We got engaged in Antwerp, Belgium 1st January 2010. I wrote a blogpost about it in my own blogg in January 2010. I've copy/pasted the post into this blog, but I have also rewritten and added a few things.

Our new year's eve trip 2009-2010


At 12 pm on that Wednesday we started driving towards Antwerp, Belgium. The trip from Münster took about 3 hours driving through Holland.

Luggage + driving

110 km Antwerp.

Hotel room + welcome gift

We stayed at the Hotel Ramada Plaza, that was located a bit outside of the city center of Antwerp. The hotel was really nice and huge. We also got a chocolate champagne bottle as a welcome gift from the hotel.

We brought the bottle home to Finland, and planned to eat it somewhen, but unfortunately the bottle was eaten by the dog Roope before we got to taste it, even if it was high up on a shelf. That dog can climb! (Luckily Roope didn't get any problems after eating it, since chocolate is dangerous for dogs!)

The Lobby

Christmas tree in the Lobby.

We wanted to explore the town that same day, so we quickly brought up our luggage to the rooms and took a taxi to the center of Antwerp.

Grote Markt

The first evening was quite rainy. The picture about is from Grote Markt. A square in the center of Antwerp.

The restaurants around the square were all full of people, probably because of the rain. We luckily managed to get a table in the restaurant Ultimatum. It was a really pleasant evening with three course meal.

Cathedral of Our Lady

The Cathedral was HUGE. I think I read somewhere that  it's the biggest of its kind. The Cathedral is also part of the UNESCO world heritage list.

Before going to bed, we had drinks and nuts at the hotel bar.


The breakfast the next morning was unfortunately a big disappointment. I usually love hotel breakfasts, but this was really not a good one. Because we had a special "package deal trip" we were not allowed to eat the hotel's normal breakfast, but had to eat in another (much worse) restaurant in the hotel basement. We tried to make an upgrade, but it was not possible!

The Hotel

We took the tram into the city center.

The tram.

The Central station in Antwerp was amazing. It was so huge and nice, that we didn't even know where to look. On this picture it might not look all that spectacular, but the trains were driving in 5 levels. And the architecture was really amazing. I've never seen a more beautiful central station.

Central station Antwerp

We spent the day shopping and sightseeing. Antwerp is known as "The Diamond City", and the town really was packed with diamond stores. The Jewish parts of the city had very many diamond stores, because many jews are professional diamond cutters.

Diamond stores.

DiamondLand + diamonds

In the package deal we got tickets to DiamondLand. A Diamond cuttery, and museum. I have to say that the visit to DiamondLand was not that spectacular at all. If we hadn't had free entrance I would have been very disappointed. Unfortunately I can't recommend a visit to this place.



Cheese + Boots

Kaas! (=Dutch for cheese)

In the Cathedral

The Cathedral had an exhibition with paintings by Rubens.

After walking around in the city for quite some time, we went back to the hotel to get ready for New Year's Eve dinner.

Sara + stuff


The desert buffet was clearly the best one. I wasn't very fond of the started buffet with sushi, paté and oysters. The main course buffet was actually quite bad. The food was not warm at all, it was cold and partly frozen.

Close to 12 am, me and Philipp took a taxi into the city center. We wanted to watch the fireworks at the river at midnight...

A little castle at the river + fireworks


We watched the fireworks... and...

At 00:01
It's not easy to describe this moment with words. At 00:01 Philipp and I got engaged under the light of the fireworks at the river Shelde in Antwerp. It was wonderful and romantic, and I can't imagine it happening in any better way!

Our rings.

I was aware of that we would get engaged the 1.1.2010, because I had chosen the ring myself, and  I was there when we got the rings engraved. But I didn't know how and when it would happen. That was all up to my fiancé!

Champagne + beach

The next morning we drove to Knokke, a little town at the coast of Belgium, 1 hour away from Antwerp. It was really cold and windy that day, but the town was still really beautiful.

At the beach we toasted in Champagne for our engagement. It was still our engagement day!

The Beach in Knokke


Because it was so cold in Knokke, we decided to drive to another city Brügge (Bruges in English). And Brügge was one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen. The center of Brügge is part of the UNESCO world heritage list.


Philipp and frieten

Candy-/chocolate store in Brügge

Brügge is called little Venice because of its canals. It was very cozy!

A canal

Me and Philipp in Brügge


The next morning we took a Sightseeing tour in Antwerp with a hop-on-hop-off bus. We didn't get off anywhere, but it was a really nice and interesting tour through the town.

In the bus + Royal Museum of Fine Arts

Fins Huis

I really liked the city of Antwerp. Not too big, not too small. I would have wanted to stay a couple of more days. Then I would have spent a little more time walking around in the town exploring also the smaller streets.
Somehow Antwerp remained me a lot about Geneva. I don't know why, but as soon as we approach the town, my first thought was Geneva.

The left bank in Antwerp at night

I will never forget this trip. I was very nice in many ways.
I think and hope that we will return to this town somewhen!

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