May was a marvelously full month.

My parents visited us and enjoyed our brief and beautiful BeNeLux spring. Their visit was closely followed by a visit from my sister and brother-in-law. And that trip was closely followed by a mad end-of-semester rush for Jacob and a mad dash of applications for me.

Needless to say, I hadn’t even looked at photos from these happy visits until tonight. My goal this week is to post tantalizing touristy photos and persuade more sorely-missed family and friends to come 🙂

With that in mind, here is day two of my parents trip: an unexpected tour of Antwerp. This was my first time in Antwerp, Jacob’s favorite Belgian city. After a day there, I can see why he is smitten.

A city couldn’t introduce herself better than Antwerp does: the Antwerpen-Centraal train station is an architectural feat. Wouldn’t you like to commute home to this every evening? 

Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world. We took a brief tour of a diamond museum and my photos are unfortunately fuzzy. I suppose you need to come and take the tour yourself.

The shopping galleries in Antwerp are lavish.

I was taken by the bustling liveliness of this city. It is colorful, decadent, and a little ostentatious, in the very best sense. We encountered hospitable people making Brussels waffles for charity, a random group of German re-enactors dressed in lederhosen, and a stag party of wasted men operating a “pedal pub”a group-bicycle bar!