Loving Cocoa the Belgian Way
The main highlight of Brussels is undoubtedly its Grand Place, surrounded by its exquisite Gothic and Baroque town hall and guild halls. So while you work up an appetite swooning over the ornamentation and elegance of this space, it’s only fitting that the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate is just steps away beside the Hotel de Ville. Sure, Belgium may be the capital of Europe, waffles, and sprouts? But lucky for us, it’s also the capital of chocolate. Who knew. To find out, we step inside what is considered to be the best chocolate museum in the world to find out. Belgians consume chocolate like it’s the last truffle on Earth. And why wouldn’t you when the quality and tradition is so fabulous. The Chocolate Museum brings this to life, both in your hands and on your tongue. You learn how to make chocolate and taste the very freshest of this delicacy. It truly is a passion. In fact, the praline was introduced in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert only a few blocks away in 1912. So when you are in the Grand Place, savor the wafting scent of melting cocoa, sample the indefinite varieties, and learn the cultural significance of chocolate to this city, country, and its people.
Where to Watch
Only five kilometers in, the teams will enter the neighborhood of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, the home of legendary Eddy Merckx. The pace will be fast, but the crowd passionate about the sport that made their native son a hero.
Twelve kilometers into the stage, the teams enter the Plaine de Jeux park. With the Villa Empain overlooking this green space, the riders will embark on a tiny but steep incline half a kilometer long, but maxing out at 10.6%, making thi a picturesque place to see the pros tackle pint-sized climb on the TTT.
Just before each team turns onto the final several hundred meters, they will enter a circle, forcing them to slow ever so slightly. And with all the sights nearby, from the Atomium and the rest of the World’s Fair to the Royal Greenhouses, there’s plenty to see and do.