Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 - the best of it

2010 has been a good year. I was lucky to have been able to travel quite often, one of the things I love most. Living in the heart of Europe gives me the opportunity to take wonderful weekend trips; working in an international environment sometimes enables me to combine business with leisure (wish it would be more). And 5 weeks of vacation do the rest! :)
I am grateful for that and enjoy every minute of it!

I have been visiting really nice places this past year and as I was rumbling through my posts, looking at all the pictures I have took along the way, I thought it would be nice to do a small 2010-sum-up and chose my most favorite 5 places of 2010.

So, here we go:

#5 -- Dubai

Especially this gallery in the old Bastakiya Quarter of Dubai stole me heart. Such a beauty!

#4 -- Costa Rica

Rumbling through a country full of amazing nature, animals, volcanos, beautiful beaches and lovely people.

#3 -- Cappadocia, Turkey

Fairytale landscape, wonderful food and great hikes after hitting the streets of Istanbul.

#2 -- Venice

What to say about Venice? It is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Magical.

#1 -- Provence

I did not expect much, but I was blown away. Beauty whereever you look. Amazing.
Everybody needs to visit once - at least.

There were so many other wonderful places such as Vienna, Athens, Istanbul, more lovely places in Switzerland, France and Germany. I hope 2011 will be also a great year of travel and full of opportunities to take photographs. And for sure a year of health, joy, happiness and good fortune!

Thanks for all your comments, emails and clicks the past year - I appreciate every single one!
Happy new year to all of you! See you in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

christmas whiteout

Merry christmas to all my wonderful readers - I hope you enjoyed the holidays with your loved ones, good food and great presents. Thanks for being out there.

I have been back to Germany to see my family - driving through heavy snowfall on Friday, but arriving on time for christmas dinner! The weather has been kind of crazy lately in Europe, with airport closures, train breakdowns and endless traffic due to ice and snow. I was scheduled to fly to London with my best friend the weekend before christmas (see here), but both our flights got canceled last minute. I guess all happens for a reason and I am quite happy that we were not able to fly as we would have been stranded in London like so many others... New plans for 2011 are already up!

With -10 degrees yesterday it was icecold, but the weather was beautiful!

Enjoy your last week of 2010!

Copyright all on me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

my calendar 2011 - part two

Yesterday night I was able to finish the rest of my calendar 2011 - just in time for christmas.

I did some changes to the original template by the Shutter Sisters as I thought the calendar was a bit small. So now the calendar is bigger, I used 170gramm paper for the print, the papers are being hold together with a clip and I am ready to go!

Here is the second part, July - December.

Have a wonderful christmas and enjoy the precious time with your family.

Copyright all by me.

my calendar 2011 - part 1

As mentioned before, I love calendars.
And as I also love photography I have combined both and designed a photography calender for 2011, which will be my christmas present for my mom and my two grandma's.

I took a little help from the ShutterSisters and their great templates - I think I like what I see!
All pictures were taken by myself in the course of late 2009 and 2010. I had a hard time to make up my mind which pictures to chose!

First part: January - June 2011

Let me know that you think. Hope my family will like it!!

Copyright all on me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

{tales from costa rica} monteverde cloudforest

The drive from Arenal to the small town of Santa Elena / Monteverde was an adventure in itself. Seldomly I have been driving on streets that are this bad... Image dirt tracks (muddy from rain), with stones (small and big) scattered across and potholes like craters. Welcome to Monteverde - it took us 90 minutes for 40 km. In my guidebook it said that the government wanted to pave the road to Monteverde, so it would become easier for tourists to go there - however, the locals did not approve this as they think the amount of tourists in the area is already high enough and they fear even more once the road is paved. So as a result the road is still bad as hell... However the scenery is super nice, you pass many ranches and coffee plantations and see a lof of Costa Rican cowboys on their horses along the way.

We stayed two nights in Santa Elena, which is a cute little town with hostels, restaurants, a lovely bookstore and many tour agencies. Monteverde is famous for the zip-lining, however we saved our money for some other actitivies we planned for the trip. We did a guided night tour in the rainforest, which was great. We saw frogs, coatis, leaf-cutting ants, birds, huuuuuge spiders and a sleeping sloth. So cool!

We also did a hike through the famous cloudforest during daytime, however it did not really meet our expectations. The only animal we saw is the famous Quetzal bird (the Maya bird of paradise), but this is about all wildlife we saw. But at least we saw the reason why so many birdlovers come to Monteverde and I have to admit the Quetzal is beautiful (I only caught it with my camera while flying away). Besides that I loved the plants!

We stayed at the Arcor Iris Lodge (in their budget room, which was perfect however), which is just beautiful. During breakfast you have monkeys joining you on the tree just outside the breakfast room - what a wonderful way of starting your morning!

Copyright all on me.

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