My, my. Could a connotation to a food product be more flattering and mollifying than the one attributed to chocolate? It is a scientifically corroborated happy-maker! Endorphins – hormones produced by the human brain – make you see the bright side of life even on a grey November day. Heaven knows what else is triggered by the miraculous components chocolate evidently contains. Speculations are manyfold. Hips and pouch? Rumour! Just succumb to the temptation! Chocolate also works wonders as an antidote, should a guilty conscience creep up after unbridled indulgence. It is a virtuous circle indeed. Chocolate, respectively the use of cocoa beans, looks back on a history of nearly 4000 years. It has been a long way from the heaven-sent bitter drink Maya and Aztec civilisations consumed, to the solid sweet treat of our day. The Chocolate Museum of Bruges in Belgium unravels die development of the mysterious substance and its long voyage from Central America to far-away Europe.Reading time: about 3 minutes
Hergé: Master of the Comic Strip
Georges Prosper Remi – born in Etterbeek/Brussels on May 22nd of 1907 – became a renowned cartoonist who chose to sign his drawings with the pseudonym Hergé (RG), standing for his initials read backwards. The adventures of his tireless heroes Tintin and Snowy were first published in 1929 – and nothing could halt their ascent or their lasting worldwide success. Their exciting adventures were translated into numerous languages and devoured by hundreds of millions of readers – notwithstanding their age. The constant flow of Hergé’s inspiration sprang from the reality situations of everday’s life, a reliable source likely never to run dry. Before founding his Studios Hergé, the productive artist accomplished the challenge of his unique creative mission as a solitary fighter for more than two decades. Georges Remi died in 1983. The artist’s legacy comprises a wealth of works of impressive diversity in its distinctive unequivocal style. It is displayed at the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve near Brussels in the Belgian region of Walloon Brabant. Read articleReading time: about 2 minutes
Renowned architects have made them their individual masterpiece and often theatres and opera houses are named after their talented creators. Art and culture lovers not seldom go to great lengths to visit these awe-inspiring edifices and to inspect every detail of their often sumptuous and lavishly decorated interior. At best, admirers become part of a sublime performance. Even a trip halfway around the world does not seem to deter the truly addicted.
Embarking on a journey of theatre-sightseeing based on a pre-selection of venues is a possibility provided by The European Route of Historic Theatres: 8 routes including 22 countries have been compiled not merely to facilitate users’ choice but also to support better planning, help deepen the experience and to promote the around 120 member venues. In Europe alone, a vast number of formidable treasures are waiting to be lifted. Each route combines about twelve theatres and offers a pleasant journey taking roughly a week.Reading time: about 3 minutes
What are the sounds usually associated with a city? The irritating ones issued from cars hooting, tyres screeching, trams rumbling, from air-conditioning units humming relentlessly? From ambulances swishing by with sirens amplified by the Doppler effect that hurts our eardrums and sets our minds on alert? When embarking on a trip to a busy metropolis, an undistinguishable concoction of man-made noise will have to be tolerated as an inevitable part of the package. Positive connotations are asking for more pleasant experiences, though.
Conquering an urban jungle by mapping it out via the typical sounds it exudes, is an idea temporarily put into practice in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam during an “ambient marketing” campaign: from interactive audio billboards, the “Sounds of the City” could be tapped by means of a personal headphone plugged into jacks directly embedded in the “neighbourhoods” of choice.
Diversity Tourism: Reisen im Zeichen des Regenbogens
Vom anderen Ufer rollt – nur scheinbar urplötzlich – eine kraftvolle menschliche Welle heran. Weil lange ignoriert und immer noch stigmatisiert, wird ihr wahres Potenzial dramatisch verkannt: Bis zu zehn Prozent der Weltbevölkerung sollen homosexuell sein oder LGBTI angehören. In Realität sind die Zahlen aus nachvollziehbaren Gründen unmessbar und auch ehrgeizige stochastische Akrobatik kann nur an ihnen scheitern. Es bleibt ein Segen, dass zivilisierte Länder auf ihren offiziellen Formularen auf die Rubrik “Sexuelle Veranlagung” verzichten. Gemäß Statistik von ILGA wird Homosexualität weltweit noch in etwa 80 Staaten und Territorien strafrechtlich verfolgt. Die Palette variiert von einem Monat Gefängnis bis zur Todesstrafe.Reading time: about 14 minutes