landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 164: “looking up and down”

We have another guest host for LAPC: Sofia Alves

The first thing coming to my mind when recognizing the theme was the WIM of 2012. When standing on the ground, we were looking up to see all the colorful hot-air balloons of soo many different shapes flying over us.

And the next morning, we had the other view: looking down from one of the balloons.

 

Take care!

culture, landscape, leisure, nature, photography, seasons, travel, winter

Traveling in times of the pandemic

This is my first bi-lingual blog-post. Text in Deutsch weiter unten.

A friend of mine started a challenge to inspire the reader to travel without leaving the room and and calls it Zimmerreisen,which translates to room-travel. The German word can be a plural noun as well as a verb. I really liked the idea and I wanted to participate. As she writes her blog in German and addresses people living here I would also write this post in German. But, the majority of my followers don’t understand German, so I decided to write this post in both languages.

Puzzleblume named a few of rules for the challenge:

  1. each second Friday of a month a new turn
  2. pingback to her post
  3. 1,500 words should be enough (per language)
  4. Not only images. Tell us a story!
  5. use the tag #Zimmerreisen (and #roomtravel)
  6. use the given letters as stimuli for your imagination to find places or things starting with the given letters
  7. First we start with “A”, “B” and “C”. Use at least one of them for your post

I’ve chosen “Alpes”, “Balloon” and “Carnival” for this first roundtrip from the back of your seat to have

A few years ago, I was in Bavaria with some friends for having a hot-air balloon flight in front of the Alpes.

You know, flying balloons depends very much on the weather. While for most time of the year a balloon can fly safely only during the morning or evening hours, during winter they can also have good conditions during the day. So, we met at about 8:30 with the pilot and tried to find a good spot to start. The sky was covered with thick clouds, but the weather report (not the forecast) said, it would be possible to fly. And we did! After a couple of 10 meters, we touched the clouds and when we came out of the clouds, a sunny blue sky was above us. We went up to 1,000 meters and enjoyed the view to the Alpes.

Where’s the “C” you might ask. This happens during the core time of the carnival season while we were escaping the carnival festivities. In German, carnival translates to Karneval. The origin of this word is Latin “carne vale” and means “meat, farewell”. This festivity is the last before the start of the lenten season, which ends on Holy Saturday.

Btw. I’d encourage you, to join. I guess, it’s a lot of fun ūüėä

German:

Eine Co-bloggerin von mir hat eine Challenge gestartet Post zu schreiben, in denen man reisen kann, ohne das Zimmer zu verlassen und nennt das “Zimmerreisen”. Ich fand die Idee so gut, dass ich mich auch daran beteiligen m√∂chte. Da mein Blog aber in Englisch ist und Ihre Idee in Deutsch, habe ich mich entschieden diese Post Zweisprachig zu schreiben, denn die Mehrheit meiner Leser verstehen kein Deutsch.

Sie hat ein paar Regel aufgestellt:

  1. jeden zweiten Freitag startet eine neue Runde
  2. Pingback zu ihrem Post setzten
  3. 1,500 Wörter sollten genug sein
  4. Nicht nur Bilder, sondern eine Geschichte erzählen
  5. Den Tag #Zimmerreisen benutzen (und #roomtravel f√ľr englisch-sprachige Leser)
  6. die gegebenen Buchstaben als Inspiration f√ľr den eigenen Blog-Post nutzen. Die Orte oder Gegenst√§nde sollten mit diesem Buchstaben anfangen
  7. Wir beginnen mit “A”, “B” und “C”, und mindestens einer der Buchstaben muss verwendet werden

Ich habe mich f√ľr “Alpen”, “Ballon” und “Carnival” f√ľr diese erste Runde entschieden.

Vor ein paar Jahren war ich mit ein paar Freunden in Bayern um eine Fahrt in einem Heißluft-Ballon vor der Alpenkulisse zu unternehmen.

