Did I say I love waterfalls? Plenty of them here in Iceland
Katla ice cave
Away from the paved roads into an alien world. Desolate. Windy. And once again bloody cold
The target is Katla glacier in Iceland. Cold winds have covered the icecap during many centuries in volcanic dust
A hostile but beautiful environment
I’m glad we came in these specially prepared ‘super jeeps’ that are able to drive over rocks and ice and through small glacier rivers
They’re back! Spoonbills in their regular nesting place: a tiny piece of swamp forest tugged in between a highway and a lake. The archetype nature images in our heads are pristine, without human influence. And I have to confess: as a nature photographer I always try to replicate these images. Even when the pictures are taken in a densely populated and completely transformed area. I think we have a longing and even a need for dreams of purity and paradise. And well, it feels a bit like paradise here.
And now they´re back. All the way from Africa, ready for summer. Temperatures are still quite low here, but every spring when they return my heart leaps up.
And it’s not just one… It’s so many of them!
What a feeling to stand here in the middle of nowhere, and just see, hear, smell and feel nature all around.
This last little fellow brings back memories of the card playing game I had as a child. The bluethroat was my favourite card! I love this time of spring when all these birds have returned with a promise of lovely summer days to come
Bubbles of boiling hot vapour push the surface upward until they break through and Strokkur erupts. In the Netherlands we call these geothermal steam-eruptions ‘geisers’. This generic name is derived from this specific spot: Geysir in Iceland…
Steamy Strokkur. Minus ten degrees Celcius (fourteen Fahrenheit) makes it bloody cold right next to this boiling pond.
Geothermical area around Geysir and Strokkur. Steam everywhere…
Another geothermal area is Krysuvik or Seltun. A small path leads through the hot springs and steamy rivers.
The smell of sulfur is all around.
As a young boy I had a book of stories from all over the world. It had a drawing of a lone fur trapper in the woods, staring at the northern lights sky. I loved that drawing. Such wildness, such loneliness and such beauty! I dreamt of being in the wild myself and seeing the aurora borealis. But I had visited Iceland in summer once, with 5 days of just clouds and rain and wind (We were camping then, my daughter and I, and after 4 days of rain we fled into the first hotel we could find to get dry. Despite the rain and the clouds and the wind it was a great holiday, for even when it rains Iceland is really beautiful).
So I hesitated. What were the chances of going in winter and having both an active aurora and a clear sky? For years I didn’t dare to take the risk and buy a ticket.
Until last November, when I realised that if I didn’t try, I would surely never see it. I bought a ticket and… well, see for yourself.
There’s no need to go to a special dark place to see the aurora. You can see it right from the city. Reykjavic for instance, or more precisely: the bay of Kopavogur.
Kind of blue
Venus guided us all the way home after the Vienna trip.
The picture from the plane resembles a bit the picture I took at home a few days ago, with Jupiter and Venus in conjunction.
More blue lately:
Venus and Jupiter
Tonight, Venus and Jupiter are standing very close together in the sky. That is: they’re standing very, very far apart, but they appear to look close together to us.
In the sunset picture you can see them cosily in the top right corner, in between the greylag geese. Beautiful sunset today.
I also took a few pictures with the standard 500 mm lens, and was very surprised about the details. You actually see the little balls in the sky, and a few moons around Jupiter. Always makes me feel like that little boy, staring into the sky with a small telescope and dreaming of the stars…
City of Mozart
So I visited his grave in Vienna. That is to say: He was buried here at the St. Marx cemetery, but the exact location is a guess. Buried in an unmarked grave, according to the rules and habits of that time. Probably his bones were dug up after ten years to give room to other deceased. But it is nice to think that he was laid to rest here, at this memorial.
“Do you think this is it?”
Approaching the Mozart house at Domgasse 5 in Vienna, Austria. But no, the house where Mozart lived is just around the corner. The house is a museum, and you can walk in the rooms where you he and his wife lived from 1784 to 1787. He wrote the world-famous opera “Le Nozze di Figaro” there, and three of the six Haydn Quartets.
Well, this is it then. The Mozart house. Domgasse 5 in Vienna, Austria. Incredible that he has walked in the same streets, through the same door over the same stairs. With a little fantasy you can walk together.
View from his house.
This he saw when looking out of the window, thinking what the violins should play next.
The Stephansdom is just around the corner
Night falls in Vienna
Impressionistic evening at the Opernring in Vienna
An evening at the opera