Sunday, 30 December 2012

Antwerp, Belgium (December 2012)

Antwerp often gets overshadowed by the more popular tourist destinations Brussels and Bruges, but not rightly so. It is a vibrant city in the north of Belgium and predominantly known for its port and the largest diamond stock exchange in the world. It is a relatively small city but has a lot to offer from museums, antique shops and popular cafes and restaurants and all the sights can be easily visited on foot. 
According to a legend, a giant called Antigoon used to demand toll from people wanting to cross the river Scheldt, however anyone who refused to pay got their hands cut off. One day a hero called Brabo cut off the giants hand and threw it into the river and this is supposedly how Antwerp got its name (hand werpen = Dutch for throwing hands).
Welcome to Antwerp! Inside Central Station

Inside Antwerp Central Station

Antwerp Zoo

Outside view of Central Station

Entrance to the Meir, a popular shopping street

The hand, symbolical sign of Antwerp

Antwerp cathedral

Little square in front of the cathedral

Grote Markt - Grand Place

Brabo fountain and city hall in the background

Traditional guild houses

Brabo throwing the giant's hand

People keeping warm in winter

I could live in this chocolate shop!

Ice skating rink and river Scheldt to the left

River Scheldt

Het Steen - Medieval fortress

Beer is useful in many ways!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cape Verde (April 2011): Part 2: Boa Vista

Boa Vista was the second and final destination of my Cape Verde trip and the theme of this island is 'sand' as will be self-explanatory from the photos below! As for Sal, the best way to get around is to rent a 4x4, as the roads are either in bad condition or non-existent! This was one of my favourite trips, not only because of the amazing beaches and landscapes but also because of the friendly people and the fact that life there is very simple and stress-free. I am definitely looking forward to coming back and exploring the other islands of Cape Verde.
Welcome to Boa Vista...and a lot of sand!

Bungalow right on the beach

Praia de Chave

Praia de Chave

My little bungalow

Remaining chimney of an old brick factory

Ruins of the brick factory

Sand everywhere...

Fish market in the main town of Sal Rei

Sal Rei

Streets of Sal Rei

Sal Rei in the background

Finally, a bit of green!

Typical cobbled roads

Deserted beaches

Viana Desert

Cemetery eaten by the desert...

Santa Maria shipwreck in the background

Santa Maria

Portuguese man o' war - maybe swimming here is not a great idea!

The road to....?

Whales in the sea - this bay is a popular breeding area for humpback whales

Boa Vista Airport - it obviously does not rain here!

One of the best airports ever!
Bye bye Cabo Verde