Saturday 22 April 2017

Tulips fields and details in the Netherlands, Spring 2017 in Bollenstreek

Every April the flower fields between Leiden and amsterdam turn into rainbow of bulb flowers in bloom.This year I went there with a 100mm macro lens and concentrated on the details, lines and shapes! 

I hope you enjoy them, I did even if the wind was very freezing ;-)
Let me know which o the pictures you like the most :-)

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Snow Crystals in Bad Urach and HAPPY 2017!!!

Happy, Healthy and Lucky 2017 to all of you! Let it be a serene and successful for everyone.

Myself started the year on the first of January with macros of frosty details on the walk to the Bad Uracher Wasserfall with good friends. enjoy the nature beauty and lots of good vibrations!

Monday 4 April 2016

Kukeri in Karlovo, Bulgaria: dances for health, happiness and to scare the bad spirits (Старчовден)

Three weeks ago, on 13 of March 2016 (40 days before the Bulgarian Orthodox Easter for this year) I was lucky to attend and watch the dances on the so called Starchovden (Старчовден), the day of the dancing men. The event consists of different local groups of "kukeri" (кукери) performing their dance for scaring evil spirits away and the cold weather and ensuring a good harvest and good health, while also welcoming the coming spring.

Why has this event been on my to-see-list for almost 10 years? Kukeri are costumed Bulgarian men, always with masks, furry clothing and big bells attached to their belt. Some are representing animals, while others are specific figures (the mayor or simply the village people). When they move the bells make sounds, which defers depending on the size of the bell. In the town of Karlovo and the surrounding villages the word kukeri is not used, but the performers are called "starzi" (старци), old men in Bulgarian. In the last years women have also been allowed to join these groups and to perform, given the fact they have shown enough endurance to dance with the big bells.The masks were often done from wood, nowadays a lot of them are from tissue. They are decorated and covered with lots of different things, such as tiny pieces of tissues, glittery pearls and buttons, anything shiny and catching attention. Some masks have two sides (one side with sweet-nature face, while the other has vicious look), representing the bad and the good in one. The colour red is dominating in the masks and clothing, being symbol of the fruitfulness in nature and fertility of the ground for the next seasons.

As per Wikipedia the custom is generally thought to be related to the Thracian Dionysos cult in the wider area of Thracia. The idea behind was starting the new harvest year fresh and with good energy/ free of bad spirits. Similar rituals can be also found in Greece, Romania, Macedonia and parts of Turkey. Similar tradition and dances are performed even in Sardinia, Italy.

Soak into the colourful atmosphere and these old Bulgarian/ Balkan traditions and let the spring and summer arrive soon!

Sunday 17 May 2015

From (Zuid-)Holland with love: part 2 of the fabulous flight

De Kaag Aerial view

During the colourful flower fields flight end of April with LionAir we started at Rotterdam airport in a cozy tiny Cessna plane. We flew over Zoetermeer, Leiden, de Kaag before heading to the flower bulb area (Lisse, Voorhout and Noordwijkerhout). Afterwards we did a turn and kept following the coastline (Noordwijk aan Zee and Katwijk followed by Scheveningen, Kijkduin and the Zandmotor plus of course Monster and its greenhouses). At the end a fabulous view above Rotterdam harbour and then city, before landing...However, as I started with the heart of de Kaagse Plassen I edn my blog with the Zandmotor heart too:-)
Zandmotor Kijkduin heart 2015.

Saturday 9 May 2015

Fabulous tulip flight above Bollenstreek, lost in Dutch spring colours 2015

Its difficult to (even try to) describe the magnificent flower-glory one could see this year end of April while flying over the Bollenstreek. Luckily for us, tulips and hyacinths were decorating the fields at the same time  in all possible colours. Add a clear blue sky, nice sunshine and a friendly pilot and you have a great spring experience for years to remember. Enjoy the colour flower-power!!!