Two Nekos do Urupe 8: Brussels

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Chocolate and lace

Sooooooo we are probably reaching the end of this Nekos do Urupe series as I ran out of European Cities to depict. There are some places that have the name of a city, but do not on any way represent the city or parts of it. However.. we might show them to, just because some people love their city even though it does not look like that city.

(Krisp says there is a place called Dublin that we went to but did not quite cover so we might go and look that place up).

Anyway, lets have  a look at Brussels that has been declared to be the unofficial capital of Urupe because it is the formal seat of the European Union. I must say we have a rather vague feel about Brussels. So what we did is find what we could find on youtube. And we ran into this guy.. Rick Steves. We took the liberty to offer a few  links to some his movies(see beluw).

We liked this one cause she looks cool, even though we did not have a clue what she was saying cause she speaks French and we do not understand French. But you know, it is a great way to learn some, cause that is the language they speak in Brussels. You see, Brussels is the capital of Belgium too and Belgium has a French speaking population, called Walloons and a Dutch speaking population, called Flemish. And there is even a small group that speak German. Brussels is on the border between the two parts, but most of it’s citizens speak French.

We recall once visiting Brussels and ordering some chocolate with a Leonidas store because chocolate is a thing that Belgium is famous for. And Leonidas is a famous Belgian chocolate store. So we were Dutch and did not speak a word of French, but we indicated what we wanted with pointing and that has helped in many countries of which we did not speak the language. But the Walloons and Flemish do not like each other very much, so speaking Dutch – which is similar to Flemish – no doubt acts on them Walloons like a red cloth does on an enraged bull.. So they pretended no to understand us. But well, my dad, who was there, just shrugged his shoulders and said in Dutch, “well then we buy something in the other store.” And he put his wallet back in his pocket. And for some reason they understood that and got us the things we wanted.. See…money talks!

At the top of this post you see us, to the left was a store that sold chocolate and to the right is another product that seems to connected to Belgium or Brussels, which is lace.  So Krisp is trying to make some and I am trying to get eat something.
Next to lace and chocolate Mussels seems to be a dish that is associated with Brussels, which is interesting as Mussels come from the sea and Brussels is smack-bang in the middle of Belgium, nowhere near the sea.

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Atomium

This is the Atomium, built for the  Expo’58 and, I am reading this from the wiki, represents the iron atom very large. It seems that it has not been used much in movies and such, which might be cause by the fact that someone has claimed intellectual property rights on it  till 2075 and any depictions of it, although not for private individuals depicting it for private non commercial reasons(which would cause a revolution, we think.). One wonders how the world would be like, when everyone was copyrighting their house, their car, their whatever. Oh, how about my cows? Or my windmill? A barren world will unfold. The upshot is no doubt that nobody wants to show it. Hence you get to see the Eiffel-tower,Trafalgar square and what not.. but not the Atomium.

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Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Last picture^^ is a picture of a the  inside of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. It was not a big representation of the real thing, but with the proper light it actually looks a bit magic. The real life Greenhouses can only be visited during April and May. The Second Life version is never closed.

Rick Steves

Two nekos do Urupe 7: Luxembourg

Screenshot - 10_1_2013 , 11_39_45 PM Luxembourg is both the name of a small country and its capital, located in the West of Europe lodged between Belgium, France and Germany. In fact it is so small that you might see it as a city with outlaying districts and surrounding country side.. Perhaps the inhabitants of this small country might best speak for themselves about that. So go and ask them. And did you know there are just like 600.000 of them.. so the country is smaller than a lot of cities elsewhere in the world.

“How come that it exist at all?”  Kris asked..

“I bet because someone forgot to conquer it.” Merit said.

“You think?”

“Well.. perhaps someone would have.. but then other countries frown on such things: they get jealous, because they want to have it for themselves,.. so, it might exist because one does not want the other to have it. You know.. politics. The kind of self servicing politics that some enlightened philosophies like to take for being the prime motivation of humanity.”

