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`CR` in Kowassa, Barcelona

Posted 26 March 2009 - Barcelona (ES):

`Crossroad Europe` has been adopted by another book shop prior to its official `book shop release datum`: Kowassa in Barcelona.

Here`s a link to their shop which I first visited in November of last year: They are a photo book specialist with a gallery and a web shop. In return for `Crossroad Europe`, I managed to obtain a book that I have liked for a long time already: 1000 Families, by Uwe Kommer.

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Bunny in Barcelona

Posted 5 November 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

Lot`s of logistics going on behind the PhotoLogiX scenes! There`s people visiting, me visiting people, travelling to different cities in The Netherlands or to different countries every now and then. I am now in Barcelona, together with Pupu Jussi, a pet rabbit I was given by my Finnish friend Leena. I promised to photograph it at some point while here. You find the result below this post: Pupu Jussi and the football fans.

What else is new? I completed my application to become a speaker at Team Europe, tried to buy myself tickets to Paris on the ever-disappointing Thalys website (result: no tickets yet) for the Eurobarometer event that is taking place later this month. I had dinner at Argentinian Veronica`s place last night and upon my return at home, I will have an Italian guest staying over.

My attempts to like Barcelona a little more are starting to bear fruit. While walking from Arc de Triomf to Estacio Sans last night, I passed Kowassa, one of the coolest photo book shops I ever walked into. I also noticed that around cooking time, about 4x a day in Spain, there`s lots of nice fragrances to be captured in the air. Good stuff.

(© Barcelona - ES, November 2008)
(ps did you realise the red and blue shirts are not Barcelona ones?)
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Beautiful label

Posted 15 october 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

Lots happening, nothing to tell. Just one thing: I just love the design of this label for sparkling water.

(© Barcelona - ES, October 2008)
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Helicopter view

Posted 14 October 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

Pleasant temperatures, lots of thoughts, but otherwise no news..

(© Barcelona - ES, October 2008)
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Air vs. rails

Posted 6 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Frequent readers of this blog know that I often get upset about the poor promotion of international train travelling, the poor connections, poor information, and severe overpricing. A new initiative of the European Parliament will hopefully bring some relief: they are going to encourage airline companies to start offering train tickets on their websites.

Good news: no need to compare 25 options for both ways of travelling. Bad news: it`s not a sustainable company`s initiative, which probably means that the success rate will depend on the amount of subsidies Europe is willing to provide to support their ideals.

That being said, it`s actually surprising that airline companies have not discovered any potential in cross-promoting earlier. KLM-Air France, for example, participates in the Thalys high-speed train consortium but they so far haven`t done anything to make the two services complimentary in any way. Or cross-promote it or whatever. Even though there is a direct(!) high speed train connection between Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

For now, The Hague-Barcelona is still a bit too far for trains to make a good alternative, but almost the entire stretch will soon be upgraded to high-speed track soon. That will make a nice excuse to pay a visit Paris and Lyon on the way!

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Centre of attention

Posted 5 September 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

A taxi stand in Barcelona. Same story as a few days ago. Just wondering what the people in the photo are spending their attention on.

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Friends with Barcelona

Posted 4 September 2008 - Barcelona (NL):

Up until now, I have never particularly liked Barcelona. I don`t like the colour of Mediterranean light, I don`t like the smell of bad water, I don`t like heat and I don`t like photos with dark, black shades. Which mostly represents what I have been associating Barcelona with until this trip.

However, it looks like I will be here much more often during the months to come. I might as well be friends with Barcelona and try a bit harder to see its many positive sides. I found three describable ones so far: 1) there`s lots of music in the streets, 2) there are many nice restaurants, 3) the streets are always crowded but in a sort of elegant way. Most streets are actually quite calm compared to the number of passers-by they accommodatum (see photo).

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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All individuals

Posted 3 September 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

Hello from Barcelona where the streets are full of people and the summer sun still shining. I notice that I should rename my blog to, which is too much hassle. Instead, I recommend you to subscribe to my postings by RSS, which will tell you about every time there is a new post. The service is still quite basic now, but I will expand it in the near future. Regardless, using RSS will probably save you some visits-in-vain, in case I miss out on some days and upload them all at once afterwards. If you need any help for installing this RSS or using it, just let me know (all contact info).

About today's photo: I think it nicely and strangely illustrates how people are all individuals, have their own reasons to be at a certain place at a certain time, their own view of what they refer to as reality and their own interpretation of what happens around them. That in itself is quite a fascinating phenomon, that I will get back to in upcoming posts.

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Getting to France

Posted 24 November 2007 - San Sebastian (ES):

Getting to France tomorrow but the number of connections is disappointingly limited. Have to get up at 6h30 or wait until the early evening hours. Will opt for the first option. Here`s another photo from Bilbao:

(© Bilbao - ES, November 2007)
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Art reflection

Posted 23 November 2007 - Bilbao (ES):

Yes, the Guggenheim Museum and no I did not go in. The building is certainly interesting and worth a photo but at the same time it makes me not want to go in. It looks like a cold and distant place, where art is put on display. That makes sense for a museum, but I prefer to feel the art in the air. The Modern Tate Gallery in London is perfect for that. First of all, it is free of charge. Secondly, it located in a building that was not designed as an art place but transformed into that. It is a place that allows you to experience art rather than purely observe it. It shows that art is accessible, which is quite something. Most art is either undervalued or severely overvalued. Many people like a piece of art because so many others like that piece of art, instead of simply liking it by themselves. Another interesting shape of mass psychology – very fascinating but oftentimes very depressing as well.

(© Bilbao - ES, November 2007)
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Posted 22 November 2007 - Bilbao (ES):

Sorry for complaining about the dry weather and dusty landscapes. My prayers have been heard. Bask country is distinctly different: the hills are green and the sun only sporadically interrupts rain showers. I have been able to escape the beginning of the colder season until now, but this is probably where it ends.. I`m preparing for cold weather from now until at least mid-January. By then I will hopefully be enjoying the moderate winter heat of the Cypriot sun.

(© Bilbao - ES, November 2007)
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Lack of green

Posted 21 November 2007 - Logroño (ES):

I arrived in Logroño today after a 6-hour train ride along the south sides of the Pyrenees. I haven`t been to Arizona, but I thought the landscape in this part of Spain looked a lot like some images I have seen of Arizona. Flattened yellow pancake hills, dried out rivers. Many aquaducts, but only little water descending from the mountains. The view reminded me that Spain is making me suffer from a serious lack of green.

I took below photo not today but on the way from Madrid to the Costa Blanca. The second one is from the Centre of Europe park in Lithuania:

(© Albacete - ES, Vilnius - LT, 2007)
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Costa Blanca Decadency

Posted 18 November 2007 - Murcia (ES):

As you may have read in my recent article about Jubilados along the Spanish Costa Blanca, I have been puzzled by the whole phenomenon of old people living the last days of their life unintentionally annoying Spanish people. Another photographer by the name of Martin Parr - slightly more famous than I am….- spent many of his photographical reports on decadent behaviour in society. Here`s a link to some of his works, while below photo shows the situation at a quick glance: young buildings, old people.

(© Torrevieja - ES, November 2007)
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Salt mountains

Posted 17 November 2007 - Torrevieja (ES):

Photo of the salt mountains near Torrevieja:

(© Torrevieja - ES, November 2007)
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Excitement in Spain

Posted 16 November 2007 - Torrevieja (ES):

Adventurous day today. When leaving for Torrevieja in the morning, I almost took the wrong bus at the hectic Estación de Autobuses Madrid – Sur but managed alright in the end. More trouble occurred in Elche, after 6 hours of traveling and with one more hour to go. I used the five-minute break at the local bus station to go to the toilet. The main toilets were closed and I had to look for an alternative, then came back and found… no bus. It had left without me. No worries for camera stuff, computer etc, because I always carry those with me wherever I go. Different story for the big backpack.. I quickly phoned Susana, who would collect me at the bus station in Torrevieja at 5 in the afternoon. Quickly explained the situation, after which she collected my big backpack in Torrevieja and I simply took the next bus.

Talking about exciting or worrisome adventures, this was probably the worst one so far and I felt quite stupid about it. But then again, it was solved in five minutes so there was not need or even time to panic. Anyway, below photo is from the stop we made halfway. Another middle of nowhere. Which is by the way a term that`s worth looking up in other languages. I will do that one of these days.

(© Middle of Nowhere II - ES, November 2007)
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Posted 15 November 20067 - Madrid (ES):

Sorry, I`ve been behind a few days but am working hard to catch up. Here`s some people again, fully concentrated on reading books in the FNAC book shop in Madrid.

(© Madrid - ES, November 2007)
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Stuff from Madrid

Posted 14 November 2007 - Madrid (ES):

Hola from Madrid. Things are good here after another day of strolling around in the big city. It always takes some time to get used to a new big city. I kind of felt like I understood a bit of the structure of central Lisbon when I left, particularly the fact that there is no end to the city except on the side of the water. Madrid is still a bit of a mystery to me, even after a long afternoon of walking.

First venue on the list was the Real Madrid stadium Santiago Bernabeu. I was not planning on seeing it but heard people talking about it on the metro and then thought I`d give it a try. After all, this is the stadium where the best football match I have ever seen was played. Once upon a time, when Ajax won every single match it played and the only guess was by how many goals difference, the Amsterdam team came by in Madrid and got even the most fanatic Real supporters to applaud its gallery play. The match ended in a 0-2 victory for Ajax, with two goals erroneously cancelled. Four goals in and against Madrid. Those days are over now.. Check YouTube (search Ajax Real Madrid) , I know the images exist but have not enough bandwith to search and verify the link.

Anyway, back to the real stuff. From Bernabeu, I walked to Bilbao (metro station) to meet up with Carmen, then walked further along the royal palace and some obscure neighbourhoods. Cooked dinner in the evening and that was about it.

On the reflection side, I spent another few thoughts on what I want to when I`m back home in August 2008. I hope I will have enough of all the traveling by then, and can stay home for a while. What I thought about today was to try and document changes in Dutch society, which is not an entirely new idea. It would be interesting to get a chance to follow an experienced news writer and take photos to go with the articles. That would require different photography from whatever I am producing these days, but I know I can do that. Anyway, the day felt like there are a lot of ideas on the way but they did not want to present themselves today. That always feels a bit strange but what can you do about it. Just be patient.

Then another last thing: home has been very far away for the last few months and it is now starting to get closer. It is now finally starting to make sense to even think about the Netherlands. Although I am enjoying Spain, I can`t wait to first get to France and then get home for Christmas. I have been having very weird dreams about being home, while at the same time realising that I was not. These kind of semi-lucid dreams that can make you totally confused while sleeping. I have that a lot anyway, but most of the time it`s quite interesting. Well, that`s probably enough chitchat for the day, I`m off to bed now. Ciaociao.

(© Madrid - ES, November 2007)
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Long trip

Posted 12 November 2007 - Salamanca (ES):

I had quite a long day today traveling from Santiago to Salamanca. I am by now used to spending 4 to 5 hours on a bus, but 7 was another thing. I slept most of them but my legs started to hurt and I got a bit annoyed about it. I was happy about the 30-minute lunch break halfway and about arriving in Salamanca. I was offered a place to stay by Willy who in spite of his English-sounding first name was Spanish by nationality. We walked around the old town for a bit, then prepared a nice breakfast consisting of salad and fresh tortilla (potato omelet). Very tasty and a good way to cheer up.

(© Middle of Nowhere - ES, November 2007)
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Camino = Meta

Posted 11 November 2007 - Santiago de Compostel

Santiago is a really cool city. Not only was I warmly welcomed by Sigrid and her flat mates, I also enjoyed walking around in the city centre. It`s got a huge pedestrian area and obviously a big cathedral. Throughout the day, pilgrims find their way to the city centre. Even though I am not walking my way through the 27 EU countries, I still feel like I have something in common with them. With one major difference: I have by no means reached the end of my trip yet! Almost nine more months to go and by then I will only be… back home, not in a pretty far away place. But home is a nicer destination in a way, and I can do without the completion certificate.

One thing I wanted to write about earlier was the Portuguese TV program `Do you know more than a 10-year old`. I also encountered it in Spain and was told it exists in France as well. The concept of the program is only moderately interesting, but it does connect well with a theory I composed a few years ago. Big corporations should every now and then invite a 6 year old (the original theory opted for 6 rather than 10, because 6 year-olds always want to know why) to ask questions during a corporate meeting. There is so much bullshitting going on in many countries, and I think a 6 year-old`s questions would be a perfect countermovement. A company uniquely based on know-how doesn`t get far. Know-what is only a little better. Only combined with Know-why they really open doors to anything exceptional. And the overall Know-why usually lacks.

