Monday, November 28, 2011

The Lisbon synagogue

The Lisbon synagogue by CharlesFred
The Lisbon synagogue, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Hidden behind other buildings and a fence. Catholic Portugal kicked out its Jewish population at the end of the15th century, just five years after neighbouring Spain did the same. Many of them came to Amsterdam, where the largest synagogue remaining is, in fact, the Portugese synagogue. One of the descendants was none other than the great philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fred, among the trams of Lisbon

Another day spent out in the warm sunshine of Lisbon - here a bit later in the day when it was cooling down. We have done quite well considering we don't have a guidebook.

Spent the afternoon back in Alfama, having lunch with a dear colleague who is also taking the opportunity to explore Lisbon, so that was an extra treat.

Trams are one of the biggest tourist icons of this city, and here is Fred standing in front of a small mural depicting these noble and hard working machines.

Apart from the taxi from the airport, we have seen everything by foot and our calves are beginning to notice just what a hilly place this is!

Friday, November 25, 2011

We are in... Portugal!!!

We are in... Portugal!!! by CharlesFred
We are in... Portugal!!!, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

For the first time! Here for a long weeknd in Lisbon with Fred, before I take the train down to Faro for a week long company meeting on the Algarve. They said last year that this year´s meeting would be held in London (probably an airport hotel near Gatwick). However, it turns out to be much cheaper to come down here and take over an out-of-season hotel than to be in a dreadful place near Crawley!

The sun is shinng, it is a comfortable 19 degrees and we had a lovely day walking around the backstreets of this interesting city. So, a good start!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Me and my brother - in Amsterdam

Srummaging around the envelopes of pre-digital photos, I came across these two photo of me and my brother from November 1999, so twelve years ago. Richard came over to visit for a long weekend, that very weekend at the beginning of November every year when the leaves on the trees over the canals are brihgt yellow, before they drop off a few days later.

Fred and I are off for a long weekend to teh capital city of the only major country in western Europe which we have not yet visited. Haven't quite finished my work but it should be a nice break.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Misty morning sunrise

Misty morning sunrise by CharlesFred
Misty morning sunrise, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

I was working from home this morning. which gave me the opportunity to rush out and get these pictures when I saw the sun breaking through the mist. It has been another lovely day here in Amsterdam.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Noorderpark in Leeuwarden

Noorderpark in Leeuwarden by CharlesFred
Noorderpark in Leeuwarden, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The light of Leeuwarden

The light of Leeuwarden by CharlesFred
The light of Leeuwarden, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

We just arrived back from a very enjoyable couple of nights and a full day in the Frisian capital city of Leeuwarden, the first time either of us had been there. The incentive to go there was the Marc Almond concert of Friday night and Fred sensibly decided to make a weekend of it.

We didn't have very high expectations of the city (which is often just as well) as Leeuwarden is never mentioned as a place one must-see here in Holland, always being overshadowed by Groningen as the major city in the north and the attractions of the Frisian lakes, islands and countryside.. However, we do not know the country that well and we went there with an open mind and we were very pleasantly surprised. A very attractive (albeit very small) city with an historical center with many houses dating from the 17th century, some remaining canals and attractive parks, not to mention lots of loungey terraces to sit out (in the sun) and enjoy a coffee or a beer.

We were lucky with the weather as the sun shined all day yesterday, making for a perfect day to get know this city a bit. Here are some photos of some of the larger boats on one of the city's canals.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Conversation

The Conversation by CharlesFred
The Conversation, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

This young chap was having a conversation with the lady you can see in the middle of the top floor window on the orange building. I liked the light, colours and perspective here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Bulls are also sacrificed

Bulls are also sacrificed by CharlesFred
Bulls are also sacrificed, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

I am trying to get the bloody photos out of the way, as I know that these images are a bit difficult for many people.

Here we have a recently killed bull, whereby the head is cut off, before the carcass is skinned and cut up. Again, we have a butcher from Afyon, father or uncle to the other lads dealing with the sheep.

Under the knife

Under the knife by CharlesFred
Under the knife, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

It is day two of the Slaughter Feast in Turkey, just starting in Pakistan. For the next few days, I will be uploading photos from the scenes yesterday from Okmeydani in Istanbul, where many bulls and sheep were put under the knife, so if you do not like blood and stuff, please do not come to this photostream.

Ritual slaughtering is due to be banned in Holland, due to pressure from the Animal Party and the anti-Moslem party, with controversial support from the Labour Party.

I cannot say I have ever been to an abbatoir in western Europe, so do not know how the industrial-scale killing of animals actually works, but I have seen photos and it does not look too nice at all. At least this killing is done on a one-by-one basis, with the butcher saying a prayer to his god before putting his sharp knife through the throat of the beast under him. A more natural and, dare I say, fairer way to treat the animal concerned.

These chaps came up from Afyon, way south of Istanbul, to earn some money.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Introducing Osman from Afyon

Today was the start of the Slaughter Feast for Muslims in Turkey and Arabia. In Istanbul, it was a beautifully warm, sunny day, with children out on the streets in their best clothes and teh streets largely empty of traffic as people spend time with their families. Very similar to Christmas.

Many many bulls and sheep were slaughtered today, in Istanbul mainly in special places set aside for the purpose, although I did see an illegal sacrifice on the backstreets of Kasimpasa.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Frankel with his half-brorher Bullet Train

It is the greatset day in Australian racing today, the first Tuesday in November, when the race that stops a nation takes place - the Melbourne Cup. Lots of European challlengers this year, I like the look of Fox Hunt to won. Anyway, here are some pictures from Champions Day in the middle of October at Ascot.

Locations of visitors to this page