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Showing posts from June, 2007

Things I never thought I'd see...

Zebra Horse
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
A horse wearing a zebra suit drinking coffee in a railway station! It was the first thing we noticed when we arrived at Gare du Midi in Brussels. This is a character from a graphic novel by Enki Bilal (I've forgotten which one) so technically we had seen it but never expected it to be rendered like this! It set the tone for our time in Belgium really. Many, many things I never expected - maybe Mike expected more of them, I'm not sure. Anyway the bunch of posts below this and dated today all come under the same heading of things I never thought I'd see.

After today I'm going to stop talking about Brussels and get a bit more up to date with postings. There's a new strand developing in my own work, a solo exhibition and a new blog to get on with.

Le Passage Inconnu, Francois Schuiten

Le Passage Inconnu by Francois Schuiten
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.This sculpture is over a stair well in an underground tram station. It's the intersection of a version of real Brussels with a future Brussels imagined in the 1930s. A fantastic 3D rendition of Schuiten's graphic work.


Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
Tintin and Captain Haddock and of course Snowy running down a fire escape. One of the many murals around the city that celebrate the Bande Desssine tradition. Click through the photo for more on my Flickr account.

Arty Galleries

Galleries St Hubert
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
This is about quarter of the the Galleries St Hubertus in Brussels. Before our visit we'd seen an illustration in the work of Francois Schuiten, a rather fine graphic artist whose work extends much further than the comic art he's famous for. We didn't realise it was a real place. the scale of the gallery is a bit disorienting at first and I've tried to reflect this by tilting the image slightly. The place is lined with shops and cafes but is big enough to house two theatres as well! We had a really nice lunch here.

Boulders - or maybe tapirs!

Malayan Tapirs
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
We went to the Zoo at Antwerp specifically to see the young tapir that we'd heard about on the Tapir Blog. Unfortunately they were playing at being boulders for most of the day. It's a prime example of zoo visiting luck. The target critters were tired and shy and probably too hot but we saw loads of things we never expected and had a great day out. As well as the yaks and the sea otters below there were okapi, porcupines, takins and a whole mess of coypus. clicking the photos will take you to the rest of the Antwerp Zoo photos.


Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
What more is there to say. wonderful beasts I never thought I'd see except on film. We didn't know there were any living in the zoo so it was a real treat to see them here in Antwerp.

Sea Otter

Sea Otter
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
The Antwerp sea otter does lots of "hydrobatics" and the glass sided pool let him show off to everyone. Yes that's my replection in the corner of the glass. Never thought I'd take my own photo with a sea otter :-)

The palace of trains

Railway Station
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
This is Antwerp railway station - it's huge and ornate and has trains on four levels! The entrance to Antwerp Zoo is tucked in on the left of the station. We spent the whole day at the zoo - of course!

Corridor of geraniums

Serres Royales
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
This is one long corridor of lined with geraniums and hanging baskets of fushcias at Serre Royale, the palace glasshouses in Brussels. See the previous post for a little more info.

A tree in a hanging basket

Serres Royales
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.
This was taken in the Royal Glasshouses in Brussels. It's a stunning and enourmous complex of glasshouses that open to the public only three weeks of the year. We were lucky to by there at the right time. There's around a kilometre of path in the tour and its so big they can have tree ferns in hanging baskets! Click the photo to go to Flickr and see the rest of the photos from this set.

Brussels at last!

Well it really is a good job I kept a diary on holiday. It's taken far too long to get back to this and finish the travellers' tales. We took the Eurostar train to Brussels on a Tuesday afternoon and almost didn't notice the Channel Tunnel. After a few days using tube trains in London it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. Much better if they'd had windows up to the see and, of course, lighting! Very nice train though.

When you get out at Gare du Midi almost the first things you see are a statue of a character from a Bande Dessinee (BD) and a mural of Tintin. This is a city that takes its comics seriously. For more than fifty years a billboard of Tintin and his dog Snowy have looked over the skyline at the citizens and tourists. They're the best known of a much bigger tradition of comics, graphic novels and other forms of sequential art storytelling. More of this in the next post

We took a taxi to the hotel which we booked over the internet for an…