The Sunday porch: Sogn, Norway

Cafe in Norway, 1898 to 1904, flickr CommonsPossibly a café, Sogn area, Norway, between 1897 and 1904, by Nils Olsson Reppen, via Fylkesarkivet (County Archives) i Sogn go Fjordane Commons on flickr.

Across the road, the sign on the house reads, “Logi for reisende. Udsalg av mad, Kaffe og Brus” (“Lodging for travellers. Sale of food, coffee and fizzy lemonade”).

Click the image for a larger view.

Life in gardens: travelers

Alahambra, Spain, 1878, Swedish Natl Heritage BoardThe Alhambra, Granada, Spain, 1878, by Carl Curman, via Swedish National Heritage Board Commons on flickr.

The cyanotype shows the photographer’s wife, Calla, either sketching or reading during a visit to the Court of the Lions.  She was 28 at the time and just married to Curman. This may have been their honeymoon trip.

The Alhambra fortress/palace was built primarily in the 13th and 14th centuries by the Muslim Nasrid dynasty of southern Spain. After the Christian Conquest in 1492, it became the royal residence of Ferdinand and Isabella and, later, their grandson, Charles V. However, by the 18th century the site was derelict and largely abandoned.

In 1829, the American writer Washington Irving stayed in the Alhambra for three months and then turned his impressions into the romantic Tales of the Alhambra.

“The peculiar charm of this old dreamy palace,” he wrote, “is its power of calling up vague reveries and picturings of the past, and thus clothing naked realities with the illusions of the memory and the imagination.”

The book was popular, “the exotic was in vogue,” and cultured travelers — Calla was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist — began to visit the ruins in increasing numbers. Restoration work — often controversial — soon followed.  Today, the old complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

About 30 years after Carl and Calla’s trip, their son also visited the Court of the Lions and took the picture below.Alhambra, 1910, Tekniska museetGroup of tourists in the Court of the Lions,  ca. 1910, by Sigurd Curman, via Tekniska museet (Stockholm) Commons on flickr.

In the 14th century, the area around the fountain was a little lower than the walkways and planted in flowers, giving a tapestry or carpet effect.  Today, as in the photo above, the space is entirely covered in dry pebbles to preserve the building’s foundation.

I am the garden appearing every morning with adorned beauty; contemplate my beauty and you will be penetrated with understanding.

— Ibn Zamrak, from a poem on the wall of the Hall of the Two Sisters in the Alhambra.

Both sides now

Gallery in Dansaert, Brussels/enclos*ureThe front of this small gallery on Rue de Flandre (or Vlaamsesteenweg) in Dansaert shows how Brussels can be both charming and a little grim at the same time.

Gallery in Dansaert, Brussels/enclos*ureI took these pictures a week ago yesterday.

Gallery in Dansaert, Brussels/enclos*ureThere’s a nice appreciation of the city on The Economist’s Intelligent Life website here.

Gallery in Dansaert, Brussels/enclos*ureThe neighborhood of Dansaert starts about four blocks northwest of the Grand’Place and is definitely worth exploring, especially if you are interested in Belgian fashion design and/or food.

The gallery, Impasse Temps/Tijd Gang*, is staging a series of weekend exhibits on “Pattern(s)” between now and November 24.

Gallery in Dansaert, Brussels/enclos*ureIt is located at 123 Rue de Flandre.

Gallery window in Dansaert, Brussels/enclos*ure