Day 2 in Antwerp brought quite a surprise – it shouldn’t have been, but it was nonetheless. We walked to Grote Markt in the morning, a lovely pedestrian area with many little shops, cafes, a large cathedral and castle on the waterfront. As we approached the river, there was a lot of hype going on. Many vendors were setting up and a large screen – it took a moment, then, yes, the Tour de France! What luck! The first stage began today in Rotterdam and ended in Brussels, conveniently going through Antwerp.
After a quick lunch break, we headed back to the waterfront for a very long wait in the hot sun – ‘publicity’ (aka: many fast moving sponsor vehicles throwing swag from them) took up the biggest chunk of time, probably an hour and a half. Then, in a flash, the cyclists whizzed by to many, many ecstatic fans screaming and cheering. All that buildup and it was over, but it was still very exciting to see it all!
After the long wait, D, AK and I hit up a little cafe on one of the narrow pedestrian streets and enjoyed my favourite new drink, Kriek…think cherry coke + beer, utterly delicious! It definitely hit the spot.