MOVED TO TEARS IN ANTWERP, BELGIUM (LONELY PLANET BEST IN TRAVEL 2018) | Eileen Aldis


Hi guys! Hi guys! We’re in Antwerp. This is my first time ever being in Belgium. I’m so excited. And it’s my first time in Antwerp
but my second time in Belgium and it is so good to be back. And we’re excited to explore this new city
so we thought we would just look around today and take you guys with us. When we realized that the oldest house in all of Antwerp
was actually thirty metres around the corner from where we’re staying at our Airbnb
we knew this would be the perfect place to start. It has this historical marker and it says
it’s the oldest house in Antwerp circa 1480. The last example of medieval style of building. This house survived six wars
and five hundred years of urban planning Here live, happy and free,
Lieselot and Lore with their daddy. That’s so cute. And amazing. Six wars and five hundred years?! Wow. What you doing there? I’m in heaven looking at vintage clothes. I need a coat ‘cause it’s cold. This store’s great. I love it. We just dipped in quickly to a vintage store called
RIOT that looked neat because I need a winter coat. It’s colder than I thought it would be
so I almost found the perfect one but not quite. But it was neat because you can weigh all of the
clothes and that’s how you determine the price. You’re playing with your favourite new toy? Yeah. So sometimes there’s these plaques
that are written in Dutch and I can’t read what they say. So with the Google Translate app
I can actually go like this and it translates it live. It’s so crazy. Ahhh! Oh my god! Look at that. Wow. One of this city’s most famous attractions
is this guy right behind me named Brabo and Brabo is actually how Antwerp got its name. The legend here goes that there was once a
giant named Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt River, which is here in Antwerp,
and he always asked the passing boatmen for a toll and anyone who refused
he cut off their hand and threw it into the river. Until one day this young man
who became a hero, Brabo, killed the giant and cut off the giant’s own hand
and he threw it into the river. And that’s where the name Antwerp
or in Dutch it’s Antwerpen comes from the Dutch words hand werpen
which means hand throw. So that’s how Antwerp got its name. We just met the nicest group of people. This woman came up and asked Marc
to take a photo of their group and I saw that she was
holding this banner that said Mexico on it. AFS. And it’s this exchange program
between Belgium and Mexico and this whole group of people were from Mexico. And so we…we were like,
‘Oh my gosh, we’ve just been there. We loved it. We made videos there.’ And one of the men who was from Queretaro
he had done an exchange in Canada and I was like, oh, we’re practically neighbours. In Barrie, Ontario. In Barrie, Ontario So random. which is right near Toronto
so that was just the coolest coincidence. I love you’re just out in Belgium
where I’ve never been before and meet this huge group of people from Mexico. It’s amazing. So cool. We thought since we saw the oldest house in Antwerp that we should see the oldest building as well
and this castle is it. This is from the 1100s. This is called Het Steen
which just means the Stone Castle and apparently there’s been a settlement on this site since the ninth century made of earth and then they started
building this place between 1100 and 1200 and it was changed under Charles the Fifth
and it was actually a prison up until 1823 and then it became a museum until 2008 and today it’s a piece of history
that you can come and take a look at. The sign says this is the
‘oldest half hour glass in the world.’ I think you should flip it over. I think so too. I love that sound. It’s so small in here I can’t even sit down. Yeah. As long as you’re in the photo. We’re inside Het Steen – inside the castle –
and there’s this photo booth where for 2 euro you can have your photo taken. The thing you would
least expect to find in a medieval castle. A photo booth. So we’re going to do it and then you can
leave your photo and they’ll put it up on the wall with all the other photos. Let’s do it. Is that it? Is there three or four? I don’t know. So if any of you guys find yourselves at this castle please look for our photo on the wall
and send us a picture of it! That’d be so funny. So we just came out of the castle and
walked up this ramp to get a look at the Scheldt River and found this plaque that has
World War Two history about Antwerp on it. And it’s all about Canadian soldiers
and the impact that they had. And apparently on September 16, 1944 550 soldiers from the
2nd Canadian Infantry Division in Hamilton advanced into Antwerp to prevent the enemy
from destroying the port facilities. And Antwerp is the second busiest port
in all of Europe after Rotterdam. And for the next three weeks
they were supported by the Belgian resistance and they fought to secure
the harbour’s vital equipment. And it says accompanied by the resistance
the Canadians then began to advance to the Netherlands as part of the overall offensive
to free the approaches to Antwerp. And then on November 28, 1944 a Canadian supply ship
was the first vessel to steam up the river Scheldt, which is right here, into Antwerp Harbour
bringing essential materials that contributed significantly to the allied victory – Why can’t I read this without getting, like, emotional? It’s ridiculous. It’s emotional. I think it’s because I’ve never been to Antwerp before
or to the…to Belgium for that matter but to…to come across something
and know that our countries have this link – and this specific harbour – have this link years before I’ve ever been here just…I don’t know. There’s something sp…amazing about that. Anyway it says that the ship brought
essential materials that contributed to the allied victory and of the almost 13,000 allied casualties
6500 were Canadian. It’s so sad. I think it’s impossible to be here
without thinking about all of the history and I didn’t realize that Canadians
had such a significant impact on protecting the harbour here during
the second world war so I find that really moving. One of the things Antwerp is
best known for is diamonds and there’s a whole area of the city here
actually known as the Diamond Quarter. And up until about 2012 84% of all the world’s rough
diamonds passed through that district in Antwerp and it was the largest diamond district
in the entire world with a turnover of 54 billion dollars. And since 2012 a lot of the work here – the polishing
and the gem cutting that was done here historically – has been moved elsewhere where it’s lower wages. But there’s still over 16 billion dollars worth of polished diamonds
that pass through Antwerp every year. That’s a lot of bling. I’ve never had Belgian fries before so… No?? No, what should I try? A really, really, really, really top is here. The one on top with mayonnaise. With chips, stoofvlees and some mayonnaise. What are stoofvlees? It’s like a stew. A Flemish stew. The Flemish speciality. Oh. Yes. That sounds good. Stew with fries? Yes. Oh yes. My mind just exploded. And some mayonnaise and that’s
really, very, very traditional. So maybe we should get one of those
and another one. So the other one special. Frite special. It’s with frites, ketchup, mayonnaise, and onions. All on top of the fries. Ok, if we could have one of each that would be perfect. This is the typical one. The stoofvlees and some mayonnaise with fries. Stoofvlees. Ok and it’s like a meat stew? It’s like a meat stew, yeah. But this is a Flemish speciality that one. First bite. Oooh that is so good. The stew with the mayonnaise?! You’re not surprised are you? No, I’m not. That’s the way that we eat it. Have you ever had poutine? Have you heard of poutine in Canada? No. It’s this French… Poutine – that’s the Russian guy. No, no! I really didn’t know what to expect when
we decided to come to Antwerp and I love this city. I wish we were spending more time here. Me too. To be totally honest. The vibe here is so cool. Yeah, it’s a relaxed pace of life, everyone is friendly, beautiful architecture in this downtown area. I wish we were staying for longer
because there’s obviously a lot more to see and a lot more foods to be eaten, more importantly. Yeah, most important. So I think we’ll have to come back someday. I think so too. Yeah. Hopefully you guys enjoyed
getting to know Antwerp a little bit better as well. If you haven’t already then please subscribe
to our channel for more travel videos and we’ll see you in our next one. Bye!

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