Noelanders Experience - Belgium 2012

On Thursday 19th January 2012, a group of 13 persons, members of BCG and their guests, departed from Malta to Eindhoven Airport, Holland to attend teh Noelanders Trophy. From here we transferred by coach to Maastricht where we spent the night.

Maastricht is situated in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, on the Belgian border. On Friday morning, after breakfast, we had a free day in Maastricht. In the afternoon we transferred, again by coach, to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt, Belgium.

On Saturday after a buffet breakfast the group transferred from Hasselt to Heusden Zolder, where we spent all day visiting the 13th Noelanders Trophy International bonsai show. The exhibition was organized in an abandoned coal mining building called Centrum voor Duurzaam Bouwen, Marktplein. We enjoyed ourselves, feasting our eyes on top quality bonsai from all over Europe and watching demonstrations by internationally renowned bonsai masters like Ryan Neil and William Valavanis from the US, Vaclav Novak from the Czech Republic and Jorge Campos from Spain. More than thirty traders from all over Europe made a large bonsai market.At 18.30hrs the group went back to the hotel in Hasselt, where we spent the evening, socializing and discussing the day’s events and bonsai.

On Sunday, we again re-visited the Noelander’s Trophy bonsai exhibition, where again we attended to demonstrations by Ryan Neil and William Valavanis and Mauro Stemberger from Italy. Late in the afternoon we transferred from the show in Heusden- Zolder to Brussels, where we had a free evening. The group decided to go and eat in a very classical restaurant serving fresh mussels, oysters and fish. As dessert we all had the local famous waffle, topped with chocolate and ice-cream. Next morning, Monday 23rd, the group scattered into small groups and walked around the streets. We located the well-known sculpture of the Manneken Pis and took pictures of it. The city is a stronghold of chocolate and every one bought some to take home. At 19.50hrs we flew from Brussels Airport for Malta with AirMalta.