Picture of the Week

27 July 2014

Week 28: Rome, Munich, fideua by the pool

Filed under: — Administrator @ 16:08

It was a very busy week. I had to give a talk in Rome on Tuesday morning, so I flew there on Monday and enjoyed a free afternoon and evening there. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, I flew to Munich where I had two days of meetings Wednesday and Thursday, before finally flying home Friday morning. But do not feel sorry for me; especially the free time in Rome was extremely enjoyable, as I avoided the standard tourist spots and instead went to areas that had been recommended by Italian colleagues at the office. In Munich, the weather was mostly awful except for the one day when I had some time to walk around. And finally, the week ended with a pool party which also provided me with good photo opportunities.

I have created a separate Rome gallery here, but below I have included a few pictures that did not fit in there.

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But I start with three of my usual cycling pictures. First, an amusing “for sale” sign. What makes it amusing is of course the ruin to which it seems to refer (in reality, it does not):
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One of my favourite roads, between Buson and Jijona:
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Mountains, clouds and almond trees:
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Cheeta gets ice cream:
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The first picture I took in Rome–I was attracted by the juxtaposition of the man on the poster and the real people:
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Shop dog:
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This is where I was giving the talk on Tuesday morning: Hadrian’s Temple is now mostly used as a conference centre. Quite striking surroundings:
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Checking out a member of the audience:
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I arrived at my hotel in Munich just in time to watch the Germany-Brazil World Cup semifinal in the adjacent restaurant. The hotel is in a residential neighbourhood, so most of the people in the restaurant were not hotel guests but locals, which only added to the ambiance. The fact that Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 only made things more enjoyable:
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All smiles:
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The match long decided, some people turn to other pursuits:
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The next day the other semifinal was played, between the Netherlands and Argentina. This bar put out a sign saying “Who will cry tonight, Messi or Robben?” (referring to the star players of the two teams):
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I did not have much free time in Munich, but of course I had my camera with me while walking from my hotel to the European Patent Office (where my meetings were held):
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A selfie in front of the EPO office:
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Many buildings in many cities have plaques honouring important people who were born or lived in them. This one is more elaborate than most, commemorating Schalom Ben-Chorin, an Israeli writer and religion philosopher who was born in Munich in 1913 (and died 1999 in Jerusalem):
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The main square of Munich, Marienplatz. The column in the middle is called the Mariensäule. It is considered the midpoint of Bavaria, and all distances from other cities to Munich refer to it:
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Old City Hall:
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Statue of a mythical creature called Putto at the foot of the Mariensäule:
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Fountain, Marienplatz:
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Inscription in the gate of City Hall, honouring the American troops which occupied Munich in April 1945:
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Afternoon light, near Marienplatz:
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The setting sun gave me some nice contre-jour opportunities:
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Waiter in Lederhosen, on Marienplatz. It does not get much more traditional than this, but you also pay for the location:
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Tall and narrow:
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Graves in church wall:
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On Saturday we were invited to a birthday party near Benidorm. It was a pool party, with everyone bringing something. The main event, from the food point of view, was the fideua–a local dish similar in concept to paella, but using a special type of pasta instead of rice (see here for more information). The preparation of the dish was, as is usual with this sort of cooking, visually interesting.

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Our Argentine friend Eliot brought an excellent homemade salmorejo, a type of gazpacho from Andalucía:
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First step in the preparation of fideua–fry some crustaceans:
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Adding some more seafood and sofrito:
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A critical step–the caldo, or fish broth, is added:
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Stirring the caldo:
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Once person stirs, the other one adds salt and other seasonings:
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Serious business now. Does it have enough salt? Such a decision is too important for one person to take, so an ad-hoc committee is formed:
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The last step involves adding the noodles and letting them simmer and soak in the caldo for a while. After than, the hungry can be served:
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This is seriously good food:
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Sniffing around for scraps (he was successful elsewhere):
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