Lately, most places in the world are on community lockdown, limiting physical contact and outdoor activities. The European government issued a travel warning, just in the advent of Lomographer Luthfi Farhandi, a.k.a. ifhtul and best friend's travel. However, the two still managed to go on with their trip from Berlin to Antwerp. What were originally photos intended to document their trip, could now be viewed as a glimpse of a time before face masks and social distancing. Perhaps, also something to look forward to when all of this is over.
It was the second weekend of March 2020. My best friend and I were traveling from Berlin, Germany, to visit a friend who lives in the most beautiful harbour city in Belgium – Antwerp. Just at midnight where we started traveling, the European government, including German and Belgian government just released a travel warning due to the coronavirus. Our wanderlust feelings are unstoppable, so we went for it nevertheless.
On that weekend turned out that stores were closed except supermarkets and drug stores, and some takeaway restaurants. At first, we thought it ruined our Belgian getaway, it turns out it was our best decision in 2020. We spent more time discovering the city by bike, which turned into a great adventure.
Our first impressions toward the city were, of course, perfect. Typical European architecture covers the whole city. Some of them had modern twists on it, like Zaha Hadidplein and Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS). The sun didn’t show its joyful shine that weekend, which also represented perfectly the current mood of the whole city, or maybe country or even the world – gloomy, isolated, avoiding themselves from spreading the virus; a perfect time to tuck ourselves under the blanket and cuddle, just like Nello and his dog Patrasche from the story A Dog of Flanders, which sculpture is displayed at the front of the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp.
We managed to get back to the capital city of Germany on Monday the next week, just right before the borders between countries are closed. It was the best spontaneous yet risky decision we had.
Luthfi used Minolta AF-E II and a roll of Kodak Gold 200. For more of their works, visit their LomoHome
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