Wie jeder wei√ü, Ballon-Fahrten sind sehr Wetterabh√§ngig. Die meiste Zeit des Jahres k√∂nnen sie nur in den Morgen- oder Abenstunden starten. Im Winter hingegen besteht in den Alpen auch die M√∂glichkeit tags√ľber zu fahren. So haben wir uns morgens gegen 8:30h mit dem Ballon-Piloten getroffen und einen Start-Platz gesucht. Der Himmel war mit dicken grauen Wolken √ľberzogen, aber der Flugwetterbericht sah f√ľr einen Start gut aus. Nach einigen Duzend Metern haben wir die Wolken erreicht und nach einigen weiteren Duzend Metern erfolgreich durchsto√üen, wo wir von der Sonne und strahlend blauem Himmel erwartet wurden. Bis zu 1.000m sind wir aufgestiegen und konnten die Aussicht auf das fantastische Alpen-Panorama genie√üen.

Was ist mit dem “C”? Die ganze Aktion fand in der Karnevalszeit statt. Zwischen Weiberfasnacht und Tulpensonntag, w√§hrend unserer j√§rhrlichen Karnevals-Flucht (dar√ľber habe ich schon ein paar Mal geschrieben). Karneval, oder in Englisch carnival geht zur√ľck auf das mittel-lateinische “carne vale”, das “Fleisch, Lebewohl” bedeutet. Aschermittwoch, mit dem Karneval abschlie√üt, ist der Beginn der Fastenzeit, die mit Karsamstag ihr Ende findet.

Btw. Eventuell möchtest Du auch teilnehmen. Tu es!

Take care!!

 

 

art, culture, landscape, nature, photography, review, seasons, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Carnival Season

Here in my area we have two of the German carnival capitols: Cologne and Duesseldorf. Carnival festivities take place in the public as well as in many indoor locations. Carnival season starts on November 11th and lasts until Ash Wednesday (the exact date differs each year, because carnival depends on Easter. On that day the Lenten season starts for 40 days ’til Easter)

How are these festivities related? The bible tells us the background.

Easter = resurrection = Jesus Christ rose from his grave
Good Friday = Jesus was nailed on the cross, died and was buried

This festivity is the most important celebration in Christian believes.

Because of Jesus himself lentened for 40 days to strengthen his own belief, there is a 40 day Lenten period.

The word ‘carnival’ has it’s origin in Latin: carne = meat + val = without. It marks the beginning of the 40 day Lenten period.

In medieval times, people started to celebrate before the Lenten period started and to use up nearly all of the food remaining from last year. So, these supplies were used for big festivities (also celebrating the end of the winter). During these days, the established hirachy were turned upside down: the fool became mayor and everyone masqueraded. For one of the days, the Thursday I mentioned in the first paragraph, even became power: they were allowed to reign for 1 day (Altweiber / Weiberfastnacht). All of these isn’t meant serious, but foolish, because everything is turned upside down.

The magic number of carnival is the 11, because you can turn it upside down and it’s still the same.

Over the centuries, carnival starts now on November 11th at 11:11. On that date, the indoor festivities start. These are meetings with a president, a meeting committee and lots of speeches (all funny but usually political). This type of carnival was a foolish reaction to the strict government by the Pruss and Napoleons France. The participants wear costumes inspired by official uniforms of that times soldiers, but with a funny skirt or flouncy sleeves. They also play special music. Often played by marching bands looking like they were kidnapped from the 17th century. Simple melodies and very foolish lyrics (easy to remember, even when drunk).

Starting from Altweiber, the carnival festivities encroach to the streets. Carnival music floods the streets and the radio stations. Carnival meetings are broadcasted by some TV stations. While you won’t remark all of this during winter, is nearly impossible to ignore it during the last week before Rosenmontag (Carnival Monday).

