Babyfest 2007 Babyfest 2007
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Belgian chocolate

January 29, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 12:57 pm

I went to Ghent, Belgium on Friday and Saturday for a conference – the Belgian Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The conference was interesting on Saturday morning.

Friday evening included a ‘food tour’ of Ghent. The central area of Ghent includes many cathedrals and towers for various sorts. The stories that our guide told about each of the cathedrals and the castle we saw were great. A few of the good ones: the beer brewers were embarrassed because they couldn’t afford a steeple tower on their cathedral, so they lied to the town and said the foundation was weak – so no tower. Turns out they were right (using modern methods to assess), if they’d built their tower, the cathedral would have collapsed. The main castle in Ghent now houses a torture museum and lots of old armor. Be glad you weren’t alive during the middle ages. Eek! In 1949, university students in Ghent were upset about the price of beer increasing, so they stormed the castle, took the single guard hostage, and held a protest. They threw rotten fruit and eggs at passersby, who called the police (who were unable to help). So the local fire department had to come remove the students from the castle. Sadly, the price of beer didn’t get lowered. In between seeing all the towers and the castle, our tour stopped at 4 restaurants and had a course at each. Kind of like a progressive dinner. The first stop was a champagne bar, which had great appetizers and fantastic champagne. They have a hundred kinds of champagne and tend to get it from small champagne houses. Alas, only a sip for me of the champagne, but it was very very good. This of course caught the I attention of my table mates who inquired about my lack of interest in the champagne, which led to a lot of discussion about babies and children. We also ate a course in an old guild hall for boatsmen, great venison steak at a restaurant near the theater, and ended up at a coffee bar-bar-dessert restaurant.

This last stop, Onze, had the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life. Really. Best. Hot cholcolate. Ever. It was a mug of warm, rich milk served with a little dish of rapidly melting chocolate chips. It also came with chocolate mousse and whipped cream. Yum. I think the coffee drinkers were even jealous of how good my hot chocolate looked. We were joined at the last stop by a famous citizen of Ghent, a gentleman in his 70’s who plays American music starting from the late 1800’s until the present. He gave a musical tour of American music, with early church music, ragtime, gospel, jazz, blues, rhythm and blues (the original kind, not the current R&B), and also played some stuff by Paul Simon and Randy Newman. He knows a lot more about US music history than I do. He is a frequent visitor to New Orleans and has played at Preservation Hall.

Overall, a very interesting evening. The Belgians really know how to entertain!

Oh…. The conference… right. That’s the reason I was in Ghent. It was nice and in English, which is very helpful. We spent about 3 hours there. My host gave his talk and then we went sightseeing and chocolate shopping. The chocolate here really is better than anywhere else. So yummy. I hope TinyD will be a chocolate fan and not one of these strange kids who doesn’t like it.

1 Comment »

  1. “Strange kid”… that’s not a very nice way to describe TinyD’s dad.

    Comment by travis — January 29, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

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