Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quick! Heads Up!

I've come up with four reasons why most Brusseleers don't look up when they walk along the city streets:
1) They'll step in dog mess.
2) They'll trip over piles of carefully wrapped and color-coded recycling garbage bags (there are no residential and not many commercial garbage cans in the heart of the city).
3) They're not tourists with cameras and/or money wallets hanging around their necks.
4) They'll stumble on the cobblestones (that was me)!
But if you look up every now and then, you're bound to see the most amazing architecture, colorful window flower boxes, larger than life cartoon murals and of course, the Belgian flag (among others) blowing in the wind. Just be forewarned - there are a LOT of dogs in this city!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Colorful Chocolatiers

Everyone knows Belgium is world famous for its finest and most delectable chocolate! Although chocolate comes in just two shades of brown and one shade of white, the shops they're sold in are beautifully colorful and always a delight to enter. Shop owners and chocolate companies probably don't need to work so hard when it comes to selling their goods but I'm always impressed by their attractive displays. I'll take this opportunity to recommend my friend Arturo's favorite chocolatier, Leonidas, proudly serving chocolate since 1913. Whether you have the pleasure of visiting one of the 1400 shops worldwide or ordering via email, finicky chocoholics (an oxymoron?) can choose from: decorative ballotins, butter creams, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, pralines, nougats, cream liquors, truffles, fruit-flavored jellies, Napolitains, Manon blanc/caf├ęs, orangettes, Gianduja and Giantinas, mendiants, marzipan, assorted chocolate bars, confectioneries, chocolate subscriptions/gift cards and party favors. If you're like me, not finicky whatsoever, you'll simply take one of each, thank you very much :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

A rare opportunity presented itself one day last summer when the kids and I were visiting my husband in Brussels: my teenagers didn't roll their eyes, run OR hide when I suggested we spend a day at the zoo! This, on top of being seen with me in public, was too good to be true so... we hit the road before they had a chance to change their mind! By "hit the road" I mean we drove over 30 minutes to Planckendael, a.k.a. The Brussels Zoo. Although The Brussels Zoo isn't technically in Brussels, it's being included in my Colors of Brussels blog. Someone from the legal department at my husband's company informed him that it's not technically a zoo either (excusez-moi, the "real" zoo is in Antwerp). Bottom line is unless you're fortunate enough to see these exotic animals in their natural habitat, where else can you find such beautiful, colorful creatures? Modern day zoos are also an excellent source of information, even for teenagers who think they know everything ;-)

Bongos have striking reddish-brown coats with black & white markings