Antwerpen - Patrijsvogel
Patrijsvogel - travelblog
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How to use Instagram as a travel guide

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Hidden bunkers in the city

Just a few weeks ago I visited The Port House by Zaha Hidid for the first time. On my way over there, my boyfriend (a true Antwerp expert) pointed out these atomic bunkers scattered al over the city.

Being a brutalist lover, I was intrigued immediately. So after some research online I discovered that there are about 40 of these bunkers still standing in Antwerp. Check this website if you want more historic information.


Apparently these ‘atomic’ bunkers are build between 1954-1955 with a capacity from 6 up to 126 persons. They are not strong enough to stand in an Atomic attack nor are they large enough to harbor all Antwerp inhabitants. That’s how we roll in Belgium haha.

I’m guessing they have little to none functionality anymore. Since they are re-building the quayes, I think they will disappear soon. So if you want, hop on your bike, just like I did. Go and check them out. Here’s a map for you so you can easily find them.



Hoe bezoek je best de Grand Canyon

446 km lang – 29 km breed – en 1 857m diep,

met deze indrukwekkende cijfers moet ik je niet uitleggen hoe indrukwekkend dit nationale park is.

De Grand Canyon overdondert je zintuigen met zijn immense afmetingen. Sta je aan de ‘rim’, moet je jezelf even in de arm knijpen om zeker te zijn dat je niet naar een schilderij staat te kijken. Daal je af in de canyon zelf, valt je mond achter elke bocht open.

Dus, doe snel je hiking boots aan en verken de Canyon. Hoe je dat best doet, lees je hier.


Pacific Coast Highway >> Route One

The pacific Coast Highway -or Route One-  is designated as an All-American Road. This piece of information, combined with my love for bridges, made this route a must do for me.

The only way into the Big Sur coast is along the winding and breathtaking California Highway 1 aka The Pacific Coast Highway.

First on my checklist:

Monterey. Being a European, not all that interesting to visit but nevertheless a nice surrounding to take 5 from all that driving. It’s a lot of fun to have lunch while staring at the sea looking for sea lions and whales.


17 mile drive – Pebble beach

Just a few miles from Monterey you find Pebble Beach and the 17 mile drive.  The 17 Mile Drive is a scenic drive in the gated community of Pebble Beach.  Non-residents must pay a toll of $9.75 to get into the community – but you get a map with your admission, and once in, you can travel at your leisure visiting the many scenic vistas and pull-outs along the drive.  The map gives you a bit of information about each of the stops.

17 mile drive

For me, the drive was wel worth the time. We saw several animals (seals amongst others) and again a beautiful piece of nature. The funny fact that Clint Eastwood was the Mayor there for one term in the late 1980s and that you can’t wear heels over over two inches high, is an added bonus.

Bixby Bridge and the Big Sur

Driving further to Cambria, we soon crossed Bixby Bridge. One of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design, graceful architecture and magnificent setting. We visited the bridge on a very foggy day but it still was overwhelming and it got me some nice pictures. Check out more pictures of the bridge here.

Once I crossed the Bixby Bridge I headed straight to Los Angeles with one overnight stop in Cambria. It was already end of season when I visited and the weather was bad so we didn’t do anything worth mentioning.

The next day, after a short night, we headed further down to L.A. Visiting Santa Monica Pier just before hitting the city of Angels.

More information about the Pacific Coast Highway

check out this website

Once upon a time in the West > Visit Monument Valley

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located on the Navajo Nation – one of the largest American Indian tribes.

This sandy preserve bathes the region between Arizona and Utah in rich red hues, adding to its reputation of having some of the most dramatic and mesmerizing light.It does not come more American than this place.

It does not come more American than this. Put on your boots and hit this place.


monument valley monument valley

The Port House – a Zaha Hadid masterpiece

Zaha Hidid, was an Iraqi-born British architect. She was described by the The Guardian of London as the ‘Queen of the curve’. Her major works include the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum in the US, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.  Some of her designs have been presented posthumously, including our Port House.

The new Port House repurposes, renovates and extends a derelict fire station into a new headquarters for the port – bringing together the port’s 500 staff that previously worked in separate buildings around the city.

As an Antwerp inhabitant, it feels a bit shameful to tell you that it took me more than one year to get up close and personal with this new architectural masterpiece.

But when I did, boy did I like it. This building is a true masterpiece. Interesting from every angle.

