June 25, 2013
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There is something about music that touches the depths of your soul, that harmonizes with every electrical pulse that runs through your body, that makes you want to jump or dance or scream or cry. Music is the universal language of expression, a ubiquitous medium that transcends through time and space, race and culture. That is why we celebrate it…with la fête de la musique!
The music festival is an annual event that takes place in France. In almost every city, from the afternoon till well past midnight, there are concerts, performances, and dances everywhere. According to a French ex-colleague, it is THE biggest event of the year. Coming from an authentic local, I knew I couldn’t miss it. I experienced the hype in Bordeaux two years ago but wasn’t here last year as I was in Belgium, but this year, the timing was perfect as June 21st fell on a Friday! Most of the fun happened around downtown, and since I live in downtown Bordeaux anyway, I figured I’d take full advantage of the walkable distance and spend the night immersing myself in the musical scenes of Bordeaux.
Oh, bonus: it didn’t rain! I totally expected the rain to continue, as it had been raining almost all week in Bordeaux – quite violently too! But God had been nice with us and sent us the sun to accompany our music. Let the magic begin.
I left the house at around 8:30pm and started at Place Pey Berland, going towards Rue Sainte-Catherine and towards the quai. Even the restaurants had their own events going on. Literally, there was something taking place in every corner of downtown. You just had to follow your ear and as soon as the previous sound of music faded away, another welcomed you. Who knows what concert you’d stumble upon next? 😉
November 7, 2012
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This will be a brief entry on the final weekend travel destination before accomplishing my mission in Belgium for 2012, which was Maastricht in the Netherlands.
On a map, Maastricht is nested in a small part in the extreme south of the Netherlands that sticks out between Belgium and Germany. In fact, Maastricht is the southernmost city in the Netherlands. It is practically right across the border from Belgium, easily reachable from Liège by train or bus.
The skies were gray and the air was sombre when I reached Maastricht, but the absence of rain meant that it would probably be much more pleasant than the trip to rainy Antwerp. Actually, there were some little surprises too… 😉
The train station at Maastricht resembled a huge cathedral. Upon exiting the platform, I was immediately surrounded by stained glass on all sides and I wondered if I was really in a train station at all. Maybe the building was indeed a cathedral before it became a station?