VIDEOLIST

This is a listing of all videos shown on the main page ("home") of this website in the part "destinations" where you can also watch and download photos. The text - descriptions to the places and videos are repetitions of those in the part "destinations", only left out in this place the informations regarding the music titles that have been used in the videos.
Please do only use this website after taking note of and accepting  the "legal and technical informations" given  on the main page ("home") in the correspondingly denominated section!


Enjoy your visit to Blueplanevideos!


LISTING
REGION COUNTRY VIDEOS
Asia China Hong Kong - City of contrasts
Hong Kong - Very flexible
Japan Tokyo - Skyscrapers and temples
Singapore Singapore - Zoological Gardens
Thailand Bangkok - City of angels
Koh Samui - Island of the coconut
Australia Australia Sydney - Around the opera
and Pacific Sydney - Underwaterworld
South Australia - Kangaroo Island and Great Ocean Road
Fiji Islands Yasawa - Blue Lagoon
Hawaii (USA) Hawaii - Big Island, Oahu and Kauai
North America USA Las Vegas - City of lights
Los Angeles - Venice and Hollywood
Central America Mexico Acapulco - Clavadistas (Cliffdivers)
and Caribbean Yucatan - Mexican Caribbean
Palenque - Archaeological sites
South America Argentina Litoral Region - Iguazu Falls
Litoral Region - A natural shower
Patagonia - Water and Ice
Bolivia Copacabana - Lake Titikaka
Brazil Rio de Janeiro - Carnaval (carnival) 2002
Rio de Janeiro - Flying Man
Bahia - Flight over Tinhare
Bahia - Crab on the beach
Peru Cusco - Machu Picchu
Nasca -   Nasca Lines
Venezuela Canaima - National Park and Angel Fall
Los Roques - An archipelago like paradise
Europe Germany Berlin - Loveparade 2006
Hungary Budapest - Queen of the Danube
Spain Ibiza - Beaches and Bays
Ibiza - Cova de Can Marca (stalactite cavern)
Málaga - Fireworks Feria 2007

 

DESCRIPTIONS
 


Hong Kong - City of contrasts

When the United Kingdom transferred the sovereignty over Hong Kong back to China, on july 1st 1997, 156 years of british colonial rule had turned it into a fascinating metropolis of 7 million inhabitants.However, european culture and the western free-trade system didn´t replace neither the chinese people (which represent more than 90 percent of Hong Kong´s population) nor their lifestyle, culture or religion. It is the resulting coexistence of two completely different worlds why Hong Kong is also called “the city of contrasts”.

The name “Hong Kong” derives from the chinese “Heung Gong” what means “frangrant harbour”. It´s territory extends over a peninsula on the southern coast of China and 235 islands in the South China Sea. The peninsula is divided into the two districts “New Territories” and “Kowloon”. Hong Kong Island, the most important of the 235 islands, lies opposite Kowloon and forms with it he Victoria Harbour. The remaining 234 are subsumed under the term “outlying islands” because of their more remote location, being Lantau with the international airport the largest of them.

The Central District of Hong Kong Island, also nicknamed “the Manhattan of Asia” due to its imposing skyscrapers, is the place where big business is done. A spectacular view of its skyline can be obtained from the 552 meter high Victoria Peak. To enjoy the fascinating nightly panoramic views of the Victoria Harbour with the lavishly iluminated towers of concrete, glass and steel in the background - motif of almost every Hong Kong postcard- take the ferry to Kowloon and relax for a (good) while at the boardwalk.

Kowloon is, strongly simplified, the chinese sector of Hong Kong. Along the Nathan Road, its main arterial street, you will find chinese street banners and signs in abundance, traditional markets with a wide range of articles and buddhist temples filled with splendid religious statues and the smell of burning incense. The Kowloon Park, a quiet green space, offers its visitors the opportunity to relax, not least from the huge number of tailors providing their services in the streets.

A day in the Ocean Park, a big theme park on Hong Kong Island (not in the video), or a boat trip to one of the outlying islands are excellent ways to get some distance from the mad rush reigning over that city. Visits to the famous “Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas” in Shatin (New Territories) and the Po Lin monastery on Lantau Island with the worlds biggest outdoor Buddha statue are highly recomendable, even if you´re not on a cultural trip.

The video alternates in the first half between the Central District and Kowloon (please refer to the pictures for more information). The second half is somewhat more “organized”: Man Mo Temple (Central) - Bo Fook Ancestral Worship Halls and Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas (New Territories) – Po Lin Monastery with the “Giant Buddha” (Lantau) – Impressions of Cheung Chau, a small fisher island – panoramic night views of the Victoria Harbour and the skyline.

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Hong Kong - Very flexible

This is a short video of an impressive "dance" performed by a very flexible young chinese girl in Ocean Park, a large leisure and theme park in Hong Kong.
I took this video in 1999, two weeks after having bought my first camera, what is very noticeable...However, because of the surprising success it has since a year on Youtube, I finally decided to improve it a bit and to incorporate it here. Enjoy!

