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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Colourful Cariber Flamingo birds at Copenhagen Zoo

Cariber Flamingos are a variety of African birds that I saw in Copenhagen zoo. With their red+ orange colour they are very attractive. The are always busy cleaning themselves with their beacon, standing on one leg, so it is very difficult to capture their clear neck.

See their group picture below- every single bird is busy cleaning itself, has no time to keep its neck up for a moment!
Looking at my camera from the corner of its eye!
Similar: Red Ibis at Berlin Zoo * Polar Bear at CPH Zoo

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Europeade 2015 at Helsingborg, Sweden: Exclusive pics n videos

When I went to Helsingborg on August 8th 2015, my first weekend in Europe this year, I was in for a pleasant surprise. There was an event called Europeade going on in Helsingborg. Europeade is a cultural festival where people dance in their European cultural attires. It is an initiative to create and retain European friendship through dance and music.

I understand Europeade is a 50 year old idea started in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1964. Refer this page for full details and history of Europeade.

It was a memorable experience for me to see so many different colours of traditional European dresses all over. The town was full of such groups, all in their ethnic wears. As I wasn't expecting this when I landed in Helsingborg, it was like stepping into a goldmine unexpectedly.

As per wikipedia over 5000 people from all over Europe converge in the city where Europeade is held. Event goes on for several days, with several indoor and outdoor activities- mainly singing and dancing. Travel expense are taken care by individuals themselves and basic accommodation and food are arranged by the organizers.

I have captured few precious moments from Europeade Folk Dance Festival 2015 below. Hope you enjoy them.

I have made a few videos. These are unedited raw videos shot on Nikon. It is more enriching to watch these short videos than reading text. Hope you enjoy the videos. Those who were part of Europeade 2015 had free access to public transportation in Helsingborg.

Video 1: Europeade 2015 at Helsingborg, Sweden
Video 2: Europeade 2015 at Helsingborg, Sweden
Video 3: Europeade 2015 at Helsingborg, Sweden
Video 4: Europeade 2015 at Helsingborg, Sweden
Video 5: A melodious group song
For more videos, stay tuned to my Youtube channel, which has recently crossed 100 subscribers.

2016 edition will be held in Belgium. Read more posts on Europe and Sweden

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wooden Shoe Museum at Zaanse Schans, NL

When I went to the windmill town Zaanse Schans, I visited a museum that showcased wooden shoes. It was interesting to know that wooden shoes were used extensively just a few centuries ago.

Officially known as De Zaanse Schans, the Wooden Shoe Workshop was set up in 1974 by Jaap and Ineke Kooijman in Zaanse Schans, Netherlands. The wooden shoes and other wood based products otherwise known as CLOG soon gained popularity and the industry began to flourish. Before we proceed, take a close look at the intricate art work on the shoes below.

Wooden shoes or clogs were cheap durable and were easy to make. Different kind of shoes to suit various industries/jobs were made. It also became part of dutch culture. Paintings on the wooden shoes, art work on etc also thrived. The wooden shoes museum showcases some of the oldest wooden clogs used in the region and their cultural significance. But over time, with advent of leather and rubber based footwear that were flexible and more durable, wooden products lost their prominence.

 Once a few hours, a live demonstration is given on how wooden shoes are made.

 Finished wooden shoes of various colours are up for sale, from about 30 Euro onwards.

When you visit Zaanse Schans, don't forget to visit this museum. Entry is free. Usually open between 10 AM to 5PM in summer. Official website of the museum is here

Friday, August 28, 2015

Polar Bear at Copenhagen Zoo

Polar bear is one animal I had seen only on TV so far. Recently I could take a close look at them at the Copenhagen Zoo. Here're some photos.

 They look very adorable. Closer look shows some bruises and coloured skin
Whole day they laze around in a small pond with temperature controlled water. Only when food is given, they come out, stand on rock and enjoy their meals. Otherwise they laze around the water.

There were two Polar bears in CPH zoo. Visitors can see them under water via a glass panel.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Zaanse Schans-Netherland's windmill town!

Zaanse Schans is a small village on the outskirts of Amsterdam, Netherlands. A colleague recommended that I visit this place during my Amsterdam visit. I spent half a day in this town and it was totally worth it.

Zaanse Schans is known for its windmills and scenic beauty. These windmills are centuries old and are used for different purposes- such as sawing wood, grinding spices, making dyes and so on. The wings of the windmill convert wind energy into rotary motion, which in turn is transferred down to move the custom build mechanism that can saw wood or grind spices and so on.
Notice the cloths on the wings- if retracted, they let the air through and thus can reduce speed or prevent the wings from rotating. When deployed, they offer resistance to wind and wind will force the turbines or wings to rotate. Very clever.

Visitors are allowed to go inside some of the windmills, for a fee of 4 euros. Besides windmills, the Zaanse Schans town has several museums, gift shops. More about them in separate posts.