Picture of the Week

13 December 2019

Week 49: cycling to Jijona and Santa Pola, and walking around Munich

Filed under: — Administrator @ 19:08

It was a week of cycling at the beginning and end of the week, with a 3-day trip to Munich in-between. So there is both blue sky and palm trees and snow in this blog entry. And a lot of other stuff.

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At the beginning of the week, I cycled in the mountains; on the way, along our beach road, I passed this UK government advertisement aimed at its citizens in Spain, embellished by anti-Brexit activists. Sadly, as I write this, the UK election results from yesterday make it clear that the Tories have won and Brexit will happen:
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My destination was Jijona, because I wanted to see the nativity scene. It is the most impressive one of its kind around here, with the life-size figures in a natural setting, including a small waterfall. People often stop to admire it:
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I took some pictures of the figures, battling somewhat with the harsh sunlight and the resulting dark shadows:
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Closer view of the key part:
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The Three Kings:
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The vertical view:
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On Sunday I travelled to Munich where I was going to spend two full days in meetings at the European Patent Office, Monday and Tuesday. I had a long layover in Barcelona, so it was close to 9 p.m. before I had arrived at my hotel in Munich, unpacked, and headed out in search of photos, food and beer. The hotel was in a quiet residential neighbourhood but I noted with satisfaction that there was a traditional Bavarian watering hole just 100 meters down the Lilienstrasse:
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I walked towards the city centre, past Isartor, one of the four medieval gates to Munich:
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As I approached the central area with Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt, I passed these two signs which illustrate very well what kind of city Munich is these days; cosmopolitan and traditional at the same time:
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The City Hall on Marienplatz was beautiful as always, enhanced by the huge Christmas tree:
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The maypole on the adjacent Viktualienmarkt was also decorated for Christmas, but the Christmas market was closed for the day–on Sundays everything closes early:
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I had to be at the EPO at 10 on Monday morning, and since my hotel was only about 1 km away, there was plenty of time for one of my customary early morning walks. But first I had to get past these guardians of the reception (as is obvious from the ambience, I was staying at a small, probably family-owned hotel):
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I usually stay in this neighbourhood when I am in Munich, so I know it well. There is a nice little park along a creek a bit down the street:
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Christmas trees for sale on Mariahilfplatz:
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A makeshift memorial to some young victim of an accident on the wall of the Mariahilfkirche; the graffiti reads “Laura, we miss you”:
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After my walk, I went back to the hotel, changed into suit and tie, and walked to the EPO. It was another pleasant, involving crossing the river Isar on the Corneliusbrücke. In the middle of the bridge there is a kind of balcony, or micro-park, with nice views of the river, some benches and a buste without any plaque or other indication of whom it is honouring:
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Things to do in Munich–“to fuck, to tag and to laugh”:
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This is the EPO’s headquarters on Erhardtstrasse, a rather austere building with a huge, machine-like sculpture outside, fitting for a patent office:
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But I like to use the base of that sculpture for selfies:
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The EPO building is quite nice inside, and it has a genuine rarity, a couple of terracotta warriors, a gift from the Chinese patent office:
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On Monday night the EPO hosted a dinner at a local restaurant. We were about 40 people. The napkins on the tables were in the Christmas mood too:
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Mariagrazia, a senior economist with the OECD, goofing around a bit:
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On Tuesday morning we were starting early, so no morning walk except to walk to the EPO. It was cold and crisp and there was a dusting of snow which someone had used as a canvas for a declaration of love:
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But the EPO building looked nice in the morning sunshine:
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Several hours later, on the way back to the hotel, I enjoyed the view over the river against the early evening sky:
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I had to get up at 5 a.m. the next morning but that did not stop me from walking to Marienplatz to enjoy the Christmas market:
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Glühwein as grandmother made it:
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Cakes and various other sweets:
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I wandered around a bit, looking at the shops–here is an art pop-up store:
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Shopping together; in Munich it is quite common to see dogs with their humans inside department stores like here, or even in bars and restaurants:
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Early Wednesday morning–I am at the Ostbahnhof, waiting for the commuter train to the airport:
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By mistake I had allowed our in-house traval agent to book a window seat for me on the Munich-Barcelona flight (I have a strong preference for aisle seats). But OK, the flight was only 2 hours and there were some nice views of the Alps on the way:
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I was at work on Thursday and did not take any pictures. But Friday was a public holiday (Constitution Day) here in Spain, so I could start the day with a lovely walk along the beach early in the morning, enjoying the waves and the reflections in the wet sand:
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Even the familiar signs on the beach road looked nice, somehow:
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For the first time in several months I decided I wanted a bike ride on relatively flat terrain instead of my usual climbing in the mountains, so I headed south towards Elche and then Santa Pola. I stopped briefly at the beach in Urbanova, near the airport, where the wind was blowing in from the Mediterranean:
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After about 50 km, I stopped for a break in Santa Pola’s fishing harbour. Because it was a holiday and the sea was choppy, all the fishing boats were in the harbour:
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I walked around a bit, looking at the details:
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Vengeance–a somewhat strange name for a fishing boat:
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Santa Pola is an important fishing harbour for our local area, but many of the boats are really small:
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A common decoration on a fishing boat–the children and Santa María del Mar, the protector of fishermen:
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From Santa Pola it is about 30 km to my house, so it was just about getting home at that point. But I could not help stopping to take a couple of photos on the coastal road just north of Santa Pola. The waves were really pounding the rocks:
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And the island of Tabarca was clearly visible in the distance:
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More Munich images can be seen here.

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