There's a lot going on in our organization every day. And we want to keep the outside world informed of this, so we can continue to make progress on our path through dialog. Together with our R-ambassadors, we spread the stories that take root in our company. They voluntarily dedicate themselves and their social networks so that Realdolmen may stand out amid all the information we are bombarded with daily.
We do not take this as a given, which is why we like to treat our ambassadors from time to time. The hand of a child pulled two ambassadors' names out of the hat. They were given the opportunity to take a tour of Antwerp for a day on vintage mopeds with Vintage Riders (a side initiative of our event partner Groep Arthur).
After a fun day exploring Antwerp, we asked Thomas (.NET software engineer) and Mark (software engineer) to give us their impressions.
'A perfect way to reduce stress' - Mark
'Thomas and I didn't know each other at all. That is to say, we'd never made it any further than 'Hi, enjoy your food!' while standing in line at an R-café. That was, until that fateful Sunday morning.
We come from two distinct work environments. He's a modern .NET front end developer with mostly short assignments, while I'm more of a legacy-style database developer with projects that typically take much longer to complete. Still, we soon discovered some similarities: we both work externally full time and like to mess around with music in our spare time.
The day got off to quite a start. We were waiting for each other at two separate locations. It seems the Vintage Riders garage isn't actually at the official address. We did finally track down Ruby and Gina, but not the person who was supposed to do the handover. They live two doors down. City habits, I guess. A phone call later and we received our briefing. Then it was time to hit the road!
First we had to decide on a route. Where to go? I'd planned a trip to Doel, about 90 km in all. It soon became clear that our motorized grandmas weren't up to such a journey, though. After around ten kilometers, we knew we would be better off simply following our noses. Vintage is something that can't be forced. A relaxed timetable was much more to the old ladies' taste. A boat trip. A cup of coffee (or a beer). Chug on to a nearby fort - but wait, that's a military area. Let's keep puffing then. Time for a bite. Thomas, you can't be serious. As an ex-student in Antwerp, you must have heard of Schoonselhof? In that case, we'll take a look. A boat back across the Scheldt. Explore a churchyard. Tour the Keizerlei. Have another beer. And then the day is already over. What a perfect example of how to reduce stress.'
'I wouldn't have missed a minute!' - Thomas
'Just arrived home from our extremely fun vintage bike ride. We got to play the tourist in our own city. Thanks a lot for the gift and to Mark for a simply fantabulous day out. I wouldn't have wanted to miss a minute!
We managed to do and see a great many things thanks to our wonderful means of transportation. We left at 9 am and headed straight for the center of Antwerp, before continuing on to Het Steen fortress and the MAS museum.
From there, we took the ferry across to Kruibeke to tour some of the left bank as well. We then cruised for a while between the forts and fields around Ponjaard, Kruibeke and Beveren. After those explorations we crossed back over to the 'right' side of the water ;). We continued along our route to Schoonselhof, before returning to Antwerp city center by way of the Kiel. We ended our day with a drink at Bier Central and discussed our adventures. At around 7 pm we said goodbye to our rides with a heavy heart. By then, we were already referring to them fondly as Gina and Ruby.'