OUR COVER STORY
photographs are some of the most powerful and lyrical we’ve run in Discovery. Photographer Christophe Vander Eecken was born in Ghent, and set out to capture his hometown and the neighbouring Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp. It was January, and the weather was predictably dull. But Christophe’s shots capture the exterior stillness and interior cosiness of a European winter – but also the quiet handsomeness and character of these cities, qualities you’ll encounter at any time of year.
Belgium is indeed the quietest of the western European countries, which makes it a very Belgian irony that its capital, Brussels, was chosen as the home of the European Union and the de facto capital of Europe. It’s also Cathay Pacific’s newest destination, with a four-times-weekly flight launching on 25 March.
Belgium is also taciturn about the achievements of its people. It’s a standing (read: old and worn) joke that no- one can name more than 10 famous Belgians. That may partly be because so many assume its greatest talents (Jacques Brel, Django Reinhardt, Hergé of Tintin fame) are really French.
One of the Belgians who is habitually and correctly associated with his home country is the artist René Magritte. Maybe that’s because his uniquely quiet and disquieting vision (recently on show in Hong Kong’s ArtisTree gallery) is as Belgian as it gets. A visit to his museum in Brussels, followed by a cup of the world’s best hot chocolate should be added to the many Unesco- certified experiences in this small and beguiling country.
Mark Jones Editorial director 本期封面故事的攝影抒情中充滿力量，屬於難得之作。我們邀請在比利時根特出生的攝影師Christophe Vander Eecken為他的家鄉以及鄰近的布魯塞爾與安特衛普拍照。拍攝時間為1月，一如所料，天氣甚為陰沉；然而Christophe的照片不但捕捉了歐陸冬季室外的態與室內溫馨舒適的氣氛，同時也捕捉了這些城市各具特色的美態，而這些美態全年任何時候都能體驗。
比利時通常很少談及國民的成就，甚至因此生出一個老掉牙的笑話：沒有人能說出超過十位比利時名人的名字。不過有部分原因可能是，很多人都以為比國最具才華的人如歌手Jacques Brel、作曲家及結他手Django Reinhardt及以丁丁漫畫聞名的埃爾熱，其實都是法國人。