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Travel Surprises in Antwerp, Belgium

Filippo and I had just arrived back to Brussels after a lovely day in Bruges when I got the best travel surprise.  Thanks to Facebook, I found out my dear Swedish friend, Therese, from my first Camino just so happened to be a mere forty minutes away in Antwerp.  We were on the phone in a matter of minutes making plans for the following day.

Antwerp nearly knocked us over with us with blustery winds, but luckily, the seasonal glühwein was still flowing to take the edge off the winter chill.  It was so special spending the day with Therese and yet another reminder of how special the Camino connections I made are to me still.  We spent the day walking around town, strategically sharing an umbrella and relishing on how utterly incredible it was that we were present in this moment together.

And how fitting it was for us to end the day with our toes tipped towards that familiar Camino sign; the golden shell tucked into the stones on the sidewalk in front of the pilgrims hostel of Antwerp.  The lasting nature of the Camino de Santiago is that it is always with you and will find ways to remind you of its joy wherever you may roam.

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Steen Castle and the giant, Antigoon

Steen Castle and the giant Antigoon

The mythical, Brabo, defeating the giant

Fountain depicting the mythical, Brabo, defeating the giant

The giant's hand that Brabo cut off and threw into the river

The giant’s hand that Brabo cut off and threw into the river, symbolizing free passage

Cathedral of Our Lady

Cathedral of Our Lady

Stadsfeestzaal, festival hall converted into a shopping mall

Stadsfeestzaal, festival hall converted into a shopping mall

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