Picture of the Week

6 October 2015

Week 42: Rojales, Brussels and Tales from Lemuria

Filed under: — Administrator @ 05:54

At the beginning and end of this week I did some nice cycling, and in the middle of the week I went back to Brussels for the first time since June–my trips there are for work, so in July and August there were none. I also saw some interesting photography.

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On the Sunday beginning the week I did a long (115 km) but easy bike ride to a town called Rojales. The only real climb on this ride is the last bit to climb up to a place called Cuevas de Rodeo, a bunch of man-made caves on a hill overlooking the town. Most of the caves are used as ateliers by local artists, and the surrounding landscape is “littered” with their works. I have been there a couple of times before, but I wanted to go back for another look. The sky was particularly nice, with threatening clouds (but it stayed dry):
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Piano under the trees:
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Bike and umbrella:
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Umbrella and cloud:
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The path to the caves:
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An artist lives here:
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On the way back from Rojales, I cycled through Santa Pola and continued north on a beautiful coastal road. It is especially nice now in the autumn; it is still nice, warm and sunny but there are fewer cars to slow me down:
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These are the kind of views I enjoy from that road. The island of Tabarca is visible in the distance:
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A weekly blog is not complete without a cat picture. This one taken during an early morning dog walk when it was still dark:
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Tuesday morning I flew to Brussels, arriving around lunchtime. Brussels airport has recently been remodelled and is now much, much nicer than it was when I lived there in the 1990s:
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The Belgians take their comics seriously, and the airport is decorated with Tintin-related artefacts such as this rocket from the Destination Moon book:
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I made my way to the EU quarter, checked into my hotel, and quickly walked to the European Parliament. I had read that morning that there was a free vegetarian lunch to be had there, courtesy several sustainable food and animal welfare groups. And I had a couple of hours before my first meeting at 4:30 p.m. I first stopped to take a few snaps of the architecture, which I find attractive and impressive:
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The main esplanade around which the Parliament buildings are located is named after the Polish trade union Solidarity, one of the key forces bringing down Communism in 1989:
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The freedom theme is further underlined at Sakharov Square:
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The square honours the recipients of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded each year since 1988 by the European Parliament (the prize was established in 1988, with Nelson Mandela the first laureate):
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The view of the esplanade with the veggie food pushers’ stands:
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By the time I got there, most of the food was gone, but the activists were still there:
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These giant pots had been used to prepare truly industrial quantities of a delicious vegetable stew (yes, I did get a bowl of that). I am glad I did not have to do the dishes:
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This nice lady was one of the organisers; she made sure I got some food, and we had a long chat about my vegan daughter and other subjects:
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She also took a snap of me with my phone so I could post it on Facebook right away:
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I walked around some more. The square next to the Parliament is Place du Luxembourg, a lovely cobblestoned place surrounded by many bars and restaurants. Given its proximity to the Parliament it is often used for manifestations of various types; today, some Iranian human rights activists were protesting against (I think) the tentative rapprochement with Iran currently taking place:
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As usual when walking around, I was always on the lookout for interesting wall art. Here, near Rue de la Loi:
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Flower power, near our office on Rue de la Loi:
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In the evening, I walked through the Parc Cinquantenaire to my cousin’s house to have dinner with her. The park was getting ready to host the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of Germany’s re-unification, which were going to be held on Thursday evening:
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On Wednesday morning, I walked from my hotel to the hotel where I was going to spend the entire day in meetings. Along the way, I enjoyed the good weather and the EU buildings illuminated by the low sun:
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This is either a cliché or a classic shot, depending on your point of view. The flags in front of Berlaymont are the backdrop for countless TV news stories from Brussels:
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I always look at and often photograph these statues outside one of the Commission buildings. This morning they looked particularly nice thanks to the rising sun:
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Just before going into the meeting room, a snap of what appears to be a transplanted Zurich cow in the lobby of the EU Thon hotel:
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I flew home on a 6:25 a.m. flight Thursday morning and went straight to the office. No more pictures that day or Friday, but on Saturday I was back on my bicycle in “my” mountain playground. This is the road from Aigües to Relleu:
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Almond tree:
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The town of Relleu is nestled in the mountains. The weather was cloudy on this day, a nice change from the usual harsh sunshine:
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I have often stopped to photograph this rock face, but usually the image is marred by large areas of black shadow. Thanks to the soft light during this ride, the result is more pleasing:
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Finally, on Saturday night I went to the Centro Cultural in nearby El Campello to have a look at a photography exhibition by Mitar Terzic, called “Tales from Lemuria”. He works in black & white film to create fantasy scenes and stories. I found his work beautiful and compelling:
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Terzik explains his work:
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My friends Christophe and Philippa had told me about this exhibition:
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Before leaving, I asked Terzik to pose in front of one of his images:
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