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Tokyo - Skyscrapers and temples

The capital of Japan is, with more than 8 million people living in the central parts and more than 30 millions in the conurbation areas, the world´s largest metropolis. Thousands of elegant dressed business men and women force their way through the streets before they make their way home by subway (almost lying on top of each other). Impressing skyscrapers, a sea of neon lights and big screens as well as the omnipresent next generation electronic ware show japanese people´s preference for the future.

But there are also the other aspects of Tokyo: The side of the buddhist temples and shinto shrines for example, which allow you to move back and meditate, or just to relax. Or the green side: The gardens of the Imperial Palace and a high number of parks, particularly beautiful during cerry blossom time in april. Many traditional shops, the Tsukiji fish market (the world´s largest - there will be an extra video), japanese noodle-snack restaurants (be careful, the soup is almost boiling when you get it) and much more show, that tradition and modern life exist side by side in Tokyo.

The three-part video shows:
1.Short shots of the skyline filmed from a tower of the city hall (sorry for the reflections).
2.Modern buildings and city life, filmed in the central areas.
3.Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Zojo-Temple, Meiji-Shrine and small parks with cherry blossoms.

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Singapore - Zoological gardens

The zoological garden of the city state of Singapore, in the peninsula of Malaysia, is one of the best in the world and has received various awards. In a total area of 28 hectares are exhibited more than 3000 animals of 290 different species, 21 percent of them being in danger of extinction like e.g. a giant turtle (status in 2006*; source and more information: www.zoo.com.sg. Their habitats have been adapted as far as possible to natural conditions. To obtain some more details please do also refer to the photos.(* these recordings are from the year 1999).

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Bangkok - City of angels

Bangkok holds an absolutely predominating position in Thailand: It is not only capital and social, economical and cultural centre of the country, but also its only metropolis. Ten million people live in the conurbation area of Bangkok, 6 million of them in the city itself. The second largest town, Samut Prakan, has nearly 400.000 inhabitants.

Despite of the diverse cultural offer of Bangkok, that the thai people call "Krung Thep" (City of Angels), most vacationists pass quickly through the city on the way to their holyday destinations on one of the islands. This is not least due to its tropical humid climate and the pollution problems caused by the immense volume of traffic (In Bangkok people say: we have just one traffic jam per day, but that lasts 24 hours).

Those who are not deterred by all that, can even spend two weeks in Bangkok and have a really good time: The city offers numerous museums and more than 400 buddhist temples (called “wats”), lively side streets and markets, boat tours on a high number of canals and the Chao Phraya river, especially when the streets are once more blocked, noisy but highly entertaining trips by TukTuk (motorcycle-taxis), quiet parks, large modern shopping centers and all kinds of nightly entertainment (in- or excluding the well-known redlight district Patpong…).

The famous complex consisting of Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Royal Grand Palace is just THE sight of Thailand and makes the visitor feel like a prince strolling through his fairy tale palace. An unforgettable experience!

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Koh Samui - Island of the coconut

Koh Samui, due to its high number of palm trees often called "the island of the coconut", is the 3rd largest island of Thailand, situated east of it in the Gulf of the same name. Thanks to it´s location it was not affected by the devastating Tsunami of December 26, 2004.

The interior part of this beautiful tropical island is hilly and wooded while its coastline is surrounded by numerous fine-sanded beaches.

By renting a motorcycle (which is no trouble even without having a licence), it is possible to get to different beaches, bays and waterfalls, or to pay a visit to the 12 m high, gold-plated “Big Buddha” statue in the small Island Koh Fan.

Besides that, there´s a somewhat adventurous off-road path to the top of the 635 m high elevation Khao Thai Kwai, where you obtain panoramic views over the northern part of Koh Samui and the neighbour island Koh Phangan. (Be prepared to pay for a possible damage to the bike…).

Koh Samui hosts any kind of tourism: You can live in top or middle class hotels and beach resorts or in plain cabins, and eat in fine restaurants or in the cheap and very good food markets.
Apart from the normal vacationists which stay for a week or two, you´ll generally also meet some “dropouts”, leaving behind their normal lifes for some months or even years by seeking refuge in a straw hut.

There is a lot of nightlife in Koh Samui, but the best event for all fans of uncontrolled celebrations is the mounthly organized “full-moon-party” on the neighbour island of Koh Phangan, where thousands of highly “animated” locals and foreigners dance to electronic music on the beach until they get unconscious, or find another way to enjoy themselfes. Unfortunately, I missed it by 2 days.
The video shows the landscape of Koh Samui.

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Sydney - Around the opera

Although Canberra is the official capital of Australia - Sydney is its largest and economically most important city.

You can easily spend several hours at the harbour Port Jackson, considered to be one of the most beautiful natural ports in the world, and enjoy the view of the two landmarks of the city, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. However, the best impressions of both can be obtained from the ferry to the suburb of Manly.

