If you dig way, way back in the CheeseWeb archives, you’ll find the saga of our arrival in Europe. Those days, CheeseWeb was simply a personal journal for my close friends and family, back home in Canada. You’ll find a lot of (badly written) posts about our time in Amsterdam, from 2004 and 2005, but since those days, I’ve written very little about one of my favourite cities in the world. Despite the relatively short time we spent living there, (7 months in total) it still feels like home, when we visit. So today I’d like to share a bit of my Amsterdam with you, with six things I miss about Amsterdam.
This entry is part 16 of 24 in the series Portugal & Andalusia 2012.We had a wonderful time exploring Cordoba and Granada during our road-trip of Andalusia, Spain. Photographically speaking, both cities offered lots of opportunities.
Every other year, for five short days, the Grand Place of Brussels, Belgium is a riot of colour. The bi-annual Flower Carpet appears on postcards, calendars and images of Brussels for years to come, but only those who visit the city during those special days in August are lucky enough to see it in person. This year, early one morning, we were among them.
This entry is part 9 of 24 in the series Portugal & Andalusia 2012.The Romantic, Mogul-style, Monserrate Palace was the third and final palace we visited, in UNESCO designated Sintra, Portugal, and it seemed we saved the best for last.
Only in Belgium could you find a globally themed botanical garden and zoo, with over 4,000 animals, on the site of a former Cistercian Abbey. Our only question is why didn’t we discover Pairi Daiza sooner?
What happens when you cross the World’s Fair with a garden expo and shake it all up with Dutch organisation and ingenuity? You get Floriade – The World Horticultural Expo in Venlo, the Netherlands.
This time of year, when Belgium’s only colours are shades of grey, I can’t help but dream of the bright spring and summer days. I spend the winter months catching up on last year’s travels and planning for a burst of garden photography in spring. While my focus is often on tulip gardens in the low-lands, late last spring a friend tipped me off about a different kind of garden, who’s blooms are of a more fragrant variety. With more than 30,000 bushes and 3000 varieties of rose, Coloma Rose Garden is one of the largest in Europe. It’s also right on the doorstep of Brussels in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.
This spring I discovered a new gorgeous garden in the Netherlands called Kasteeltuinen Arcen (The Castle Gardens of Arcen). Although my visit was a bit early in the season to see the gardens at their best, Arcen has quickly become my new favourite garden destination. A few months ago I ordered a book called The Garden Lover’s Guide to the Netherlands and Belgium. While flipping through, I was blown away by the illustration of Kasteeltuinen Arcen. Andrew and I decided we would visit Arcen gardens the day after our Keukenhof tour.
As a garden photographer, you would think I’d have an amazing garden. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit nearly enough of my Mom and Grand-parents’ green thumbs. I hate mowing, weeding and dealing with pests. I’d much rather spend time admiring plants through the end of my macro lens. That said, I LOVE my terrace. Yes it’s tiny and crowded but I think (though I may be slightly biased) that I have one of the best views in the centre of Brussels. My goal this year, Belgian weather permitting (and boy has she been permitting these past few weeks) is to spend more of my work day on my terrace. In order to make this dream a reality, my most important purchase was a huge umbrella to shade me and my laptop from the sun. Then all I needed to do was initiate Project Terrific Terrace 2010!