After Stop #9: Laurent Gerbaud, and having already visited a total of 5 shops AND various tourist attractions in between, I walked back to my hotel and considered calling it a day. However, the tour had progressed more quickly than I had anticipated, and it was still rather early. So, I ate some of the various wares I had accumulated thus far, rested for a few moments, ventured out onto the snow-covered balcony, and did something that has become a kind of tradition when traveling alone – I took a picture of myself with the city as a backdrop.
Ok, so granted, you can’t see all that much of the city. But I know it’s there.
I realized at this point, that I wasn’t tired. I’d slept over 9 hours the night before (stupid jet lag catches up on a gal), so I still had a decent amount of energy. I decided to harness it, and make the trek to the final shop on the list –
Stop #10: Frederic Blondeel.
The walk to Frederic Blondeel was full of the interesting and unexpected; from a giant wooden statue of two mystery animals…
…to a restaurant I thought had gone bankrupt years ago (at which I was also an employee, back in my college days)…
….to not-so-properly-translated-into-English-titled eateries….
….to the truly awesome in every sense of the word – St. Catherine’s Church.
And to think – I didn’t even need to go out of my way to see any of this. As I walked around St. Catherine’s, Frederic Blondeel was right in front of me. It was super cute inside – the décor was mostly earthy , with wooden everything, and splashes of color here and there.
There was even a rather charming seating area off to the left. But the most important thing, and the reason I wandered all this way to begin with was, of course, the chocolates.
And the moment of truth arrived – what do I choose? I’d already been to 9 shops. 9!! At this point, I wanted something unique, but I also really wanted to sample what the shop had to offer. So, I did what anyone would do in this situation – I went for a mixed bag and just started picking what looked at sounded the best.
That white powdery ball was a champagne truffle. And it was fantastic.
And there you have it. 10 shops in 2 days. I came, I saw, I ate Belgian chocolate. I drank Belgian beer. It was snowing. It was freezing. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. :)