“I bet it was just because after the centuries of conquering the bigger countries ran out of steam.  So by the time Luxembourg was eligible to be absorbed international laws were accepted as and it was saved by the bell Like.. why would we want to invade our neighbors? We want peace.. and love. Positive stuff.” Kris said

. “Perhaps.  it is a quiet little capital though. Nice and quiet.”

“I likes it!” Kris said.

“I like it too… and since it is in between some very big and powerful countries that could have conquered it or divided it, it. is like a sign of what peace can do. For we have not had a war in Western Urupe  since world war II. And certainly not Luxembourg. So I think it should the capital of Urope. As a symbol.” Merit said, “It already has a lot of European  Union institutions.. so why not all?”

“We could have multiple capitals can’t we?”

“We could. Who says we can’t?”

“Well, we name a few others we liked.”

“Didn’t we like them all?”

“Yes, but we can’t have all cities as the capital of Urupe?”

“Who says we can’t?”

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It is that quiet.
Because most decision are made by the stomach.. we thought Luxembourg is a good candidate for being the Capital of Urupe because of the many little restaurants. Haute cuisine, you’ll never go to war on a full stomach.. at least we don’t.
Fort Thungen
Fort Thungen was rebuilt at the end of the twentieth century and tthe start of the twenty-first after the original fortification was demolished between 1870 and 1874. In 1867 the treaty of London, signed by most of the then bigger European powers, guaranteed the neutrality of Luxembourg provided it had no fortification that might be used by outsiders as a base for waging war. So to remain neutral it should not be able to become a threat. Therefore the fort was demolished.
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The fort is a nice example of a late 18th century fortress built by the famous Vauban.. Well.. famous with those who know him. Nowadays the heap of stones is a nice backdrop where they let horses graze and you can do some site seeing. Being able to ride around without fearing some kind of violence is nice indeed!
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Picking a horse was hard. So many to choose from.

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Magic!
Nice!
Forts are pretty useless most of the time -this one did not even have a public toilet or a cafe. Which is why it is nice that we do not have wars anymore.

Two nekos do Urupe 6: Berlin

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Kebab is not a German dish.. but it signifies the existence of Berlins large Turkish community. An estimated 10% of the population is Turkish or from Turkish decent. Berlin is not only a large city(larger than Paris) but also has a lot of immigrants from the middle-east and eastern Urope.

When we were thinking of another capital of Urupe we could not help but think of Berlin.  Berlin, of course, is the capital city of Germany, a country that is well known by the general movie going public at large for visiting other peoples countries uninvited. This is of course something that lies in the past, but, assumed that we do not get another world war caused by another country (or two) it will probably haunt Germany  for as long as it exists(like it will Japan.).   This despite the fact that Germany has not been involved in a war of any sorts this last five decades or so and is one of the strongest pillars the European Union rests upon.  You see, that Germany is a rich country. Very rich. In fact it is by far the richest country in Urupe(if we not counting Russia that is and the vote is out there whether Russia belongs to Urupe or not) and this without having any huge amounts of natural resources, except for people that is. In fact it is one of the richest countries in the world.

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The TV tower at Berlin; a defining landmark of the city. It was built by the German Democratic Republic: that is the former East German government. In a way it is both a symbol of reunification as of division.

Germany once was divided into two parts: one to the east and one to the west. The west part had its capital at Bonn, a town sitting near the French border which was abandoned in favor for Berlin in no time once Germany was united again and Berlin was no longer locked in the middle of  socialist east Germany. The socialists left a reminder in the TV tower.  Seems every nation want something sticking into the air just to remind you of… eh. well. remind you of something. Maybe just to remind you that they are there?

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We had to revisit Berlin because we wanted to make some more pictures. Look.. it is the TV tower! Yeah, this is another Neko. We got a lot of them..

One of the nice things about Berlin is that the do strange arty stuff. A fertile art culture seems a kind of good symbol, even when you do not agree with the art. The cubes are a memorial to the Jewish victims of the holocaust. The concrete blocks are called Stelae, which is an expensive name for upright standing stone block. Berlin has always been a very arty place.

