On to the ship and off on our cruise – a smallish ship able to navigate quite a way up some rivers. Both Rotterdam and Antwerp have Old Towns, still with traditional buildings (despite, or reconstructed after, WW2 bombing) which we wandered through. Rotterdam was a bit damp but the markets were still on the go and the cathedral was dry and welcoming to wanderers. We sailed in late afternoon into a magnificent sunset which showcased the extensive industrial landscape and the skies with their many con trails.
We moored opposite the Old Town in Antwerp and, after tossing up whether we catch a train or bus to Bruges, decided to spend the day in Antwerp. A good decision as Antwerp is home to the fascinating Plantin-Moretus Printing Museum which contains printing and typographical materials dating from the 16th century and is based in the former home and workplace of the family. Sounds a bit dry but we spent a couple of hours there – well worth a visit. Likewise the Cathedral of Our Lady, which has several lovely stained glass windows, has paintings by Peter Paul Rubens and also houses exhibitions – in our case paintings by Rubens and associates. Some lace souvenirs were on the agenda in a shop just of the main square with its tall narrow buildings and their ornate roofs.