Posts in Category: travel

Depressing Paris

 

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Amsterdam. Tezele pacatului.

Cu prietenul Mircea Radu – pe care il cunoasteti in blogosfera sub pseudonimul Paul Mircescu – am avut o scurta corespondenta in urma cu doua luni, inainte sa plec spre Amsterdam. “Drum bun spre orasul acela plin de curve si biciclete!” incheia M., dandu-mi de inteles ca Amsterdamul nu putea sa se fi schimbat prea mult de cand fusese el acolo.

In Amsterdam sunt intr-adevar din belsug si biciclete, si curve. Vreo 700.000 din primele, la 1,8 milioane de locuitori. Cate or fi din celelalte, n-am putut afla, desi la modul in care se pune la ei problema “valorificarii si marketizarii sexului” m-as fi asteptat sa le gasesc pe fete la colt de strada cu cate un numar de ordine tatuat pe frunte, ca vacile.

Periferia orasului este un perfect exemplu de civilizatie, liniste si curatenie. Ca atare, nimic interesant de fotografiat. Nimic nu e mai plictisitor ca armonia.

In schimb, zona centrala a Amsterdamului, desi abunda in subiecte, m-a impresionat neplacut. Un oras foarte scump, inghesuit, murdar si aglomerat, care da o senzatie agresiva de nesiguranta si in care domnesc promiscuitatea si imoralitatea (si hetero- si homosexuala). O sa spun doar atata: cand ajungi sa iti aduci copilul la magazinul unde se vand spori de ciuperci halucinogene si “vederi” pornografice, iar gestul asta sa treaca drept normal, nu vad cum ar mai fi loc sa decazi mai mult de atat.

Ca veni vorba de “ciuperci” – si de ludic in general – tin sa demontez doua “mituri urbane”.

Primul este acela al “legalizarii consumului de droguri” (apropo de tembelismele din raportul Comisiei Prezidentiale pentru Analiza Riscurilor Socialie si Demografice din Romania).

In Olanda nu este legalizat consumul de droguri, ci doar, in anumite limite stricte, tolerat sau dezincriminat.

Spre exemplu, posesia si producerea de canabis pentru consum propriu sunt contraventii, pedepsite cu amenda. Limita insa este 5 grame de canabis, pe care sa le ai asupra ta pentru uz propriu. Este tolerata cresterea in gradina proprie a maxim 5 plante, care totusi sunt confiscate de politie daca sunt descoperite.

Cafenelele in care se poate fuma canabis sunt, tehnic, ilegale, insa ele sunt tolerate. De asemenea, la florarii se vand pachete cu seminte de canabis, asa cum puteti vedea mai jos. Nu va lasati inselati, repet, aceste actiuni sunt doar ingaduite, in anumite limite precise dar nu sunt permise direct de lege.

De asemenea, concentratia de alcaloid THC din planta trebuie sa fie sub anumite nivele.

Ciupercile halucinogene au fost interzise de la 1 decembrie 2008, dupa ce cativa consumatori au murit in incidente provocate de halucinatiile de la ciuperci. Totusi, poti cumpara spori de la magazine specializate.

De drogurile tari nu are sens sa mai vorbim.

Producerea industriala, comertul, importul si exportul de orice fel de substanta halucinogena sunt sever pedepsite prin lege. Lege aspra – intre 12 si 16 ani de inchisoare!

Al doilea mit este cel al “beneficiilor aduse de legalizarea prostitutiei”. Noul guvern olandez a inceput in 2008 restrangerea zonelor “cu felinare rosii” si a sporit programele de reconversie sociala si profesionala a prostituatelor, semn ca legalizarea nu rezolva, ci mareste problemele generate de prostitutia ilegala si fenomenele asociate, asa cum am aratat si aici. Bordelurile aduc infractionalitate organizata, trafic de droguri, spalare de bani si nu reduc, ci sporesc prostitutia ilegala si traficul de femei.

Mai jos nu veti gasi imagini din “Red Lights District”, desi am trecut “razant” pe acolo. Am fost sfatuit sa evit zona daca “n-am treaba” (nu, multumesc, m-am revoltat in gand) si in nici un caz sa nu fac fotografii dupa lasarea serii, daca n-am chef de un “buzunar” sub barbie.

Oricum nu mi s-ar fi parut deloc distractiv sa arat cum minunata creatie care este femeia, alcatuita dupa chipul si asemanarea lui Dumnezeu, a ajuns, intr-o tara pe care unii o cred “culmea civilizatiei”, o marfa.

In fine, nu sunt obiectiv si nici nu ma obosesc sa pretind ca as putea fi. Din punctul meu de vedere, sper sa nu ajungem niciodata ca Olanda. Grefat pe orientalismul, mica invarteala si lenea tipic romanesti, modelul olandez ar fi cea mai rapida reteta pentru sinuciderea natiunii romane, care si asa se indreapta cu viteza mare spre un dezastru “100% democratic”.

