Our Avalon river ship docked almost in the heart of Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium and the second-argest seaport in Europe. The local guides in every city or town we visit deliver a wealth of local information and are extremely well-educated about their cities’ history.

Our walking tour included the fortress on the river Scheldt, Antwerp’s oldest preserved building. It was here that the local legend of Antwerp’s symbol, a hand, originated.  We found some chocolate hands in one of the many outstanding confectionary shops and could not resist buying a box.  From the fortress it was only a short walk to Grote Market, a large square surrounded by many splendid guild houses and the local city hall, considered a masterpiece.

This afternoon, there was an optional tour to Brussels, but we chose to enjoy a relaxing time on board.