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Brussels

Mark Chevremont
Thursday, May 29, 2014

After a good night of sleep, everyone was ready to go and explore Brussels. We had breakfast at our hotel and everyone seemed to be excited that our hotel offered Belgian Waffles. After breakfast, we started with our first of three stops: the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, also known as the Musee Du Cacao Et Du Chocolat. We were able to learn about the history of chocolate, where cocoa beans are harvested, the process of how chocolate is formed from the cocoa bean and of course some samples of chocolate. We were then given a demonstration from a chocolatier on how to create a Belgian Praline and other chocolate flavored molds. After watching him create the Pralines we were able to sample some and everyone wanted to go straight to a chocolate shop and buy some Belgian Chocolate! Unfortunately for them, chocolate would have to wait because we had to go to our next stop: The Atomium.

Brussels-Cocoa-and-Chocolate-Museum

Brussels-Chocolatier

Taking the subway (or as they call it in Europe, “the metro”) we arrived at The Atomium. Once we saw The Atomium we all forgot our desire to go and buy some chocolate. The Atomium is a structure based on the model of a metal crystalline molecule. It was constructed to be the main pavilion for the 1958 World’s Fair hosted by Brussels. It was meant to symbolize faith in prosperity and progress in Belgium. Once completed it became a national symbol for Belgium and is seen as Belgium’s Eiffel Tower. We were also able to learn about architecture in the 1950’s while in The Atomium and how architects controlled everything of the project, even the furniture that went into the building. Eventually people became more specialized and the architects were able to just focus on the design of the buildings. We had to wait to 30 minutes to take the elevator to the top of The Atomium, but the wait was worth it because we were given a beautiful view of Brussels at the top! Coming back down we enjoyed a quick lunch at the foot of The Atomium, and then went off to our last stop for the day: Mini-Europe.

Brussels-The-Atomium

 

Brussels-The-Atomium-View

The Mini-Europe Park is located right next to The Atomium. Mini-Europe is a park where they have scale models of some of the most historic sites around the European Union. We saw Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Seville all in one day! We learned more about the countries and industries that make up the European Union. We wrapped up our day by having a group dinner at a restaurant by the suggestion of our tour guide Paolo.

Brussels-Mini-Europe-Sign-Mark-Chevremont_crop

 

Brussels-Mini-Europe-Mark-Chevremont

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