Not everyone likes this!
One of my friends works in the middle of Cologne. Even during the days marking the summit of the carnival festivities (Thursday to Tuesday), when the silly music with their haunting melodies creating earworms to eat up the remains of your mind. Most of the businesses in areas with such a long tradition of celebrating carnival that intense, are closed for these days, because no customer would come, the employees won’t be usable (too tired and drunk) and drunk people probably would trash the unsecured rooms.

His company does not close, because they have also to support customers in areas, where carnival isn’t a topic at all. So, he goes on vacation. Some other friends of us, also working in similar areas, where they don’t have to work. My company office at that time was located in Duesseldorf, but a bit out of the center. So, I left the office always early to avoid encountering with drunk people.

Because all of this, he got the idea, to use these days for a short trip and our annual carnival escape was born.

Over the years we usually visited a famous city in the south, but also Berlin and London. Not everyone was able to take part in every trip. So you won’t find all of them here.

This time was different. Despite we were traveling south, we didn’t the reach the warmer mediterranean countries. Instead, we stopped in the Bavarian Alps for a hot-air balloon flight.

Take care!

art, history, landscape, photography, seasons, sport, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 3-29

mm29-dsc_5289-sc_wt

It’s time for Monochrome Madness. This week we have another themed Monochrome Madness. The theme is “travel”.

There are so many options to visualise travel:  think of i.e. luggage, people in a railway station, at a harbour or an airport, different travel vehicles or travel destinations and so on. I guess, you got the idea.

Despite I have many images from my different trips fitting for each of the above categories, I picked an image taken during one of my flights with a hot-air balloon. A fantastic experience gliding softly over the landscape.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers.

Take care!

culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge : Between

600_0674-e_wWhen I read the title for this weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post, I knew at once, which photo I’ll post.

Even there are ask many options to interpret that word and a few of them were already mentioned in the original post by Danielle.

Being between sky and earth passing the border between night and day. Although this happens twice every day it is a very special moment. I’d encourage you to feel it yourself, especially in the morning. Get up¬†early and go out to the fields in the countryside. turn you head to the east and welcome the sun. Feel how the early sun can warm your face while the night still cools your back. Enjoy the silence and the awakening birds. Smell the aroma of a newborn day.

Have a nice day / week

and Take care!

 

art, culture, landscape, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

600_2386_wThis weeks assignment for photographers over at “The daily post” is quite challenging. It’s “Threshold” as you already might have seen from the subject.

I picked this photo taken last year at a ballooning festival. Here, here and here you can read more about the festival.

Threshold means, done with the preparation and going up to the next level. While some balloons are already in the air, the big red one is still in preparation on the ground.

I hope you like it. If so, you can go back to my previous post and have al look on them.

Take care!

art, culture, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: beginning

600_0642-e_wThis year the people over at “The Daily Post” continue to organize their weekly photo challenges. This weeks subject is “beginning“, which fits perfectly to the first week of a new year.

I picked a photos taken at the very early morning when the ancient Greek goddess Eos (or Aurora for the Romans) were about to climb over the horizon and break the path for her brother Helios (or Sol for the Romans).

The photo is taken at 4:17 in the morning from a flying balloon. We started at 2:30 in the morning and enjoyed a very remarkable flight and the sunrise. I’d recommend to everyone, to get up very early and go out somewhere at a lake, a shore, on a hill or a mountain with free sight to the east to experience a sunrise. It’s a really unforgettable¬†impression.

Take care!

art, culture, General, landscape, meeting, people, photography, technical, travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

dsc_4330-s_wThis weeks assignment at “The weekly Photo Challenge” is “an unusual point of view”.

I picked a photo taken last year at WIM.

It’s a very unusual POV or have you ever been inside a hot air balloon? Look, how small all these people are. And, the balloon isn’t filled completely as you can see on the ground.

Have fun!

Maybe you’re also interested in my other series. Currently I run a series on Cuba on Thursdays as well as changing topics on Tuesdays.

 

art, culture, landscape, meeting, people, photography, technic, travel, world

Balloons at night

Yeah!

600_2516-s_wBalloons at night are very cool. I love it. I love the ambience.

