Antwerp Bird Market

After Saturday’s “relaxation”, on Sunday it was time to get serious with Mum’s schedule of events for the holiday. So off we went to Antwerp for the day. (Click to enlarge pictures)

Antwerp is quite an attractive Belgian city. Wait, that’s wrong. Antwerp is very attractive for Belgium. It has actually managed to find balance between it’s needs as a modern city and it’s well-estalished history. Although it could well be the history that makes Antwerp stand out. Firstly, back in the olden days it was in a reagion that was owned by the The Netherlands. Antwerp was a Dutch city before it was a Belgian one, and do this day there will be more Dutch speakers in Antwerp (and the rest of it’s region) than there are French speakers.

Antwerp is well known in the area for it’s large and varied market; fresh food, clothes, antiques, tat etc. But once in a while they market is extended to sell live birds. It sounded an interesting thing to see, but seeing it in the flesh was a little different for every cute little songbird, you had cage after cage crammed with hens or cockerels; shoeboxes stuffed with budgies barely able to move or a mountain of chicks in a carboard box.

The theme seemed to continue when we turned the corner and saw a street containing many ‘puppy shops’. In these shops were small, case fronted, white boxes filled with puppies of a variety of breeds. And people all around them, tapping at the window, cooing in delight, not realising the puppies, at about 6 weeks old, were terrified.

I guess animal rights isn’t really a high status issue in Belgium.

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