Thursday, September 22, 2011

Antwerpen, Belgiumness

Door to a Chocolate Factory
Hoi everyone! It's day 4 of this fabulous adventure! Finally over the whole time difference and tummy aches that not getting the right amount of sleep was giving me, it probably doesn't help that our pillows are only 1 inch thick talk about a back ache! For yesterdays class, we all assumed we would be stuck in the classroom for 3 hours taking notes, but Dr. Wright surprised us all with a field trip to 4 different chocolate shops!!! It was called a chocolate crawl going from one shop to the next taste testing an array of choccies. This is not your average chocolate either. Here, in Belgium, the stores are cooled and chocolates kept refrigerated to the right temp to keep them from melting, there is absolutely zero fake wax added to them whatsoever. They were very yummy, but after one my tummy was satisfied-too rich for me. I still tried them all though, who can resist? My last one was filled with banana which was not the greatest Ali had to spit half of it out woops! Still loving the bread! The worker in the bread shop almost knows us by name, he always say to us as we leave "see you tomorrow" he knows its our fave! After the chocolate crawl we went on a cultural tour of Antwerp with our very own Antwerpen tour guide, she filled us with lots of Belgian fun facts and showed us some pretty neat places around town. Our feet and mostly shins are sore as can be, but boots have been the comfiest shoe for us even though we were told by the locals that boots scream foreigner, still don't believe that one! Today we toured the Port of Antwerp and had our very own backstage passes and again an Antwerpen guide. Hard hats and bright yellow construction vest were a must as we were in on the loading and unloading action from ships all over the world-Saudi Arabia to Tanzania to China to the beautiful USA. We saw the Chiquita banana port and coffee bean headquarters and a couple others, but those were the coolest. Saw millions of bananas in the warehouse just waiting to be shipped on out. It's so fascinating to see the puzzle pieces of the world that can sometimes be so broken be placed perfectly together. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the warehouses it is that top secret soo the pictures i have are just of the whole port and some ships, but let me tell you there were docks everywhere and ships coming in and heading out to all different directions. Oh and we also had class earlier today from an Antwerpen professor, it was a long 3 hours but well worth our time! Tonight we went out to a billiards pub and I found my new favorite and only favorite beer... Framboise for only 2 euro 20 euro cents! If you know me you know that I am not a beer girl so this was big for Ali! We had a fun and very safe time, making the boys of the group walk us home thanks guys. Tomorrow we have class for 6 hours yuck! But can't really complain when next monday is our last day of classes for the whole 5 weeks yippeee! I am adjusting to the whole not smiling thing slowly but surely but i will still leave you with smile :) A
Belgian chocolates are thee best

Want for mi casa someday

So pretty lightelicious

Do you see the giant chocolate bar?

Chocolates galore

An artist sculpts these figures out of chocolate

Mousey on the loo

Next stop Godiva, the real Godiva

Long license plates


Rows and rows

The next stop on our chocolate journey

A bar in the middle of a shopping mall, fancyness

So many sizes and colors to choose from

These were hand made/sculpted

The final stop. This is a sun protector in front of the store for the chocolates to not get melty

Had to

Just want to take one for a spin

Aldi in Belgium

Fresh bread in the grocery stores

Funny sign in town, they must run into a lot of peeing problems

Our favorite lunch time belgian version of subway, way yummier

Days of the week!

Katie with the giant water bottle you can't see it but her hands are still holding onto a good amount of bottle that's how tall they are

Bready bread bread

Some of us girls in a little market square by campus

On campus with the group

Curly haired girls

Our boots were made for belgium

Trying to capture Katie in action

Another pretty building

Windows galore! Very wealthy people used to live here back in the day, but now they are offices why would you ever give them up?

A cruise ship was docked at the port

A castle in Antwerp

Their speed limit signs

The cathedral from a far

The picture says it all, Belgium is the land where beer is cheaper than water

A restaurant under the ground

So cute and very true!

Another fancy hotel!

The beautiful classroom

The Port of Antwerp

A ship coming in to unload


They have the flattest nosed semis they fascinate me!

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