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:
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