Category Archives: Travel

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things People Play With

The splashes of colour come from the clothes of people of all ages playing with the white Legos. At the end of the exhibits at the STAM Ghent City Museum is a huge table piled high with white Legos.

All those white Legos, so inviting, no matter how young you are
©2018 Regina Martins
Strength and aesthetics
©2018 Regina Martins

What is it about Lego that is irresistible, and invites us to connect with our inner playful child…?

Interesting structure
©2018 Regina Martins

I admit that this was the first time I’ve seen so many white Legos – most unusual.

Piles and piles of white Lego
©2018 Regina Martins
I wonder which building this is supposed to be?
©2018 Regina Martins

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge.

 

Sunday Stills: Watery Ghent

Ghent is a veritable Venice of northern Europe with its beautiful canals, waterside residences and boats that trawl the waterways. It’s such a picturesque town that all photos look good.

Yellow hues on the water, it was a watery wintery day where all the colours took on a neutral or monochromatic colour, Ghent
©2018 Regina Martins
Tourist boat trawling the icy canal waters as seen from an arrow slit at Gravensteen Castle, Ghent
©2018 Regina Martins
Gravensteen Castle, place of counts and dungeons, Ghent
©2018 Regina Martins
Reflections silent and icy in Ghent
©2018 Regina Martins

Post prepared for Second Wind, Leisure Perspectives – Sunday Stills: Water.  Click on the link for more entries.

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Glass

I have a new client in the Joburg CBD and I confess that the CBD is not one of my favourite places merely from a traffic point of view. On Monday Che and I got caught up in the gridlock that ensued, presumably as a result of the temporary closure of the Kazerne Bridge for repairs.

This means that a major route out of town for people living on the East Rand is closed for about 16 months. Off course people will find new routes and traffic patterns will stabilise once again.

In order to prevent a repeat of Monday Che and I agreed that I would walk up town to the Standard Bank precinct, which is on the edge of town, and get picked up there. An 8 to 10 minute walk to prevent potentially getting caught up in 90 minutes of chaos. This also provides me with the opportunity to take photos of interesting buildings.

I love the Joburg CBD for it old buildings, many built in a Classical style, others in the Art Dec style, and yet others, more modern. I took this photo of a building with the reflection of another building in its glass windows.

Reflections in the glass
©2018 Regina Martins

This post was prepared in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Glass. Click on the link to see more entries in this week’s challenge.

 

Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon in Brussels

This beautiful church was built in the late Gothic style in the 15th century, and the exterior had me mesmerised at the intricacy and detail of the stonework and carvings.

Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins
Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins

According to legend, a young girl from Antwerp had a vision in which the Virgin Mary told her to steal a statue of herself and take it to this chapel. She managed to do this and arrived in Brussels by boat in 1348. The statue was placed in the chapel and became the patron of the guild of archers which later commissioned the bigger Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon. This church took about a century to build.

Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins
Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins
Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins
Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins

Sadly I didn’t go inside the church, that according to pics I’ve seen on the web is beautiful.

Definitely next time…


This post was created in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Sculptures, statues, carvings.

 

I Got Lost In Brussels

I thought I was going in the right direction to where I wanted to be. I tried Google Maps but it proved to be wholly unreliable in the twisting streets of Brussels. Frustrated I walked and if push came to shove I would find a taxi stand and climb into one. But not before I tried navigating on my own. I mean, I could find a coffee shop to rest my tired feet, or I could find a mall and do some shopping. There are worse things than that. I was all about the adventure and what I could find on the journey to the hop on hop off red tourist bus terminus.

But first things first…I experimented with travelling with a backpack in preparation for Thailand. I bought a nice 70L backpack and in hindsight, I should have bought a 40L instead. I packed it too heavily although I tried VERY hard to keep things light. It was about 10kgs, and I strained my back which needed anti-inflammatory jabs, rest and physiotherapy to help, all in a matter of the 5 short days between arriving from Belgium and leaving for Thailand with Che. That said, I will use a backpack again, it’s practical and easy to carry in and out of public transport.

I experimented with backpack travelling…
©2018 Regina Martins

I found a gorgeous little Airbnb in Sablon, comfortable and in a cobbled lane closed off to vehicles. It was central to everything I needed. Sablon is trendy, filled with restaurants, coffee shops, ancient churches and loads of shopping opportunities – my kind of place. And I was delighted that it had a coffee machine.

The streets of Sablon are quaint and old-fashioned and they remind me so much of Bairro Alto in Lisbon. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you might remember that Lisbon is one of my all-time favourite places which I love visiting every year…although not this year…yet…

In the process of getting lost, I stumbled upon a remnant of the first city wall, this tower is named the Tour Anneessens, in Sablon, along the Boulevard de l’Empereur. It’s well preserved and the real surprise for me was that it’s standing in the middle of more modern buildings, like an ancient island of stone among a sea of modernity.

The Eglise Notre Dame du Sabon, Gothic in style was just around the corner and it’s a fascinating church. I will post more specifically on this church in another post. It’s beautiful, adorned with intricate carvings and stonework, and I’m intrigued at the images on the outside. I’ve just finished reading Dan Brown’s Origin, so I’m in ‘Dan Brown’ mood, and I’m wondering at the symbolism of the images carved in stone…what they mean and why they were created there.

Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
©2018 Regina Martins

And finally, for this post, more images I took whilst getting lost…Belgium was tropical, hot weather with scarce a breeze, and it was fun watching families run through the mists of cool water in the middle of a plaza. The iron-shaped building along the Boulevard Adolphe Max was on my way to the Grand-Place where preparations were underway to welcome the Belgian soccer team back home. I arrived back in Brussels from Geetbets the following Sunday, straight into a sea a red clad soccer fans – but more about this in another post. Gosh, I’ve got a lot of material for my blog for a while.

In the process of getting lost, I did find a coffee shop where I rested my tired feet over a coffee and croissant, and a shopping mall. I have a gorgeous pair of shoes in my closet as a reminder of the day I got lost in Brussels looking for the hop on hop off red tourist bus.