Friday, 30 April 2010

Dutch tulip fields...

Tulip holland rain drop
As every year end of April is the time one can bike, walk or drive in the middle of the Dutch flower fields...Usually one may admire first the daffodils, then the hyacinths and last but not least the famous tulips...But as last winter was so long and cold this spring offers all fields at once:-)
Some visitors still get completely shock when the experience the "cutting tulip head"-rituals. Yes, the Dutch dont bother or sell the flowersone see, they plant them for the bulbs.
Cutting tulips Holland
The Netherlands produces some 4.32 billion tulip bulbs, of which 2.3 billion (53%) are used as the starting material for the cultivation of cut flowers. No fewer than 1.3 billion of these (57%) are grown in the Netherlands as cut flowers. The remainder goes to countries within the EU (0.63 billion) and outside the EU (0.37 billion).
Tulip Holland
The main buyers outside the EU are Japan with 179 million, the US with 147 million, Norway with 60 million and Canada with 48 million bulbs.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Flower power during Bloemencorso 2010 in Haarlem

Bloemencorso 2010 Moulin Rouge
Bloemencorso 2010 Italy
Last weekend was again THIS special time of the year: the weekend of the flower parade Bloemencorso. Starting Saturday morning from Noordwijkerhout and arriving in the evening in the 40-km-far away city of Haarlem. This year the topic of the parade was "travelling through Europe".
Bloemencorso 2010
Bloemencorso 2010
One could see the French Moulin Rouge, play Spanish guitar, see the Portuguese cocks...and meet the Swedish viking and sail away on his ship:-)
Bloemencorso 2010
Bloemencorso 2010Bloemencorso 2010

Friday, 23 April 2010

Viktualienmarkt in München...

Viktualienmarkt Munich

Viktualienmarkt Munich

It does not matter if one just want to spend some nice moments, to have a rest in the sun and a beer or to enjoy a fresh pressed fruit juice: "der Viktualienmarkt" (the market for food and drink /victuals) is a place not to be missed in Munich...Located in the heart of the city center, just behind the new town hall, this market offers an incredible amount of food specialties, snack bars and fresh fruits and veggies from all around the world.

Viktualienmarkt Munich

My personal must-do (when i am passing by) is to have a fresh pressed juice: always difficult to choose between the possible mix of mango/strawberry/pineapple/kiwi/cocos/mandarine/orange/banana:-) Another stand which always brings a smile to my face is the one with animals made out of straw and decoration items of dried herbs. The cute hedgehogs, the looking almost like real geese, the funny pigs...

Viktualienmarkt Munich Viktualienmarkt Munich

In the middle of the Viktualienmarkt is standing proud "der Maibaum" (the tree of May) depicting typical scenes of every day Bavarian (beer-)life.

Maibaum Viktualienmarkt Munich

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Its cherry blossom (sakura) time in Japan....

Kyoto cherry blossom

Spring in Japan is the time of "sakura" (=the blossom of a cherry tree). The famous and loved over all cherry blossom brings locals and tourists together. From end of March till beginning of May the colourful clouds of blossoms can be admired in different parts of the country. Through the whole year sakura is omen for good luck and at the same time symbol for love and affection. All over Japan there are more than 200 cultivars of these cherry trees.

cherry blossom Kyoto

Cherry blossom kyoto

Japanese are crazy about it and get in quiet funny postures to photograph it (see picture below)....

Sakura Kyoto photographer

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Underwater gardens....


Once you have put your head under the water surface you arrive in another, very colourful world....sponges in various shapes, colours and textures are all over and take your breath away...

SpongesGardenGuadeloupe Reserve Cousteau

SpongesGardenGuadeloupe Reserve Cousteau

Yellow, pink, purple, green, red or blue - an impressive mix is there on display...a great ambiance for a zen-diving:-) One can encounter the tube sponges (in yellow), the barrel ones (in red), the vase sponges are purple...the rest i am not gonna tell...

SpongesGardenGuadeloupe Reserve Cousteau

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Meeting with seahorses...

Seahorse Guadeloupe
Today I would like to present you to a cute little underwater creature. The seahorses are mostly known because of the fact that the male one is swimming around with a huge belly, as he is the one getting pregnant. They swim upright unlikely to other fishes (of their class: "pipefishes") by using smal fins (dorsal and pectoral).
Seahorse Guadeloupe
Nowadays the population of seahorses is extremely endangered due to their usage in Chinese medicine. Around 20 million have been captured and dried every year. Indonesians and Central Filipinos use them also for medicinal purposes. The international seahorse export and import convention (signed in 2004) does not help to protect them fully as Japan, Indonesia, Norway and South Korea have chosen to opt out from it.

The two seahorses you see here I have encountered in the marine Park Iles de Pigeon in Guadeloupe...
Seahorse Guadeloupe