On our way from France to Australia earlier this year, we did a one-week stopover in Hong Kong — a great way to make the huge time difference more tolerable for kids.
My weather app had optimistic news and predicted 4 sunny days that week. Check out below how that turned out…
I couldn’t be bothered though. I admit I was impressed by what I saw. Growing up in European cities with architectural height restrictions, Hong Kong was both overwhelming and a brand new photo playground for me. Due to the tall buildings I admittedly couldn’t let go off my GoPro and I took most photos during this one-week trip with it.
So did my 2.5 year old daughter (see second gallery in this article). For some reason she loved getting into photography in Hong Kong and I gave her my GoPro with a lanyard around her neck to secure my precious tool 📷.
Bubble explosion in the streets of Tung Chung, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
High, higher, Hong Kong Central
Hong Kong Island souvenir stalls
I could spend hours in the narrow alleys of Sheung Wan with heaps of art stores trying to bridge traditional and modern tastes
Of dragons and dogs, Hong Kong Island
A kitschy but modern idea at the same time: the digital wishing well in the Hong Kong IFC Mall
Hong Kong graffitti art in Sheung Wan
Man Mo Temple: A beautiful little temple in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
The Hong Kong Observation Wheel, Hong Kong Island
Overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island
An impressive location: Tian Tan Buddha
“The Offering of the Six Devas”: Well, two of them at least, praising the Tian Tan Buddha
The entrance to Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Offerings made in Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong
Po Lin Monastery is a photographer’s dream, but sadly the holy places are off limit for cameras. These statues are just at the entrance
A beautiful pagoda at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
The Wisdom Path in the Ngong Ping hills features 38 timber columns that have the Chinese word for the Heart Sutra inscribed on it
And here are my daughter’s takes on Hong Kong:
Let’s get out and explore the streets of Hong Kong
Voila, mum in Hong Kong
Et voila, dad in Hong Kong
While I clearly enjoyed photographing Hong Kong with my GoPro Hero 6, I came across a few situations when I preferred using my regular DSLR, especially for views over vast landscapes, night shots and close-ups. Who would have guessed?
Here are some of my favorite Canon 60D photos to complete the Hong Kong gallery above.
The impressive skyline of Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui on a sunny day ;)
Welcome to Hong Kong Real Estate
Probably the most classic view over Hong Kong, taken from The Peak (Hong Kong Victoria Peak)
Can’t say that Hong Kong isn’t very green after having taken this photo on top of The Peak
The first time I saw a bamboo construction area was in the movie Rush Hour and I remember that I thought it was a joke. I learnt in the meantime that it isn’t and actually has quite some advantages, but I was still impressed to see this live. I wouldn’t want to climb up there…
The AIA Great European Carnival as seen from the Hong Kong Observation Wheel
Hong Kong Observation Wheel by night
Panoramic vistas of Lantau Island in the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car connecting Ngong Ping with the town of Tung Chung and Tian Tan Buddha
Po Lin Monastery close-up of the richly decorated walls
Incense sticks, making the atmosphere at Po Lin Monastery even more special
Now that most municipalities here are starting to take down their Christmas decorations, I feel it’s time to wrap up my end of year impressions from the Canary Islands.
Admittedly, I was really hoping to explore new Christmas markets.
I got disappointed.
There weren’t any.
But while I was looking for opportunities to spoil my palate with Quarkbällchen and Glühwein, I came across many colorful Christmas light decorations — even in the tiniest village you can imagine. Wherever you go end of December, beginning of January on the Canary Islands, a bright Feliz Navidad or Felices Fiestas will hit your eye, while small LEDs in star and ribbon shapes serve to illuminate the streets and popular promenades.
Tenerife’s La Lagune in Christmas (or video game?) aesthetic.
Beautifully animated light tunnel with Christmas music in La Laguna, Tenerife.
La Laguna’s cathedral is suddenly a more interesting photo motif at night.
Beautifully decorated Plaza del Adelantado in La Laguna.
A huge Christmas tree in front of Candelaria’s Basilica, which is the home of the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron of the Canary Islands.
A nativity scene in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, made out of rope light — a typical way here to create all kinds of Xmas-themed light sculptures for roundabouts and big intersections.
After New Year’s Day, Christmas usually seems faaar away for me. But not this year!
I was thrilled to finally discover something new in January. Christmas themed sand sculptures and La Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, the parade of the Three Kings that actually bring the presents. Not Santa!
Xmas-themes sand sculptures in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
…not everyone was amused by this, some were surprised, but many had a laugh. And the Three Kings came riding into the town on real camels!
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.
Place de l’Ancienne-Douane in Colmar, France, at dusk
I am thrilled that I finally managed to visit Colmar in the East of France! The city is known to be one of the top tourist destinations on the Alsace Wine Route. But once you leave the vineyards and the suburbs behind, you will actually enter a very lively old town with colourful half-timbered houses neatly lining cobblestone streets and a canal giving it its reputation of the “Little Venice of Alsace”.
During my visit, Colmar had just gone through a heat wave, which is why the canal’s water level was rather low. In the evening, the town saw crowds of visitors though, dancing and singing on the tunes of the yearly “Fête de la musique”…
Thanks to its great location between Europe’s cleanest lake — Lake Annecy — and the snow-capped French Alps, Annecy is a tourist mecca all year long. I visited the “Venice of the Alps” in April this year and followed the canals of the Thiou, one of the shortest rivers of France with a length of ~3.5 km, traversing the Old Town.
Here are some of my personal highlights…
The beginning of my walk in Annecy’s Old Town, which prepared for spring with flower arrangements lined up the Thiou River canals…
Looking back the Thiou towards one of the many bridges spanning the river and hosting market stalls each Sunday…
A rare wind still day in Annecy, allowing for reflections of the Old Town in the river…
Leaving the Old Town behind me to watch the sunset over Lake Annecy…
Annecy is a perfect place for water sport fans…
Popular spot near Annecy’s harbour: The lovers’ bridge. Legend says, that if two lovers kiss on it they will be together forever…
View from the lovers’ bridge back towards Annecy’s Old Town…
View in the opposite direction, back to the lovers’ bridge, enjoying the silence of the night…
Passing the town hall of Annecy on my way back to the Old Town…
Annecy’s Old Town is bursting with restaurants and cafés, which are inviting people to sit outside and take a breather in the pedestrian area…
Back where I started my tour; above the Thiou…
Heading towards the exit of the Old Town; happy to come back the day after…
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.
The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less. ~Joseph B. Wirthlin
Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):
Canon EOS 60D, 17mm, ISO 3200, F5.6, 1/160 sec.
Location: Notre Dame, Paris, France.