Picture of the Week

2 August 2017

Week 30: Hostal Maruja, Munich, centre of Alicante

Filed under: — Administrator @ 19:53

The week had three parts; first the weekend, where the highlight was a visit to Hostal Maruja with friends. Then the working week, with a quick trip to Munich for a meeting at the European Patent Office; and then a walk in the centre on Friday afternoon, followed by dinner at a friend’s house in the evening, yielding what is probably my favourite image of the week.

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A beautiful thing on a beautiful background, Hostal Maruja. We had gone there with our friends Elio and Assumpta who had never eaten there before:
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The waiter taking our order:
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As usual, we ordered several small dishes to share, starting with ensaladilla rusa:
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Patatas bravas:
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Boquerones fritos (fried anchovies):
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Sardinas a la plancha:
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And a number of other good things from the sea.

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Part of the attraction of Hostal Maruja is the view from the table:
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One can invent stories while waiting for the next dish. For example, I imagined that this woman found her partner wanting and was looking for better options in the magazine:
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And I indulged in informal portraits of our friends. Here, Assumpta quenches her thirst:
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Assumpta’s husband Elio:
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The meal finished with coffee. A common way to drink it here on a hot summer afternoon is to ask for a glass with ice, and just pour the coffee into that glass:
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The next day, Monday morning, I flew to Munich via Barcelona.

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I had a layover of a couple of hours in Barcelona which I spent in the very comfortable lounge. We travel on low-cost airlines, but one little perk the office gives us is a Priority Club membership for those who travel on business at least 8 times a year. The lounge in Barcelona is one of the nicest around, with lots of space, good comfort, proper food, good selection of drinks and snacks, wifi that works properly–and a nice view of the striking architecture of the main terminal:
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Around 3 p.m. I landed in Munich, and made my way to the commuter train to the city. I have no idea who this golden guy is but he certainly stands out from the crowd:
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Sadly, the weather forecast for Munich turned out inaccurate. Instead of the 20-22C with sunshine that had been promised, it was grey and drizzly at times. Still, I enjoyed my walk from the Isartor station to my hotel on Mariahilfplatz (Golden Leaf Altmünchen, highly recommended and inexpensive). On the way, I passed the quentessential Munich signs, promising me hearty food and good beer:
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While I was checking in, and then hanging my clothes for the next day in the closet etc., the weather improved, and while it never got truly sunny, it did stay dry the rest of the day. I left the hotel and took the bus to the centre to walk around there. Right outside the hotel I spotted this lovely young lady, heading somewhere with a megaphone:
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And a few minutes later, by coincidence, this sticker on a road sign:
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I got off the bus at Viktualienmarkt (old food market) to have a beer at the beer garden there:
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One of the nice things about a place like this is that everyone comes here to drink–young, old, families, students, business people (as seems the case here):
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I thought of this man as a real old-timer, with his traditional hat:
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Studying the menu outside the Andechser am Dom restaurant just off Marienplatz, the central square of Munich. This restaurant was also my destination, since I had been invited for dinner there by colleagues from the EPO:
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Tuesday morning, the weather was decidedly uninteresting. But it mattered little, since I was going to spend most of the day inside this building, the headquarters of the European Patent Office. I was there for a meeting of their Scientific Committee, which selects academic research proposals to be supported by a grant from the EPO (and I have been invited to serve on that committee, as our office cooperates closely with the EPO):
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After the meeting (during which we selected 6 interesting proposals that will receive support), I walked around a bit, ducking into covered spaces during the periodic spells of rain. But the sun more or less came out when I was on Pariser Platz. There will be a general election in September, and the campaign is already starting. This is a poster by the Pirate Party, a single-issue party that campaigns for less stringent copyright laws. They will never make the 5% threshold to enter the Bundestag, but they do make an interesting contribution to the debate:
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Then I descended into the bowels of the nearby Ostbahnhof and took the train to the airport for my flight home. Altogether, I was in Munich about 24 hours, but still managed enough photos for a small gallery.

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When I came back to the office on Wednesday, I took delivery of a new lens, an f2/23mm for my Fuji. During the following days, I tested it in my usual way, i.e. just by taking pictures. This is one I took while walking Cheeta Thursday morning:
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And later that day, I went to the centre for lunch, and walked around a bit beforehand. Another lens test subject was this fountain on Plaza de Correos:
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The square has several huge, old ficus trees:
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And those trees provide very useful shade to the bars and restaurants that line the square:
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Urban sight-seeing:
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I stopped by a wall that is dedicated to poetry and wall art:
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But some of the poetry is less than poetic:
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And some of the graffiti is downright nasty, like here (must be supporters of the current US regime):
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In any event, much to my disappointment, I saw that the wall was being covered up. I hope that the artists will reclaim it soon:
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A bit further away there is a lovely little square, a perfect place to have a drink outside, or to just sit and relax on this meandering bench:
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Then Friday arrived, and since it was the last Friday of the month, we had the usual noontime drink at the office:
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Given the quantities of munchies people bring, it is not necessary to have lunch that day:
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Stephanie shows a photo to Bente:
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Tamara shows a photo to Kasia and Charo:
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After work, I cycled up to Busot and was rewarded with this glorious pre-sunset sky:
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Later in the evening, our friends Cani and Nereida hosted an informal, impromptu dinner:
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Nereida’s mother died last year, and her dog now lives with Cani and Nereida:
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And this is Cani’s and Nereida’s own dog. Even though he is big and looks fierce, he is incredibly gentle and playful:
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I then put the camera on the floor and made this portrait, my favourite image of the week:
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