Weekend Wanderings: La Palma’s Salinas De Fuencaliente

The Fuencaliente (Hot Fountain) region in the South of La Palma has been getting a lot of attention lately due to increased volcanic activity. While the Canary Islands are a volcanic wonderland, not all volcanoes have gone sleepy. La Palma’s Teneguia last erupted in 1971 and a recent “seismic swarm” indicated that it’s far from being tame.

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View from Volcan San Antonio over La Palma’s volcanic landscape with Volcan Teneguia to the right and the Salinas de Fuencaliente in the distance

Can you imagine salt flats in the middle of these active volcano fields?

Neither could I.

Yet there they are. Las Salinas de Fuencaliente are some 35,000 square metres of salt flats and the salt produced here is sold throughout La Palma under the brand name Teneguia (like the volcano on the photo above).

It’s a scenic drive from the town of Fuencaliente down to these salt flats, but the Salinas themselves are a photographer’s dream. The black lava rocks, the white salt mounds and the blue water of the ocean form the most beautiful contrast — probably more so on a sunny day or during sunrise, which I sadly didn’t get to experience this time…

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The garden of salt

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The salt pans out of black rock attract heat, allowing the highest concentration that can be reached (360 gram per litre)

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White mound, black mound, white mound, black mound…

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Let’s not get distracted from the red soil!

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Winter in the Canary Islands does not look that different, does it?

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View towards the new and old lighthouse Faro de Fuencaliente

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It can get windy here

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Panoramic view from the restaurant terrace

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Au Revoir Paris

We’re moving on! A few weeks ago, we boarded a plane to La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain). Since then we’ve been to El Hierro as well as Tenerife, from where I’m currently working and updating this blog. We plan to see Gomera, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria in the near future. So if you’re a fan of the Canary Islands please keep an eye open for more photos and stories to come.

For now I wanted to say good bye to Paris and France, which was our home for the past 3 years. It’s been fun (most of the time)!

The following photos have been taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower during my last visit to the French capital. Au revoir Paris ! ♥️

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I can’t help it, but I always feel like the architect of the Tour Montparnasse (the black tower) photobombed Paris’ skyline.

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I didn’t aim for that, but I couldn’t change the fact that there were a dozen people posing at the moment I released the shutter. #CameraGroupies

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To be honest, I like the view towards Place du Trocadéro from the Eiffel Tower, but on photos it always gets lost and I end up…

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…zooming in on the office buildings of La Defense with the Fondation Louis Vuitton in the foreground.

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What’s New?

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.

I updated Landscapes, Weather, Nature, Animals, People and Urban to include photos from France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

We are planning to travel quite a bit in 2017. New and old destinations are on our list and I promise that you will be able to read about our adventures over here 🌋🏕️🏖️🏜️🏙️

Weekend Wanderings: Tulips Galore, Holland

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Flower carpets near Keukenhof, Holland

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!

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Dangerous Winter Wonderland

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.

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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…

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Exploring A Tiny Part Of The Great Barrier Reef With The GoPro

Snorkeling the Outer Reef of Cairns gave us a tiny glimpse into an uncomparable underwater universe. Our goal that day was to see a sea turtle; we were lucky enough to swim with one. We hope to be back one day!

Please excuse the camera shake. We actually went out several kilometres to get to the Outer Reef. Big waves were rolling in right behind the corals, making quiet snorkeling almost impossible ;)

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Witnessing Australian Bushfires

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Bushfires in Kakadu NP as seen from the plane towards Cairns

Remember when I explained why Australian bushfires can be good — not talking about wild fires of course? I witnessed burning bush and grass in the Darwin region (Northern Territory) on 5 out of 6 days last July (cool season).

Even though prescribed burnings are considered “low intensity” it felt odd to drive through forest areas burning till the border of the street. The following photos are taken out of the car while passing fires in Kakadu National Park.

1. Approaching a managed fire area by car. Park Rangers scout the park for high growing plants, then throw in a few matches to avoid that too much fuel is building up. This shall prevent the region from struggling with high intensity fires, which would be much harder to control.

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2. Most of the bushfires I have seen around Darwin were smouldering, producing lots of smoke only. However, I did come across fires with high flames as well, and despite of my distance I clearly heard it crackling and sizzling. Controlled fires usually extinguish on their own during the colder morning hours.

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3. The sun through a thick smoke cloud. Since Park Rangers only burn small patches here and there, animals like birds and kangaroos can easily change location. For mice, lizards and other small ground animals however, fires are a real threat. They have to leave their ground holes and escape the heat while hawks are circling above them, watching out for food (yes, the black dots on the photo below are hawks — click on the image to see it in big). They learned fast that fires mean feast time for them.

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Bushfire between Kakadu NP and Litchfield NP

4. Passing a part of the forest which had been recently burned and now starts to recover. The ashes act like fertilizer for fireproof seedlings.

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A few months after, nature recovered, new plants grow wildly and the whole cylce restarts.

What do you think of fire management?

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