Picture of the Week

6 February 2019

Week 05: quick trip to Brussels, then Friday at the office

Filed under: — Administrator @ 22:53

Most of this week’s images are related to my job, but in very different ways. In the early part of the week I had a quick trip to Brussels for a meeting at the European Commission on Tuesday afternoon. Once back in the office, we had the “last-Friday-of-the-month” noontime drink, except that we did on the first Friday of February instead becase our office had arranged a charity run on the last Friday of January.

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But as usual, I started the week on two wheels in the mountains. While taking a break on this little square in Jijona, I photographed my bike leaning against a mural of the town as it looked 100 years ago:
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There is a plaque commemorating “those who fought for liberty and democracy” during the Civil War, i.e. the republican side:
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The streets in Jijona are steep, so it takes some energy just to walk to buy the newspaper:
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On the way home, a pastoral scene in El Campello, depicting the mix of modernity and tradition here:
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Later, a walk along the beach in El Campello. A man in good company:
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On Tuesday morning I flew to Brussels, departing at an ungodly hour, but still enjoying the familiar sights of Brussels airport, such as Tintin’s moon rocket in the main hall:
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This bar I had not noticed before, but it is quite striking:
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My colleague and I descended to the train station under the airport to take the train to Schuman, the heart of the EU quarter. I used a graffiti-covered train car for a selfie of sorts:
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Twenty minutes later, we were at Schuman, walking along the Berlaymont (headquarters of the EU Commission) to our hotel:
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Around Berlaymont are various buildings housing other parts of the Commission, such as DG TRADE, where I often stop to photograph the statues on the wall:
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We had enough time to check into our hotel and have lunch before the meeting started at 2 p.m. We went to Kitty O’Shea’s for lunch, a place where I go for a beer or two every time I am in town (because it is a nice place and always a short walk from whichever hotel I am staying in). However, this was the first time I have ever eaten there (it was good). Kitty’s is the kind of bar where the TV is tuned to news and current affairs channels rather than entertainment or sport:
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After our meeting, we took the metro to the centre and walked around a bit. This is Boulevard Anspach, an important thoroughfare in the centre which has recently been made pedestrian:
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All this walking made me thirsty, so I guided us to my favourite bar in the centre, Poechenellekelder, just across from the Mannekin Pis. The beer menu is one of the reasons I like this place:
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Poechenellekelder is often crowded, unsurprisingly:
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Having fortified ourselves with a couple of beers, we walked on. Finding Grand’ Place is not difficult, given the height of the tower at Brussels city hall:
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One of the many small streets leading to Grand’ Place:
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The square in all its splendour:
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This restaurant was our goal:
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It is a Brussels favourite, serving traditional Belgian food such as stoemp or waterzooi. I have been going there since I first moved to Brussels in 1995 and have continued to visit regularly after moving away in 2000. The place looks the same as it did when I first set foot there more then 20 years ago:
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On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Kitty O’Shea’s for a nightcap:
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I woke up early on Wednesday morning and went for a brief walk around the hotel. As predicted in the weather forecast the day before, light snow was falling:
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I love taking city photographs in weather like this:
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Later in the morning, we made our way to the Schuman station to take the train to the airport. There was little bit of snow in front of Berlaymont:
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The last photo in Brussels this time around. There was enough winter weather for the plane to need de-icing and there was another 20-minute delay while the runway was being cleared:
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Then Friday arrived and it was time for our drink at the office (and good munchies as well). I have recently decided to use my 11-year old Leica M8 more often, and it is perfectly suited for this type of photography. So all the images from the Friday event are shot with that camera, and a 50-year old Summilux 50mm lens. Claire and Stephanie:
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Carolina and Jesús:
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Pouring the wine:
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Franciska has caught me in the act:
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Our Polish secretary Kasia, enjoying herself:
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Blanca, in a good mood too:
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Stephanie wants wine!
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Nino in good company:
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Two Greek ladies in serious conversation:
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Stephanie explains to Massimo the joys of salchichón with trufles:
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Finally, a sequence of three images of a Greek lady trying a Finnish liquorice liqueur called Koskenkorva Salmiakki. First, pouring:
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Tasting:
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Reacting. It is safe to say that Koskenkorva is an acquired taste:
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I finish with yet another pre-dawn picture from my neighbourhood, but not from the beach. This is our local fish shop, getting ready to open, around 7:45 in the morning. I am strangely fascinated by this place:
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