as a part of the new National Dutch Pop Museum.
2012 Update: The ship was towed away in November to be reconstructed at Groningen, the Netherlands.
Our favourite hang out was Cafe Beveren. Located on the riverbank in the centre of the city it is a `locals` bar in something of a timewarp. It seems to have stepped out of the 1960s and has at its heart a huge organ dating from 1937. We were told it is the only one left.
You put .50 euro in a slot and it plays a tune - very loudly! The locals all sway to and fro and it is really quite hypnotic. The bar seats about 25 and the organ takes up about a quarter of the floor space!
Dont be put off by the down-at-heel appearance. More people spoke to us in this bar than any other and its a unique experience.
I haven't the foggiest idea why there is a statue of Minerva in Antwerp but she is there near the River Scheldt up near where the Grote Markt is located, perhaps there is some affiliation with Minerva automobiles?
Minerva is the Roman goddess of crafts, wisdom, medicine, science and trade and also war, commonly identified with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the daughter of Jupiter and Metis.
During the warmer summer period small groups of people tend to hold little improvised BBQ's on the riverside, especially the area on the right bank up north of Antwerp. Just follow the red cyclist track running along the "Kaaien", parallel from the river. When you pass the Hangar 26 on your left side (Rijnkaai 26, housing a trendy yet yuppie-style bar) you then proceed the cyclist trail and after passing another big building on your left you will pass the area. During the "Zomer Van Antwerpen" festivities there are sometimes free dance evenings where they teach a certain dance style and then play the music so you can practice with other people. Anyway, this is where you will find small groups of people having their own little BBQ party if the weather is good and it's not too late. Just sit down on the grass and start your own BBQ (supermarkets sell small BBQ sets during summer, complete with coals and grill) or be adventurous and try joining one of the many good mooded BBQ'a that take place. Just bring some wine or beer and you'll be sure of a relaxed evening at the riverside.. Included is a pic of the aftermath of a BBQ party...
An interesting idea for spending a pleasant and romantic afternoon in Antwerp could be also a walk on the bank of the river Scheldt. Surrounded by nice and old buildings, the place offers also a nice view of the city with Our Lady’s Cathedral in the background.
In Antwerp are operating four shipping companies offering to all tourists an interesting selection of excursions up- or downstream the Scheldt.
The boats are coming and going from the pontoon off Steenplein.
Right in front of ´T Steen, you´ll find the statue of a famous legendary figure, The Lange Wapper. He si a river devil, that scared the people of Antwerp for a long time. He could make himself as small as a mouse a sneak into the centre of the city. There he scared the hell out of people. He was that tall he could look into all the windows of the city. He was first noticed in a poem of Hendrik Conscience. Albert Poels made a statue of him in 1963.
The statue shows him with his legs wide apart, stopping some drunk people. Some drunk people used his name as an excuse to come home late and drunk. The Lange Wapper here tells the drunk people to never use his name again as an excuse or else he would never let them go.
The Lange Wapper also is told to be the reason of the large amount of Maria statues at the streetcorners of the city. He was very afraid of Maria and when the came this many statues at the streetcorners, he finally got terrified and fled. He never come back.
Reachable by a 15 minute walk through the pedestrian tunnel, the King Baudoin memorial on the city's Left Bank offers a moment of rest and introspection. Slightly bent over, as if intentively listenting to one of his subjects as was his way in life, our former King stands overlooking the river and the city's Skyline. Take the time to admire this wonderful statue and sit back and enjoy the view of the old center from what used to be the weekend outing for the citizens in ancient times, Left Bank. You might also want to consider extending your visit to this side of the city by walking down the pathway leading along the river and passed the yachting harbour to "St-Anne's Beach" and its restaurants and cafes and open air swimming pool. Behind the restaurants kids will have an opportunity to enjoy themselves in a large playground.
On the river Schelde there are a lot of old ships and boats on display. They are part of the Maritime Museum at The Steen Castle. Next to the castle you can see a lot of these boats in the old docking and loading areas. It makes a great addition to a riverside stroll.
A walk along the river Schelde means wonderful views on either side. The river with it's open scenery and moving ships up- and downstream, but as well the wonderful large mansions that are build on the streetside of the cays, make it a welcome treat to flaunder here a bit after the business of the centre.
This rather unusual museum on the bank of the river at the quiet Left Bank side is a not to be missed feature because of its location from where one has a magnificent view of the city's skyline.
Also check my travelogue concerning this out of the way museum.
Take the pedestrianstunnel to get from the right (touristside) of the Schelde to the left.
From the left bank you will have a spectaculair view of the Antwerp skyline.
On Antwerp's Left Bank, the natural reserve "Blokkersdijk "and St - Anne's forest offer a welcome get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Take the pedestrian tunnel under the river to the other side of the Scheldt. This area is called 'Linker Oever' (left bank). From the left bank, you'll have an impressive view of the city.
Not so far off but this pretty and different view of the city was pointed out to me by Caro on the bridge going over to the waterfront area.