Museum Plantin-Moretus is one of my favorites in Antwerp. I always recommend to visitors that if they only have time for one museum to go here. You get a little bit of everything when it comes to Antwerp’s history. The museum is the former house and printing press of the family Plantin and Moretus. By walking through the building you’re able to see their relationship with Peter Paul Rubens and art-loving mayor Nicolaas Rockox, as well as discover how they lived and worked in the 17th century.
Nicole and Adam were in Antwerp for Easter weekend. So for Easter day we prepared a delicious brunch with fresh fruit, fresh baked bread and pastries, and poached eggs with Hollandaise. Yum! We needed the energy for our walk through Antwerp in the afternoon.
You never know who you’ll meet – while on the Trans-Siberian Express, the 5 days from Moscow to Irkutsk, we met another couple who’ve turned into good friends. Nicole and Adam had a similar planning to ours and throughout our 3 week trip we met up in Russia, Mongolia, and China. So why not add Belgium to the list?
Koen, Matt and Danny in front of the Frites Atelier
After many years of saying they’ll come visit, Danny and Matt finally made it to Antwerp! I made it mission to share all things Belgian, so we at a lot of delicious frietjes, drank Belgian beer, and wandered around the beautiful city!
Group Photo on Ellis Island with Manhattan in the background
Koen and I were finally able to visit Ellis Island! We really wanted to go last year, but because of Hurricane Sandy, the museum was closed. Koen and I visited Ellis Island with Christina and her family, Ashley, and Meredith. This was a special visit because Christina’s father’s father and grandfather (so her grandfather and great-grandfather) entered the United States via Ellis Island and both of their names are commemorated on a plaque. Koen and I visited the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp recently, which is about leaving Europe for the United States, so we felt like we came full circle visiting Ellis Island and learning about entering the US.
I finally found time to go to MOMU (Mode Museum – Fashion Museum) to check out the Birds of Paradise: Plumes & Feathers in Fashion exhibit! All of the pieces were so beautiful, feminine, and luxurious. It was amazing to see how the feathers were so masterfully crafted. The exhibit includes pieces from Chanel, Dior, Thierry Mugler, Alexander McQueen and Yves St. Laurent. If you’re in Antwerp before the the 24th of August, you should definitely check it out!
My parents made their annual visit this May! We had an eventful start – I fractured my elbow when I fell off my bike on the way to pick them up in Brussels. But who better to have around than your parents? The first week I had to wear a cast to let my bone begin healing, and for the remaining 5 weeks I have to wear a compression sock – otherwise I won’t have any range of motion. So we were in and out of the hospital and doctor’s office a lot! For the rest of the trip we took it easy, taking walks around the city, eating fries, and enjoying Belgian beers.
Last Sunday Koen’s parents came to Antwerp for a visit. We had wonderful, sunny weather and took a nice stroll through the city. After a delicious lunch at Burgerij, we checked out an exhibit about royal luggage and then walked a different route back to our apartment. It’s always fun playing the tour guide!