(© Santiago - ES, November 2007)
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Last Barcelona photos

Posted 22 February 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Before proceeding to the next big trip, below are some final street photos from Barcelona.

Photo 1: Although the conference pass included free access to public transportation within the city for 5 days, many (many many) businessmen preferred to queue up for taxicabs - even when having to wait for hours to grab one;
Photo 2: People entering Plaza Real early in the morning;
Photo 3: One of the very many small bars on the corner one of the diamond shaped squares which together make up the map of Barcelona.

The next trip is bound to go to Moscow, provided that we will be granted our visa in time. All that is still being worked on..

(© Barcelona - ES, February 2007)
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Kabul youth hostel Barcelona

Posted 19 January 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Whenever I travel for work, I fly KLM and sleep in hotels. For private trips, or in case I'm staying a little longer than strictly necessary, I use budget airlines and sleep in youth hostels. This photo shows the Kabul Hostel in Barcelona. It is located at Plaza Real, a very pretty square close to the Rambla. I took the photo right before leaving last Monday morning, when everybody was still asleep. Uncovered limbs, mess on the floor, bottles and bags all over the place - all very typical for youth hostel life..

(© Barcelona - ES, 12 January 2007)
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Photoclubs and Killing darlings

Posted 18 February 2007 - The Hague (NL):

If you ever want to find out more about photography and get more out of it, here's one advice of what NOT to do: join a photoclub. Why not? Well, what they generally tend to do is similar to explaining jokes: take out all the fun by analysing the joke to death. Good photos can cope with that, but average photos cannot. Since most of the discussed photos have a typical averageness to them, the whole photoclub process is quite acid. It's better to look at your own photos and possibly get frustrated about them in private.

However as an exception, here's my analysis of one photo that was almost perfect (personaly opinion, I know there's nothing very special about it), but I overlooked one thing. The green lines are the dimensions which make the photo very pleasant to look at. I did notice the bus, which is almost right inbetween the wing and the fuselage. Also, the other plane on the lefthand side (almost invisible in this size but surely there!) is in the right spot. But then that annoying car right next to the airplane's wing... GRRRRR.

Always so many things to think about and a fair chance that you overlook one tiny detail that spoils the photo. According to the Kill your darlings-rule, this photo should go straight down the shredder for that reason alone... Well, I hope the explanations along with it are a good excuse to post it anyway..

(© Barcelona - ES, 16 February 2007)
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Primavera empieza..

Posted 17 February 2007, The Hague (NL):

No Bilbao and Madrid this time, I returned home last night for personal reasons. Which allows me to finally post real photos again, and I even replaced some of the ones I posted earlier this week. Below's a short impression of spring taking off in Barcelona:

(© Barcelona - ES, 15/16 February 2007)
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More of the same

Posted 14 February 2007 - Barcelona (ES):

Another day at the conference:

(© Barcelona - ES, 12 February 2007)
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Day 1 in BCN

Posted 12 February 2007 - Barcelona (ES):

Safely arrived in Barcelona and at the conference ground:

(© Barcelona - ES, 12 February 2007)
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Barça di Barça

Posted 11 February 2007 - The Hague (NL):

I am leaving for Barcelona today and I am NOT bringing my digital camera. In order to keep the log updatumd, I will use my phone and see what that is going to bring. Upon my return (planned 22 Feb), I will rush to the photo shop to get my films developped and hopefully post some nice photos then!

(© Barcelona - ES, May 2002)
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Free & Photos

Posted 21 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The second free framed and postersized photo will be handed out next week. If you haven't signed up for one, go here to read more!

(© Ronda - ES, August 2004)
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Posted 21 March 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Spring has started! It actually did yesterday night around 19h30 CET. On the March Equinox (just like the September one) , everywhere over the globe, the Sun rises true east (parallel to lines of latitude), sets at true west, and the length of the day equals the length of the night. For people on the North Pole, it gets day and the sun stays up for the next 6 months. For the South Pole, it's the start of a six-month-long night.

And in Holland, we're only waiting for spring weather and seems to take ages before just that warm sunny spring day arrives.

(© Sevilla - ES)
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