This is my final post on this little series on the balloon festival at Kevelarer.

There was one additional  festival on my schedule, the WIM 2014! the Warstein International Montgolfiade. But, unfortunately it had to be canceled because of a dangerous, unclear Legionella epidemic in Warstein.

Best of luck for the ill.

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art, culture, meeting, people, technical, travel, world

setting up an hot air balloon

In my post on last Tuesday I proposed to write a post on how to set up a balloon. And, here it is.

A balloon consists of the basket, that’s the passengers compartment of the balloon, and the balloon itself. The basket is usually woven from willow branches. The balloon is made from a lightweight fabric. Both parts are transported with a special trailer.

First you get the basket and the sack containing the balloon from the trailer and attach the basket to the car to fix it and hinder it from flying away. Next you unpack the fabric, spread it on the ground and attach it to the basket.

In case you got the OK to prepare your start, fill the balloon with (cold) air by using a ventilator. At last you put hot air in the balloon by using the gas torch. Now a dangerous phase begins, because the helper have to hold the balloon open and have to avoid any contact of the balloon fabric and the flame. While the air inside the balloon heats up, the balloon begins to become lighter than the surrounding air and takes slowly up. The basket is lift by the balloon and the passengers can enter the basket to start their flight.

The hotter the air inside the balloon, the lighter it becomes. So, the temperature regulates the height and the wind sets speed and direction. Gone with the wind!

The sun heats the air over the ground. And that’s one reason for wind. But, wind makes ballooning dangerous. ¬†So, hot air balloons usually start ¬†in the early morning before the wind starts or in the late afternoon, when the wind already has stopped. A flight is about 60 to 90 minutes, because of the limited amount of gas on board.

art, culture, meeting, people, photography, technical, travel, world

Only hot air

600_2363-e_wEven this is part of a German saying and describing what a bragger produces, the title fits perfectly for today’s post.

On Friday afternoon I attended another Ballooning Festival. This time I was in Kevelar, in the lower Rhine area. It was a small festival compared to the Warstein International Montgolfiade, I attended last September. ¬†‘Only’ 20 balloons and 8 model balloons were in Kevelar. But, it was a very relaxed atmosphere and it was easy to come in touch with the pilots. This time we were able to take photographs even while setting up the balloons. So, I have some very impressive photographs in the gallery. Enjoy!

I also recommend, paying attention on how big a balloon really is, compared to an adult human.

I split this post in 3 parts. This first part is for giving an overview. In the second part I’ll show the setting up of a balloon and the third part is for the night glow. That’s always the most impressive part of such a balloon festival. In case, there is one in your region, I’d definitely go and watch it.

We had a wonderful, sunny and warm day. Unfortunately we had a quite strong, choppy wind that cased the balloons to delay their start for about an hour. Finally the balloons were allowed to start. But not all of the balloons were able to start their flight. Suddenly heavy gusts came up again and pushed the remaining balloons back to the ground. One of the model balloons escaped from his owner and flew alone and unmanned over the next street. Fortunately the owner was able to catch it soon. The escape didn’t last long – pew! The other balloons in up in the ¬†air were save.

No-one was hurt, so enjoy the colorful balloons. ūüôā

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art, culture, General, landscape, photography, travel

The eagle has landed

600_0813-s_wOK, not literally.

Every action or event has its end. So, this flight also came to its end. We traveled about 4.5 hours and covered 163 km with an average speed of about 30 km driven only by the wind. According to my GPS our maximum height was 2,573 m. Stunning!

But, finally we had had to land again and were collected by a car to be brought back to our starting point.

As you might know, wind during the starting and the landing phases might endanger these phases. We landed right before the wind became too strong. Thus, we were landed smooth and save.

Enjoy the photos taken in this final phases of our flight and right after we landed. Maybe you might also have a look back to the other posts:

nightflight, the rise of aurora,¬†It’s coming, geometric shapes and heaven above.

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