A Bucket-list thing… the abandoned town Doel, just above Antwerp in Belgium. From the moment I left the ring road of Antwerp it became more and more quiet on the road towards Doel. The only fellow road users where truckdrivers supplying the port of Antwerp. After a short time the exit towards Doel appear, a straight road and already passing a number of abandoned houses, an old petrol station and a busstop. Doel has been transformed into a ghost town where only a few people… and a teddybear still live! This gives Doel its surrealist atmosphere. Shops and schools are closed and the church only opens for special occasions such as funerals and marriages… who wants to marry here by the way? But that was not the main reason for my visit, Graffiti and Street Art artists blow a sort of a new life into this town with their creations. Most of the houses, rolling shutters and whatever you can think, it’s covered with different types of Street Art. Not all so beautiful but the mix of diversity makes it so special. Some houses are half broken down… what an unique atmosphere. If you want to make a Scary movie… this is the place. The church is totally undamaged and is rising in the town centre. The graveyard is also well maintained of course, with al the respect for the people who are buried here.
There are also a few elements more in Doel that are certainly worth mentioning. Firstly the Doel nuclear power plant, which is located right next to the village and the two cooling towers that have been a familiar sight on the port of Antwerp for years. The second is the “Old Schelde Mill” which is located on the river hill side. This mill dates from the seventeenth century and is one of the oldest existing mills in Belgium.
While cycling from the hill I passed “Café Taverne”, it was a sunny day and the doors were wide open. Bizarre to see that the Pub is still open in a place like this but also has its charm. I made my photo’s on a beautiful sunny day… for the photos and colours this works best of course but… how should Doel be on a rainy and windy day. During my visit I met a few people, some cyclists who use the main road trough Doel as a passage and also some visitors with the same thought…experiencing the special atmosphere.