So let’s start with the least obvious one. I approached the Port House via the harbour and I liked this point of view immediately. How this ‘boat’-shaped piece peeks out above these old building. Just Luv it!

Marc Van Peel, president of the Port of Antwerp, said: “There was only one rule laid down in the architectural competition, namely that the original building had to be preserved. There were no other requirements imposed for the positioning of the new building. The jury was therefore pleasantly surprised when the five shortlisted candidates all opted for a modern structure above the original building. They all combined the new with the old, but the design by Zaha Hadid Architects was the most brilliant.”

I’m happy that the one rule was respected by the architects. Antwerp has lost enough beautiful old buildings. It would be such a shame that this one would have disappeared also.

Up close and personal

So after I crossed the water, I went all up close and personal on this building.

Butchers Coffee

Get Hooked – Butchers Coffee

Butchers Coffee is open since 6 months now and boy, they are going strong! I ordered my first cappuccino just a couple of days ago but I was hooked instantly. So hooked that I went back 3 days in a row, taking friends to show them my new hotspot.

The Coffee

Are you, just like me, a bit of a coffee newbie? Not sure what difference there is between a flat white, cortado and cappuccino? No sweat. Dave and Paolo, both experienced barista’s, guide you through the wonderful world of coffee with a very charming smile and contagious enthusiasm. No wonder they have a big female following 🙂

Hungry? You’re in luck because they have this delicious banana bread and other tasty snacks. Did I mention that they are all homemade?


Butchers Coffee has found it’s home in a former.. butchery. Hence the name…
Dave and Paolo have found a way to make the past of this location work for them. They kept some of the original elements and combined it with there take on things. The interior is original, cosy and wants you to stay for hours and hours. In summertime they have a small terrace so you can enjoy your favorite cup in the sun.


opening hours:
monday – friday       7am – 6pm
saturday – sunday   9am – 6pm

(Yes! Open every day of the week)

adress: Kasteelstraat 57, 2000 Antwerp





Yellowstone National Park

I lost a piece of my heart in Yellowstone, the worlds first national park and largest geo-thermal area in the world. It’s been 6 months now since we’ve been there but I still have this location in my weather app, hoping to go back one day soon.

It took us a train ride – 4am pick up of our rental and a crazy drive through a snowstorm to get there. But once we arrived in Yellowstone National Park, we were amazed by all its beauty. The untamed nature and wildlife are incredible. In Yellowstone you get what you came for.  Drive through herds of bizons and elk, spot rare birds or even bear.

In Yellowstone National Park, you get what you came for

Apart from all the wildlife, nature is even more extreme.  Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold.

We were up there, after a 3 week road trip through California, Utah and Arizona. It was already getting colder and after our first night we woke up to a snowy winter wonderland. I would recommend to visit Yellowstone a few weeks earlier than we did, because many of the roads were closed. We actually had to drive more than 3h back home due to a crazy snow blizzard. However, the majority of tourists were gone and we had the park almost to ourselves.

Where to stay

We stayed in Jackson Hole. A cosy town just South of the park with lots of shops and nice restaurants. If you, like us, forgot to pack your winter gear, no sweat. You can shop your matching hat, just like we did.

Hotel: Snow King Resort

A very nice hotel with friendly staff. After 5 weeks of motel-life such a treat for us! It is easy accessible by car and has a large parking in front of the hotel. Not really your cup of tea? You can search for another accommodation via or any other booking site.


Yellowstone National Park was founded in 1872.
The park takes up 8.983 km2 or 3.472 square miles and is 96% located in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idago.
Yellowstone is located in a volcanic hotspot.

Want to learn more about the park. Check the official website or my blogpost: 10 things you have to know about visiting Yellowstone.

Grand Prismatic Spring


Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Yellowstone Lake

Porcelain Geyser Basin

Dragon’s Mouth Spring

Yellowstone River

The Road from the South entrance to the Visitor Center

Coffee in Antwerp

Ben jij net als ik een cappuchino verslaafde coffee-bar addict. Dan ben je met deze blogpost te lezen goed af.
Hier mijn favorietje adresjes op een rij.

  1. Me & My Monkey
  2. Butchers Coffee
  3. Kolonel Koffie
  4. Normo
  5. Cuperus
  6. Copper
  7. Revista
  8. Caffénation
  9. Glow
  10. Koffieklap