21 March, 2010

A Day in Antwerp

When we met during Ayam Taliwang dinner party at Suksma's place, I asked Rini if she wanted to travel to Antwerp with me. She didn't sound too eager at the time, so I was surprised when on a Saturday morning she wrote on my Facebook wall confirming to come. Later in the afternoon, Yanti also wrote that she wanted to joint us. 

We agreed to meet in front of Maastricht Centraal Station on a Sunday morning. Then we took a bus to Liege followed by a train that went straight from Liege train station to Antwerp. I must say I admire Rini and Yanti cleverness. They seems have been travelling together many times before, because  there are two lines at the ticket counter of Liege train station, because they clearly knew how to work together in an efficient manner (am I sounded like those management books?). For example, when we were at Liege's train station, there were two lines waiting for turn in front of the ticket's counter. Rini immediately stood in one line and Yanti on the other. When it turns Rini's line was faster and she got served first than Yanti's, we all went to Rini's to pay our tickets.
Smart eh?

After nearly two hours journey, we finally arrived at Antwerp Central Station. Antwerp Central Station is nothing like Brussel Central, it's also big and reminded me of Amsterdam Centraal Station, but much cleaner. 

As we stepped our foot outside the station, I immediately decided that I like Antwerp. The city is very different from Brussels, Liege and Bruges that I also have visited. It's definitely more crowded with a mix of modern and busy vibes all in one. No wonder, Antwerp is known as "Diamond City" with 70% diamonds of this planet earth are traded there. Also well-known as "fashion cit"y, Antwerp's the Meir, is one of the most famous shopping street in Belgium. 

First we had lunch at a Spanish restaurant not far from the train station. Considering we wear our clothes in Small size, we each ordered a large portion of ribs that came in with fat fries without hesitation. Delicioso!

Then we went ring-hunting in several diamond shops nearby. Because Rini went for a mission: to give design options for a relative that will tie the knot. Yanti was on a mission too, to give a hint for her 'other man' who had left his long-time girlfriend for her and has given hint that Yanti might be the one. To flirt with this other man (Yanti herself is not single), she asked me to take several pictures of her pointing to the rings that she'd like...talk about clear hint ;D.

We spent most of our time in Antwerp wandering the Meir and then trendy Kammenstraat. There are also ZARA stores along the Meir, but while in Antwerp we thought it's better to go shopping for brands that are not available in Maastricht.