Especially on weekends, lots of artists come together at the harbour and the Museum of Contemporary Art is worth a short visit as well. The nearby botanical gardens give an excellent opportunity to do a little excursion into the nature. Besides that, you´ll get several sights of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera worth to be themes of a Sydney postcard during the short walk from the harbour to the gardens.

On the other side, the harbour borders with the old town center "The Rocks", where the european colonisation of the australian continent began in the early 19th century with the settlement of the first english immigrants.

The area of Darling Harbour is dedicated to entertainment, in the afternoons as well as in the nights. It is crossed by the Pyrmont Bridge that gives access to the monorail train. While Sega-world is the place to go both for the young gamblers as for those who remained young, the casino is left to the adults. Highly recommendable as well is a visit to the impressive Sydney Aquarium (see video "underaterworld"). Party freaks will find trendy bars and clubs in Darling Harbour.

As Melbourne had already "taken the lead" when it organized the Olympic Games of 1956, Sydney also made efforts to become an olympic city and finally got the games of 2000. You can visit the Olympic Park mostly by yourself, but for the stadium you´ll need to join a guided tour, that, on the other hand, leads you as far as to the playing field. Even though the stands are empty, you can imagine the sensations experienced by the athletes while they were practising their disciplines in front of 110.000 spectators.

Those you have a little bit more time than I did, can also visit some of Sidney´s numerous beaches and highlight their stay by an excursion to the "Blue Mountains", situated about 50 km from the city.

The video contains views of Port Jackson, the Opera and the Harbour Bridge from the viewing platform in one of its pillars as well as from the ferry to Manly, some artists at the harbour, the botanical gardens, Darling Harbour, the Olympic Stadium, The Rocks, the central district and some night views, mainly of Darling Harbour.

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Sydney - Underwaterworld

The recordings for this video come from 3 large sea aquariums in different countries, so that it is not a real underwater video. However, I made it because I didn´t want to withhold from you the beautiful corals, rays, sharks, a giant octopus and other inhabitants of the ocean.
 
The majority of the shots are from the Sydney Aquarium, whose visitors obtain, strolling through tunnels of plexiglas, harmless looks at some sharks of considerable size and at reproductions of Australia´s sea world, like that of the Great Barrier Reef, the world´s largest coral reef located at the north-east coast of the country. Other replicas of coral reefs, some rays and the giant octopus have been filmed in Underwaterworld, Sentosa Island (Singapore). They are completed by a few recordings from the Ocean Park, a large theme park in Hong Kong.

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South Australia - Kangaroo Island and Great Ocean Road

This nature video combines two regions which are otherwise not related which each other:

KANGAROO ISLAND is the 3rd largest island of Australia –after Tasmania in the south and Melville in the north- and it´s located about 100 km from Adelaide, in the state of South Australia.

Kangaroo Island is a sort of big natural zoo where numerous animal species could survive or be introduced due to its isolation from the main land, which constitutes an insuperable barrier for their natural enemies like e.g. foxes. During my 2-day-trip around the island, I saw surprisingly few kangaroos, but wallabies (of similar species but smaller) sitting in the bushes, sea lions and seals swimming in the sea or lazing on land, koalas “swinging” high up in the trees, pelicans gliding through the air, an echidna (an australian species of hedgehog) digging himself into a hole and penguins taking a night walk.

Kangaroo Island offers not only its fauna to the visitors, but also a beautiful landscape with some particular sights like the “Remarkable Rocks”, strangely shaped granite formations, and the “Kelly Hill Caves”, an impressing stalactite cavern, which are part of any normal excursion. Those who like it a little bit less touristic and are sufficiently daring, do have the posibility to come into contact with white sharks, if they surf around South Australia (I was pretty much satisfied with the seals…).

The GREAT OCEAN ROAD in the southwest coast of Australia (state of Victoria) is surely one of the most marvellous coastal routes in the world. During the more than 300 km drive by car you´ll pass various look-out platforms where it´s possible to admire spectacular parts of the coast and fantastic rock formations built by the creative force of the ocean. The most beautiful of them -which is also one of Australias main attractions- is located closely to Melbourne and named “The Twelve Apostles”: These are –now- eight free standing rock towers rising up to 60 meters out of the sea. (The name is misleading: Already when I visited them in 1999, there were only 9 towers visible above the water. Unfortunately, one of them collapsed in july 2005).

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Yasawa - Blue Lagoon

The Fiji Islands are located in the Southwest Pacific, about 2100 km north of Auckland (New Zealand). The archipelago is composed of more than 300 single islands of volcanic origin, many of them very small and uninhabited. The two main islands are Viti Levu (with the capital Suva and the airport in Nandi) and Vanua Levu. The real island paradise however is more likely to be be found in the offshore groups. From the numerous offers I chose an excursion to the Yasawa Islands, situated in the north-west of Viti Levu at a distance of about 3 hours by boat from Nandi. Already in the Tourist Information at the airport you hear what from now on you gonna be told again and again: One of the Yasawa islands is the privately owned “Turtle Island”, location where the Hollywood-production “The Blue Lagoon” was shot in 1980 (feat. Brook Shields).

