Sunday, 23 January 2011

Memories of NZ - A photo slideshow

About two weeks ago I was asked by Blanche (@worldcyclevideo) if whether I also made videos after following her on Twitter. As my focus is on photography instead of cinematography, I could create a slideshow of my New Zealand travel photos.
So this weekend I committed myself to doing just that, using Apple's iMovie software.

Please enjoy!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Freedom of movement and dress

Just a story I do have to share with you guys..

This morning I was walking to downtown Deventer, and at a junction
near home I noticed a campervan. The lights were green, though the
campervan didn't move. The driver mentioned that it wouldn't start, bu
he could fix it. However, a push of all of us (I wasn't the first to
arrive at the van) helped to 'park' the van somewhere out of the way.
The driver thanked the three of us, and set about mending his
campervan. I just had to take a photo of that campervan... Couldn't

Moments later a policeman came up to me asking for my ID. A bit
shocked as I was I handed over my drivers license, and asked why. The
answer was that because I was wearing flipflops in this cold (about 7
deg. C) and the fact that I had made a photo of the campervan, they
(yeah, there were two) had noticed me.

I explained the story about helping the driver of the campervan and
that the photo was for personal use. Though still got weird comments,
like I was crazy to walk around of flipflops, from the other policeman
(who miraculously appeared). Apparently both had been sitting cosy
warm in a parked station wagon.

After having checked my ID all they said was: "Everything is OK, bye".

Please, let the police catch crooks, help at accidents, or at least do
something useful... but don't mind the people who are walking around
on flipflops and taking photographs!!!

(apologies for the ranting, just had get it off my chest)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Adventurous start of a new year

In 2010 the year started with preparations for a long cycling trip through New Zealand, so this year I wanted to do something again. Sometime in December I vented the idea that it would be cool to do a short trip just after Christmas, spending new year's eve somewhere else. My sister did dig this idea as well, so things were settled.

My idea was first to head out to the snow, though it would be hard to get there, and find a place to sleep. Therefore we headed out to Belgium, more particular the coastal area west of Antwerp. The idea was to watch the fireworks on the beach somewhere ... which worked out!

Coming from the northern part of the Netherlands it was about half a days drive to reach Bruges, where we soon found a hostel (after having walked to the city square and back again, tourist information was about 100m from where we parked). It was a bit shabby, though it was pretty cheap and that's good ... we then immersed ourselves again in the city flow of being a tourist and enjoying the numerous Christmas decorations. The evening ended in an Irish pub, placed in a cellar :-).

Restaurants, still with Christmas decorations
Decorated restaurants on Bruges' square

During breakfast the next day we learned from a few other guests that the pubs and all would be closed in the evening, and they were wondering what we would do. Never had it crossed our minds that the pubs would be closed, and we hadn't thought that far ahead ... we planned to head to Oostende.

This was only a short drive and soon saw a couple signs designating free parking and a bus taking you to the center of town. The parking area was found with ease, however we could not find a bus or signs telling us where the bus would be. After having walked about 5-10 minutes we found out that we were actually very near the center of Oostende, only on one of the walks back later that day we found the bus stop.

Having found the tourist information we booked into the youth hostel "De Ploate", where they still had some room for us. The guy behind the reception thought it was adventurous of us not having booked a room on new year's eve. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking though Oostende and having a cup of coffee somewhere.

Pier in Oostende (2)
Oostende pier

Later that evening we found out that the German guests of the hostel in Bruges had been right, almost everything was closed. Almost the only restaurant that was still open, and not fully booked, was the Pizza Hut. It was a bit strange though, having the idea that this was a fast food restaurant, we had to wait to be seated and were asked whether we had booked. Of course we hadn't booked a spot, this whole trip was based on the idea of roaming around without planning anything. Fortunately they still had a table left and the pizzas were soon gone.
Now what to do the rest of the evening? During our walk through town that afternoon we had discovered a cinema, and they were still open until half past ten. We chose "The tourist" as the last movie we would see in 2010, which was pretty good fun.

Not long after eleven we ventured out again, to the promenade near the casino to view the fireworks. This was pretty spectacular ... 

Fireworks on the beach (2)
Fireworks at Oostende

... more photos of our trip can be found here.

Have a very happy new year, to pursue your goals with success and vigour!