art, Computer, culture, photography

My personal review in images

It’s December 31st again. Another year is over.

Sylvester is the perfect time for a review. I picked my personal highlights from the last 12 months and assembled a small movie for you. It’s a bout 3 minutes long and contains my favorite images taken during the last year in a random order. So, have fun!

(btw, I have a hint for you: in the lower right corner of the movie player you can find an icon for enlarging the movie up to 1080p)

I’m looking forward for some more interesting adventures. You, too?

And now: A happy new Year. See you in 2016.

art, culture, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Tuesday: a Christmas Review

 

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Although, Christmas is over, I picked this image for today. You know, I posted the color version on Christmas Day, only 4 days ago.

This tiny crib was a Christmas gift for my son’s girlfriend. She’s off for half a year working voluntarily in Manila, Philippines. The crib is made from felt. So, it is very lightweight and easy to carry it with you. It’s very small – only about 10 cm high.

Take care!

 

nature, photography, seasons

A Christmas Gift for all of you

This year I have a Christmas gift for you all: a downloadable calendar for 2016 along with puffin couple.

It’s free for your personal use as a i.e. wall calendar or a desktop wallpaper. Other usage is strictly forbidden, especially selling prints or making the calendar available on any other site than my own site.cal-2016-wYou can decide between an US, a GB and a German version. Right-click on the appropriate link below and save the image to your disk. Now, you can print it for putting it up to a wall or simply use it as a wallpaper for your computer desktop.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown has come to his end!

dsc_3080-ec_wToday is December 24th, Christmas Eve.

Today I want to tell you a bit on Christmas and how it is celebrated here in Germany.

In case December 24th is a weekday from Monday to Saturday, it is a common working day. But, at about 2 p.m. all the shops close. Many offices, instead are already closed this day. So, the cities and shopping centers are crowded this morning. Many male shoppers are in the streets, those, who forgot to buy a suitable present for their wives.

Many women are also in the shops. They fetch the pre-ordered food: meat, bread or cakes. Butchers, bakeries and fishmongers open very early this day and often have a different counter for those people, who want to collect the usually pre-paid pre-orders.

When I was a child, the grannies went with their grand-kids to a theater or a cinema and watch a play or a movie for the kids to shorten the time until they get their presents for Christmas and, more important, to give the parents time, to prepare the living room with the Christmas tree and the gifts. Nowadays the TV took over the grannies’s role.

You might already got the point, here we don’t have Father Christmas or Santa Clause coming in the night from 24th to 25th. Here we celebrate Christmas in the evening of December 24th.

The next two days, which are holidays, are used for visiting the parents. One spouses parents on 25th and the other spouses parents on December 26th.

Visiting a service at a church is not that common anymore. Some churches start at 5 p.m. with their Christmas service others at 10 p.m. For many people visiting a Christmas service, is this the only time of the year entering a church for visiting the service.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

How about you. Maybe you write a bit about the Christmas traditions from where you live.

Take care!

art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown is on the home stretch!

dsc_3080-ec_wToday is Sunday, December 20th. The 4th Advent.

Today I have another German tradition for you: the christmas tree.

The idea of setting up a christmas tree in the homes came also up in back in the 19th century and started to all the other countries. Although there are older documents describing similar habits, they weren’t common and had a slightly different idea.

Starting from the medieval ages December 24th was the feast day of Adam and Eve, the biblical root of all mankind. They lived in paradise and parts of the commemoration decoration were trees, leaves and apples. In Germany you won’t find any trees with their leaves in mid December, so people got the idea of taking conifers.

In the 19th century, when cultural setup in Germany changed and brought some wealth to more people because of the technical revolution during the 18th century, the people took the trees in their homes, decorated them with red balls to symbolize the apples, red bows to symbolize the blossoms and candles to symbolize the light.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

Take care!

 

culture, meeting, Music, people, photography

WPC: Gathering

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This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “Gathering

I took this image while being one of the authorized photographers at this concert. It’s the gathering of the members of the German rock band Luxuslärm.