So much premature praise could easily lead to a great disappointment, but not at all. The Yasawa Islands are indeed a paradise with green hills, palm trees, fine sand beaches, crystal waters and coral reefs, where you can enjoy yourself by snorkeling, diving, windsurfing or simply sunbathing and watch fantastic sunrises and sunsets. The attraction of a visit to the tiny island Sawa-i-Lau is just as much attributed to the impression obtainable during the trip in a small boat as to its famous limestone caves that can be explored by swimming (an opportunity already grabbed by –who guesses it?- Brooke Shilds).

The video shows: Yasawa Islands from the Blue Lagoon to Sawa-i-lau and the famous Fiji-sunrises and sunsets, here from the little island Tavewa. (Honestly, they are almost like that! But I should mention that they got a little "extra" from the polarising filters I didn´t take off before filming them).

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Hawaii - Big Island, Oahu and Kauai

The Islands of Hawaii are located in the North Pacific Ocean at a distance of about 4000 km from the american and about 6000 km from the asian mainland. Therefore, they are the most remote group of islands on earth. The archipelago is composed of more than 130 islands, all of volcanic origin, with the 8 main islands lying in the southwest: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and Big Island. The “Aloha State” became state number 50 of the USA on Aug 21,1959.

OAHU is neither the biggest nor the most beautiful island of Hawaii, but the most important: It contains the capital Honolulu, the well known touristic center Waikiki and the US naval base Pearl Harbour. 75 percent of Hawaii´s total population of about 1,2 million inhabitants (polynesian natives and asian and european immigrants) live on Oahu. The North Shore is a mecca for surfers during the winter of the northern hemisphere due to its giant waves of more than 10 meters height.

Big Island is famous for its volcanoes Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa (both over 4000 meters high) and Kilauea. The Kilauea is with 1200 meters much smaller, but arouses the most interest. He is still active but his lava flows are moderate so that you can advance up to his rim and take a look at the bottom of the crater. A hike of several hours over solidified lava through the Volcanoes National Park, located at the foot of Kilauea, takes you to new red-glowing lava of more than 1000 degrees (centigrade), visible (and perceptible) both through holes in a depth of several meters and directly in front of you on the surface. At some distance, the lava flows into the ocean, producing big clouds of steam and building new landmass.

KAUAI, also called the “Garden Island”, is a green paradise. Its interior zone around Mount Waialeale (1600 m, approx.) is considered to be the region with the highest rainfall on earth. The Waimea Canyon, in the west of the island, is also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” as it is the largest of that whole area. In the northwest of Kauai, the hilly landscape descends towards the fascinating Napali Coast, which can only be seen in its entirety by ship, helicopter or by doing a special hike. The rest of the islands is covered by sumptuous vegetations, beautiful waterfalls, marvelous rocky coastal sections and numerous fine sand beaches, standing out the magnificent and almost infinite Polihale Beach that borders on the Napali Coast.

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Las Vegas - City of Lights

It doesn´t really matter if you call Las Vegas "the world capital of entertainment", "the city of lights", "the gambling city" or, bluntly, "the city of sin". Neither words nor images can describe it exhaustively.

Las Vegas doesn´t really awake before the night comes in, not least due to the fact that its location in the desert of the State of Nevada makes it too hot during the day. Each of the gigantic hotel-casino-complexes that follow one another along the 7 km long main road "Las Vegas Strip", is designed and decorated according with its particular theme. That means, you can decide if you want to win (or loose) your money as an egyptian pharaoh, a roman emperor, a venetian governor and so on...The casinos also have their special shows, being the water show of the Bellagio the one I personally liked most. But this was in 1999, what means, concerning the fastest growing city of the USA, a long time ago.

Las Vegas attracts almost 40 million tourists each year, and although nowadays they spent two thirds of their money on shopping, shows and other forms of entertainment, surely most of them keep in mind that their own million dollar is waiting for them all over the city, and that they "just" need to find it.

Another peculiarity of Las Vegas are the wedding chapels that offer the possibility to get married around the clock, accompanied by "tasteful" neon bells. That leads all years to more than 100.000 spontaneous decisiones, often with the newly married couple not being in completely sober conditions. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you to what extent these marriages are recognized outside Nevada or the USA, respectively.

The first part of the video shows the sea of lights around the Las Vegas Strip, the second part a laser show recorded in the Freemont-Casino.

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Los Angeles - Venice and Hollywood

VENICE is situated south of Santa Monica at the pacific coast, about 22 km to the west of Los Angeles. Its most well-known part is venice Beach.

