Saturday 30 January 2010

Exposition Boot 2010, Düsseldorf...

Boot2010 Düsseldorf

Today the discovery of the biggest water sport exposition in Germany: BOOT 2010 was on the programme. This event takes place since 2002 and collects around 1700 companies/presentors from 57 countries every year in Düsseldorf.

Boot2010_Düsseldorf dive tanks

The visitor is squizzed between huge yachts and underwater images, old viking ship replicas and hanging water sport gear. In the diving hall there are even 2 inside dive tanks (and a pool for wake-boarding) for the most enthusiastic once.

Boot2010 Düsseldorf

The expo is definitely a good place to collect information for beautiful places around the world, meet some old faces (hehe, we bumped in the owner of dive school we dived with in the Maldives) or just to "walk/wonder around" in the middle of a huge crowd...

Boot2010 Düsseldorf

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Le Beffroi d'Arras/ Arras bell tower in Picardy

Place Beffroi d'Arras

I was amazed when arriving at the main square in Arras, the capital of the French department Pas-de-Calais. The main square (called so many names: the Grande Place, the Place des Héros, also called the Petite Place) was bathing in autumn sunshine. On the background of blue sky and white clouds the buildings appeared just so perfectly lined up and beautiful...At the one end of it, the 77m-high-bell tower overlooked the city from the top of the Gothic town hall.

Beffroi d'Arras

The "Beffroi d`Arras" (the bell tower) is on the UNESCO World heritage list since 2005. It was built between the XIVth and the XVth century, but was almost completely distroyed during the WW1. The bell tower is classified historical monument of France already in 1840! Inside the town hall (Hotel de Ville) the typical local costumes (of Picardy area) "in huge size" are on display.

Beffroi d'Arras inside

If you are curious to see how Arras did look like some 50-60 years ago, please click here. A great selection of old post cards is shown!

Place Beffroi d'Arras

Saturday 23 January 2010

Caribbean flowers....


exotic flower Guadeloupe

It is cold, wet and grey outside, typical European weather in winter....and its been like this for the last few days, so I have decided to share some more colours and warmth from the Caribbean with you. In the French Antilles one may discover plenty of exotic flowers unknown in the old continent. On the first picture you can see the so called "oiseau de paradis" (eng. "paradise bird"). Another funny name has the flower pictured just below, this one is called "rose de porcelaine" (eng. "pocelane rose").

Rose Porcelaine Martinique

exotc flower Martinique

The best place to experience this in Martinique is Jardin de Balata, close to the capital Fort-de-France. The 3 last pictures in this blog entry are from there. Next to different flowers and exotic tree kinds one can admire there colibri and other birds too. The last picture features the flower "heliconia", which always hangs down.

Heliconia Martinique

Sunday 17 January 2010

Skating on frozen canals in the Netherlands...

bird feet traces in snow

Some colleagues told me they did not remember (in the last 20 years...) a winter as cold and white as this one in the Netherlands. Last year (and to be more exact in January 2009) was the first time the Dutch canals were frozen (again) for the last..... 12 years!!! Why is it so surprising-well some decades ago this was happening every winter in the low lands...

frozen canals Netherlands

Dutch noren and Swedish speed skates

But to come back to last and (of course!) this year! Young and old (and even the Queen-if one may trust the press) put on the skates and went on ice. Does not matter the skates: on ice I have seen next to the well-known figure- and ice-hockey-skates also the very famous here Dutch "noren" (speed-skates: the one on left side, picture above). A Swedish colleague impressed me with the Skandinavian version of speed skating: the one without a shoe and very funny form, on the right side in the above shot.

snowball fight frozen canals Netherlands

Snow-ball fights were also possible...But the minus-temperatures lasted only a bit more than a week and the ducks are happy now to have again water!

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Explore the Caribbean underwater life...with me:-)

Finally (and with the Blogger-blessing) i have the honour to invite you to go underwater, in the Caribbean sea. The next three videos will help you discover the amazing world in the Reserve Coustea, Ilets Pigeon, in Guadeloupe.

In the first movie one may admire two calamars. The second one displays an octopus, who made a real show in front of me:

And for an end a close swim with an turtle, we have had the luck and pleasure to see them in almost every one of our dives.

Friday 8 January 2010

Merci beaucoup for the great time in Gwada...

Plage Caravelle Guadeloupe

Back home (in very white and cold Holland) yesterday...
and 35 degrees less (from 30 to minus 5)!
On the way to work today I had to bike on ice+snow, and on the way back i did some bike-sliding...

This blog entry is dedicated to all great people, who made this vacation so wonderful and unique:

->We had sooo much fun with Giuglio+friends (even if Giulio was afraid that i am gonna try to steal his lovely hand-made hat from banana leaves, with which he posed on the picture)....GRAZIE, ragazzi! what a great idea to spend the last hours before the flight on the most beautiful beach, la plage de la Caravelle (first shot)!

->A huge THANK U goes to the so lovely and friendly team of CIP diving club on the beach in Malendure (merci beaucoup Eric, Claude, Loic, Ben, Jean-Albert, Flo, Piou, tout le monde)!!!

Reserve Cousteau

Reserve Cousteau CIP

->Merci beaucoup for all the delicious punches, which Claire from Sainte Anne made us try. I am so happy with the bottles we brought, as they warm up really well:) As warm as her creole smile!

Punches Guadeloupe Marche

->The great Swedish-Italian company in UCPA les Saintes was the best for a having multi-culti sportive+cocktail-tasting time...

Acras Guadeloupe

->>> and last but not least, thanks to ALL of you who passed by for a visit or a look at the pictures! It is always great to know that someone out there is watching, reading, (hopefully) enjoying and sometimes leaving a comment!:-)

Have a great, sunny and SMILY 2010!!!

Tuesday 5 January 2010

About "la plage, la mer, les rochers" of Guadeloupe....

Point d Enfer Guadeloupe

Beaches with high palm trees and green-blue sea water are lining up the southeast coast of Guadeloupe: from Sainte Anne via Saint-Francois and up to la Pointe des Chateaux (the most east point). Pointe des Chateaux put on show an impressive nature play of huge waves and majestic rock formations in the sea (second picture).

Pointe des Chateaux Guadeloupe

The beach is of course also the places where the fishermen not only leave and return to/from work, but also the repair work of nets is done, as on the shot below.

Pecheur Sainte Francois Guadeloupe

And last but not least, "la plage" is as always a great place for a siesta (never under a coconut tree with brown coconuts!), reading a book or just hanging out with friends-like on the beach of Sainte-Anne with our Italian friends from Roma:)

la plage Sainte Anne amis

Monday 4 January 2010

The fauna of the national park of Guadeloupe...

Next to the nasty mosquitoes and the (singing) frogs, there are plenty of other animals on the island. The huge (up to 20 cm) snail on the picture can live up to 10 years and its called "escargot achatine".

One of the (more or less) local mammals is the racoon (the washing bear), who arrived on the island in the XVIII century from a boat that sank close to Guadeloupe.

There are turtles not only underwater but also on the ground, the most common one here is the yellow-footed tortoise ("tortue charbniere").

Sunday 3 January 2010

The National Park of Guadeloupe

The National Park of Guadeloupe is to be found in the south part of the island Basse Terre (Guadeloupe consists of 2 islands: Basse Terre and Grande Terre). It includes the area around the volcano La Soufrière, some 17300 hectars, and its exists since 1989.