Take care have a great weekend!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

landscape, photography, travel, world

I don’t look back in anger

600_9195-s_wThis is my last post on Iceland in this series. Unfortunately. Just like the line “All beauty must die” by Nick Cave, everything has an end. ( – but, only the wurst has two of them).

Iceland is a fantastic country. Beautiful landscapes. Rough on the first hand, but also lovely and tender on the other hand. I hope, to return soon and see more of these fascinating landscapes.img_0989-w

Although, we have had a lot of rain during our trip, I felt in love with this island. Thus, I don’t look back in anger. Rain is an essential part of the island. I guess, I already mentioned it in one of my past posts. It’s because of the gulf stream, which brings warm water from the Caribbean sea to the north Atlantic ocean. In the colder area steam goes up in the air and fells down as rain. So, the island is very green and has lots of huge rivers.

IMG_1660Our gear often looked like being soaked in one of the rivers, when coming back from a trip. A friend of mine took the image of his camera with his mobile right after we came back from a short trip to our rental car. We were glad, our cameras are sealed against spray. I always have had a micro fiber cloth by the hand to make the lens spot free and to dry the complete camera or even use it as a rain protection. Nevertheless, our gear has had a very hard time during that trip :-(, but fortunately every single part survived 🙂

Now, as a review, I assembled a slideshow for you. It contains my favorite images from that trip. It was a very hard job, to select the essence from my photo archive. The whole series on Iceland started back in January  – not counting the single images I used i.e. for Monochrome Madness the year before. You can find all the Iceland related posts by simply using the category tag ‘iceland‘.

So, now lean back and enjoy a selection of 56 fantastic images of Iceland.

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art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown is going further!

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Today is Sunday, December 13th. The 3rd Advent.

Today I have another German tradition for you: the Christmas Market. The roots of this tradition go back to the 14th century. Since the early 20th century they are an inherent part of the pre-Christmas or Advent time.

I know, this tradition is on its way around the world and is already established in several cities in the UK and the US. Maybe also in other parts of the world, too. In case, you have similar markets in your region, please tell me a bit in the comment section below.

A Christmas market is held in many (if not nearly all) cities during Advent time. Smaller cities hold their Christmas market only for a weekend or a few days including one weekend. Others even start a few days before the first of Advent and last until December 23rd. And some cities have even more than one Christmas market, i.e. in several neighborhoods. Even some churches organize Christmas markets or important special places of excursion, like museums or castles.

But, what is a Christmas market? It’s a bit like a regular farmers market, but they offer Christmas related goods. So, you can usually buy Christmas decoration stuff including table-cloth and napkins, wooden toys, hand-made wood pieces from the region Erzgebirge, located between Germany and Czech Republic (a famous city here is Seiffen), spices, incense sticks, honey, candles and so on. When I was a child, there were stands offering exotic fruits, like bananas, pineapples, coconuts, oranges, mandarin oranges and of course apples, nuts and pears.

You can also buy some food. Usually local sports clubs or other social clubs sell some food to raise money for their work. They sell i.e. hot sweet chestnut, pea soup, green cabbage with cooked mettwurst (a smoked coarsely kind of sausage) or bratwurst. You can also buy some drinks. The most common drink on a Christmas market is hot, spiced wine (Gluehwein / Glühwein). Another important drink is glogg (Punsch).  All these foods and drinks are meant to keep you warm or give back some warmth, because it usually is cold in december.

Often these markets have an additional name, like these well-known Christmas markets here in Germany: Christkindels Markt in Nurnberg (Christkindel is Child Christ in the local dialect) , Striezelmarkt in Dresden (Striezel is a certain kind of bakery product), Printenmarkt in Aachen (Printe is also a certain kind of bakery product, specific to Aachen) or  Lebkuchenmarkt (Lebkuchen = ginger bread).

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Advent time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

Take care!

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