Venice Beach is not just a beach but a whole "beach-entertainment-area" with a several kilometer long, asphalted skate path that allows you to walk or skate along the ocean almost endlessly. If you want to get in shape before finally stretching your legs in the sand, the possibilities to choose from are: The different training machines at muscle beach, the skate-dance-plaza (at least if you are sufficiently good to not break your legs), the tennis- and basketball-courts, the numerous opportunities to play beach volleyball and -of course- riding a wave.

Every day and especially on weekends, lots of more or less crazy artists performe their shows at the so called "Ocean Front Walk", while others sell craftwork, portraits, tattoos and many more. It doesn´t really need to be mentioned that Venice also has a lot of music and party to offer. Those who are still looking for more, have the possibility to visit the nearby Santa Monica by foot or skates. Have fun!

The HOLLYWOOD-Boulevard represents the central part of Los Angeles` famous district of the same name. The welcoming by the 50 feet (15 m) high letters put up in the Hollywood Hills dispels any doubt that you are in the heart of the dream-factory. Even if you don´t see any star in person, their presence becomes perceptible: On the one hand at the so called "walk of Fame", on both sides of the Boulevard, where until today more than 2000 celebrities of the showbusiness (film, television, music, radio and theatre) have been honored with their own star. It was the actress Joanne Woodward who received the first one in 1960. On the other hand at the entrance to the Chinese Theatre, where famous film actors left their hand- and footprints so that you can look at them and compare them with your own ones (my hands where no match for those of the Terminator, and my feet were without chance against the ones of Donald Duck). Visiting the Hollywood-Boulevard takes only a short time -unless you want to see all the 2000 stars one by one- and should be a part of every first visit to Los Angeles.

The video shows recordings of Venice Beach, Santa Monica and the Hollywood-Boulevard. The photos contain in addition to that a few sights of Downtown and the luxury avenue "Rodeo Drive".

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Acapulco - Clavadistas (Cliffdivers)

ince more than 70 years, Acapulco´s "clavadistas" (cliffdivers) plunge from “La Quebrada”, an over 30 meter high coastal cliff, towards a narrow cove in the Pacific Ocean, performing a breathtaking mixture of glider flight and nosedive. Despite the extraordinary skills of all these courageous men, no one of them can be sure that they indeed land in the ocean, and not in heaven. Therefore, they installed a little altar next to the jumping platform…The famous show lasts about 20 min. After paying a modest entrance fee, you can watch it several times.

The video shows La Quebrada and four jumps in slow motion (generated digitally).

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Yucatan - Mexican Caribbean

This little video just shows what many peolpe dream of when they think about their summer vacations, or about retiring forever: White sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. Mexico´s caribbean coast, on the peninsula of Yucatán (state Quintana Roo), offers them in abundance. The shots were recorded in Cancún and the nearby “Isla Mujeres” (Island of women) as well as in Playa del Carmen and Tulum, located a little bit more in the south. In Tulum, ruins of an old mayan city are situated directly at the caribbean coast (see section "Palenque - archaeological sites") – a unique combination that shouldn´t be missed.

The photos of this section do not come from the video. I took them with a digital still camera (some of the have a little blue cast). At the end, there are some images of a "Cenote" nearby Tulúm. Cenotes are kind of a "grotto" with crystal clear fresh-water. In some of them it´s possible to swim and to dive. They are a feature of Yucatán.

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Palenque - Archaeological Sites

This section contains actually recordings from 4 archaeological sites in different regions of Mexico: Chichén Itzá, Teotihuacán, Palenque and Tulum. I assigned it to Palenque because it represents the main part of the video. The photos show a little bit more of the other places as well, especially of Teotihuacán.

Chichén Itzá, Teotihuacán and Palenque have been declared world heritage of humanity by the UNESCO.

Chichén Itzá is the most well-known mayan city of the peninsula of Yucatán and lies about half way between Valladolid and Mérida. During the classical period (from 200 AD to 900 AD) it was exclusively inhabited by the Mayans, but aprox. in 1000 AD it got occupied by the Toltecs coming from the central highlands. Due to the resulting mixture of cultures, the most important constructure of Chichén Itzá, the pyramid "El Castillo", was dedicated to the toltec god Quetzalcoatl (or Kukulcán, in mayan language). Its very special design leads, around the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (march 20/21 and september 21/22), to a particular and until today by thousands of people admired phenomenon that the Mayans employed to determinate the season of the year: Basically, it´s an optical illusion that occures during sunset and creates the impression that a large snake figure (of stone), representing Kukulcán, is moving up or down the pyramid, respectively. I do not want to go further into detail here because the video doesn´t show it (search for: Kukulcán - pyramid - plumed serpent). With the beginning of the 14th century, the city was gradually abandoned for unknown reasons.

