Postcards from Bruxelles

I really wanted to vent about Bruxelles, city I didn’t like and could not wait to leave, but in the end I found out I had few nice shots of the capital.

So here’s a selection of the snaps taken by my trusted LX100, dedicated to Fabio.

la-place

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comptoir

 

And b/w
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I went for Bruges, I found Ghent.

I was reading a novel on the plane, there was a love story involved. I knew it would have ended well, so I was keeping reading it to soak in the energy, and get the best of the trip, planned during – I would dare to say – the most uncertain time of my life, my trip to Belgium.

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Bruges when the sun decides to come out

 

Talking about uncertainty, the Belgium weather was the worst frenemy ever. It was like that adorable friend of yours who is also a total jerk. The result is a constant change of light, fear of water getting into my precious camera and a never-ending struggle adjusting the lens for pictures. Yet, there is an adorable part, and it’s called Ghent.

Bruges is a gem, but Ghent is the real deal. Especially at night, the all those beautiful white and brick houses reflects on the canals. So dreamy.

So, in the end, what matters if it rained all day? Those 30 minutes of sun and the evenings were just perfect. A perfect travel love story.

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Ghent 70s

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Sticks and Stones, an intervention

I took some time yesterday to say goodbye to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. No, I’m not planning to move away, but there will be major renovation works soon, so the New National Gallery will be closed from 2015 for several years.  Several years, what an awful news.

Albeit the loss the city will face in terms of contemporary art offer, if you are in the city head there, and just enjoy the wonderful installation designed by British architect David Chipperfield. After the great renovation made at Neues Museum in Museum Island, he worked in the open glass hall of the New National Gallery by displaying 144 impressive tree trunks.

David Chipperfield, Sticks and Stones, intervention, installation view

Official Picture from the Museum website. © Photo: David Becker

I was blessed with a beautiful sunny day and the reflections of the light, the rays trespassing and the shadows produced were stunning. The synergy created between place, materials and light was the highlight of my Sunday. Additionally visitors create beautiful interactions by touching the 8m tall trees, by moving around, by creating new shadows.

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Toddler playing

Toddler playing

The exceptionality of living this open space in such a different way is striking if you are usually used to see it as a blank canvas, with no pillars sustaining its free floating roof. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the space to be widely open, an interaction of granite floors, steel columns and glass. The introduction of wood on the granite, literally stick and stones, adds new meanings to the space itself: it gives a natural support to the roof, that for all this years; it gives also a sense of closure, anticipating the structural works the museum is about to undergo. An English nursery rhyme says “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I saw this installation also as a wish, to avoid cracking the soul of the New National Gallery with the upcoming works.

Sony Center in the background

Sony Center in the background

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The exhibition continues downstairs until December 31st, if you have no money to pay the ticket just go there and enjoy the forest in the hall, it is for free and really worth a visit.

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P.S.: as you may see the pictures were taken with a mobile phone. I had no power to control light and sharpness. At the end, I quite like the rough result this time.

 

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Canal Saint-Martin, Paris

Mais oui Paris! Mais oui Canal Saint-Martin! Un de meilleur et unique lieu unique de Paris, j’ai laissé mon coeur dans le canal là.

As a convinced Kreuzbergerin I love open spaces with a quiet canal where to hang out in peace with a bunch of peeps, sipping a beer and soaking in sun and conversations. It is the ideal place for a spontaneous picnic too!

peeps along canal

Canal Saint-Martin is an exclusive place to find a piece of Berlin vibes in Paris, plus a bit of extravagant chich style in the area surrounding, full of graffitis, cool restaurants, bars and stunning ‘800s-styled buildings.

What a difference makes a place like this. As Berlin-centred I think of Kreuzberg, but now that I think more of it, if you are a Londoner you can relate there with Regent’s Canal in Camden or the lovely Angel area. It is indeed a good living, especially on a sunny day.

Talking about geography, you can easily find this area between Republique and the beginning of La Villette. It’s a super easy walk from train station Gare de l’Est and it’s beyond well connected.

Directions

Why not visiting the next time you are in time?

… Just don’t forget to invite me, I’ll bring some red whine, cheese and crackers with me.

Please click here to see more pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157642967485263/

 

FIND MY SHORT GUIDE: PARIS IN 1 WEEKEND WHAT TO DO HERE!

Strangers

I now admit the fact that, whenever possible, I take pictures of strangers. Is it weirdo-material? Maybeeeee.

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Or maybe not, let’s say I am just an enthusiast of all I had/have around. But please, promise me that if I turn my blog in a cats and dogs sanctuary you are going to call somebody very competent to cure me.

This is a little collection (click here!) of people, faces, actions I saw in Hong Kong and Macau back in May. Enjoy.

And remember that “people are strange when you’re a stranger

P.S. The freak in white skin is me…

HK – take four

There was a song about Aberdeen, right?

I don’t remember the melody, nor the lyrics, but someone sang about that Scottish city, up there in the green. Before HK I didn’t even know there was also Aberdeen down there, to be honest. But it’s just at the other side of the island, one bus, a tropical forest in the middle, you’ll find it.

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Places of interest? Not so many, especially during monsoon.

Tourist stuff? Dunno, There is an aqua park, but in Summer.

Remarkable things to see? Nope, at least not in my knowledge. A science centre, maybe? I saw some traffic signals. But we saw a very big cemetery.

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Are you asking yourself why on Earth I went there?

Because so.

Because why not.

Because from the moment I got off the bus, I, a very white gal, realised I was the only white one among locals. It’s an incredible, beautiful, humble feeling.

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Tin Hau Temple

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Because I had an authentic Chinese food in a tipsy-wipsy smelling damn good tavern; everything tasted so bloody good and I could enjoy also a local soap opera on tv with all the people there. They were extremely kind with us, non-speaking hungry aliens. It was a great communion of sharing.

chinese food(sorry, I don’t take pictures before eating, I usually just eat and then remember to take it)

Impressive experience, just 30 minutes away from HK financial centre.

P.S. my travel guide smelled of fry for weeks.