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We thought to make a nice snapshot of the Berlin Project in Second Life.. as we had not access, us being nekos.  You see these did not yet hang out at Berlin in the twenties. So we had Fats take a picture.. That is the Brandenburger tor and I guess the woods to either side are the grounds of the Tiergarten(zoo).
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So well.. we asked to have Fats another picture with Fats himself in it. As Fats is not a neko and therefore fits into the Berlin scene he could take a picture at leisure. This is a picture of the Bannhof (station) at Alexanderplatz.which brings us, together with the previous picture, to Bannhof Zoo. And this brings us to.. Christiane F.
christiane_f_wir_kinder_vom_bahnhof_zoo
Christiane F, or: wir kinder vom bannhof zoo is the sad tale of a teenager who became a heroine drug addict in the later seventies of the 20th century. The scenery is set amid the depressing grey high rises that populated West Berlin. The scenery is perhaps a tad darker when one imagines that just a few kilometers to the east people where shot by East German border guards for trying to flee the blessings of the socialist Valhalla while in west Berlin teenagers were trying to escape capitalist heaven on earth using drugs.
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Cube24 in Second Life is probably a representation of the Cube night club in real life Berlin. It is actually a lively place for Second Life and caters to the lovers of electronic music. Admittedly that is a broad spectrum of music nowadays, so out feeling was that it tended towards trance, minimal more than towards hardcore house.
We liked it..

Two nekos do Urupe 5: Venice.

Screenshot - 9_29_2013 , 1_53_46 PMMerit: “Venice is actually a kind of strange place for it looks like someone forgot to add new buildings to it after the sixteen century or so. So it is a place that seems forever in old times.  So it is a good background for eerie and strange novels, movies and assorted imaginations. Of course.. there is Death in Venice the book by Thomas Mann and of course: Don’t look now…”

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Strange poster really, you might have expected a little bit more red in it.That is what the movie is throwing at us all the time.
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So we just fiddled around a bit with layers and stuff.. I do say.. the result is not half bad. Wanted to capture the recurring theme of water and red.

Kris: “That is the kind of movie that slowly gets appreciated more and more until everyone gets fed up and it either gets damned for being overrated or becomes a cult classic… or both.”

Merit: “Do you like my picture??”

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Staring out over the very water of Venice. Someone said that eventually it will sink into the water, so better visit it before it does.

Kris: “Your picture? I somehow spot the hand of Taubie in this.”

Merit:  “Well, I thought of it. Making pictures takes a lot of thinking….”

Kris: “So you does the thinking. And Taubie does?”

Merit: “She makes them pictures..”

Kris: “But no thinking?”

Merit: “Ehm in another way… you know.. like… well,  let’s have a look at the next picture.”

NotAfterMidnight

Kris : “What is this… and what has this to do with Venice?”

Merit: “That is the book were the story of the movie comes from..So actually Daphne thought of it.. and Roeg made it into a movie. A bit like me and Taubie. I thought of the pictures.. she made them.”

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Water and a watery sun.. Venice is a harbor city that borders on the Adriatic Sea. Which is nice if you like water.
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Why do I have the feeling that we are looking from Venice at Venice? Maybe it is a Mirage. A surreal appearance of something that is not there..

Merit: “So Venice is another possible candidate for being the Capital City of Urupe.  Like it has got it all: books, movies, water, boats, historical buildings and landmarks. And you know a lot of Italians went to the US, so there is a sort of intimate connection there.”

Kris: “I wouldn’t know. That movie makes the city pretty scary.. I mean if you see a little person wearing a red coat then you better run.. Did they ever get that killer?”

Merit: “It was just a movie.. besides.. that movie was made like in the last century… decades ago.. Bet if there was a killer he or she will be pretty dead by now.”

Kris: “You never know.. some people might not be people at all..but something supernatural. Like ghosts… or devils or demons.”

Merit: “I think we getting a bit in the depressed zone.. let’s go for an ice-cream.. Which btw Italians are also famous for.. Italian icecream!”

“Yesah!”