Teotihuacán is the most important archaeological site in the surroundings of Mexico City. The ruins are situated about 50 km to the northwest of the city center. Teotihuacán was founded aprox. in 150 BC and had its heydays from 300 to 600 AD, when it was the the largest and most important city of "Mesoamerica" (roughly spaeking: the "civilized Central America"). With the beginning of the 7th century, it underwent a progressive decay and was plundered and devastated around 750, probably by the Toltecs. At the end of the 1 km long main street "La Calzada de los Muertos" (The Street of the Death) lies the "Pirámide de la Luna" (Pyramid of the Moon). The other significant construction is situated aprox. halfway up the Street: It´s the „Pirámide del Sol" (Pyramid of the Sun) that is, with a height of 63 meters, the 3rd largest of the world. Both pyramids were built around 100 - 200 AD. There are more impressive buildings all along the "Calzada". It is not exactly known which culture founded the city. The name "Teotihuacán" (literally: where men become gods) comes from the Aztecas which discovered it when it has already been destroyed. They assumed, that the buildings along the main street contained burial chambers of former kings which by their death had been converted into gods in that place.

The ruins of Palenque are located in the northern part of the federal state of Chiapas, surrounded by a sumptuous rainforest vegetation what constitutes their particular charm. The Mayans, which founded the city around 100 BC, named it "Lakam Ha" (Big Water). At the beginning, its significance was mainly limited to agriculture because of the numerous sources and rivers of the region. The constant immigration of the early classical period (200-600 AD) made the village develop into a town which finally, after 600, also became the capital of B´akaal, an important center of the mayan civilization that comprised the regions of Chiapas and Tabasco. After repeated rises and falls, not least due to the lost wars of 599 and 611 against the city of Calakmul, the principal opponent of that time, Palenque had its heydays during the regency of the most well-known mayan ruler K'inich Janaab Pakal (or "Pakal the Great"), who reigned from 615 to 683 , and his two sons. That period saw the construction of most of Palenque´s buildings and the majority of cultural achievements as well. It ended in 711 when Pakal´s second son, who had succeeded his brother in the throne, was kidnapped and probably executed by the kingdom of Toniná. In the following years, unstable political conditions and other defeats in war led to the decline of Palenque which was gradually abandoned with the beginning of the 9th century. The rainforest vegetation began to cover the former masterpieces of architecture and Palenque was forgotten. For a long time the ruins remained a secret, also to the spanish conquerors of the 16th century, so that serious efforts for their rediscovery were not undertaken until the early 19th century. It was the mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz L'Huillier who made the most significant find until today when he discovered the tomb of Pakal in the Temple of the Inscriptions during his excavations from 1949 to 1952. However, the hardly 3 km2 of surface regained until today probably represent only the 10th part of Palenque´s total extension.

Roughly speaking, the archaeological site can be subdivided into a larger park zone, that contains the most important buildings, and a forest zone where the smaller ruins are situated. The first one of the two waterfalls at the end of the corresponding part of the video lies in this forest zone while the second one, called Misol-Ha, is located about 20 km of Palenque. Although the latter one doesn´t have anything to do with the ruins, it is too beautiful to not be shown (action fans might recognize it from the movie "Predator").

The archaeological site of Tulum, located in the federal state of Quintana Roo (aprox. 120 km south of Cancún), is smaller and less important than the ones described above. However, its location directly on the caribbean coast is unique and makes it possible to combine a cultural trip with a visit to the beach. Although inscriptions testify, that the mayan city already existed in 564 AD, the main part of the ancient harbour town and fortress was constructed between 1200 and 1450. It was still inhabited at the beginning of the spanish conquest of Yucatán in the early 16th century, but got abandoned until its end. Descendants of the Mayans continued making pilgrimages to the ruins to burn incense and to pray until the late 20th century, but meanwhile this tradition has largely been given up due to the strongly increased influx of tourists.

Sources:
1.Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org): german, spanish, english
2.Lonelyplanet (www.lonelyplanet.com): Travel Guide "Mexico" (engl.)

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Litoral Region - Iguazu Falls

The waterfalls of the Iguazú river are the most abundant in Southamerica, one of the most impressing natural wonders of our planet and have beeen declared world heritage of humanity by the UNESCO. Located in the 3-border area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, they have an argentinian and a brazilian part, accesible from Puerto Iguazú (Argentina, province of Misiones) and Foz do Iguaçú (Brazil, state of Paraná).

The formation of the falls began about 200 thousand years ago at the confluence of the Iguazú with the Paraná river, when a fracture in the riverbed of the Paraná transformed the formerly flat confluence into a step. That caused erosive actions in backward direction by the huge masses of water carried with the Iguazú, which dug until today -favoured by a reduced resistance of the riverbed due to the specific consistency of the soil- a 23 km long and up to more than 80 meters deep precipice, shaped like a wide "U". At that precipice, the water of the Iguazú falls from an upper to a lower part bevor it finally leads into the Paraná. (Source: www.iguazuargentina.com).

