Friday, after dropping the kitties off at their vacation adress (with the associated drama), we went to Antwerp. Of course, we’ve been there before, but we had a special reason to spend the weekend there. And it’s a fun city to walk around in, so why not? We booked a room in the B&B that we stayed in previously, and set off.
I wanted to check out a dedicated game shop in Merksem, which is suburb of Antwerpen. When we arrived, we didn’t have money for the parking meter — but klik had forgotten to bring her coat (and it was cold!), so we bought one at the C&A and solved two problems in one go. Then we found out that the shop wasn’t open until later that afternoon… We had lunch (best make use of that parking money anyway) and then went to the B&B. The room was not yet cleaned, but we could leave our luggage and take the key.
We walked towards the city centre (after getting the car from the large, free lot and parking it in front of the B&B’s garage door — so that the owner could keep his parking spot without owning a car), had coffee/tea (and cake) at a coffee place that had been opened the week before (called “Abol”). Then we took a metro/tram to Merksem.
The game shop was a bit weird: we had to rung the doorbell to get in. It seemed to be the ground floor of a private residence (and it reeked of tomcat sprayings…) The front room was packed with stuff, with an impressive collection! Lots of obscure and old stuff, so I don’t think their inventory moves a lot… I did manage to find a physical copy of ‘Tales from Wilderland’ for The One Ring which I bought. I have a PDF copy, but since I have the rest of the game line (also) in physical book form, I thought it would be cool to complete my collection.
I’m not going to bore you with a blow-by-blow description of the rest of the things we did in the weekend. If you’re curious, you could check my Jauntful guide for Antwerp! (But I will give special mention of the MAS: really cool museum!)
On Monday morning, we checked out from the B&B. Then we drove to the Sportpaleis (“Sports Palace”, an indoor sports and event arena) and managed to park our car right next to it for the measly sum of 5 euros. We took the metro to the train station and spent the day in the zoo. It’s not overly big, but we had a lot of fun, for instance by trying to spot all the camouflaged reptiles.
Then we went back to the Sportpaleis and met up with babarage and friend I. (because her husband couldn’t come because he had to be sworn in as a provincial representative, or something stupid like that). We had a chaotic (and expensive!) dinner at a disorganised restaurant and then walked back to the stadium in order to attend the Sting & Paul Simon concert.
We had arena tickets, and we were promised seats on both sides of a wide aisle, but it turned out that those row numbers were not next to each other! We were standing around talking about this, when we were approached by someone with a different badge from the one person who showed us our seats. He mumbled something about a price category, and asked us to follow him as he walked to the front. We ended up on row 7, right in the middle! Probably the best seats in the house. The concert was really cool. Especially Sting had a great time, and we had too!
Afterwards, while the rest of the concert-goers were piling into the trams to go to the large (and free) parking space at the end of the line, we ambled over to the parking space next to the stadium and got home in exactly 90 minutes! Luckily I had the day off on Tuesday, because we needed to catch our breath a bit…