Category: UAE


I met Jean Galler, The King’s Chocolatier, at his office in Liège, Belgium and was immediately enamored with his charm and style. And that was before I’d tasted the chocolate of Galler Chocolatier!

Jean Galler proudly introduces us to his finest chocolates

Galler emits passion and excitement in his every word, movement and action. He is without question the most elegant and sophisticated chocolatier on the planet and there was no doubt that he would deliver that passion and elegance in his chocolate creations. We were not disappointed. Galler’s chocolate is complex and multi-faceted. He has something to please everyone with a discerning taste for fine chocolate. He is all about freedom to choose. So from Galler, you can expect a wide variety of chocolates to please virtually any palate.

Galler has been making chocolate since 1976 and in 1993, was the first of Belgium’s chocolatiers to launch a 70% cocoa chocolate in which he found the perfect blend between bitterness and sweetness. In 2008, he launched a series of four blended chocolates. “It is a very similar technique to blending grape varietals for wine such as Bordeaux,” says Galler, whose passion for chocolate focuses on the finest quality.

“Today’s reality is that the consumer wants excellent quality but a small quantity.” So Galler launched a series of mini gourmet chocolate bars that have become extremely popular. He also has a series of products for children.

Jean Galler's playful side shows us his children's line of fine chocolate products

What does chocolate symbolize to the man who makes chocolate for the King of Belgium? “For me, chocolate is freedom. So in the box, I put freedom to choose and to change.” Galler Pure Cocoa has more than 40 chocolate shops around the world, including the Grand Place in Brussels and eight shops in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In 2008, Galler launched Chocolat-passion, a wine-matching concept in which he employs a sommelier at each of his second-generation shops to help customers purchase just the right wine to enjoy with their chocolate purchases. You will find 32 wines from 22 different countries at Galler’s Chocolat-passion locations, in addition to multi media all about chocolate. What could be sweeter?

Galler also had a tea matching service for his chocolate creations at his Chocolat-Thé locations, at which you can enjoy any of 30 different teas in the traditional way with your Galler chocolates. And a new, third concept for chocolate appreciation can be found at his signature, Liège location. Visit the Chocolat Bar for a chocolate experience you will never forget.

Liège is a short drive from Brussels and is also accessible by train. They have an impressive new train station that I’m told took 13 years to build! The city itself is an industrial hub and more of a place to visit rather than stay.

When you are in Belgium, be sure to visit more than one of Galler’s locations and experience the extent of his creativity and ingenuity. And enjoy the elegant and exotic nature of his chocolates. You will never forget them, just as I will never forget meeting Monsieur Galler.

For those of us on this side of the pond here in North America, Happy National Chocolate Day on October 28th! I’m sure we’ll all be celebrating with a great piece (or two!) of fine chocolate. And as it’s also Champagne Day, you might like to enjoy some champagne with your chocolate!

Please join us back here the week of Nov 7th for our next post.

Have you ever been kissed by a camel? Well, I have. And let me tell you … those lips are big!

We were enroute from the busyness of Dubai to Al Ain, an Oasis city of green in the otherwise camel-coloured desert of the United Arab Emirates (UAE,) a Middle Eastern country just east of Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf. I was fortunate to have flown Pearl (business class) to the UAE from Toronto on Etihad Airlines, based out of the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi. Etihad provided impeccable service and was an absolutely wonderful introduction to my first experience in the Middle East.

The UAE was the farthest from my home in North America that I’d ever been – physically, and culturally. Here, you’re quite likely to see camels off in the distance, just as we see deer and antelope scattered about the countryside in Canada. And we did!

But then … all of a sudden … we saw a few camels close enough to get excited about! They were no longer just dots in my camera’s viewfinder. For a moment, the otherwise conservative natured, John, became a completely four-wheeling free spirit – despite the fact that we were in a Honda Civic – and left the safety of the pavement, making a short cross-country (or should I say “cross-desert”?) trek over the sand and onto a smaller road, where we could get close to the camels. (snip)

Welcome to Travel Diversion with Doreen, my new travel blog. Many of you will have already visited my other blog, http://doreenisthewizardofwords.blogspot.com

which I started in February, 2009 and for which I have now completed 100 posts. It’s time to celebrate, and to separate the milk from the curds (or in this case, take the travel posts and put them in a stand-alone blog.) The Blogger blog will continue to exist and be the resting place for my musings on the writing life and other lifestyle-related posts. I will post there during the first full week of every month and the third week of every month.

I will post travel news, thoughts, pictures and articles here during the second and fourth weeks of every month. It may take me awhile to master the art of WordPress, as I’ve spent the last 18 months learning Blogger — and I’m no techie. But I’ll try, and hopefully make this an attractive and interesting place for you to be amused or enlightened with my travel diversions.

Please visit my website at the link below to read how my date with the camel turned out …

http://www.wizardofwords.net/Camel.html

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