Sunday, 15 February 2015

Fresh snow

We have had some major storms hitting northern Norway in the last few weeks. The snow that came with these storms came horizontal, so most of it blew straight into the sea. But in the last couple of days the winds died down and we had about 50 cm fresh snow. Finally, the old snow was getting very hard and icy. So this weekend we went skiing; nothing spectacular, but still very nice. Below a few photos from the last few weeks.

We hebben de laatste paar weken verschillende stormen gehad hier in noord Noorwegen. De sneeuw die met de stormen mee kwam is rechtstreeks de zee in geblazen, maar de afgelopen dagen was het kalmer en hebben zo'n 50 cm verse sneeuw gekregen. Eindelijk, de sneeuw en skicondities waren niet bepaald goed, maar nu is er poedersneeuw. Dit weekend zijn we dus gaan skien, niets spectaculairs, maar wel mooi. Hieronder een paar fotos van de afgelopen weken.

(Snow) storm 'Ole', strong enough to get a name

Clearing the driveway

Nice snow covered trees

Deep snow, nice views

Finnvikdalen in the sun

View from the pass: virgin snow, no one else around

Sunset colours

Sunday, 1 February 2015

January in Tromsø

January is the time of the Tromsø International Film Festival followed by the sun coming back. I always enjoy this film festival and usually see 10-12 movies from all over the world. Some of my favourites this year were Wim Wenders stunning new documentary Le Sel de la Tierra, the Spanish movie Carmen and Amén, and the Japanese movie The Snow White Murder Case. 

We are still waiting for some decent snow. Up in the mountains, the snow is hard and windblown with lost of rocks coming through and I don't really like skiing on this. But it is great for snowshoeing, or even just hiking. It is also getting more popular to go cycling up and down the mountains on the hard snow. Yesterday we tried to get some sun, but the clouds in the south blocked it for most of the time that we were out. We only got a very brief glimpse of it before it disappeared behind the mountains.

Brief glimpse of the sun

Sun light on Vengsøya

And, of course, some northern lights

Extremadura #2: Cáceres

A few more photos of the last days in Spain. One day we visited the monastery de San Jerónimo de Yuste, where the Charles V lived the last few years of his life, near Cuacos de Yuste. And one of the last days we drove down to Cáceres to visit its historical walled town centre, a UNESCO world heritage site. The plains around Cáceres are known for their populations of little and greater bustards, large birds that have been hunted to extinction in many places and which we had never seen before. So on the way to Cáceres we took some smaller country roads through the plains to try to find them. We were lucky, Tony managed to spot a small group of greater bustards, but no photos, they were a bit too far away for that.

Monastery de San Jerónimo de Yuste

Monastery de San Jerónimo de Yuste

Looking back to Cuacos de Yuste, with Sierra de Gredos in the background

Plaza Major, de main square in Cáceres, just outside the old city walls

The entrance to the walled city

Plaza Santa María

Street with the city wall on the left

Iglesia Concatedral de Santa María

Overview from the church tower

Cáceres is also known for the many nesting storks. Even in winter there are still some white storks around.

Moorish cistern underneath the Cáceres museum