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All things pass

Posted 29 January 2009 - The Hague (NL):

Last night, I attended a lecture by Mr Mark Pimlott, an English architecture and photographer who is exhibiting at art centre Stroom in The Hague.

Here`s a link to both the exhibition venue and the exhibited photographs:

- Stroom;

- Mark Pimlott`s All things pass.

I found below photo the most suitable one in my archive to match this post:

(© Catania - IT, February 2009)
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Still going strong..

Posted 5 May 2008 - Innsbruck (AT):

Hello again, from Innsbruck this time. Everything is going alright in the Alps. Italy was friendly to me again during my third passage and it was great to see my old classmates Lorenzo and Carolina from Clermont again!

Next stages on the agenda: Lots of visitors!! My brother Matthijs is arriving tomorrow morning in Munich and will join me for a week. When he goes home, my mum will come over and also join for a week, then it`s Sanne visiting for a week, followed by some colleagues of work at the end of the month. Busy, busy, but still enjoying this unbelievable and unforgettable trip. I missed out on about all of the Dutch national holidays, but ej, can`t have it all..

(© Bassano del Grappa - IT, April 2008)
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Quick updatum from Italy

Posted 30 April 2008 - Padova (IT):

I can`t complain about the European year of Intercultural dialogue anymore, since they posted my press release on their website yesterday. You can tell from the numbers that it took them a while! Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are now long behind :)

Everything else is fine although I am missing another edition of Dutch Queen`s Day. Other news: I left Slovenia and am now back in Italy. I stayed over at Carolina and Lorenzo`s place last night, two classmates from Clermont Ferrand (2000) who now have a baby and are expecting another one. I probably don`t need to specify that I also interviewed them. There article will be online per tonight.

(© Venice - IT, April 2008)
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Freezing cold

Posted 17 February 2008 - Taranto (IT):

This is the demonstration I attended. It was freezing, freezing cold and I was not properly prepared. I felt too cold to get my camera out and took a quick snapshot with my mobile phone (version minus 1.0) in an attempt to have at least some visual evidence of the event. Oops wrong photo, this was the lunch we had next day in the provisional campsite mounted next to the projected location for the new junk yard.

(© Grottaglie - IT, February 2008)
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Smelly business

Posted 16 February 2008 - Taranto (IT):

Below photo shows one of Italy`s many junk yards. There`s not much to see, as all waste is covered up with foil and sand. The smell is hard to bear and difficult to describe. It doesn`t smell of compost or anything recognisable. But you don`t need to be an expert to tell that your life gets shorter for every time you inhale the polluted air.

(© Taranto - IT, February 2008)
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Things back OK

Posted 14 February 2008 - Catania (IT):

After a few tough days in Malta, life is getting better again. I had a nice and relaxed day today, walking around the city centre of Catania and enjoying the sun. Spring is on the way and it looks like the coming days will be relatively worriless. Here`s a photo of the fish market in Catania. A bit hectic and smelly, but otherwise a nice place to watch people.

(© Catania - IT, February 2008)
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Empty city at night

Posted 7 February 2008 - Valetta (MT):

I arrived in Malta earlier tonight and the first encounter was not very positive. The ferry that took me from Sicily to Malta moved in all directions and made me feel quite sick. I arrived in Valetta at 9 in the evening without having a place to stay and without having eaten anything since lunch. I hadn`t been able to reserve a bed in one of the four your hostels before coming, and my plan to eat something on the ferry was dismissed by the rough sea.

Valetta made a rather safe impression beside the fact that it was almost completely deserted. I had no clue where to go and decided to simply head for what I expected to be the city centre. One friendly resident told me that all hotels were located in another city, but there was no more buses and I didn`t like to walk for another few hours. Fortunately, I got directions to get to one of the very few hotels in Valetta and they had one room left. It didn`t comply with the budget, but at least, I had a place to stay.

Then off for dinner which was another challenge. Even McDonalds had closed at 10 and I was afraid of having to go to bed without eating anything. But also that issue got solved when I found one restaurant that, in spite of the hour, was willing to serve me a meal. All is well that ends well.

With the exception of one thing that has not yet ended well: there`s one big dust-thing on my camera`s CCD and I really need to get that cleaned. It leaves a big black mark on all of my photos and I could easily get nightmares of having to retouch 5000 photos when I get back home. Don`t know how and when to solve this issue, but it does require a quick fix.

Photo: church in Catania.

(© Catania - IT, February 2008)
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Unexpected snow

Posted 6 February 2008 - Catania (IT):

I went to bed late last night and wasn`t sure whether I wanted to get up early this morning to take the one and only daily bus to Mount Etna. In the end, I decided `yes` and I do not regret it by any means. I climbed from 1900 to 2500 meters (highest point = 3200m) over volcanic rocks and large patches of snow. Company: two guys and one girl from Bask Country who were studying in Wroclaw. Very enjoyable day, good weather, and nice foot-skiing on the way back down!