Two nekos do Urupe 4: Alors Paris

Honestly, we went to Paris first. We just wanted to confuse you. Paris  might possiblly be the capital city of Urupe because it has a very big tower (= bog tower). Other cities have big towers as well, but not as iconic as Paris has. It is the Eiffel tower, a huge early industrial age tower.  We wondered if it is still  can be considered to be the same tower or that it now has all its constituent parts replaced so that it is actually not the same tower that Eiffel had built, but a totally new tower. Would that not be like a living being, a creature that recreates itself?

Eiffel tower. It has a kind of grace somehow, that is why the french people kept it. Or just because nobody knew how to remove it.
Eiffel tower. It has a kind of grace somehow, that is why the French people kept it. Or just because nobody knew how to remove it. It must  produce  a heap of metal
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This is a fun thing, You spin around and around until your face turns green and you puke your innards out. But not really.. it actually did not move that fast so instead of growing green you grow hungry. We have a bit of a problem with wheels like this because they are for us associated with Vienna ever since we saw the Third Man and the speech about cuckoo clocks.
Me(on the left, delivering the famous cuckoo clock speech:)
“In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed. But they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance.
In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce?
. . . The cuckoo clock!”
Kris: “Did you know there was a Marx Cuckoo Clock Corporation, run by the Marx brothers?”
Me: “Really? The Marx brothers? Are they still in business?”
Kris: “Don’t think so.. you know the Marx brothers. By the time they actually start to make a profit they squander it on something.”
Me: :”I can’t really imagine the Marx Brothers making Cuckoo Clocks. Maybe it was an import company.”
Kris: “It should have read Marx Cuckoo Clock Corporation, Import.”
Me: “Something like that. ..You know what?”
Kris: “Sure?”
Me: “It is time for you to get off.”
Kris: “Oh.”
Me: “Yeah…time for you to leave the car.”
Kris: “Why?”
Me: “Because we are at ground level and you block the exit.”
Kris: “Oh right.. sorry.”
Me: “What else did you think.. wait you thought I was going to have you jump out?”
Kris: “You were quoting from the Third Man after all…”
Me: “Ah yes that is right..”
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L’arce de triomphe. Napoleon copies over ancient Roman symbolism. What battle did he win again? Nevermind.

 

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Just loved this tram going underneath that monument.
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Le Moulin Rouge. Can can dancers, cabaret, snobby people, sensuality for the upper class. We were not properly dressed so we were not allowed in. Next time we will get us a huge dress or two.. At least that is what seems to be required.
On the other hand.. we could always watch the movie..

Two nekos do Urupe 3: Lundun

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Hiding out in the London Dungeon was Jack the Ripper.

The first place the two nekos visited was Paris, but because they are pretty unpredictable we do the Lundun visit first. Lundun in SL has many suprises and one includes this rather creepy guy called Jack the Ripper. Deemed responsible for the deaths of many women in Lundun at the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century,  he has gotten away with his foul deeds. It is a shame.

His identity and his motif  are a mystery, a mystery that creates one book or movie every decade or so.. no doubt more. Sherlock Holmes was probably not around at the time, otherwise he would have apprehended the bugger.  A pity indeed.

Part of the list of victims.
The street where you can find the London dungeon.
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Some fun activities to do. Also inside the London dungeon. Seems hanging was just as popular in the old times as it is among the young today. Only in a different way. breathtaking view, don’t you think?
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Soho..who does not like trendy restaurants, shop sand the lingering remnants of a darker past? But this is of course not Soho, but Trafalgar square…

Two nekos do Urope 1

Two Nekos do Urupe


Two nekos (= cat peope) do Urupe for those who have never been there. Nice snapshots that might entice you to go and visit that country… or not as the case may be.

The first task they got was to actually find the capital city of Urupe and make some interesting snapshots.  But first on this page let’s meet the the two neko team.

And here they are.

Two nekos: Kris & Merit
Two nekos: Kris & Merit

The two neko team: that is Merit to the left and Kris to the right. They will be in the pictures.

Two nekos: Taubie

This is Taubie. You won’t see her that much cause she is making them pictures.

The next installment will be see them visit the Capital city of Urupe which could be Paris.. or London.. or Berlin. Those Urope people never can make up their minds about it.