Meet the Oracle of Belgium, Cas Goossens. He is handsome, successful, and owns the oldest restaurant in historic Antwerp. And he is only twenty-four. Rooden Hoed, means red roof and it has been in business for over 250 years in this Flemish city. Maybe it was protected by the grand Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp that stands proud as it's neighbor. My favorite moment was sitting in the tall red velvet chair, sipping a glass of wine and looking out the window at the Cathedral. It was adorned with statues of the Freemasons, who built it. Rarely is their a tribute to the workers of such great monuments.
Cas first heard of the Rooden Hoed as a young boy. His grandfather used to talk about dining there and bragged about the mussels cooked in wine. It must have been a grand story to entice Cas to beg for a job waiting on tables. He worked hard at the Rooden Hoed for 8 years and after graduating college, he took it over as the new owner! You might think he earned the right to stand around and greet the guests, but not Cas, he still waits tables. Every night he is pouring the wine and running around the restaurant in love.
Beneath his restaurant is a medieval wine cellar. He told me the story of taking his friend's grandmother down to see it. He calls her "Antwerp Minded," which means she is in love with the city. While down in the old wine cellar which was hand laid in brick, she cried, because she was so moved. He asked if I wanted to see it. "Of course!" I said. We walked down the narrow stairway into the red brick Medieval cellar. The walls had stories stuck on them, love, war, affairs, death, birth, it was all so overwhelming!
Rooden Hoed had romanced me from the beginning, not from the grander, history or the elegance, but rather from a small incident. On the first night in Antwerp while walking through the historic city, I caught my reflection in the window. I had an odd feeling of familiarity, not because I know my own reflection, but it was the surroundings within it. I cupped my hands around my eyes and peered through the window. Inside was three grand chandeliers hanging low, and white table clothes, that gave it great wealth. It looked too expensive to dine in, which initially intimidated me. So, I didn't think anymore about it, unit the next night, when David's boss Susan asked if we could dine there.
I was excited thinking the night was some sort of omen! We entered and Cas greeted us. We were given the best table in the house, one that over looked the Cathedral. The place was buzzing with locals sitting together at long tables, drinking the Belgium beer and eating an entire fish, which appeared to be grilled. I had risotto, wine and a dessert. That night I accidentally left my credit card after paying for dinner. Cas made several calls to hotels in Antwerp to find me and once he had, he left a letter under my hotel room door. It said, that my card was safe with him. When David and I arrived back to our hotel we saw the letter.
It was clear that he was my next Oracle; the one stranger I wanted to meet in each country to change my life. I met him for coffee to learn more about him. "Who was your inspiration in life?" I asked him. "My sister," he answered without pausing. "She is also somewhat of a celebrity on a local radio show." "What is she like?" I asked. "Always positive" he answered.
It was extraordinary that a twenty four year old would be thriving in a Pre 1500s Historic Antwerp, which had it's origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus civilization. We know it goes back this far from the Princeton 1952-1961 excavations in the oldest section near the Scheldt. Here they found pottery shards and fragments of glass from the mid-2nd to 3 century. By the 4th century Antwerp was named "anda" (at) "werpum" (wharf). At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Soon the Merchants wealth was soaring and Antwerp experienced The Golden Age from the 15-16 century. This was the time of the great painters, who lived in the city, like Peter Paul Rubens. And where do think they all dined? :)
Today, Antwerp is a tourist gem. The locals ride their bikes through the city wearing colorful pants, and European scarves. But, when hungry they all stop for dinner at the Grand Cafe de Rooden Hoed for a Flemish meal with Mussels and a Belgium beer. Cas has changed me, I am now "Antwerp Minded." And our next visit promises to reveal more…to see the mysterious underground cellar play my new Video!
My memoir "From Hollywood to God" is now on Amazon and Kindle books!
My first stop was to The World Sound Healing Conference in San Francisco. I wanted to understand the science of frequencies, especially if everything in the universe was vibrating to their own unique song!
I waited in the large conference room to hear Dr. Susan Yale's lecture on the Harmonic Oscillator.
The room went black and three pyramids projected on a movie screen.
"You can hear the sound of "nature" between the Pyramids of Giza," Dr. Yale said, pausing, "it's a perfect F Sharp."
No one moved. She spoke slowly, "If you knew there was a place in the world where you could hear God, would you go?"
I always wanted to sleep on the Nile!"
~ from my Memoir, (click link—"From Hollywood to God" Kelly Granite Enck on Amazon books and Kindle.