After Dublin, I decided to head to Belgium for two reasons: first, I’d never done more than pass through Belgium and figured it was a country I should really visit, the second goes without saying – chocolate!
One of my other passions besides sugary snacks is design. On this basis, I chose the Pantone Hotel. A really huge taxi bill later (beware, taxis from the airport are not almost free), I ended up in this boutique hotel in a residential neighbourhood. Do not be too disappointed by the location, as it is not too far a walk from Louise – a major shopping street and the metro.
I think I just scratched the surface when it comes to chocolate in Brussels. I sampled chocolates from Neuhaus, Godiva (yes it tastes the same as it does here in Canada), Corne Port-Royal, Wittamar, Pierre Marcolini, Alex & Alex and probably more that I can’t remember from my intense sugar high 🙂
In addition, I found a bakery I want to live in called Paul. Sadly it didn’t seem big enough for me to fulfill my Jabba the Hutt dreams….In any event, I became addicted to Le Gourmandise – think of it as an elongated pain au chocolat with lots more chocolate…and lots of buttery goodness – nom!
Aside from slithering around, looking for more chocolate & pastry, I decided I should probably see a museum or two. I ended up at the Magritte Museum (showcasing the works of Belgian artist Rene Magritte) on a very rainy day. Wet & grumpy, I was not in a good mood when I was asked to check in my purse (especially when it seems that other people were allowed to bring in bigger bags than me). The museum is also connected to the Musees Royaux Des Beaux-Arts. I figured why not see that too 🙂
I found the museum rather confusing with its layout – but then again, I find maps are only useful to show me pretty lines & colours 🙂 If you do go, be sure to keep a hold of your ticket because museum folks will want to check to make sure you’re going to see the exhibits you actually paid to see. I passed on a Stanley Kubrick photography exhibit in favour of spending more money on snacks.
Now if you can read maps (unlike yours truly), you’ll discover a whole bunch of chocolate shops nearby. I just wandered into a sculpture garden and a church until I saw a Godiva sign and decided to walk in that direction. After being wet & grumpy, it was like pure heaven. I was just sad I couldn’t eat more!