Living togetherness with Coldplay

We made it to the Coldplay concert in Brussels, on 22 June 2017. The group turned 20 and the concert has been a special occasion to listen to their popular songs, written in such a long period of time.

The concert was part of “A Head Full of Dreams” World tour. There were about 60,000 people of all ages, from small children to people like me or older. It appears that the Coldplay touches people of all generations.

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I have never ever seen so many happy people in one place, enjoying the Coldplay’s music. The entire audience knew the songs by heart and joined the group to sing together. There was so much energy around and so many deep emotions, as each of us took part in what Chris Martin, Coldplay’s leader said, “energy and love” giving.

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Chris Martin jumps to trigger the famous Coldplay colour palette

To me the concert was an unbelievable gigantic togetherness.

Coldplay survives among the many music trends probably because of their unique musical style with harmonies and melodic lines that trigger deep emotions. The harmonies and melodic lines combine in an original pattern, which sounds naturally and which is closed to many people’s hearts. The Coldplay’s pattern is easy to identify and remember.

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Coldplay’s balloon moment

Chris Martin, the vocalist, sings in a falsetto style while the other group members produces a high and bright intelligent sound. The songs are touching because they tell simple stories which everyone live or has lived.

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Coldplay on Stage B

In 20 years Martin’s falsetto voice developed with the age, became more mature and bright. Falsetto requires huge vocal efforts and solid training, intensive practicing and special abilities to control the human “singing box”.

Coldplay acknowledges that their music is influenced by a number of past and current musicians. The group compositions moved from a meditative, emotional phase to art rock – with accents of classical music and jazz – through an “alternative rock” phase.

The outcome of this evolution is today’s Coldplay voice in the music world.

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When Coldplay’s wristbands went on

In Brussels the communication with the audience went on through both music and ordinary words. Nothing artificial, everything was flowing naturally as their music does.

According to Coldplay we should see a forest in any seeds around us. Therefore, each human being can achieve anything, if encouraged, raised up, mentored and loved.

When you’re in pain, when you think you’ve had enough

Don’t ever give up

Don’t ever give up

A video selection of Coldplay performances in Brussels, on 22 June 2017

Yellow

Paradise

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

Everglow

The Scientist

Full Coldplay concert in Brussels, 22 June 2017

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Brussels’s Poppies

Poppies are a sign of fragility. In the village I grew up there were poppies growing on the border between the wheat fields and the countryside roads. The life of the poppy flowers was short, perhaps one or two days.

We tried to take some poppy plants and put them in our garden. They never accepted the new home and died shortly.

Over the years I naturally associated the poppies with the wheat fields and the summer. With their upbeat scarlet colour, they were strong spots in a bright yellow sea of the wheat fields.

I did not expect to see poppies in Brussels. I spotted them outside the city while driving in the countryside. I even saw yellow Californian poppies, in a corner, next to a park.

In most of the western cultures, poppies are a symbol of sleep and peace, perhaps because of their sedative properties.

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In Flanders, a Belgian region, poppies are a well-known symbol, coming from a famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”, written by a Canadian. A number of Anglo-Saxon countries remember the war heroes on 11 November each year. People wear paper poppies to honour the people who died in war.

I photographed these poppies in three places in Brussels: Anderlecht, Woluwe St. Pierre and Evere.

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Why Brussels’s summers are special

Each year Brussels’s summer comes in as a kind of rewarding season after darker and cloudy days. Summers are always brighter, fresh and soft in Brussels. Once summer is here, the city becomes a very attractive place.

The green spaces house gorgeous plants blooming continuously, so that they refresh everything around us. The Belgians are famous horticulturists. Their skills are visible in the pieces of floral art in parks, private gardens and even in roundabouts.

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Summer in Brussels also means less traffic and less noise. Brussels’ inhabitants escape to different sunny destinations to enjoy summer holidays.

