Bluebell Season

It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post, and that means many photos to catch up on! During the cold month of April, when the weather wasn’t as warm as it is now in the Netherlands, we visited the beautiful Ockenburgh gardens as we do every year to enjoy the bluebell season. The bluebells only bloom for a couple of weeks in April/May each year, so this is always special, especially when stumbling across huge fields of these little flowers.

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Have a wonderful week!

Last Winter Walks

Despite a little less blogging than I’d hoped for so far, photography has definitely not taken a back seat in my life this year! Last weekend, I took a lovely winter walk in Westbroekpark, a park closer to the beach in The Hague. Despite the very chilly air, I could smell spring right around the corner. The sunshine is starting to become a more regular feature, there’s less rain and gloom, and the hours of the day are lengthening!

This park is such a quiet, peaceful park right in the middle of the beautiful suburbs leading up to Scheveningen (the beach). Though it’s not incredibly large, it’s significantly ‘hillier’ than the other parks I’ve visited in the city, which makes for some good walking with a partner or friend. I enjoyed having a coffee, strolling through the many trails lined with trees, and seeing the little signs of spring showing through.

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Have a wonderful week everyone!

Rocca Calascio

While travelling in Italy, I visited the home region of one of my closest friends – Abruzzo. In this stunning mountainous area of the country, we visited the ‘Rocca Calascio’, a fortress located on top of a mountain.

Aside from the fortress, there is a lovely little village situated just underneath, with homes, restaurants, and tiny shops housed within. The view from the top of the mountain was well worth hiking upwards for – you could see for miles and miles around the region. Though we experienced a bit of rain and cold at first, the weather soon cleared up afterwards and the sun shone while making our descent, allowing for all kinds of photos to be taken in different elemental states.

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I really loved this part of the trip – it was very atypical of what tourists normally do in Italy, which is one of the best parts of travelling around with natives of a country.

Have a wonderful week!

Streets of Roma

After successfully finishing my final year at university a few weeks ago, I finally visited one of my dream locations – Italy! I’d been wanting to visit since as long as I can remember, and the country was everything I had imagined – and so much more. I spent the last week with some wonderful ladies, and had an amazing time exploring three very different areas of the country – the mountains neighbouring a little village, the seaside town of Pescara, and – most importantly – Rome!

I was at a loss on where to even start blogging about this trip, considering the amazing locations I was lucky enough to see and the hundreds of photos taken. But I decided to start with Rome, the most beautiful capital city I have ever seen. Rome itself could take up a hundred different posts, but I thought to share some gorgeous photos of the streets and some of my favourite looks at the city, aside from the magnificent sights of the Colosseum, the Vatican, and so on.

IMG_7448IMG_7482IMG_7483IMG_7507IMG_7478IMG_7444IMG_7474IMG_7475IMG_7868IMG_7872IMG_7896Visiting this city brought me a wonderful sense of satisfaction – I still can’t quite believe I spent two wonderful days there. The streets, the skies, the warmth, and the food culminated in an experience right out of a dream. I can’t wait to go back and see it again, and explore Roma’s beautiful hidden areas which remain unseen.

Have a wonderful week!

Dusk in Amsterdam

It’s a strange feeling to be done with university, and not have to worry about assignments and exams anymore. This week, I went to Amsterdam for dinner with some friends, and even though the afternoon was very cloudy and grey, when the sun started to set, the skies cleared up and led to some beautiful dusk photos of Amsterdam’s stunning bridges and canals.

Capturing these photos while enjoying time with my friends will always represent a special time for me – at the end of my degree, it is a time of change for me, where I am graduating and saying goodbye to a lot of special people as everyone returns home or travels elsewhere in the world. It is the end of one phase, but the beginning of the next part of my life, though I’m not sure what it might bring just yet for all of us!

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In response to this week’s Photo Challenge: Delta.

Have a wonderful week!

The Japanese Garden

After more than a month, I’m back to blogging – finally! Finishing my thesis over the last month was a tough process, but it’s finally done and I’m very happy to be back to going out and exploring this beautiful country during these warm months.

During a little thesis break last month, me and some friends went to visit the beautiful ‘Japanse Tuin’ (Japanese Garden), located in the heart of Clingendael. This beautiful little paradise is only open for eight weeks every year from April to June, and again during the autumn period for a few days in October. The plants and flowers in the garden are very rare and fragile, which is why it has to be closed off to the public for the rest of the year.

The garden is stunning during the spring opening, with all the spring blooms out in full force. It was perfect for me to take some great focus shots of all sorts of beautiful flowers and winding paths inside the garden. We visited on a warm but cloudy day, which finally ended up with a full storm breaking loose right in the middle of our visit. Despite the rain, looking out at the garden from our little shelter under the small temple structure in the garden was breathtaking.

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The above picture shows the start of a slight drizzle, but the next one shows the scene about a minute later – in the middle of the heaviest rain shower in weeks!

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I visited the garden once more on its closing day, with the hope of getting some more pictures in a sunnier environment. However, despite the lovely sun shining that day, the garden had already lost most of its best blooms. It was still very beautiful and serene, especially with less people visiting, but the garden is definitely best visited during its flowering season in May.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Springtime Flowers

Happy Earth Day!

With the last couple of weeks being hectic, and with the next few months likely to be even busier, it’s been hard to get outside and appreciate the outdoors and take photographs much. However, a couple of weeks ago, I got the opportunity to take some beautiful shots of budding springtime flowers in Lange Voorhout, near the centre of The Hague. These budding flowers were gorgeous to see with the setting sun, and stretched for several metres along a long path. It was very much like walking down an aisle of flowers!

I hope to get a chance to go walking again soon, and take some more photos once the weather stops switching to cold and rainy. April is always an ‘off’ month here, with a very thin line existing between winter temperatures and summer sun!

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Discovering Delft

A visit to Delft on a grey and rainy day last week had me wishing for spring to arrive even more than usual. Delft is a stunningly beautiful little city, just ten minutes away from The Hague by train. Filled with dozens of picturesque canals, quaint stores and lots of royal history, it’s always a fun visit, even on a grey day.

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The City Hall

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Nieuwe Kerk (‘New Church’)

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The blue heart of Delft, representing Delft’s expertise in fine blue china

Since it was quite rainy outside, I decided to venture into the Nieuwe Kerk to see the resting place of the royal family and some stunning stained glass windows. Unfortunately, since the church is under construction, I wasn’t able to visit the tower, but will definitely be coming back next month to try again!

Spring is starting to appear finally in The Hague, so I can’t wait to start exploring in the warmer weather and enjoy the flowers and leaves starting to spring up all over town.

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One of the many Delft canals, showing the way to the leaning tower of the Oude Kerk ‘Old Church’

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One of the many architecturally stunning old buildings to be seen in Delft