You might have noticed that I am blogging less often as I used to. It’s not that I have nothing to say or write about. And it’s definitely not that I don’t want to keep blogging. I do. Life is simply keeping me very busy these days.
But here are the good news: I keep on photographing. That’s why I recently updated most of my photo galleries on this site and you are welcome to have a look at what I’ve been up to in 2016 and at the beginning of this year.
Biarritz, queen of beaches, beach of kings. I fell in love with this cute town on day 1 of my visit. I even remember exactly when it happened: at the very moment when I stepped out of one of the town’s narrow alleys, overlooking a long stretch of sandy beach from above with hundreds of surfers paddling their boards towards a magical sunset above the mountains of the Spanish Basque country in the background.
Here is what I enjoyed most while walking along the French Atlantic coast between Pointe Saint-Martin (Lighthouse) and the Plage de la Côte des Basques.
View from the Sea Museum Aquarium of Biarritz (Musée de la Mer Aquarium) towards the Hôtel du Palais and the lighthouse as well as the Miramar Beach (Plage Miramar) in between
The 74 meter high lighthouse on Saint-Martin Point was built in 1834 and is located at the northernmost point of Biarritz
The Fishermen Port (Port des Pêche), built in 1870, does host more restaurants than fishermen these days — a good place to eat seafood in Biarritz
The town’s main beach (Grande Plage) located between the Fishermen Port and the Hôtel du Palais
Surfing is probably the most popular water sport in Biarritz, attracting heaps of tourists each year
Surfing into the sunset at the Plage de la Côte des Basques, the main surfing beach of Biarritz (with mountains of the Spanish Basque Country in the background)
Dreamy sunset above the 6 km of beach that Biarritz has to offer
Rocks in the water are a signal that…
…the Rock of the Virgin (Rocher de la Vierge) isn’t far — a statue erected by fishermen after being saved from drowning in the sea
The bridge that connects the Rock of the Virgin with the mainland has been built by Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower
The Rock of the Virgin is an excellent sunset point…
…but also offers great views over Biarritz, like for example towards the Villa Belza
The clash of achitecture styles makes the town’s shoreline so unique
After the sun has gone down, leave the coast and enjoy walking through the streets of Biarritz
Each year, between March and May, the western coast of the Netherlands is like a bazaar for brightly coloured blossom carpets. Just admit it already; you simply want to sit down, stare, sniff or swim through this sea of spring, don’t you? I do!
Approaching Keukenhof in the “Dune and Bulb Region”
It is allowed on some tulip fileds to enter for photography
It is easier though to just go shoot at Keukenhof — “Garden of Europe”
Keukenhof is open from March to May each year…
…displaying 7 million flower bulbs
The blue river
Blue and white flower carpet
This one surprised me a little bit: blue orchids
What’s that trick?
60% of all tulips worldwide are originally from the Netherlands
Who said the GoPro is only for action shots?
Popular destination at Keukenhof — the windmill
Keukenhof tulip fields are not accessible by foot (this photo was taken from the street)
But you can enjoy the Dutch flower bulb landscape by boat
Keukenhof displays a total of 800 varieties of tulips
When talking about Mont Saint Michel, we are talking about one of the most visited tourist attractions in France. The island commune with its strategic position just at the border of the Normandy and the Bretagne originally served as castle to defend Normans against Bretons, later on to defend the French against the English. Today, the abbey and medieval city of Mont Saint Michel are on the list of UNSECO world heritage.
Visiting Mont Saint Michel with style! Since the parking places are a few kilometres away from the island, you can alternatively walk, bike or take a shuttle bus. A long bridge will lead you to the island, which is located just a few hundred metres off the French coast.
A mass is held each day (except Monday) in the abbey of Mont Saint Michel, which crowns the islet and makes it twice as high. Due to its special location, history and look, Mont Saint Michel was inscribed into the UNESCO world heritage list in 1979.
Mont St Michel is built on 3 levels due to the steep slope of the mount. In the Great Halls under the abbey, monks used to study and host members of the royal family. Did you know that there are still monks living in Mont Saint Michel?
Mont Saint Michel’s main alley is a bustling tourist trap. Most products offered there can be found way cheaper in other Brittany towns, but of course you can’t say you bought them IN Mont Saint Michel. Originally, the series of stairways, alleyways, courtyards and paths were built due to the need to feed and house the pilgrims visiting the site since the middle age.
The quicksand and tides surrounding Mont Saint Michel form a natural defence; the tides can reach speeds of 10 km/h and can rise and fall up to 13m (highest tide in Europe). During the low tide you can book a guided walk around Mont Saint Michel — I definitely need to come back for that!
Before blogging about the first signs of spring I would like to share some winter photos with you that I took in Germany last year. They depict a weather phenomenon, which is both beautiful and dangerous at once.
Frozen ski lift on the Fichtelberg, the highest peak of the German Erzgebirge
In December, Saxony’s low mountain range (Erzgebirge, East Germany) was wrapped into thick fog layers lasting for weeks. The high air humidity coming along with the fog covered the region’s trees with hoar frost, which built up to a 30 to 40 cm thick ice crust. Needless to say that trees snapped off like matches under the heavy weight.
To avoid accidents, local public services decided to impose a ban to enter the forest above 800 metres. Streets were blocked for days and ski lifts had to shut down when some tree branches threatened to fall on the ropes.
Once streets reopened, we wanted to have a closer look at this newly created winter wonderland and went on a day trip to the highest point of the German Erzgebirge, the Fichtelberg (1,215 m), which looked as stunning as I had never seen it before. Me and my camera(s) got all excited; I could have easily spent the day looking at the most bizarre ice formations, but the cold…the severe cold…
As we travelled from Cairns to Brisbane (North to South) we discovered that Queensland is much more than sunny beaches, surfers and adventure parks. There are also endless stretches of straight boring roads, millions of acres of sugar cane and in between — these treasures…
Mossman Gorge, not far from the Daintree National Park
On hot summer days, bathing tourists at Mossman Gorge often become victims of peculiar thiefs
After a short ferry ride, Daintree National Park and its mangrove forests lie ahead
Huge carpets of sand balls created by millions of crabs
These crabs have a different technique
Tall fan palms are a great rain protection on gray days
Ants are green in Daintree NP
And then there is also this: The Cassowary is a big flightless bird native to north eastern Australia and New Guinea. It’s rare and you need to be really lucky to see one. This one decided to cross the street in front of our campervan :)
A fig tree skeleton
Typical for Daintree: Trees with enormous roots. You see me standing behind it?
Teaching a whining wallaby
Mereeba is a beautiful location to get in touch with these cuties
There are 2 of them!
Cairns is clearly the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef”
We took the boat till the Outer Reef…
…and discoverd a different universe
Heaps of fish
Big fish (it doesn’t look like on the photo, but this one was at least 1,5 m)
Curious spectators under the boat
Hervey Bay thunderstorm
This is the perfect spot for some serious whale watching
Humpback Whales reside in Hervey Bay
This one enjoys the fresh rain water as a change to the salty water he lives in
Whale waves rainbow
Fraser Island Beach
Fraser Island is a sand island which can only be crossed with 4WD, or special tourist buses
Funnily enough, a tropic rain forest is growing on the sandy soil of Fraser Island
Fresh water lake on Fraser Island (Lake McKenzie)
Maheno shipwreck on Fraser Island
The coastal walk at Noosa is spectecular (and popular)
“Wild Horse Mountain Lookout” over the Glashouse Mountains