The days become much longer. We enjoy more daylight, in contrast with the short and cloudy winter days. 21 June is the longest day of the year and counts 16 and a half hours of daylight.

Some years ago we hosted a friend from the South and he was surprised to see that, around 10:00 o’clock in the evening, the daylight was still on.

In the summer the restaurants get more animated and attract potential clients with their fresh vegetables coming from local gardens. The beer is tastier and the large variety of Belgian beer is very tempting.

Brussels in summer is spectacular and is a tangible oasis for the people who do not escape in the South.

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Etterbeek’s Medieval Market turns 25

Etterbeek’s Medieval Market turns 25. The 25th event edition was organised in the Cinquantenaire Park of Brussels, between 2 and 4 June 2017.

The Cinquantenaire is one of Brussels’s largest parks located in the heart of the European Quarter, in Etterbeek, one of the nineteen districts of the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium.

Exhibitors from other countries joined the event.

The event purpose is to help visitors (re)discover the world of the Middle Ages, its folklore, food, fashion styles and other traditions.

Tea herbs and spices of all kinds

Macarons of all flavours and colours

 

 

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When the engine has not  been invented yet

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Beautiful medieval decorations

Related articles

The 23rd edition of Etterbeek’s Medieval Market in 2015:

25.05.2015 Etterbeek’s Medieval Market: A short journey to the Middle Ages
25.05.2015 Etterbeek’s Medieval Market 2015: Medieval Glazed Ceramic Art
25.05.2015 Etterbeek’s Medieval Market 2015: Medieval food & cooking
24.05.2015 Etterbeek’s Medieval Market 2015: Medieval entertainers
24.05.2015 Etterbeek’s Medieval Market 2015: Jewellery & Accessory Photo-album
24.05.2015 Etterbeek’s Medieval Market 2015: Costume Photo-album

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Ground-breaking Baja Sardinia

Baja Sardinia was our holiday home for a number of days. We managed to go and see La Maddalena Island and its homonym town, Santa Maria Island, Budelli Island, Spargi Island, Arzachena and Porto Cervo.

This does not mean that we had no time to explore Baja Sardinia. On the contrary, we enjoyed long hiking hours in the breath-taking natural settings of the village. We also had the chance of admiring beautiful Sardinian ceramics.

We chose Baja Sardinia for its strategic location, which is a central point to the places we wanted to explore during our holidays.

Baja Sardinia is actually a modern village on the coast of a bay, which faces La Maddalena Archipelago. It counts about 150 permanent inhabitants. The buildings are surrounded by large green areas, with beautiful trees, bushes and flowers. The village buildings features certain architectural elements inspired from the style of its neighbour, Porto Cervo.

Before leaving Brussels we were warned that the village is wide-open and favours winds and currents like nowhere else. But that was not the case. The weather was great, neither cold nor too hot and not windy at all.

We immediately noticed the beaches with fine white sand. The sea water colours pass through unusual rich chromatic variations, from transparent blue, turquoise, azure turning into emerald.

The village was built from scratch by Domenico Gentili, in 1961, on an entirely wild area. In addition to roads, water supply system and power, Gentili reforested the area. The buildings came into the picture, one after the other. Today Baja Sardinia looks like an oasis.

We are planning to come back one day. We would like to explore more the mysterious Nuraghic culture of Sardinia. We would like to visit a nuraghe, a Bronze-age people house in stone with no written traces today.

The Nuraghic culture of Sardinia is certainly connected to the old civilisations of Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire.

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Amazing Sardinia: Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda’s heart

With a status of a village benefiting from a worldwide fame as a luxury holiday destination, Porto Cervo is considered the heart of the Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda. The village is permanently inhabited by about 420 people only. The figure increases if we consider people with a summer residence in Porto Cervo.

Why is worth visiting Porto Cervo?

  1. A particular architecture

With its feel and look Porto Cervo seamlessly integrates into the Sardinian cultural context, although critics say that it is an artificial mix of architectural styles with strong kitsch signs.

