Christmas Market: Antwerp, Belgium

Hard to believe that sixteen years ago, Nils and I lived in Antwerp, Belgium for a bit before moving to Provence, France then he onto Barcelona and I back to Boston for a period.  Then 9/11 happened and he moved to the US.

Here we are on New Years Eve at The Irish Time Bar.

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We lived in a flat on the top two floors of the house on the left – Oude Koornmarkt  & Pelrimstraat or a few months.

This was our view daily!

His father lived in Antwerp in  2010, so we are pretty familiar with it so when thinking of places to visit today we took the 55 minute easy drive.

The center of the city is based around the Groenplaats and the Grotemarkt and the Cathedral, which is golden in the sunlight and is so beautiful.

While it’s been 6 years since we were there, a few things changed but a lot is still the same. Love the architecture.

Bodrum my favorite Turkish restaurant on De Pret Straat is now a butcher – a very nice one too!  Turns out the Bodrum Palace which we passed got great reviews – perhaps they moved!  Grr.would have rather ate at Bodrum but nonetheless got our mixed grill/shaorma fix while here. Sebaba was closed and a lot of new building a but Pelican Bar, StadsCafe, International Magazine Store, and other places the same.
We ate Shoarma at De’oude Stad.. Good but not as good as Bodrum!

The Christmas Market was in full force with two skating rinks and tons of stalls and due to current world events loads of added security present yet never felt 100% safe.  Clearly either I have watched too many TV shows like Homeland and 24 or I was a detective in my previous life!

The kids rode the slides three times each!

Now that we have our fill of Antwerp, we can visit in 10 years or so…..No need to rush back.  I would never want to raise my kids there or do I have the desire to ever live there again.  I am sure it’s great for some, just not us.

Christmas Market: Aachen, Germany

Today we drove over to Aachen, Germany, which is only about an hour from where we are staying in The Netherlands.  It was a lovely atmosphere even with the added security of the armed officers whose cars blocked the entrance streets due to the Berlin Christmas terrorist act.  Thankfully once in, you don’t feel the added security.

The kids enjoyed hot chocolate in little boots which they were able to take home from the Hexenhof (Witch farm). As all the 2016 cups were sold out so they requested 2017 instead of 2015.

Curry worst – yucky!

We shared pomme fritte – yummy first the first few then way too much.

We stopped in a cute bar, Domkeller for a pint!  From outside it was really cute and had Erdinger Weiss bier on tap!

Maebh had a ride on the carousel but chose to ride on the bike!



As with all markets there are loads of cute things to buy, yet nothing you really need.

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The streets were all lit up and very cute.  I love walking around taking photos of the buildings and things.

 

 

Not sure if we will visit any other Christmas Markets – perhaps today in Den Haag or Den Bosch. We will definitely go ice skating!

We popped by Eindhoven for a few minutes and had a lompia.