Thursday 28 June 2012

Unterwater colours around Tavolara island/ Colori marini d isola Tavolara

Since 1997 the costal area reserve around island Tavolara (called "Area naturale marina protetta Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo") exists and promotes the protection&care of the amazing biodiversity underwater as well as above the water. The underwater world can takes one breath away, when one takes the time to looks into the holes and check the tiny details for hidden treasures...The octopusses are not afraid and look curious at you, the moray eel shows off its nice colours, the hermit crab and the colourful slipper lobster came down the wall to greet us!

A great starting point for a snorkelling or diving trip is the cozy village Porto San Paolo. If you need a diving club, then dont look any further but pass by Luana&Giorgio at Diving center Porto San Paolo .

Monday 18 June 2012

The town hall of Calais and the giant bonbons/ Expo des bonbons géants a Calais

Join me in this blog to discover the huge colourful bonbon-sculptures of the artist Laurence Jenkell. From end of May till mid September 2012 the expo showing these 15 colourful sculptures is decorating the garden in front of the town hall in Calais...
Almost all pieces of art carry one of the European flags: one may spot France, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, etc...There is one bonbon even dedicated to the "dentelle" of Calais, also one to the EU, but there was none with the Bulgarian flag.

Friday 15 June 2012

Say CHEESE, Alkmaar cheese market/ Kaasmarkt in Alkmaar

Few cities in the Netherlands are famous for their place in Dutch cheese history. One of these cities is my absolutely favourite town Alkmaar. Located 30 km north of Amsterdam Alkmaar is a very cozy architectural beauty. Alkmaar had a pair of cheese scales as early as 1365. In 1612 this number increased to 4! Only 1593 however is considered and documented as the first year of the cheese market, which has always taken place on the Waagplein. In the 17th century cheese was sold Fridays and Saturdays, in the 18th even four days a week.
Nowadays in the middle of its center, on Waagplein, there is the Cheese Museum. Every Friday in summer (from April till Mid September) the traditional Dutch cheese market from the Medieval time is replayed for all curious locals and tourists...Dutch cheese farmers traditionally brought their cheeses to the market square in town to sell. Teams (vemen) of official guild cheese-porters (kaasdragers), identified by differently coloured straw hats, carried the farmers' cheese on stretchers, which typically weighed about 160 kilograms. 
This event is pretty famous, last time I was there there was even a wedding couple posing for pictures. In case the square gets a bit too much for you (it is kind of toursitic thing and it might get crowdy+squashy), then just escape in one of the fantastic cheese shops the Netherlands one may ask to taste each kind of cheese before purchasing it and other funny cheese accessoires like these kinices are waiting to be discovered too...

Monday 11 June 2012

Lets go green in the National Pinetum in Bedgebury, Kent, UK

Today we will hide in the grass, run after damselflies, smell the new edges of growing conifer trees, watch squirrels, compare pine cones and .... simply enjoy nature! All this because I will take you on a tour in the amazing park National Pinetum located next to Bedgebury, Kent...This huge conifer garden is a great nature retreat for walkers, mountain-bikers and all nature-lovers!  

Thursday 7 June 2012

The German Eastfrian islands from the sky/ Die Ostfriesischen Inseln vom Himmel gesehen

This is one lonely tiny island between the islands Juist and Borkum in the WaddenSea.


While enjoying the carfree island Juist 2 weeks ago we have decided to visit all German Eastfrisian islands (Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeooge, Spiekeroog, Wangeroog). And we did this in one hour!  How do you wonder? By plane, we had a sightseeing flight over all these beautiful islands and enjoyed the fantastic green-blue-grey colours the Wadden Sea offers! I hope you have fun while checking my pictures:-)
The seals were having fun sunbathing themselves.
It was sunny and very busy on water: a lot of boats around the island Spiekeroog above.

On the picture above one sees the landing line on island Juist and the island Norderney behind it...

Friday 1 June 2012

Walking&discovering the Wadden sea/ Wattführung mit Heino auf Insel Juist

Das Wattenmeer, known in English as the "Wadden Sea", is an intertidal sea, part of the North sea. I had the big pleasure to be last weekend on the car free island Juist (the second German Eastfrisian islands after the Dutch islands)... And one of the thing to do and really not to miss here is a walk on during low tide in the Wadden Sea with the local guide Heino...Heino transfers to you not only only his tons of enormous knowledge about the life under the sand, but also his love to this unique ecosystem on Earth!
Very witty he compares during the whole guided tour (from 2 till 3 hours) the sea with human organs cleaning the entire system. The shell common cockle (de. "Herzmuschel") are the kidneys, the worms (de. "Sandpierwurm") are the lungs....each of the water inhabitants has an unique cleaning function: the cockles filter the water and keep all dirt and toxins in them See for confirmation the quick test Heino did  for us by putting cockles in one jar with muddy sea water next to jar without those cleaners. After 2 hours the jar with the shell contained some crystal clear water...Another very important local is the rock worm (de. "Sandpierwurm"). He is the one leaving some spaghetti-looking sand mountains behind. This is actually the cleaned sand once after it had passed through his body. A very visual way to see the difference between the cleaned and still-to-cleaned sand is the colour of it. The top layer of the sand held by Heino is the one already filtered by the efficient worms!
We have also met the famous "Seeklaffmuschel" (see picture below). A sand inhabitant who hides some 40 cm under the surface. Heino took it with big care outside for us so we could look closer and learn that this specie is also endangered. In the last 10 years their number has decreased really quick due to the human influence by enlarging harbours and changing working ecosystems...
At the end we could even hold some sea crabs to convince ourselves that they are not dangerous at all...