Tokyo’s Kagurazaka

While in Tokyo we booked onto a walking tour of the Kagurazaka district so we could explore an area a bit outside of the main commercial area and with cobblestone streets we were able to get a different view of Tokyo.

Tokyo Kagurazaka We didn’t end up going in any of pachinko parlours but you could always hear them whenever the doors opened.

Tokyo Kagurazaka In a former Geisha district. This was such a peaceful area.

Tokyo Kagurazaka

Tokyo Kagurazaka Houses often had these Tanuki statues outside.

Tokyo Kagurazaka

Tokyo Kagurazaka

Tokyo Kagurazaka I actually didn’t take many photographs during this tour as it was just nice to wander around and take in the atmosphere.

Mono street

Sometimes it’s nice to just keep things simple – a couple of black and white shots from a street in Brussels.

Brussels in mono

Brussels in mono

In Europe

While in Brussels we took a quick walk around the European quarter. It’s hard to imagine Europe without the EU these days.

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Eu flag‘United in Diversity’

Photo moment

A helpful sign in Brussels highlighted that we should be taking a photo at this moment.

BrusselsAnd it was quite a view.

Brussels

Comic strip trail in Brussels

Other than waffles, Belgium, and Brussels in particular is famous for its comic strip  history. We took the opportunity to follow the comic strip trail – there are quite a few great comic book stores, and if this is your kind of thing, the Tin Tin Shop is fun to look around too.

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Festive season in Brussels

Brussels at Christmas is a delight. Having only ever been to Brussels before for work and spending my time wandering around in the rain between meetings in nondescript office buildings, this trip made a nice change. It may have been freezing cold, but seeing the buildings in Grand Place lit up to music was definitely worth it,

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This square is thought to be one of the most beautiful in Europe – and when lit like this was a huge Christmas tree it’s not difficult to see why, IMG_8380

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IMG_8393The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert was lit up beautifully – and as usual full of tempting chocolate delights (as well as marshmallows).

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A box full of macroons. IMG_8400

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IMG_8405The tree in Grand Place represents Rīga as both the European Capital of Culture and the capital of the presiding state of the Council of the European Union.  IMG_8413

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IMG_8474Belgium is famous for it’s waffles. I many waffles on this trip. This was the Brussels waffle, you can also get the smaller liege waffle (which I also tested for comparison purposes).

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Like most Christmas markets, it was rather busy.IMG_8492

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There was even a Christmas pig. IMG_8525

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Fuel for the weekend! IMG_8551Only a couple of hours from London by Eurostar, Brussels is a great place for a quick city visit at Christmas.

Dotonbori by night

Is it possible to get such good night shots with a point-and-shoot? Yes, yes it is?

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Dotonbori. Again

Outside, looking in.

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Kensington Gardens

In the spring I headed back to Kensington to visit the palace and gardens. I used to work five minutes walk from here and never made it over so with a bit of time off work it seemed like a good place to explore.

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens is impressive, particularly in the sunlight. Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

And the Royal Albert Hall, one of London’s finest venues. Manchester Christmas market 2014

London Kensington Palace

Manchester revisited – Christmas markets 2014

This week we had to make a trip to Manchester for work. Having lived there it feels a little strange just visiting, but its interesting seeing how the city changes in between visits.. We had a little time to spare before we had to catch a train so took the opportunity to have a wander around the Christmas markets.

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014

Manchester Christmas market 2014