Enjoy the photos.

Paris (5). Notre Dame

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Paris (3). Arc de Triomphe

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Budapest (5): Hungarian Parliament Building

Orszaghaz, or the the Hungarian Parliament Building is situated in Kossuth Lajos Square, on the bank of the Danube, in Budapest. It is the largest building in Hungary, and the second largest Parliament in Europe after the Romanian Parliament Palace in Bucharest.

Construction was started in 1885 and completed in 1904, but the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country, in 1896.

It was built in Gothic Revival style with symmetrical facade and a central dome. The building is 268 meter long, 123 meter wide in the middle, 96 meter high with the dome. Its area is 18 000 sqm.

The facade includes 90 statues, while the interior walls are decorated with 152 statues, county’s and city’s coat of arms, and local flower motives. Around 40 kilogram of 22-23 carat gold was used for decorations.

The building has 10 courtyards, 27 doors, 29 staircases and 13 elevators and 691 rooms. In addition to planetary, conference and session rooms, it includes over 200 offices. The symmetrical arrangement of the building is designed to serve a double chamber system, similar to the Capitol in Washington. The huge hexadecagonal dome hall in the middle was designed for joined sessions: the Lower House (today the National Assembly meets here) and the Upper House (until 1945).

16 statues of Hungarian kings and rulers, along with their coat of arms, ornate the walls: St. Istvan, St. Laszlo, Kalman Konyves, Andras the 2nd, Bela the 4th, Lajos Nagy, Janos Hunyadi and Matyas Hunyadi, kings of Hungary, followed by Transylvanian monarchs: Istvan Bathori, Istvan Bocskai, Gabor Bethlen and Gyorgy Rakoczi the first; and three Habsburg rulers: III. Karoly the 3rd, Terezia Maria and Lipot the 2nd. Wall paintings depict historical events, statues represent allegoric figures of honoured virtues.

In the Dome Hall of Parliament the authorities have placed, under protective glass, the Holy Crown of St. Stephen, the founder of Hungarian state. The artifact was moved here from the National Museum in an attempt to elevate the Crown as national symbol from a museum relic to a living icon.

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Budapest (4): Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad vara is a castle in City Park, Budapest, Hungary, built between 1896 and 1908 in different architectural styles (Romanic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque). In part this is a copy of a castle in Transylvania, Romania, that is also called Vajdahunyad.

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The castel’s garden hosts the statue of Anonymus Notarius, chronicler of King Bela III in 12th century, the author of first history books on the ancient Hungarians. Superstition says that by touching his pen you will receive good luck.

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Budapest (3): Esztergom Basilica

The Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary taken into heaven and St Adalbert is an ecclesiastic basilica in Esztergom, Hungary, situated not far from Budapest and in the near vicinity of Danube river and Hungarian-Slovakian border.

Known as the most precious remaining example of Renaissance art in Hungary, the Esztergom Basilica is dedicated to Saint Mary the Assumption and Saint Adalbert.

The actual building of the church was built between 1822 and 1856, but it lays on the foundation of other several earlier churches, the first of whom was built by Stephen I of Hungary between 1001-1010.

This is the tallest building in Hungary and the 18th biggest church in the world, with an interior area of 56.000 sqm. It has 118 m long and 49 m wide. Its hemispherical dome, with a diameter of 33,5 metres, has 12 windows and is 71,5 m high from inside and 100 m high from outside.

In the altar one can see the largest painting in the world painted on a single piece of canvas: painted by Michelangelo Grigoletti, the scene depicting the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary has an area of 13,5×6,6 meters.

The catacombs contains a huge crypt, built in 1831, which is today the resting place of late archbishops.

Photos made in October 2008.

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Budapest (2): Royal Palace of Gödöllö

Fostul palat regal din Gödöllö (langa Budapesta), resedinta de vara a Imparatului Franz Josef al Austriei si a Imparatesei Elisabeta (Sissi). Nu mi s-a dat voie sa fotografiez in muzeul care ocupa cea mai mare parte a ansamblului arhitectural.

The Royal Palace of Gödöllö (near Budapest), former summer residence of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef and his wife Elisabeth (Sissi). Unfortunately i was not allowed to shoot inside the museum (main part of the palace’s area).

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Budapest (1): Danube by Night

Danube by night – Palazzo Reale
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Danube by night – Széchenyi Chain Bridge
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Romanian monasteries in Oltenia – selection

Three of the most famous orthodox monasteries in Romania: ‘Bistrita’, ‘Dintr-un lemn’ and ‘Horezu’ (UNESCO World Heritage Site). June 2008.

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