I finally got around to post this report, so here goes:
If you didn't get to see my previous Belgium report, feel free to take a peek: 48 hours in Belgium 2014
I wake up in my hotel room in Amsterdam, later I'm going to meet up with @Merryprankster, @The_Raw and a non-member (Jane) in Antwerp, for some kick-ass urban exploration days.
I grab a trusty sandwich and make my way to downtown Amsterdam.
It is incredibly hot, hitting around 30 °C and I'm about to catch a train to Antwerp.
The entire station is crowded and I can't find my train, which is supposed to depart in a few minutes. I finally find a train conductor who can tell me where to go. I make it to the correct platform, just as the train is rolling in. I get on the train, but just like the station, it's cramped. I literally end up sitting between two peoples luggage – but there's air-condition, so I can't really complain.
Two hours and a pair of sore legs later, I'm finally there. The door opens to another train carriage, and it hits me… The stench of the sweat from 15 persons, all mixed together in a hot train-pot and left simmering for a few hours.
I was told that our carriage, was the only one with functioning air-condition and I'm inclined to believe the person who told me that.
I make my way through Central Antwerp Station and it's such a beautiful place, if you haven't seen it, google it. And knowing that I would be standing at the top of it all, gave me butterflies in my stomach.
I head down to our hotel for the night, where I'm meeting with the rest of the guys.
After our greetings and a few necessary ice creams, we make our way to:
Château de la Chapelle.
As the name might suggest, it's a large residential building. Complete with its own wine cellar and chapel. The size and number of chairs, suggests to me that it was used for weddings or the likes. The were signs of construction and I think it's definitely it's worth saving. A very beautiful building.
The entire house is protected by a moat, where I managed to get a VERY wet shoe. I was later reminded of my clumsiness by another Belgian explorer: “I think you're the first one getting wet feet there”.
After trying out another spot and not finding a way in, we head back to Antwerp. A take a quick shower and we head downtown for a copious amount of cheap chips.
A big shoutout to The_Raw and The Antwerp crew for getting us up on:
Antwerp Central Station
The original station building was constructed between 1895 and 1905 and is regarded as one of the finest transportation buildings in Belgium – and I can see why.
The station itself has four levels, with three levels for tracks, 14 platforms in use and a shopping center on the fourth level. The station also houses a diamond gallery with more than 30 diamond shops.
Most likely a once in a lifetime experience to explore this.
11. (The station in the distance)
After the exploration, I wasn't feeling too well, so I got our only room key and went home for the night and the others went to explore a few other places.
I was awoken early in the morning by a loud banging on the door. I opened the door to a very stern looking The_Raw.
When he got home after the explore, I slept right through his door knocking and he therefor went to sleep on the roof of the hotel. Beers were brought as an apology.
We made our way to Château Nottebohm.
Château Nottebohm is cottage-style manor built in 1908 and it's history is a bit unclear. Some say it was built for the family Nottebohm, who were a very prominent family and known for their work in curing skin diseases, the manor was later occupied during WWII and during the 50's used as a hotel, banquet hall and restaurant. Others claim it was a wealthy German family living in the manor, whom fled during WWII and it was since left to decay.
Stick aroud for Part Two!