Nottingham

Who does not know Nottingham?? The Sherwood forest?? Robin Hood??

nottingham

We spent a lovely week-end there and enjoyed very much visiting the Tales of Robin Hood as well as the city, nice pedestrian area, lovely shops, nice atmosphere, we had a good time at the pizza express, it was a great week end and we’d love to do it again

 robin hood

Medellin

Medellin has a unique feature, it takes longer to fly there than drive from Bogota, nevertheless, there are not many people who decide to drive…

Medellin 006

I have been there 3 times and every time, I enjoyed it more. The 1st time, Carlos Augusto took me there for business. He was the one showing me the Bandeja Paisa!! I was trying to locate my friend Jorge which was not easy at all, provided that you cannot really ask for the yellow pages and find any number…After some help and many phone calls, I eventually landed at his place and left a message. He called me the next day very early morning, I was half asleep in the bathroom when I heard him shouting ‘is it you really?? are you joking?? what are you doing here??’ We were reunited at lunch time in the city centre at the Crepes and Waffles

Medellin 007

I staid at his place during the following visits, I enjoyed that place, it was comfortable, peaceful. They taught me a lot about Colombia, I discovered the city with them, Botero and his statues in front of the town hall, the metro, the pueblo paisa, the Intelligent Building from where they manage the gas and electricity for the whole state of Antioquia.

Medellin 013   

The second time, it was in December and it was the “night of candles”, I love this tradition in Colombia, every family fires candles at home, on the balconies, in the streets, and gathers. That night only, they start illuminating the cities before Christmas.

 Medellin 001

UK

We spent 2 years in Birmingham so there is a lot to say…

Life is so different from the continent or anywhere else may I say. Everything is on the other way round, driving, plugging, locking or unlocking, hot water, taps, and so on

I especially enjoyed 

– the individual houses instead of small appartments

king street

 

 

 

– my own garden

– the organic vegetables delivered weekly

– The fresh milk in bottle delivered by this milkman

– the administration where you can do anything via the internet, and it does work

– The National Trust and the great walks and visits we had on the Sundays

garden cotswolds

 

 

 

 – The French Hen in Clent for my Sunday roast and newspaper with a jazz band

Football in Egypt

Forget about anything you may know in Europe, football in Egypt is an experience in itself!!!

In February 2006, I had a chance to attend the final match of the African Cup of Nations in Cairo, the match kicked off at 1800 on a Saturday.

Shaheera first tells me that we must be at the stadium at 14h00. Really?? Punctuality is not really an middle east value, we still left home at 13h50 and made stops on the highway to drop tickets for the match to friends… we slalomed in town, and a few fears later, and some good u-turns and brake stops, we car parked on the 5th row of cars in front of the stadium along the main avenue (well it was the middle of the avenue by then) I thought we were waiting for someone… no!! we left the car here, no worries about the police, what can they do??? too many cars anyway

africa cup of nations cairo 10 feb 2006 022

There we go, off to the stadium!! Ticket in hand, I tried to find which gate we had to go to, which line, which section, everyone laughing at me, too organised my dear, first come first served here, no rows, no lines, no sections, what for?

So, tickets were printed with categories, lines and sections for nothing… so, that is why we were there at 14h00!! We went into the stadium, it was absolutely packed, the staircases were blocked with people, large families were having picnic, kuka kula, crips, bebsi kula. After negotiating with one of those, we squeezed in between on the staircases with our own family, there were 17 of us only!! and there we go, we also had our picnic!!!

vue du stade à 15H00 cairo 10 feb 2006

18h00 – kick off, 2 hours of screaming, singing, praying, Shaheera spent the whole time praying “yarab, yarab”, in the end, Egypt is African Champion!!!!

Fireworks went on, Baba Hosni is here too, happy, gates of the stadium close with the public inside to let him go by helicopter, then finally, we can leave, it is 22h30

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There are ONLY 3 rows in front of our car left, then we will be able to move, no prob, just sing and dance and you will be fine!!!

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A 2h00, the car moves!! we were back home at 04h00, nothing to say, a 90mn match ends up in a 15 hour moment in my life

Nothing to see with Saitama or the Stade de France, clearly

This remains as one of my nicest moments in Egypt! The family spirit, the lack of agressivity (of course, no alcohol around explains a lot) the children, the women, the families everywhere, this was to me really what a sport fair should be

Hasselt

Gosh, this country is smaller than I thought! I went to Hasselt for a meeting and thought I would spend a week end there to visit. However, it took just over an hour to drive there from Brussels, no need to stay there!!

This region of the limburg is very green, flat, people are peace and quiet, it is the countryside and I enjoyed it. 

 Hasselt may 2008

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