The closed end of the "U" lies directly in the main course of the Iguazú and represents the centre of the falls. This main attraction is the denominated "La Garganta del Diablo" (the Devil´s Throat). The total number of individual falls on both side parts varies between 160 and 280, depending on the amount of water carried with the river which reaches its maximum levels during the southern hemispheric winter (december – february). Iguazú falls discharge an average of 1,7 million liters of water per second into the lower part, what provoques a permanent fog of tiny drops where numerous rainbows can be observed on a sunny day.

Walkways and footbridges allow to explore the falls by foot. The argentinian side -you should schedule a whole day- is more attractive than the brazilian side, because it is possible to reach the border of the Garganta del Diablo and get very close to other falls as well (after heavy rainfalls the access to the Garganta might be closed). Furthermore, you can cross over to the small rock island San Martín to obtain magnificent views of the lower part of the falls (near the confluence of Iguazú and Paraná), and/or take an outboard powered boat that passes you right under some falls, offering that way a refreshing shower. Those who have time should also visit the brazilian part (half a day) as it offers great overviews of the whole area and fantastic insights of the Devil´s Throat from below.

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Litoral Region - A natural shower

This is a little addition to the Iguazu video. The short boat trip below some falls starts and ends in island San Martín and is very popular especially on hot days. Unfortunately it´s difficult to film without having a waterproof case...

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Patagonia - Water and Ice

In the face of the enormus extension and diversity of the region of Patagonia, this video with filmations that I did during a short trip to Bariloche, Calafate and Puerto Natales (Chile) shows only a very small part of it.

Patagonia occupies almost the whole south american territory to the south of the Rio Colorado river (approx. latitude 41 degrees) which represents its northern boundary. From there, it extends over 2000 km up to Fireland in the south. With a total surface of 770.000 km2, the region is e.g. more than twice as large as Germany.

Geographically and politically, Patagonia can be divided into a western part belonging to Chile and a eastern part belonging to Argentina, separated by the mountain chain of the Andes. But this is by far not the only way to subdivide the region, because Patagonia offers one of the most fascinating and varied landscapes in the world, from the chilean ice fields over numerous lakes, glaciers, extensive forest and rainforests, steppes, volcanoes and many more until the argentinian atlantic coast, e.g. the Península Valdez, famous for whale watching but offering also many other animal species that you generally don´t see in everyday life like sea lions and penguins (more information about Patagonia: www.enjoy-patagonia.org - english).

This video shows:

1.Some panoramic views of the Lago (Lake) Nahuel Huapi, located in the northern patagonian Andes, filmed from and around the well known and highly frequented city of San Carlos de Bariloche (Río Negro province). The Lago Nahuel Huapi is with a total surface of 557 km2 the largest glacier lake in the national park of the same name and lies with its calm, approx. 450 meter deep waters majestically in the midth of a mountain landscape which, in its lower parts, is covered by large forestal zones. The Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi has already been founded in 1934 and is one of the most well known national parks of Argentina. With its varied landscape, it offers numerous excursions and forms of both mountain and water sports.

2.The glacier Perito Moreno: The Perito Moreno is located in the southern Andes of Patagonia as a component of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares which has been declared world heritage of humanity by the UNESCO in 1981. The best way to get there is from the village of Calafate, Santa Cruz province, situated at a distance of about 80 km. The Perito Moreno is not only one of the most beautiful glaciers in the world, but also one of the most important because it is one of the few that are still growing (said to be the only one outside the Antarctic and Greenland). It measures 35 km long, 5 km wide and its ice masses rise up to 60 m out of the waters of the Canal de los Témpanos, which leads into the Lago Argentino. From time to time, huge ice blocks break out of the wall and fall into the water accompanied by sounds of thunder. Apart from that, the growth of the glacier leads at irregular intervals of usually several years to its rupture, which is one of the most impressive spectacles of nature that exist and attracts as soon as it has been announced a huge numer of television channels and tourists from all over the world. Roughly speaking, it occurs when the ice masses reache the opposite Península Magellanes, blocking that way like a dam two side arms of the Lago Argentino (Brazo Rico and Brazo Sur) at their confluence with the Canal de los Témpanos. As a consequence, the water level of these two arms rises -generally about 20 or 30 meters- until the water pressure is high enough to cause increasing filtrations through the ice wall which finally lead to the opening of a tunnel. In that moment, the water of the side arms “shoots” into the Canal de los Témpanos and the remaining ice brigde crashes down a little time later, producing an ear-shattering noise and ice blocks flying through the air like proyectiles. The last two ruptures took place in march 2004 and 2006. As my video doesn´t show the rupture, here an additional link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZJYN8qnirE.

3.The national park Torres del Paine: Torres del Paine, founded in 1559 and located in the southern patagonian Andes, is one of the most beautiful and frequented national parks of Chile. The most common starting point for a visit is the city of Puerto Natales at a distance of approx. 140 km. Its name comes from 3 impressive granite towers (torres) which form part of the espectacular mountain chaine Cordillera del Paine, that I unfortunately could not visit because I ran out of time. Due to its varied landscape with many rock massifs, forrests, rivers, lakes, lagoons and glaciers as well es the abundance of protected bird and mammalian species, the national park has been included in the directory of biosphere reserves by the UNESCO in 1978. Therefore, it is not only very popular among tourists, especially those interested in hiking and mountain sports, but also arouses much interest among scientists.

