04 June 2017

A N T W E R P 1

So, if you follow along on Instagram you might have noticed that I spent the last week in Antwerp. It's Belgium's second biggest city and it's absolutely worth a visit! I was invited there by ThisIsAntwerp, a part of VisitAntwerp, along with 12 artists, photographers and writers from all over Europe to take part in D.A.T.E. - 'Discover Antwerp Through Experience'. Over the course of five days we went all over the city and visited creative entrepreneurs, galleries, sights, restaurants, bars, cafés... It was truly an experience and it's been a whirlwind of impressions. I will take you through the trip over the next couple of days and let you in on some Antwerp secrets along the way. First, day one of D.A.T.E;
I flew down from Copenhagen on Sunday afternoon. The weather was clear and on my phone I could trace the route by looking at Google Maps and identifying the coastlines I could see from above. A bit nerdy, but the hour and a half long flight went by fast that way.
I arrived just in time for food which we ate at Fiskebar (Marnixplaats 11) - it was so so good!
I knew some of the others from before; Jessica for instance, who I know from Berlin and hadn't seen in three years. Anna and Søren of 12hours I had been following on social media forever so it was nice to finally meet them. And the rest I found to be immensely friendly and funny. We had the best group!
Monday began with a walk around the city. Our tour guide Erik used to be a police detective but now does guided tours and he introduced us to Antwerp's history as a sieged city, to its architectural influences and showed us some hidden spots.
He showed us Galerie De Zwarte Panter whose owner Adriaan Raemdonck greeted us - both as a statue and in real life. I love that the statue also shows his dog Fleur. The gallery is located in an old church and we saw works by renowned Belgian artist Fred Bervoets.
We walked on. It was around 30 degrees and sweltering but it was nice walking around discovering a new place. I love the architecture that seemed like a mix of mini-Berlin, France and Copenhagen somehow.
The university is located in this impressive building. It used to be the mayor's house!
After lunch at Coffeelabs (Lange Klarenstraat 19) (the most delicious salads - and carrot mash wrapped in bacon!) the group split up. Some headed over to Kastaar, a print shop, whereas six of us went to the fashion museum for a private tour. The current exhibition is about Martin Margiela's years designing for Hermès (1997-2003) and it displayed works that showed the eccentric designer's influence on the old-fashioned French fashion house.
The exhibition was really great. In his work, Margiela highlighted the way the clothes was tailored by showing off hems and seams and he playfully made jumpers out of vintage socks or made four sleeves on a shirt instead of two. But the best part our visit to the MoMu was our guide. I think she might be Margiela's biggest fan and her enthusiasm was contagious.
In the evening, we had dinner at Native (Muntstraat 8). For some reason I didn't photograph anything - I might have been too busy laughing and drinking wine. But head over to ThisIsAntwerp's Facebook-page to see photos from the night.
I was invited to Antwerp by VisitAntwerp. They showed us around the city and took us to restaurants and to meet locals. I haven't received any money and everything I write or photograph is of my own opinion and responsibility.

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