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
You have to imagine the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte like an oasis in the concrete jungle of the Paris suburbs; an oasis to not simply stroll, picnic or play in — it’s an oasis to live in. Therefore, its preservation must be ensured.
A municipal association is deciding about each single construction project that could change the look of the park. You want a larger garage? Get the association to approve. You want to build a house? Get the association to approve (tough one!). You want to open a shop or restaurant? Deal with the immediate rejection. There are no commercial buildings in the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte, despite of its size: 7km². The park makes up for 60% of the surface of Maisons-Laffitte, while 40% of the city’s inhabitants live there.
Those 60% of Maisons-Laffite are a haven for castle lovers and horses (they have priority at all times and even better walkways than pedestrians do). The park is wild, lush, full of trees and birds (I have seen parakeets here) and undergoes an ever changing floral look. Maisons-Laffitte Parc is a great place to be for nature lovers, who seek a remote spot for living while being only a 20 minutes train ride away from Paris.
It’s been confirmed: The Paris flood had reached its peak last weekend and is now receding. Phew! The city of lights and love is (for now) no longer facing a new “flood of the century” like in 1910.
Over the past days, the hashtag #CrueParis (crue = French for flood) has been trending on Twitter. With the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay closed, the Seine suddenly became the biggest tourist attraction despite of the lack of the popular boat shuttles.
I had a closer look myself between Pont Neuf and Pont de la Concorde:
Pont Royal — no boat fits through
Waiting in line — these house boats can’t move up or down the Seine, nor can their owners easily reach the pavement
This house boat owner made the best out of the chaos
“We are working here for Paris Plage” (the artificial beach created each year)
While the Seine did not burst its banks in the centre of Paris, it did in the capital’s suburbs. These photos have been taken in Maisons-Laffitte, a 30 minutes train ride from Paris’ centre to the North West:
The racecourse of Maisons-Laffitte — before and after the flood
The street beside the racecourse has been flooded
One unlucky car owner got an unwanted car wash — not for free
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
Equipped with mybrand new travel lens I headed out last weekend for a photo session in a small community in the French Oise region.
What I like most about my newSigmalensis itslarge zoom (18-300 mm). While one may argue that this results in lower light sensitivity and vignetting, I am intrigued by another bonus: the weight of my camera bag. I now can travel with one lens only and don’t need a complete set (which can be tedious to carry on some hikes).
Whattravel photographer type are you?
Do you takeoneor severallenses? Do you take the time to exchangelenses on different locations? Andhow much time do you takefor post-processing yourtravelshots? (I am becoming more and more fan of working on my photos on my iPad using either Snapseed or Lightroom Mobile)
Anyhow, I am glad to announce that my new travel lens passed its first test in the narrow alleys of Saint Leu d’Esserentduring the blue hour: