Thursday 23 October 2014

Charming Terschelling: 5 out of 5 Dutch islands visited

The third Dutch island of the five Frisian islands was a charming, sunny and pretty windy encounter end of this September... The island surprised us with fantastic seafood-restaurants, creative&cozy bars, big forest of pine trees (planted over 100 years ago), high sand dunes. By bike one can do best sightseeing as on all of the other 4 islands.

Nothing unusual for Holland were the long and huge white sand beaches. In the harbour of the West-Terschelling beautiful shimps-fishing-boats are on display, crabs are running around and tons of colourful buoys shine their strong colourd...My favorites however stay Vlieland and Schiermonnikoog, the two car-free islands (nr 2 and 5) :-)

Sunday 4 May 2014

Flower-Power: Bloemencorso 2014, colours, sun and wind!

This year the famous flower parade was a bit later than usual, on the first weekend of May. As often before we went to Noordwijkerhout on Friday eve and enjoyed the sea of flowers, colours+perfumes! Dive in, can you smell them ? :-)

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Bloemenvlucht/ flower fields flight in april 2014 with LionAir

After seeing the flower fields from close and inside we were curious to see them again from up in the air. As last year we contacted the friendly and professional LionAir and book one hour "bloemenvlucht". With Michel as pilot we flew over Leiden, Keukenhof, Lisse, Noordwijkerhout and then along the coast: Wassenar, Scheveningen, Monster and Rotterdam...Again an amazing experience and perfect weather with fantastic colours!

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Tulips in Flevoland 2014, Noordoostpolder is a colourful corner to see!

Second half of April tons of tourists come over to the Netherlands to see the spring park Keukenhof and also the flower fields. Most of them however only travel around in Bollenstreek, the flower-bulb-area between Leiden and Haarlem. HOWEVER there are some amazing tulip fields a bit more north in Flevoland. The wide and long fields in this flat and new Dutch province are perfect for growing of potatoes and .... flowers! There is space, abundance of colours and guess what: no other tourists. So if you are curious to spot and photograph some amazing tulips fields just drive to Noordoostpolder and enjoy the view. There are also sign for a bike tulipfestival-route, so you cant get lost:-)

Monday 21 April 2014

Lauwersmeer hike-tour after tea-time at the Theefabriek

While most people were busy searching chocolate eggs or eating real ones this weekend, we went for a short nature tour in the north of the Netherlands. The provinces north of Amsterdam: Friesland and Groningen are lovely places to get in touch with nature, bike, hike, meet some happy sheep and other wildlife. Lauwersmeer, a national park, builds a partial border between the two provinces.
The Easter Sunday started with brunch at the beautiful Theefabriek, the only teamuseum (and tearoom) located in the old church-building of the cozy village Houwerzijl. I have reported about this great place 3 years ago here. After being spoiled there with delicious teas and food, the adventurous visitors (as us) went to Kollumerwaard and met the nature guide Klaas. He took us for a 7-km-walk in the National Park area and explained us patienly and lovingly about the birds, plants, trees, toads and other living beings we encountered on our way. Herewith a  big Bedankt (thanks) to the singing birds, colourful butterflies and Klaas for the knowledge!

Sunday 6 April 2014

Spring 2014 in the Netherlands: flower fields with daffodils, hyacinths and tulips

Hyacinths field, Holland 2014

The Netherlands never seize to amaze me! Here we have the online "buienradar" (literally "storm radar") telling us in how many minutes next rain or storm is coming, very practical when you are by bike...When you have a drink with friends you may spot the funny "zonnenradar" (sunshine radar) on some beer bottles (most probably to remind the Dutch that they get sunburnt quiet easily)... and in the spring we have the "bloemenradar"-page (flower radar), showing people in pictures how many flowers are already out! So after learning and checking the flower radar on Friday I made my weekends plan:-)

Spring has been very nice, gentle and warm with us this year, here in the low lands! The great and sunny March invited all spring bulb flowers to come outside the ground earlier than usual (and aslo much earlier than last year)! Already for two weeks colourful flower carpets decorate the famous Bollenstreek between Leiden and Amsterdam. Here are the visual proofs of the flower-photo-tour! Enjoy the colours!
Dandelion details

Tulip fields next to Noordwijkerhout

Saturday 8 February 2014

The underwater world of Marie - Galante/ Plongez a Marie-Galante!

The island with three rum distilleries, the island of the 100 windmills, the island of sugar cane...there are a few different names for Marie-Galante, the round island south-east of Guadeloupe! I will also call it the place for zen-diving:-) It is absolutely wild underwater, there are no crowds of divers, but schools of fishes, huge sponges and curious sea inhabitants looking at you with a question mark in their eyes! Enjoy the encounters I have captured for you and if you ever make it there, do go diving with the best diving school of the island "ManBalaou"!



Monday 3 February 2014

Colours of Guadeloupe....

One of the things that really makes your day when you are in Guadeloupe are all the colours around! In the nature, in the houses, on the market: everything is cheerful and with tons of different colours! So you can not not smile:-) The typical creole houses are a real treat to look at, so are the flowers in the gardens and along the road...Enjoy and soak all the SUNSHINE hiding in theses pictures!
Caz creole, les Saintes
Caz creole, les Saintes
Passion fruit flower

Friday 24 January 2014

One day in Dominica, the nature island of the Caribbean

Dominica boatDominica Indian river

Dominica, Porthsmouth

Dominica is the big island south of Guadeloupe, on clear days one may even see it from both les Saintes and Marie-Galante...and this year finally I took a boot for a day and went to discover it. After 3-hour-catamaran crossing (the sea was pretty tough) we saw the rain clouds hugging tighly Dominica. And this is the moment when you understand why the island is sooooo GREEN, it rains really every 30 minutes (sometime you get a break of 1 hour)... So we arrived in Portsmouth, which is in the northwest. The city has some 6.000 inhabitants, the whole island has 71.000 in total. The people were very friendly, we passed by the local market, I did some fruit& cacao shopping and then we went for a small hike and then a river tour. The local langauge is English. Dominica is now independent, in the past English and French have changed several times ownership over the island.
Dominica is the youngest of all Caribbean islands and has been nicknamed "Nature island" for its unspoiled nature beauty: plenty of lucious rain forest, waterfalls and rare plants&birds. Definitely worth a longer stop one day:-)) The Sisserou parrot (featured on the flag) is found only here and its islands national bird!
Dominica boat

Dominica, market in Portsmouth

Dominica Jungle bar

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Les Saintes: as seen underwater/ Plongée aux Saintes

Diodon in Les Saintes while diving

Diving in les Saintes is a real pleasure... Most sites are around 12-15 metres deep, with plenty of natural light and abundance of colours. Sponges, corals, fishes, turtles, small and big, all possible shapes, there is so much to enjoy and contemplate! I am taking you underwater with me to discover this breathtaking world... The funniest thing is that if you know where each animal usually lives you start to discover the inhabitants much quicker....and sometimes they come to you:-)

Yucatan shrimp in les Saintes, diving
Flamingo tongue snails in les Saintes while diving

Colours& sponges underwater, les Saintes

Brain coral details, les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Sea urchin crab in les Saintes, Diving in Guadeloupe
Fishes and diver in les SaintesSea urchin in les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Barracuda in les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Barracuda & brain coral in les Saintes, Guadeloupe