Friday, July 31, 2009

BELGIUM's NATIONAL DAY

The National Day in Belgium is on the 21st of July. It all started with the speach of our king at TV.

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I took the pictures on our TV, except the last one.

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King Albert II and Queen Paola watching the parade (photo from Internet, I wasn't allowed to get that close !)

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The Queen widow had gotten a threatening letter to kill her and with a lot of humour she appeared with an apple to throw it at the killers head ! Beside her are the crown prince Philip and his wife Mathilde.

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There were a lot of people in the streets having fun already early afternoon. The parade was foreseen around 4 pm.

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families dressed in the national colors

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people sitting there for hours to see the Royal Family

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Music, fun and dancing

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You could buy a crown and visit the police who showed their latest equipment

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In the city park people had their pic nic, there were lots of food stands too.

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military, fire department and civil defense showed and explained.

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and the tribunes for the royal family (in red) and the politicians were especially protected this year, since there had been an attack on the Royal Family in the Netherlands.

and here are two little videos just to show you the athmosphere in the streets !

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A CRUISE AROUND THE GARDA LAKE

The last time I had taken the ferry boat from the very south of the Garda Lake to the north, was 36 years ago ! This time I took the opportunity to take it again, from Garda to Torbole where we stayed.

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The plan of my "cruise"

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My boat. It also takes cars

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Arriving in Garda I had two hours to walk in the little city before I could take the boat back

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Little streets the shops just started to open, it was around before 10 am

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A view from the port

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I walked along the lake

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A memorial for all those who died in the lake.

Then I took my boat back.

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Tori was the first stop

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Then came Casteletto

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Brenzone

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and to my big surprise without knowing it, I had taken a picture from the hotel I stayed with my parents in 1963 when I was 20 ! Long time ago, but nice souvenirs. It had been the first time I was in Italy, in Malcesine

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The port of Malcesine

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and its castle. Malcesine is also called "The Pearl of the Garda Lake"

On the other side of the Lake we stopped in

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Limone, sticked to the mountains like a nest

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and finally I arrived in Torbole, my final destination, where we spent our holidays

If you don't get sea sick, you can do this little cruise with me.

More about the Garda Lake is here in my post 3 years ago.

Monday, July 06, 2009

VENICE WITH MY EYES

I think that everybody in our civilized world has at least heard about Venice in Italy and its incredible beauty. I won't bother you with history which you can read in the above link and I won't show you either the photos of Venice you usualy see in all books, my intention is to show you how I saw Venice.

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Once the car parked on the 8th floor I had a wonderful view over Venice

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no cars are allowed in the center of Venice and even if it would be there is no space for a car, so everything is done by boat.

The "bus" boat took us to the Piazza San Marco (St. Marks square) , which is the most famous one in Venice.

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on the way to the place

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As you can see everything which would be transported by truck in a "normal" city, here boats are used.

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A "Gondoliere" and behind a boat loaded with parcels.

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some cement is needed somewhere

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a little chat

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A Gondola, but a very simple one

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A parking

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small canals

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here you see a simple Gondola, which is less expensive. The once with beautiful decorations ask you at least 30 € per person !

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Not only people on holidays, others have to work

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Don't know what kind of boat this was

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building materials

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boat parkings

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taxis besides the bridge

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The Piazza San Marco full of tourists. Here you can pay up to 15 € for one cup of coffee !

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Lots and lots of tourists from all over the world

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I just took this beautiful fresco over the entrance of the St. Mark's Basilica. I didn't go inside, my son did, I had seen it already.

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and here you should see "The Leads” which was the famous prison attached to the Doge's palace, across the Bridge of Sighs, named for the thick lead plates on the roof. In here Casanova was sentenced to five years in the “unescapable” prison. Unfortunately besides the bridge you couldn't see anything else. The whole building was covered by an advertising from "Sisley" !

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I found it a real pity, but apparently this company pays for the renovation of the palace. Venice needs a lot of money to keep all these historical monuments in a good shape.

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there were lots of other companies who did the same.

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little canals leading through the city

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In a little side street we found a nice place to have a drink

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That's also Venice

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A bank

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I didn't take pictures of us and the pigeons on the Piazza San Marco, I prefered a smaller place and this little man.

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A carnival outfit and masks

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We ate in this little restaurant, where the food was excellent and not expensive at all (13 €) for a whole menu. There are lots of them in the little side streets.

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Souvenir shops

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and then we took the "bus" boat back to our parking. My son lines up for the ticket (the tallest one)

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and we left Venice

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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