Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT HURGHADA - Red sea Egypt

Dec 11, 2012

Since 2007 between end November beginning December I am spending 2 weeks in Hurghada, Egypt at the Red Sea. It had been long ago a little fisher town, until since the 1980s some clever investors discovered that this would be an ideal place for the sun hungry Europeans !



The weather is very warm. Daily temperature hovers round 30°C (86 F) most of the year. The sea is of a limpid blue and warm, Holiday villages and hotels provide aquatic sport facilities for sailboarders, yachtsmen, scuba divers and snorkelers. It's a real paradise for holidays of all kinds.

Very luxurious palace like hotels were built and lots of others there is a huge choice.



The city center looks very nice especially when it is dark with all the lights, the open shops and people enjoying sitting outside in the warm evening. During the day you see things which are not so good, need to be repaired or just look neglected. All this is gone when it's getting dark.



For more posh people there is the habor called "Marine" where huge yachts are ankered and you can walk through marble covered shopping galleries beautifully decorated. There are also lots of elegant restaurants and bars along the seafront. There it is so clean that you could almost eat from the floor.


photo taken at night


and one from Internet

I had never seen the mosque Aldahaar Mosqueit which was only finished 2 years ago. It can contain 3000 people that's at least what our taxi driver told us, although I doubt that it will ever be filled up ! But lots of tourists are visiting it, apparently it is very beautiful from inside.



Everywhere when it's possible to grow something there are also nice sculptures




New houses are built, everywhere too, those which are finished have all a satellite dish on the roof.



It is very hard to build something in this rocky soil, before there was nothing here but the desert.






but new buildings are growing like mushrooms



While we were driven to the airport I could take pictures of streets and houses, where usually no tourists go. These are middle class houses or flats I suppose.



The narrow streets are full with shops or workshops of all kind





People seem to be quiet happy here in this area, thanks to the tourisme, there is enough food for everybody and the actual political fights in Cairo seem very far away. They are also very friendly and not hostile against strangers. At least I have never heard of any bad incident.



Official buildings are very well taken care of and look very good, to western standards.



There is also western publicity, western movies and I haven't seen one single picture of the new president Morsi. In my opinion he is not very much appreciated in this area. People fear for their freedom. I talked to a few Egyptians and had this impression.



Approaching the airport I saw this monument



We also drove by a military zone, which was partly nicely hidden by this beautiful wall sculptered painting.




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BRUSSELS - The Ommegang

 Each year in July a very important and really spectacular show takes places in the center of Brussels :
 "The Ommegang" which litterally means " "walking around"! It remains the oldest historical ceremony of the immaterial inheritance of Brussels and gives you breathtaking folklore, magic and animations.

More than 1400 performers help to relive a history (1549, the procession of Charles Quint)

A whole medieval village was created at Place du Grand Sablon, and I went there in the afternoon to see the Knights combating on foot and horses, and falconry.

In the evening you could see the reconstitution of that memorable day of 2nd June 1549, when Charles Quint arrived.



The Grand'Place in the afternoon, when the tribunes were put up



on both sides of the place, there was also a place for the Royal family, but only the Queen widow Fabiaola attended the show this year.



The afternoon started well with this huge beer barrel



The Place Sablon was covered with sand for the horse show and the knights fights



They prepare and dress in this heavy armors



In case a horseshoe is not fitting or missing





Not so easy to wear !





Some chats before the start



and here we go !







You will loose !



He lost !

Then started the horse show



They were dressed in these old costumes



arriving














and walk around the whole place




The start


and go !

In the evening on the Grand'Place was then the historical reconstitution.



I choose some pictures I found on Internet, just to show you how it looked like

and this is a video which really shows you how very special the Ommegang is.
                               











Tuesday, October 02, 2012

BRUSSELS - THE "ROUGE CLOÎTRE"

There are so many forests and parks in and around Brussels, that I think in the 53 years I am living here I haven't seen them all ! This time I wanted to rediscover the Abbaye du Rouge-Cloître. It is an Augustinian abbey in Auderghem, one of the 19 municipalities of Brussels located on the edge of the Forêt de Soignes (Sonian Forest). It was founded in 1367.



Above you can see how it looked when it was still occupied by the monks. Below an air view how it looks today, and as I remember it when I had been there the last time in the 70th ! There was still a hotel restaurant. Today this part has become an Art center.

Everything, from its buildings to ponds, takes you to the past: the enclosure, the priory of the abbey of the 18th century, the old priory farm, a nice square building with one floor, the old outbuildings with their ring, and the miller's house, they are a meeting point for painters.

The Legend says that all of the paths in the Forêt de Soignes lead to the Rouge-Cloître ! On 6 hectares, the Rouge-Cloître site offers its gardens and two walks, respectively called forest walk and lakeside walk to the public.

Today the Abbey of Rouge-Cloître (Red Cloister) is also an art center where exhibitions and workshops take place.




the entrance over a bridge



through this door



The guard house (I think)



the inside court of the cloister



the cloister



the Farm buildings





it also had the "farm" smell





another part of the farm house



Inside here is a little restaurant, where you can have cold or warm meals or just a coffee or a drink.



There were quiet a lot of people who had a coffee and cake or a wafel







the other side of the cloister



A painting and gravure workshop



Sculpture workshop and handmade jewelery



the horse stables (without horses)



It was locked, I don't know where the horses were



But you could see the carriages









and the beautiful park and woods around the cloister.

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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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