Best thing about traveling is, in my case, coming home. Naturally, first day after arrival is a complete mess, everything is out of it's place, there's nothing in he fridge, all that laundry to be taken care of and other pending duties (family to visit, gifts to distribute..)
After that "first wave" passes, comes the time to reflect upon the journey.
The time is now.
I have been diligent with this blog while in Brussels, so you have gotten some images, and a tour description. However, I have this one out, so that we can "enjoy" this, special tour, together. It's a trip to the house of chocolate (building itself is not made out of chocolate, but almost everything withing the wall is.. and it's tasty).
Come on, let's go:
the front of the shop,
looks small and it is hard to locate.
This is taken on the exhibition site:
the "declaration" of chocolate, sort of an early importing document
back when "customs control" was organized in a different manner.
(and you're familiar with this red-headed person,
she's pretending to be in a tropical jungle)
Among the Aztecs, whose beliefs are the best-documented in the historical sources,
Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of the planet Venus,
of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge.
He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge
The ship that was first used to carry the precious goods.
In the middle: what you could buy with cocoa
(5 beans could provide a rabbit, 10 a whole turkey)
Last image is showing how Aztecs had their cocoa
(strangely, mixture is quite similar to ours)
not there for mere fun, but is representing the origin or this amazing plant
Meet the cocoa plant (to me, looked like a canna plant)
Boy is holding cocoa fruits (you can now see the size)
and the preserved fruits, cut open for us to see how beans are "packed" in nature
...much later came the time of advertisement..
and you can see the most recognizable ones - from Belgium, of course.
OK, this is taken from their official site
and this was the last part of the tour:
live demonstration of how pralines are made.
When asked what was my most precious memory of this journey, I have to tread carefully.. not everyone gets the same answer (surely, if my boss asked, we'll tell him it was the amazing instructional conferences - and they WERE great, no doubt about it). The truth is, most fulfilling and joy-bringing part of my days spent Brussels was this visit.
Chocolate is everywhere around us, however: great chocolate is hard to find. And to learn about it, to get to feel and taste some home-made dark chocolates (filled with mint or pepper) - an experience I would not miss if I was you.
Have a great week.
..and I'll be back at my office. :)