The village centre stays on a mezzanine floor facing the harbour. The buildings feature a dominant Moorish architectural style taking influences from the styles of the neighbouring countries and regions. The Moorish style took its name from the Moors, who developed this particular architecture earlier in the Middle Age. The Moors lived in North Africa, the nowadays Spain, Portugal, Sicily, South of France and Malta. Today we can admire buildings in Moorish style in all these countries and regions.

At a glance the architectural style is based on a perfect geometry of forms with horseshoe arches, decorative elements reflecting vegetal elements and beautiful calligraphy. The building exterior is simple while the interior is richly decorated with geometric patterns in bright colours.

We were impressed with the buildings’ rustic walls and their irregular corners, granite flours, natural colours and raw wood components which make the village an authentic place.

The village centre houses most of the famous worldwide brands, which are present here with their luxury goods in the shop windows. They came to the right place as the village is the ideal holiday destination for many rich people.

  1. Chiesa Stella Maris, a beautiful Church on top of the village

Although it looks like a Gaudi masterpiece, the Stella Maris Church was designed by the Italian architect Michele Busiri Vici. It was built between 1968 and 1969.

The Church location enables a panoramic view over the entire bay of the Porto Cervo Harbour.

The Church impresses with its indoor simplicity, in contrast with the outside wealth and opulence of the village. The presence of granite stones and juniper wood furniture brings the Church closer to the Sardinian mountains and forests, with their particular juniper smell.

The Church houses El Greco’s masterpiece Madone (Mater Dolorosa).

 

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El Greco’s masterpiece Mater Dolorosa (Madone)

The Church bell tower stays on a cone shape while its windows are framed with beautiful decorations. The granite, the most famous stone of Sardinia, is also used on the Church floor.

  1. A deer shaped harbour

Porto Cervo, or Deer’s Port in English, bears the name from the harbour shape, which is a deer. It was built by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV who persuaded other investors to join him to finalise this construction project.

It is said that Porto Cervo is one of the top Mediterranean well-equipped harbours.

Porto Cervo is a captivating place which, I am sure, charms each and every visitor as it did with us.

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Amazing Sardinia: Arzachena, a cradle of ancient civilisation

We arrived to Arzachena after lunch. The town was very quiet, in a sleeping mood. All shops were closed and all streets appeared to be empty. We realised that it was the siesta moment and we were right. Everything came back to normal around 5 p.m.

Arzachena preserves traces of human life since the early period of humankind. We found out that Arzachena is known as the cradle of the humankind prehistory, as the place is linked to the pre-Nuragic and Nuragic Civilisations in Sardinia.

Today in Sardinia and even in Arzachena one can see “nuraghe”, which are megalithic constructions considered the most important traces of ancient times in Europe. In addition to nuraghe, Sardinia also preserves a number of relevant monuments of that period: water sacred temples, tombs of the giants, sandstone sculptures and bronze statues.

Historians claim that Arzachena is referenced in Homer’s Odyssey.

The nowadays town developed around the Santa Maria della Neve Church and is built on a granite hill. The first bricks of the new location were laid down by Carlo Emanuele III, King of Sardinia. The King intended to repopulate the area.

We visited two churches: Santa Maria della Neve and San Pietro.

Santa Maria della Neve Church

Santa Maria della Neve is made out of granite and was built around 1770 under Carlo Emanuele III King of Sardinia and Vittorio Amedeo III of Savoia. The community of Arzachena settled around this church.

The Church was renovated and extended around 1860.

The Bell Tower is impressive and consists of four bells. The Church houses a granite stoup, a marble baptistery, a wooden confessional and a wooden altar from the 17th century.

San Pietro Church

San Pietro Church was open in 1938 and is also made out of granite. The building features the Italian Rationalism style.

The Church served as a military hospital during the World War II.

We left Arzachena in the evening going back to Baja Sardinia, our holiday headquarters.

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