Norman Foster’s Ombriere. You’re almost under it before you notice it.
After nine months of construction, re-routing of traffic and a rumoured EUR45 million bill, visitors to Marseilles’ Vieux Port can now photograph themselves upside down.
Norman Foster’s Ombriere, a huge flat mirror supported on poles above the terrace in front of the Vieux Port, reflects the colourful fishing boats, the buses, the beggars and hawkers, the school excursions, the petit trains and the visitors who cluster in this hub of Marseillaise tourist life.
I hope this mirror thing doesn’t become a cliche, like the giant ferris wheels sprouting on groovy, go-ahead, ‘wow, look at us!’ city skylines. Continue reading
It wasn’t easy to get here, so you might at least look pleased to see us!
“Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur? What do you mean, ‘Complet’? It’s taken us an hour to find the bus stop and another 45 minutes to wait for your bus to come along and now you’re saying you’re full?
How are we supposed to get to Saint-Paul if every bloody bus…Ok, d’accord, Monsieur, you only drive the damn thing. Nice beard, by the way.”
We know there often isn’t a lot of public transport into walled mediaeval villages perched on Provencal hilltops. But Saint-Paul-de-Vence isn’t just any mediaeval village. It’s now a tourist mecca, thanks to the artists, past and present, who have lived and worked there. A lot of us want to see it. Continue reading
Filed under Art, Belgium, France
Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror 1999. I presume the punters paid for it.
The prosperity on show in Monte Carlo is compelling evidence that the house always wins in the end.
It was our first trip to Monaco, an easy way to add another country to the notches on our travelling sticks. Much of the surface area of the principality was covered with temporary seating, in preparation for some kind of automobile race.
We skirted round the scaffolding and sidled into the Monte Carlo Casino, wondering, ‘Are we even allowed in there if we’re not going to lose money?’
Mevrouw T and I have a major advantage over the average punter because we don’t know how to gamble. Blackjack and roulette are mysteries to us and we can’t even work poker machines. We see where the money goes in, but what do you do after that? Continue reading
One of Marc’s Chagall’s finest. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Marc Chagall’s famous Fiddler on the Roof has been scratching away somewhere else for nearly a decade, while the Stedelijk Museum was closed for refurbishment. Now he’s back home in Amsterdam.
Until today I hadn’t realised what a superb collection of contemporary art Amsterdam has had tucked away.
Now they’ve pulled it out to be proudly displayed alongside the Rembrandts and Van Goghs the tourists come to see. Continue reading
After nine years of renovation, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum will reopen on April 13th. The single best known work is Rembrandt’s Night Watch, his group portrait of the volunteer militiamen who protected the city from evil-doers four centuries ago.
To celebrate the occasion, this entertaining Flash Mob was staged in a Dutch shopping centre, under the banner ‘Onze Helden Zijn Terug’ (Our heroes are back). It’s well worth 1 minute 26 seconds of your time. The modern militia in the video is not sponsored by wealthy burghers; note the ING Bank logos.
Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. Image, Wikimedia Commons.
We’re sorry we missed the event, but we’ll soon be back in Amsterdam to see the original painting in all its glory. We’re likely to stand in front of it for about 1 minute and 26 seconds.
Thanks, Duncan - friend, blogger, and fellow Flash Mob enthusiast – for letting me know about this one.
Monet may have liked this one too. The pointillism was all done for him.
This Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to think about picking small details out of larger scenes.
Last year I was fortunate enough to visit Monet’s famous garden
at Giverny, France.
Naturally we couldn’t entirely avoid the obvious. I took as many shots as everyone else did of the bridges and waterlilies. Continue reading