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Photographer's Note

Winter in Gent. Another impossibly still day in early January, reflected in the equally still and silent waters of the Leie River where it is bordered by the Graslei walkways. This is a frequently photographed scene in Gent, I believe. I was standing near the St Michael's Bridge to take this photo.

Directly behind the bright blue tarpaulin is the Graslei Chocolate Shop, where an incredibly warm hearted and amusing man sells his own chocolates and isn't averse to letting you try before buying. He pointed to a church behind where I stood to take this shot and said he owed his existence to it as his parents had married there.

To the left of the chocolate shop, almost in the centre of the photo and adjacent to the yellow bridge, is the Calisto cafe where we spent many hours drinking coffee or beer and warming up from the winter cold. Beyond the yellow bridge you can see the old fishmarkt with its nine attic style windows, and moored beside its wall is the lovely red boat that seems always to be there and has also been photographed many times - in this shot by Neil Vertongen for instance.

This is one of my favourite views in Gent, and the weather was astonishing on this day. Most days I found my fingers were too cold to manipulate the camera, and too clumsy with gloves on.

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