(© Mt Etna - IT, February 2008)
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Across Sicily

Posted 5 February 2008 - Catania (IT):

Today started off with a wonderful train ride across the island. Green meadows, wonderfully groomed, against a blue sky background. Gentle hills with pleasant curves. Nothing intimidating or imposing, very few roads or interrupting signs of human presence. Birds or prey and sheep, orange and lemon trees and at the end of the trip, the Etna Volcano. Three-and-a-half hours of entertainment, and some pleasant naps on the way.

I was too impressed to take photos, but did take one of the Santa Agatha celebrations. Once the procession through town starts, people put these candle`s on their shoulders (horizontally!) and walk around town all night long. Read more about the event at Us Europeans.

(© Catania - IT, February 2008)
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Garbage problem

Posted 4 February 2008 - Palermo (IT):

I spent most of today catching up with the writing, waiting to have lunch followed by having lunch. The photo I`m posting is from Pompei. The garbage problem may have been temporarily solved in Naples; many surrounding cities still have piles of waste waiting to be taken to who-knows-where.

(© Pompei - IT, February 2008)
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Ischia to Pompei

Posted 2 February 2008 - Pompei

Another day in Italy has gone by. I left Ischia with a bag full of food and enjoyed eating it throughout the day. I first took the ferry back to Naples, then caught a bus to Pompei. I am not such a big fan of Roman excavations, because most of the time, it`s just some random piles of stones. Pompei was only slightly better, but I thought it was a bit of a must-see on the way. Anyway, when the sun unexpectedly came out – the weather was pretty awful most of the day – I managed to get some good shots. Then rushed back to Naples to catch another ferry. Destination: Palermo in Sicily.

(© Pompei - IT, February 2008)
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Ici Ischia

Posted 1 February 2008 - Ischia (IT):

I spent most of today on the island of Ischia, where I am visiting the parents of a friend`s friend - remember: this is Italy ;) I am well taken care of and got treated to a nice tour around this volcanic island, known as `the green island`. Not only does it have a lot of evergreen trees, it also has green rocks, which were formed through the heavy compression of lava.

Plans for the coming days: see a bit more of Naples tomorrow and hopefully Pompeii as well, then to Palermo in the evening and to Malta next week.

(© Ischia-Ponte - IT, February 2008)
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Chaotic Naples

Posted 31 January 2008 - Naples (IT):

Hello from Naples! Some waste collection has been done since the waste crisis ended a few weeks ago. But that doesn`t mean all is well-organised here. Here`s a random snap shot from a random square in random Naples.

(© Naples - IT, January 2008)
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Benedict XVI

Posted 30 January 2008 - Rome (IT):

Paid a visit to the Pope`s weekly Wednesday audience today, and am writing a report about that on Us Europeans (article 30/01/2008)

(© Rome - IT, January 2008)
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Old style portrait

Posted 29 January 2008 - Rome (IT):

I haven`t been posting too many photo of people since I left on this trip. I think it`s got something to do with the digital camera and the way it deals with light surfaces and depth-of-field. After 2.5 years of digital photography, I still think that some type of photos are more suitable for analog recording. Anyway, here`s an old-style PhotoLogiX photo, but I did take it today. In front of Saint Peter`s Cathedral.

(© Rome - IT, January 2008)
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Rome vs 2.0

Posted 28 January 2008 - Rome (IT):

Walking around in Rome today, with some memories of the 2005 trip to the same destination. Unlike this time, that trip had been paid for. It was actually my first and only paid-for photo project abroad. Some photos I took back then are still online, you can find them here.

(© Rome - IT, January 2008)
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No more flights

Posted 27 January 2008 - Rome (IT):

My stay in Vienna barely lasted one hour and my stay in Slovakia hardly over 24h. I did have a wonderful stay at Anastazia`s and Barbora`s place. I tried to speak and understand some Slovak to converse with their parents but did not get too far with that. In spite of that, I felt most welcome at their place and very much enjoyed all the wonderful food their mum prepared and was continuously preparing: soup, schnitzels, Slovak doughnuts filled with jam… Jum jum.

This morning, Anastazia, Barbora and Mariane took me to Bratislava airport from where my flight for Rome was due to leave at 12h40. Contrary to the Cyprus flights, this one was mostly calm and pleasant. And didn`t last long – just a little over an hour. Bratislava – Rome Fiumicino was the last flight of my entire trip. From now on, I will only be using road transportation or ferries (Italy – Malta vv, Italy – Greece and possibly Poland – Denmark). That`s quite a relief, I always feel relieved when I get off a plane.

So for the next couple of days, it`s Rome. The former capital of the civilised world, but little of that still remains today:

(© Rome - IT, January 2008)
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Sín título

Posted 23 February 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
~ Maori Proverb

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Rome one year ago

Posted 26 October 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Last year on this day, I was walking around the city of Rome, taking plenty of photos and having a good time. Travel agenda for November: Texel Island with Maaike followed by London - possibly with Rody otherwise alone.

