Historic Architecture in Antwerp

After arriving at Antwerp Central Station, we set out for a day of city exploration. Our visit to Antwerp was sunny, relaxing day trip filled with dramatic architecture, hidden alleyways and plenty of Belgian beers. One of my favorite parts of the day was getting lost in exploring the details of Antwerp's historic buildings which range in style from medieval to gothic, baroque and renaissance and my personal favorite, art nouveau.

Here's a collection of a few monumental buildings that caught my eye... 

Antwerp’s story features a long history, dating beyond the middle ages. The prosperous river port created a city that flourished in culture and trade. A successful diamond industry supported the affluent community that financed a thriving art scene, including painters like Rubens. Much of the architecture around the city center still reflects the Antwerp's dynamic history featuring medieval cobblestone alleyways, brick packhouses with wooden windows, and elaborate golden age architecture of the Grote Markt that shimmers in the sun. 

 

Looking for more? To join the conversation, visit this post on Instagram. 

Antwerp City Scenes

Antwerp is a busy metropolis with a cozy feel. With a condensed city center, Antwerp is easy to explore by foot, from extravagant squares to little church courtyards. You'll begin with maze of wide boulevards, condensed down to cobblestone streets filled with tram lines, busy boulevards and dozens of bicycles dashing by.

This chaotic scene slows down once you turn off the main road and step into the small city center. You'll find twisting, quiet streets that are perfect to wander, set to the dramatic backdrop of buildings from the flourishing golden-age.

Amsterdam's Sidewalk Gardens

As a sun-loving Florida gal, it’s no surprise that summertime in Amsterdam holds a special place in my heart. Let's be honest, Dutch summers aren't very reliable for warmth + sunshine (so.much.rain!).  However, this is our little chuck of time to do a sun dance, cross our fingers and hope for the best.  When everything falls into place, tree branches pop with all shades of green, magically transforming the grey and brown bricks of our city into pallets of color and texture when doused in sunlight.  

In every neighborhood, the sidewalks blossom with summer gardens. Here are a few that I caught my eye while wandering the Jordaan on a Saturday...

lilywanderlust-amsterdam-summer-gardens-11.jpg

Windowsills and sidewalks overflow with hollyhocks, roses, lavender, giant sun flowers and Amsterdam's streets bloom with colorful sidewalk gardens, creating a palette of rainbow colors along the canals. 

Summer is the time to be outside and that's exactly where you'll find me! I've been soaking up the (rare) sunshine while people watching on a terrace with a zatte and kaasstengles, roaming the canals for curious scenes and savoring special little moments like reading in the park, sipping bubbles in the garden, watching the bees nibble on pollen. 

Everything and everyone has bloomed to their maximum capacity and that energy radiates throughout the whole city. It's a magical time of year! 

Visit this post on Instagram and join the conversation. 

Amsterdam in Bloom - Hollyhocks

It's common knowledge that we have plenty of rain here in Amsterdam. Those gray clouds are often a bummer but something really special happens when all that rainy drizzle mixes together with bright, golden sunshine... Wildflowers begin to pop up all around the city! I can't get enough of the Amsterdam's summer flower collection. Especially my favorite, the hollyhocks.

Bright pops of pink, maroon, purple, white, magenta, yellow and crimson burst along the street-side. Known as stockrozen in Dutch, this tall, colorful, perennial flower is a particular favorite of mine.

amsterdam-summer-hollyhocks-1.jpg

Luckily, they're abundant around Amsterdam and I can't cycle more than five minutes through the city without spotting a rainbow of these stately flowers. They're tall, like me and a some can reach over seven feet in length! I've also noticed a few that have toppled over to one side after growing too tall for their own good.

amsterdam-summer-hollyhocks-7.jpg

I spent the majority of the summer traveling and during my time in Amsterdam, I've been snapping away at the brilliant blooms and giant stalks. I even made a point to take the scenic route along Vondelkerkstraat because the entire street is lined with tall, colorful stockrozen. Hollyhocks are a staple of the Amsterdam summer sidewalk garden scene, casting happy vibes all over the city. 

Fat fuzzy, bumble bees are naturally drawn to all the blooms. Upon closer inspection, you’ll often find bees devouring the pollen inside as they're preparing to next seasons blooms! 

amsterdam-summer-hollyhocks-3.jpg
amsterdam-summer-hollyhocks-4.jpg
amsterdam-summer-hollyhocks-8.jpg
amsterdam-summer-hollyhocks-2.jpg

Curious for more? Visit this post on Instagram 

Summer Stroll through Vondelpark

This summer, July was all about focusing on my personal creative work, like relaunching my blog (welcome back, by the way!) getting to know my new Canon 5d Mark IV and catching up with friends who were neglected while I was swamped with client projects. Andra (@Amsterdamming) and I were long overdue for some girl talk so we met up to chat over coffee and quiche on a rainy afternoon. Lucky for us, the clouds eventually parted to reveal a bit of blue and just enough sunshine to make us smile. Our cameras in hand, we set out for an afternoon stroll through Vondelpark which was surprisingly very quiet thanks to the previously dismal weather. 

Having already lived in so many different pockets of the city, I must say this area near Vondelpark is my favorite neighborhood yet. Nothing beats being a few steps away from the park. It is a living, breathing creature itself. Vondelpark is such a big space, there are spots to see and be seen and other hidden corners where you can easily forget that you’re in the middle of a metropolis like Amsterdam.

Amsterdam-Vondelpark-July-2017-2.jpg

On this particular day, I found inspiration in the sunshine that filtered down through the trees, rich shades of green, textured leaves and the fat raindrops on the soft, peachy petals in the Rose Garden. When looking back over these photos, I can almost still feel the thick, humid air that encompassed us.

Curious for more? Join the conversation on Instagram here and here.