Monthly Archives: April 2016

A visit to 3 beaches on the German Baltic coast

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What’s one thing that doesn’t come to mind when planning a summer holiday to Germany? Beaches! But in fact the north of Germany has the lovely Baltic coastline, called Ostsee by the Germans, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t go there. My first experience of the Ostsee was on the lovely isle of Rügen, north of Berlin; home to seaside towns, countryside, beautiful beech forests and white chalk cliffs. Next I visited the Darss peninsula, where the waves were wilder. Last summer we went to Boltenhagen, a lovely seaside spot with long beaches and great cycling routes. And more recently, last week, we spent some time after a work trip to the north around the lighthouse at Bülk Strand near Kiel, and at Haffkrug Strand and Timmersdorferstrand towards Lubeck. It’s still a bit early for swimming, but it’s always good to see the sea! We”ll be back in summer!

Bülk Strand

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IMG_20160423_135238_1 The waters were amazingly clear, and standing on piers we could even see jellyfish swimming below in the water. Continue reading

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Paris in the springtime

Actually, we weren’t supposed to go to Paris in the springtime. We were supposed to go in autumn, but exactly one week before our trip we were checking the news before going to sleep at night and read, to our shock, about the terror attacks that had occurred. In the wake of the sad events, it did not seem the appropriate time to visit the city. So, we postponed our trip to April. Then at the end of March, there were more terrorist attacks in Brussels. It was therefore with a slight feeling of unease that I set out for Paris, hoping we would have an uneventful trip. Well, luckily we did, and once you are in Paris you start to forget about what happened, because everyone is just going on about their daily lives, enjoying life. The city is huge and there must be only a handful of people who would go so far as to harm others. I did feel a bit uneasy traveling on the metro, but otherwise enjoyed walking around the city, eating in cafes and mingling with the locals.

Like this local

Like this local

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April – Macros in the Garden

This month’s Garden photography theme is “Get a little closer“. Some of these photos I showed before in last month’s theme, Wildlife in the Garden. I have to say a macro lens is on my wishlist. My ancient Sony camera had a surprisingly good macro setting even though it was a 2MP camera (see the bee photo below) and even my Nexus 5 phone does pretty well sometimes. But I’d like to get a little bit closer still! Anyway, enjoy these photos for now 🙂

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Visiting Furnas: an Azorean village inside a volcano

 

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Not wildfires, but fumaroles in Furnas

Before our Easter trip to São Miguel, Azores, I’d heard that the Azores islands were volcanic, but had assumed that all the volcanoes there were extinct and didn’t realize we’d see such fascinating volcanic activity. If you’re interested in volcanoes, it’s definitely worth a visit! I lost count of how many volcanoes are in the Azores islands since different websites say different things, but there are a lot, and it seems there are six volcanic zones on São Miguel. As a result the island has many calderas (craters formed by eruptions), each with its own character. Many of the villages are built in and around these volcanoes, and one of these is Furnas. Continue reading

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São Miguel, Azores (1) – The garden of José do Canto

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You will learn an important word if you visit the Azores islands of Portugal in the Atlantic, and that is miradouro. It means viewpoint, but my mind now translates it as “beautiful view”, because that is what we saw whenever we stopped at a miradouro, labelled with a binoculars sign. Doesn’t the word miradouro also sound a bit like admire? Continue reading

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