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Holidays & Interactive Maps

Posted 16 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

I personally don't mind getting lost when I'm travelling, but if you do, try this new piece of mobile phone software.

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Posted 7 June 2006 - The Hague (NL):

France and Italy's national pride is about to be poored down the drain, or at least transformed into something that will not go well with a decent meal: disinfectant or fuel. Something they have already been accused of producing in the first place, by the US House of Representatives.

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Posted 18 December 2005 - The Hague (NL):

Today, I framed three photos I took in Rome and they are ready to be delivered to the buyer. I always find it very exciting to frame my photos. The combination of a poster-size print and a nice frame make photos look much more impressive. Lots better than small computer screen images. Click here if you haven't seen the series 'Rome Nulli Secunda' yet. Below is one of the three selected photos, in small computer screen size though..

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Posted 2 November 2005 - The Hague (NL):

So far, it has been a great pleasure organising my Rome photos as the results are surprising in the most positive way! It's just too much work to get everything online but I will work on it and get them online by tonight. This is where you can find the results later today. Enjoy!

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Speedy Gonzalez

Posted 30 October 2005 - The Hague (NL):

We safely returned from Rome. Altogether, the trip was very enjoyable: more so than the arrival at Charleroi Airport, where I found both my tripod broken and my car broken INTO. Since we left hardly anything in the car, there was nothing to steal but one of my Sesame Street CDs. Not so much worry for the stolen item(s), but my stearing wheel is not working properly anymore and that's more of a problem. Somebody probably tried to steal the whole car, managed to unlock the stearing wheel simply by breaking it but then couldn't get the engine started. Anyway, I can think of nicer surprises.

New photos should arrive tomorrow, fresh pictures from Rome hopefully on Tuesday.

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Bridge of Sighs

Posted 28 October 2005 - Florence (IT):

Another city has been added to the Italian list of 'been there, done that'. It's Florence and although it couldn't be as impressive as Rome, it was still worth the three-hour trip. We will take the train back to Rome in half an hour and spend tomorrow doing some site-seeing near the Campo di Fiori and the Trastevere city quarter. The return flight is on Sunday, around 10. We will probably take the rest of the day to get back home. Work waits again on Monday.

(© Florence - IT, October 2005)
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Posted 27 October 2005 - Rome (IT):

Rome is still as entertaining as it was two days ago. Nevertheless, we are taking a short break tomorrow to also see some of Florence. We will get up very early in the morning because I need to get a photo of the Spanish steps without any people, so the only possible way seems to give it a try before sunrise. Shortly after, we will take the Pendolino (very exciting) to Florence and get back in the evening. On Saturday we will check out the remaining sites in Rome and we'll fly back out again on Sunday. That's all for now, stay tuned to see the photos once they arrive!

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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Meeting up with Nicky

Posted 25 October 2005 - Rome (IT):

Rome is great!! Many people told me that before we left and I can now say I fully agree.

It all started on Sunday with us trying to get to Charleroi Aiport by train. We both had two tickets which allowed us free travelling in Holland. But then I had to loudly accuse the railways' service assistant of having been involved in activities of the prostitutional kind, before finding out that the complete train service to Brussels had been cancelled. We took the tram back home, gave the free tickets away (they were only valid until Oct 30), jumped in the car and speeded to Belgium. Those damned national railways and their staff....

We did arrive at the airport in time and the flight went well. Once in Rome, we only just managed to get the last metro to the hotel, where we arrived by 10 o'clock. We had dinner, prepared for the next day and went to sleep.

Yesterday, we started off with a visit to the Forum Romanum, which consisted of a lot of buildings that were no longer recognisable as such. Japanese and others were walking over each other with digital cameras, photophones and other interesting hi-tech equipment. It didn't keep us from shooting some nice photos there. During the rest of the day, we walked along Piazza Venezia, the other side of the river and the Colosseum. In the evening, we met up with Nicky and her boyfriend Fabio. They took us to two nice places, where we first had an aperitive followed by a very tasteful Italian dinner. It was nice seeing Nicky again, the last (and only) time I met her was in Romania (Sighisoara) where she was staying in the same hotel as Bas, Matthijs and I did.

Today, we got up with some left-over fatigue from all the eating and drinking of yesterday. We walked through the narrow streets around the Pantheon to finally get to Saint Peter's Cathedral. We didn't enter it (will do so later on) and walked onwards along the Spanish steps and the shopping area surrounding them.

Our extensive walking trips yielded 120 photos so far, all in black and white. The plan for tomorrow is to get up early and see Rome get to work, then take a rest and by the time it gets dark, to take some scenic night photos. Once I get home, I'll make sure that the nicest images get uploaded really quickly!

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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