I bid farewell to my Papa, sending him back to sunny skies and warm temperatures in Miami, and now, I plan to fill the void with some glüwein with the Thierry clan in Antwerp.
My cousins and I have a date to browse the Antwerp diamond district and couture stores for some serious window shopping, as Antwerp boasts some serious know-how in the luxury market. I am greeted by a beautiful train station, Antwerp Centraal, and from there, Pauline, Stijn, Thibaut, Jerome, Kei, Olivier and I make a slow and steady procession to, drumroll, the Christmas Market.
I smell the market before I see it, it’s aroma of sweet, sugary gauffres punctuating the air, dense and toasted and covered in sugary goodness, THE Belgian waffle, and I tell myself that I must absolutely make a point of eating one before my time is over here because I love them so.
Above us, the statue made in honor of Antwerp’s namesake–hand werpen, or, thrown hand–stands like Goliath and David, the cathedral over to the side. Together, it’s an impressive effect, a millennia of presence on these cobblestones, a testament to the importance of this town along the river, one of Europe’a most important ports, then and now.
‘Tis the last day for some Christ celebrating, which means glühwein is definitely in order, stat. Stijn has us taste a jevener, an absolutely horrid experience, and we push onward and upward to the pier, out of the wind, and into a little corner café where our possé becomes a foursome and where we begin the treasure hunt search for where in the world did Alexis lose his keys from the other night with the menfolk?
Perhaps another round of glühwein will help, and off we go.