More PHOTOS from Belgium – (Antwerpen, Leuven, De Haan, Brussels) – March 2015)

Herent, Belgium – Monday March 16, 2015

All photographs by © Michaël Van Broekhoven – All Rights Reserved.

My time in Belgium is flying by…  Below are a selection of a few dozens more photos taken on March 11 & 12th, 2015, going from Antwerp (previous 2 blog posts) in the northwest to Louvain (inland) to De Haan on the coast by the North Sea; and on March 16, when I also snapped a couple photos in central Brussels.

(Some similar and additional regional photos I took during a family visit in Summer 2012 can be found in the Belgium-Photos-10-part series, HERE; and from Summer 2014, HERE.)

My Visit to Belgium’s Nuclear Waste Depository Lab, HADES, 750 feet Underground… was definitely memorable too.  Coincidentally, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy did the same just a couple days later.  For more nuclear blog posts, see my Nuclear Blog Posts Archive.


Starting out in Antwerp:  The Cathedral is so tall I couldn’t fit the whole tower without a bit of an angle: ;-)  Some 40 years ago, I was born  less than a mile from here.


In the city center of Antwerp.

DSCN1756 DSCN1757–>  Vrede = Peace    Wrede, as the adjective of wreed = cruel or wrathful.   Vrede is pronounced the same as Wrede.  Obviously this is lost in another language, such as in English,  “The W of Peace”…

…De W… also makes me think of Bart De Wever, the current mayor of Antwerp, a seemingly smart guy with very strong oratorical skills, who, very much like Obama in the USA (of similar traits), favors building more nuclear power plants, buys (and strategically plays) into the whole “war on terror” madness, militarizing peaceful cities and all.  About the latter, see ‘Soldiers patrol streets of Antwerp and Brussels‘.  I didn’t see any in Antwerp, though.  In Brussels I saw cops patrolling with machine guns handy.  Reminded me of the late 1980’s, when the Rijkswacht (Gendarmerie, a federal police force that was then tied closer to the military, a WW2 leftover), and that has been dissolved in a unified police force since.) used to have heavily armed checkpoints to stop high school students, like myself then, to make sure their bicycle lights worked, and such.  (Seriously)

Along the river Scheldt (De Schelde, Antwerpen, België):

DSCN1761A frigid breeze…

DSCN1762 DSCN1782–> The text on the flood-protection wall translates roughly to: ” The forests are shaven poodle-naked  For in his art studio   The Nature he intended to paint, however, was lost  But there is no PLANET B …”

A statue across the street holds up a caduceus, with its two snakes and wings, a symbol of medicine, with deep esoteric roots:

DSCN1784(If you do a search for caduceus chakras pineal gland (or something like that), you can find hundreds of sites that delve into its origins in ancient mystery schools, as well as its use in certain occult circles).

It’s a hard habit to break:  I take photos of advertisements and posters in the street quite often.  Just… because.   (I don’t get to do this in the semi-wilderness I roam in, or near, most of the year…)   I might do a blog posts for posters photographed while in Japan (in November 2013)…   These are just a couple random ones, nothing particularly special, just thought I’d include some.


Yeah… I love you too. ;-)

A variety of versions of Calzedonia ads were everywhere on this visit.  An Italian clothing brand with outlets, so I noticed, in many towns suddenly:  (So, forgive me for this commercial break:

DSCN1801Some event posters in a hallway by a bar’s bathrooms:

DSCN1844-> Top right is Sella Sue, who also grew up near Leuven.  On YouTube: Selah Sue – This World (Official Video), to give an example.  

Seen on the side of the Antwerp Zoo, which is right next to the train station:


City skies…


After the train ride from Antwerp, I arrived back in the railway station of Leuven (Louvain, Belgium), which has a nice design as well (imo):

DSCN1818Quiet night atmosphere…

DSCN1820The tunnel to the front.

DSCN1823From there I usually walk home (about 5 miles, or an hour walk, to Herent), unless I feel lazy, then I take the bus.  There’s several direct buses, but I prefer my usual slight detours, favoring beauty over speed, especially late at night:


I stroll by let-up clothing store windows on the Bondgenotenlaan and Mechelse Straat; this one a detail of a Max Mara store:


Center of Leuven:

DSCN1837 DSCN1879 DSCN1882

Children toy store, The Grasshopper:


Villa Ernesto, a bar on the Vismarkt:

DSCN1888  Crossing the River Dijle:


Heading up De Keizersberg:


Going over the freeway:


The next morning it’s clear that the meadow with some trees I had a view on is truly only a memory now.  The planned subdivision, with as many as 400 new houses, is being built…:

DSCN1693In Oostend, on my way to De Haan on the Belgian Coast:

DSCN1850 DSCN1852 DSCN1854 DSCN1856De Haan, Belgium:

DSCN1870 DSCN1863 DSCN1861 DSCN1860What would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, is now accepted normal, including surveillance cameras on most public busses:

DSCN1873The following photos were taken in Belgium one evening in Brussels, March 16, 2015:

About to enter the tunnels from Northern Brussels:


Crossed the Grote Markt (Grand Market Square) in the center:DSCN1930

A detail on the nearby Saint Nicholas Church:


A detail on the front of the old Brussels Stock Exchange building, also depicting the Cadeseus (shown above on a statue in Antwerp):DSCN1936

Brussels City Hall on the Grote Markt (different angle than in photo above), on my way back to the train station to catch the last train back:


Like the vast wilderness areas of Western North America, in some ways… Belgium will always be home too.  With so many people so closely packed together, and influences from many cultures, political views, art movements, time periods, economic powerhouses and global finance stirring this pot, it can be a quite intense.  It’s not where I feel called to be now, but I have come to very much love where I’m from.

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3 Responses to More PHOTOS from Belgium – (Antwerpen, Leuven, De Haan, Brussels) – March 2015)

  1. wildninja says:

    Thank you for noting the surveillance cameras. It’s so sad that cities are going that direction.

    • @ wildninja – Yeah… There’s a strange acceptance of it. But it’s not too creepy here, at least not yet, it does have a different feeling in a democracy context, compared to much less democratic areas, like, imo, London or the US. But that could change so quickly… I’ve always felt safe, but now I feel watched. They do warn you here, though: there’s signs announcing where the ‘under surveillance’ zone start. It hasn’t reduced crime, but it has helped solve many crimes. So I heard.

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