Picture of the Week

22 April 2013

Week 16: Brussels and Aarhus

Filed under: — Administrator @ 09:03

I was at home in Alicante only one day this past week, Wednesday evening to Thursday afternoon. Before that I was on another business trip to Brussels, and since Thursday I have been on my annual spring visit to Denmark. So out of the 37 pictures here, 18 were taken in Brussels, 18 in Aarhus, my hometown in Denmark, and just one in Alicante.

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Upon arriving in Brussels Monday afternoon and checking into my hotel, I walked to my cousin’s house near Montgomery. On the way, I passed through one of the city’s nicest spots, Parc Cinquantenaire (Jubelpark in Dutch), a park built in 1880 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgium’s independence. This is the overall view as you walk down the middle of the park. Note the couple making out on the grass; spring was in the air:
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Looking down the other way. The park is grand in every way:
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Here, in the capital of the European Union, it is not surprising to see crisis-related graffiti in Greek:
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More surprising was to see Brussels described as the city of love:
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Forgotten umbrella:
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After the stroll through the park, I arrived at my cousin Nicole’s house. Nicole’s father, my French uncle Joseph (about whose life the film La Rafle was made in France in 2010) had come to visit, and I was very pleased to see him:
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Because of travelling in the middle of the day, I had not had lunch, so Nicole gave me a delicious snack of French cheeses:
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We then went for a walk in the neighbourhood. The sun was setting over Parc Cinquantenaire:
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Nicole told me that a bar nearby had Westvleteren, the king of Belgian (and hence the world’s) beer. And yes, she was right. The bar is called Brasserie Mérode:
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Nicole enjoys a Westvleteren. The only real issue was that the bar only had two of the correct Westvleteren glasses, so the rest of us had to use Orval glasses which have more or less the same shape. The shape of the glass is very important in Belgium:
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Back at Nicole’s house, we sat down to dinner. Along with Joseph, my uncle Zvi from Israel and his partner Ela were also visiting, so this turned into a mini family reunion:
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I said goodbye to Nicole and walked back to my hotel. The rest of the trip was about business, and the pictures are either from early mornings or going from the meetings back to the hotel in the evening. I never left the immediate vicinity of the Schuman Circle where most of the EU institutions are located. Here is one snap from a street corner:
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Urban renewal. There seems to be perpetual construction in the EU quarter:
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Morning traffic in the Schuman roundabout:
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Wednesday morning I had a meeting at 9, but I still had time for a quick walk in the morning. This is one of the entrances to the Parc Cinquantenaire, from the Schuman side, with the memorial to the man himself, one of the founding fathers of what became the European Union:
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Urban fauna:
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Looking at Brussels:
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Le Chien / De Hond:
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I arrived home Wednesday evening and found that my daughter, still visiting from Cardiff, had gotten a haircut while I had been in Brussels, quite different from her previous incarnation:
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Thursday afternoon I flew to Billund where my friend Lars picked me up, and we drove the 80 km to Aarhus, where he lives and where I grew up. The next day we were going to do a longer bicycle ride, so in the evening Lars held what the Danes called a “lappefest”, that is, he patched punctured inner tubes from previous rides so that we could have a few with us the next day in case luck were against us:
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Portrait using Lars’s geeky headlight as the main light source:
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Friday morning I went for a walk in the neighbourhood. This strange sign outside a house on Anholtgade in the old part of Aarhus says “Ladies wanted”. There was a phone number too, although the exact purpose of the ladies was not stated. I suspect it was a stag party:
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Friday evening, after cycling 90 km, Lars and I were buying some basics in the supermarket. So was this group of young people, probably students from the nearby large university:
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We were going to do another strenuous bike ride Sunday, so Saturday was devoted to non-biking pursuits. The weather was wonderful:
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We walked to the Aros modern art museum, a fix stop on my itinerary every time I visit Aarhus. There is always an interesting exhibition, and I never get tired of the Rainbow Panorama on the roof:
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View of Aarhus from Aros’s rooftop. In the foreground is the city’s main library. The tall beige building in the distance just left of centre is the Aarhus University library, where my father worked from 1972 until he retired in the late 1980s. I attended that university from 1980 to 1983:
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Couple inside the Rainbow Panorama:
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Same couple. It looks like they are hugging, but in reality they are just posing for a picture using their camera’s self-timer:
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The interior architecture of Aros is just beautiful. I enjoy looking at it, time after time:
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This was the main exhibition we had come to see:
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Concave Figure by Byars:
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Human Figure by Byars:
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Past, Present and Future by Kapoor:
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The above three works were in the featured exhbition. In addition, there was another special exhibition, Director’s Choice, where the longtime director of the museum, Jens Erik Sørensen, has put together some of his own favourites. Here, “My Sense of Your Sense of Language” by Maurizio Nanucci:
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Leaving the Director’s Choice exhibition, one is left in no doubt which way to go…:
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Another Kapoor work, this time on the more conceptual side. A cannon shoots a bucket of soft wax every 1/2 hour to create the shape in the corner over the course of the exhibition:
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On the way home to Lars, we ran into a rally for legalization of marijuana. A perfect end to a very nice long walk:
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More about Aros here, additional pictures from Aarhus and our bike rides can be found on my Picture-A-Day site (this one and the next 6 images).

1 Comment »

  1. Another entertaining set, Nathan. Monica looks terrific. Please pass on my compliments.

    Comment by Geoff Hopkinson — 22 April 2013 @ 12:37

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