December 2, 2013
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One of the things that I love about Louvain-la-Neuve (LLN) – two years ago, thinking that I could ever love Louvain-la-Neuve would be a joke – is the vast amount of interesting wall art that’s scattered around the city. I don’t know if it’s just a LLN thing or a Belgium thing. Maybe it derived from the Belgians’ love of comic books, as I know in Brussels they have huge murals of popular comic strips. In any case, the wall art in LLN definitely adds a certain dimensionality to the city, however small it may be. I just love finding new pieces of art emerging from random corners of a new street or the sight of artists in the process of painting a new wall. It’s really a different and curious type of culture.
Like the previous host city-themed posts (Sculptures of Bordeaux, Streets of Bordeaux, Streets of Louvain-la-Neuve, It’s all about Saint-André, among others), I’ve been collecting images (in my mind) for the “wall art” post. Then one day in November, I had a rare free afternoon to do whatever I wanted. So I took my camera for a stroll around LLN, photographing some of the wall art that I know of around the city. By no means is this a comprehensive collection, but they are the ones I see the most often. Take a look!
This mural of a girl in a field of wild flowers is located right beside the Place des Sciences, close by my lab. It’s a relatively new painting – I think I saw it being painted sometime at the beginning of October this year.
The second part of the Portuguese mission took place in a little place called Óbidos some 80 kilometres north of Lisbon. I wanted to visit Sintra, but some of the IDS-FunMates have already been there (5 times for Carole!) So we decided to go somewhere that nobody had been to, and Óbidos it was! Originally it was supposed to be only Carole and me, but Tomin, Lo, and Tuyen joined after a little bit of convincing (or none at all). The more the merrier!
Óbidos is a medieval town that was once a wedding gift from a king to her queen, marked by a castle and surrounded by aged city walls. It was similar to other medieval towns I’ve been to, like Carcassonne and Saint-Émilion, and a fun place to spend a relaxing Sunday 😉
A sign at the entrance gate of Óbidos for the medieval market that takes place in July and August. Óbidos has been a national monument since 1951. Another sign says, “It shelters the oratory dedicated to the patroness of Óbidos, Our Lady of Piety, concluded in the 17th century, with remarkable tile covering from 1740-45.”