Subject: Re: Antwerp
Hello Janet

I have very fond memories of Antwerpen, on a bright June day with crowds sitting outside the cafes, the blossoming garden at the Rubens' house, the tasty Belgian bitter (red beer) and a very good deal weekend package at a first class hotel. I can't assure you of the same views in December, of course, but you'll like the place. The places to see are of course the house of Rubens, the Cathedral with the large Rubens' paintings and the pedestrian historical centre. We didn't see the diamond cutters, who are another top attraction of the town. For lunch I suggest you try the Belgian equivalent of the English pub, where the food is usually good and the draught beer even better. According to Brussels airport site http://www.brusselsairport.be/bus/ there is a shuttle to Antwerpen every hour. Belgium is a small country so going around by train won't be difficult. Brussels has the very famous (and crowded by tourists) historical centre with high-priced seafood and venison restaurants showing their merchandise out front, but the rest of the town is uninteresting. I also liked Ghent (a sort of downsized Brugge) with the old corporate houses along a tiny canal. Bye

Paolo Trieste, Italy