Tip for helping a snail

Snail #1
Originally uploaded by Geert JM Vanderkelen

If you help a snail crossing a road, make sure you put it on the side which it is crowling to.

El Toro, el Río, Picasso y Miró

The morning of the first Thursday August 2008 AD started as usual: getting up, getting dressed, wash face and get downstairs within 5 minutes. Amazing how easily I can do that, although I had again the clock ticking against me: trying to make pictures of stuff before the sun brightens the earth to much!

First stop today was again Plaza Mayor because the stage for the classical concert was gone! I think it was removed overnight: excellent.
The real reason why I woke up early, however, was to shoot the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. It’s where bullfighting is going since 1929 in Madrid. So, it’s a rather new building, but nicely done. About the ‘sport’ itself, I’ll keep my opinions to myself.
Plaza de Toros: south

Next thing on the agenda is going to checkout Picasso, Miró, et al.. but I went first checking out this so called river around Madrid: Río Manzanares.
But the Río ain’t a river no, it’s more like a stream! Maybe a kayak can float on it, but no bigger ship. I went to see it near the Puente de Segovia. There were lots of works going, apparently to make the banks more attractive, and build promenades of some sort.
To my amazement the river does actually contain fish! I read that they introduced them together with ducks, and apparently they managed to survive. Not sure if their DNA is the same (remember Blinky?).

Río Manzanares: fish!

Around 10:30 I finally got around to buy a ticket for the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Long queues at the ticket office, but Metro line 1 was out of service, and I had to go around and walk a bit.
Aah, Miró, Magritte, Picasso, or the sculptures from Julio González, and much much more.. I’m no connoisseur, but I did really enjoy wondering around the surrealism, cubism, and sometimes childish paintings blowing we away; sculptures hitting my head. Gosh, I wish I could accomplish something like that..
There was also a very cool exposition about digital visual art. You really have to check that out! It’s called  Máquinas & Almas and runs till end October 2008 in Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. Probably it will go on display elsewhere later.
Now off checking out some pubs, or something..


I had some doubts yesterday about what to do in the next morning. At least at work I know what to expect, but on vacation I fear to get bored the next days. Maybe I should revise the way I actually do vacation.

Just like yesterday I started out early. The sun has been a problem for making pictures so I try to go when the sunlight is not so intense yet. Today it was Palacio Real getting shot.

Another accomplishment today was eating Chocolate con Churros. However, it will be a one time endeavor for me: fried stuff with chocolate is just way to much fat! I washed it all away with an Americano (black coffee) and I’m now off to La Castellana.

Reflection on Rock Werchter 2008

One of the best festivals in the world, Rock Werchter 2008 was again great! Some rain, lots of sun, a nice stench of alcohol and urine, ah, and good music!

Some highlights (order of appearance, 4 days):
  • The National: I missed it.. I missed it..  - I’m a big fan now!
  • R.E.M.: they’re lost the momentum IMHO, but their new songs sound good
  • Jay-Z: I’m no fan at all of the music, but this must have been the best hop-act in years on Werchter. It was actually quite good show.
  • Neil Young: first time I saw him, and it was about time.
  • The Hives: good to see them live, they rock.. and what an ego he has!
  • Ben Harper: again a big name
  • Sigur Rós: beautiful!
  • Radiohead: Ah, well.. I saw them at last.. not disappointed, but..
  • Grinderman: Nick Cave harder, more explicit, louder, great! Bad seeds, bad!
  • Beck: another big name I really wanted to see.  

Next year again!

‘t Hofke, or perfect dinner in Antwerp

A perfect dinner is more about the company, but a good restaurant helps too! If you’re in Antwerpen (Belgium) you’ll have to reserve a place at ‘t Hofke (website in Dutch, but there are pictures and coordinates). The street to get to the restaurant is already worth going through.