“Of all Belgian cities, we have the best style. […] Our dialect is a world language. […] We have the best nightlife. […] Our cathedral tower is the prettiest in the country. […] Even fleamarkets are fun in Antwerp. […] Antwerp has the best painters, theater makers, choreographers and fashion designers. […] We have the prettiest train station in the world. Every international newspaper has written so. […] We have soldiers on the streets. Lots of them.”
This is what the “Use it travel guide”, that believe has been written after the U.S. election of 2016, says about Antwerp, the city that marks the beginning of my road trip through Flanders with my Dutch friend and my Belgian friend. The last time we all saw each other as when we studied together in Uppsala, so it was about time for #beneger to reunite and see Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent.
Antwerpians don’t seem to be well-liked in Belgium and I still have not figured out if it’s jealousy or if they really are stuck-up. What I have learned so far is that the name Antwerp comes from “throw hand”: legend has it that local hero Brabo cut off the hand of a giant who wanted to tax people. He threw the hand away and that is what “hand werpen” means. So…throw your hands in the air to fit in, I guess.