So much chocolate and so little time

We woke up early this morning and decided to watch the Grand Prix. Well to be honest, Maria woke up and decided to watch, we then didn’t have much choice. I don’t think John minded but I could have done without. Breakfast was great, just about anything you could think of up to and including Tarte Citrone, not something I’d associate with breakfast, but very nice.
We then went out to look at the antique market. It’s amazing what people will pay good money for. A group of people waving banners and playing West African music drifted by, adding a bit of colour to the scene.
I was keen to get started on buying chocolate. We started with some macaroons from a place which seems to feel chocolates, biscuits and cakes should be works of art.
We worked our way around the Place de Grand Sablon (the name of this square) looking at and buying chocolates as we went. At one point we met some girl scouts collecting for charity, we’ve always supported the Scouts.
Some of the shops have lovely signs.
We ended up at a patisserie for a quiet sit down and a piece of cake. I think Maria’s might have been bigger than mine, and she was very niggardly about letting me have a taste.
We dropped off the chocolates and decided to have a look at the church at one end of Sablon. It was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and is very gothic. There are some lovely statues outside, I particularly likes this little Madonna and child.
Maria took to this statue of a woman with a child and a handbag. She says she hopes it is a saint ‘cos she’s never seen a saint with a handbag before.
The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Sablon. Apparently in the 15th century a woman named Beatrice had a vision of Our Lady asking her to go to Antwerp and collect a little regarded statue and take it up the river to a small chapel on the Sablon. She put it in a boat and although her husband was too tired to row against the flow the boat floated upstream under it’s own power.
Later the statue is credited with stopping the local outbreak of the plague.It is now paraded round in a big procession every year.
Back to England tomorrow.

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