Belgian Chocolate Tour

Ivan and I woke up at 7:45 am on July 18, 2012.  I took a shower before going into the city centre.

Today, we were headed on a Belgian Chocolate tour.  Ivan always finds all the best things to do!  Lil Dave went to meet up with his cousin Jean-Dave who lives here in Brussels.  Jean-Dave was showing him all the best banana dishes in the city.

Our guide was a Belgian man.  I don’t remember his name, but we’ll call him Papa Smurf (Yes, the Smurfs are Belgian!).  He had a big stomach and looked like he did the tour way too many times enjoying all the different chocolates. He looked like one day he said to himself ‘ Well I spend all day eating chocolate anyway, so I might as well get paid to do it! – now where is that bucket of chocolate for my morning snack’.

The tour was almost 5 hours long.  Our group had 13 people in it.  We stopped at many chocolate shops and touristy spots like the main square.

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It was great that we got to try chocolate at 7 different places.

One place had a chocolate factory in the front. 

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I think it would be hard making chocolates all day – I’d be too tempted to eat a bunch of chocolate.

We stopped in front of a big Smurfs monument. 

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I wanted to climb it!

We stopped at the St. Hubard Gallery.  Here, there’s a Mary chocolate shop which is George Bush’s favorite chocolate place.

We stopped at Cote D’Or.  Here, we got to make our own chocolate!  The first group consisted of 6 people.  The first part was dipping almond marzipan and a cookie into the chocolate.  The next part was putting chocolate on a paper than moving the paper to make the chocolate round. 

We got to put toppings on our chocolate like cherries, mint, coconut, pistachios and almonds.

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The group all got a glass of hot chocolate and two pieces of chocolate in the back room.

We got a certificate and our chocolates at the end.  Very cool!

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We stopped at Pierre Marcolini.  We went upstairs to see the chocolates.   We got Rose and Earl Grey chocolates. 

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The Rose was very tasty.

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I was all chocolate’d out which I didn’t think was possible. 

We had lunch at Poissonnerie ABC – Mateos.  Ivan and I shared a tasty salmon and tuna.  Ivan got a wine as well.  I tried to drink it, but it burned my throat.

Ivan and I went to the pharmacy to ask where a doctor’s office was.  We went to one, but they were closed and didn’t reopen until 4:30 pm.  The office closed at 10 am – that’s a long 6 1/2 hour break.  That’s worse than the Spanish siesta!

Ivan tried another pharmacy to find a doctor.  We went to another doctor’s office and the doctor was gone. 

We tried another pharmacy in a different area.  Again, we went to the office and the doctor wasn’t working.  What do the doctors in Brussels NOT work on Wednesday?  Ivan thought we should just try the first office later on after 4:30 pm.

We went to the mall.  Ivan’s laptop’s a/c connection wasn’t working.  He wanted to test a a/c adaptor, but the store wouldn’t let him.  He tried the display model’s adaptor and it worked, but then stopped working a few moments later.  He figured it was the Eee PC’s a/c connection and he should just buy a new laptop.

Ivan wanted to check out the other mall.  I was really tired since we had to wake up early for the tour.  I went to McDonald’s to rest and catch a nap while Ivan shopped.

Ivan came back later on with a new Toshiba netbook.  We’ve always loved Asus Eee PCs but the batteries don’t last very long like they used to.

It was time for the doctor’s office.  We walked inside the office and there was no reception.  It was a cold room with wood on the walls and shelves.  There were two ladies in front of me.  I guess we just had to wait it out.  I was hoping that the doctor spoke English. 

It seemed to be a very, very long time waiting.. an hour and a half!  The last lady seemed to be in there for ages.  I wondered if they were talking about their life story to each other.

Finally, we got to go and see the woman doctor.  I’m so glad she spoke English.  I told her that my throat has been hurting for a week.  It hurts to swallow, I have mucus, headaches and chills.  She took my temperature and put the stethoscope on my back and asked me to breathe deeply.  She said that I had tonsilitis.  She asked if I was on antibiotics and I said no.  I’ve only been taking Strepsils and ibuprofin.  It was really cheap to see the doctor at 20 Euros.  She said the medicine was 13 Euros – we thought she said 30 Euros she meant per pill.. but it was per box. She kept on telling us that she could give us the paperwork so we could claim back the 20 euros –but Ivan was saying it didn’t matter, because to see a private doctor in the USA would cost a LOT more than 20 euros!!!

We thanked her and walked to the pharmacy down the street.  I got my antibiotics which turned out to be 6.58 Euros – even cheaper than she said. 

Ivan thought it was best that I got more rest, so we got a taxi to the apartment.  I fell asleep for 3 hours while Ivan used the internet.

It was 10 pm and we wanted to get some food.  Ivan didn’t feel like walking to the city centre.  I was way too tired for that.  We found La Delizia which is an Italian restaurant.  Ivan got the salmon tagliatelle while I got the rigatoni with zucchini and mozzarella.  This was the worst pasta me and Ivan have ever had!! Mine was the worse since it was so tasteless.  Avoid this restaurant like the plague.

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