Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Europe Trivia : Belgium

Did you know...





I like Belgium - it boasts hundreds of different beers (all delicious), is renowned for its bakeries, chips (frites) and, best of all, chocolate! I am seriously considering moving there...


I have heard that the world's largest selling point for chocolate is Brussels National Airport, and that Belgium produces bewtween 172,000 to 220,000 tonnes of chocolate a year. Heaven!


I found some statistics on the internet that show that Belgians have one of the lowest proportions per inhabitant of McDonald's restaurants in the developed world - seven less times less than the USA, four times less than Japan, three times less than the U.K. and twice less than France or Germany - Make of that what you will!



But the Belgians don't just do food - they are also enlightened thinkers, being the world's first country to ban cluster bombs, with the highest proportion of female ministers and one of the earliest to have a female parliamentarian. They take education and government seriously too - having compulsory education to the age of 18 and compulsory (and enforced!) voting in their elections.


But they are not all serious by any means; Belgium has more comic-makers per square kilometer than any country in the world, even Japan. It also boasts more castles per square mile than anywhere else.



And the Belgians are stylish too - Victor Horta's wonderful Art Nouveau designs still stand the test of time and look as beautiful today as they did when built.









Finally, did you know that a Belgian, Adolphe Sax, invented the Saxophone, in 1841 (going on to patent it in 1846) , or that Audrey Hepburn was born, Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston, in Brussels, or that Spa is a city in Belgium from which all "spas" take their name ?


So, now you know more about Belgium - it's well worth a visit, isn't it?

3 comments:

Cat said...

Where do I sign on for the bus tour? :-D I hope the chocolate is complimentary ....

Mary V said...

A most enjoyable read!
Mary V. xxx

Kitschen Pink said...

love that twirly twiddly clock! t.x