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Copacabana - Lake Titikaka

The Lake Titicaca is situated at a height of 3821 meters above sea level in the peruan-bolivian altiplano and extends over a surface of 8300 square kilometers. With that, it is South Americas largest pure fresh-water lake and the highest in the world used for commercial shipping.

The lake reaches a length of 190 km, a width of 80 km and a depth of 281 meters. It is mainly fed by rainfalls and the melt-water of surrounding glaciers and drained to more than 90 percent by evaporation due to the strong sunlight and winds at the altitude of almost 4000 meters (Source: Wikipedia (engl.) - Lake Titicaca).

The principal starting points for visits to Lake Titicaca are Puno (Peru), famous for its "Uros" – more than 40 inhabited floating islands artificially made of reed – and Copacabana (Bolivia) with boat trips to the nearby "Isla del Sol" (Island of the Sun) and "Isla de la Luna" (Island of the Moon). According to the legend, the Isla del Sol is the birthplace of the first Inca and therefore the origin of the whole empire of this former south American culture, whose language (Quechua) is still spoken by many of its descendants.

This video contains impressions from a one day boat trip starting in Copacabana. Although it only shows a small part of the Lake Titicaca, you can still imagine its enormous dimensions.

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Rio de Janeiro - Carnaval (carnival) 2002

The every year celebrated parade of the best samba schools of Rio de Janeiro in the stadium "Sambódromo", built in the 1980ies for exactly that purpose, is the most colourful and probably also the biggest show on earth.

However, what appears to the spectators just as an extremely erotic hustle and bustle, is actually a hard competition. The "Escolas de Samba" are divided into different leagues, with the possibility to be up- or downgraded by the strict members of the jury according to their performance in the Sambodrome. That means, you can ascend and descend with your school the same way you do it with your soccer club, a fact that is indeed of significance to the cariocas (the inhabitants of Rio) because they identify themselves with their "Escola" to the same extent as they do it with their club.

According to what I was told by a former participant of the parade, immediately after the actual carnival the schools already start to prepare the following show, because they need to find a motto for their performance, design and build the costumes and waggons, compose songs and develop and practise the choreography for their up to 6000 participants in the parade. The show must not only be creativ and original, but also keep the strict time limit of one hour (if they do not the school loses points) and be realized with as little money as possible. In the year 2002 for example, the performances of "Mangueira" and "Beija Flor" were judged as equally attractive, being Mangueira the winner because Beija Flor received more money from its sponsor, the brazilian airline Varig. If you take a closer look, you will also notice that all the splendid "waggons" are moved by man power because it is not allowed to use motors.

For those who do not need to judge performances and allocate points, the carnival in Rio is simply a show of superlatives which lasts almost 12 hours, until 8 a.m. the next morning. By the way, it is not necessary to pay some hundred dollars for the main tribune. My entrance fee for the sector packed with brazilian people was 25 dollars. You can see everything the same way and it is much more fun and also more informativ with the locals, at least if you speak some spanish or, even better, portuguese.

If you go to see the carnival in Rio, you should arrive a week or two before the principal weekend and also visit the street parades and the night partys of the different schools. Whatever your age is, don´t worry about it because you will encounter people of 4 generations at the samba events, and actually I have never seen before so many grandmas and grandpas dancing really hot like in Rio de Janeiro...

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Rio de Janeiro - Flying Man

This short scene was recorded during the carnival show 2002 in the Sambódromo of Rio de Janeiro (see video "Carnaval 2002").

The impulse that allows the pilot of the "Jet Pack" to fly up to 30 seconds, is generated by a chemical reaction* which produces superheated steam of almost 800 degrees Celsius (1472 degrees Fahrenheit). Unlike the steam produced by boiling water, the superheated steam is as invisible as the air. The pilots wear protection suits against the heat.

(* Only for those who are interested: The fuel in the bottles is almost pure hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which disintegrates, under the influence of a catalytic converter, to water (steam) and oxygen. During this reaction, the mixture of gases increases its volume 5000 times within a tenth of a millisecond. That enormous expansion generates the lift. Superheated steam is invisible because its high temperature makes it being a pure gas that doesn´t contain fine water drops (unlike the steam of 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) produced by boiling water.)

Source and more information: Wikipedia (english) - Jet Pack.

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Bahia - Flight over Tinhare

The "Ilha de Tinharé" is located in the state of Bahia, to the south of Salvador, from where you can get there directly by ship (3 and a half hours) or by bus and ferry passing through the city of Valenca. Among visitors both from Brazil and foreign countries the island is usually better known as "Morro de Sao Paolo", the name of its largest village where also the ships arrive.

The "praias" (beaches) around Morro de Sao Paolo belong to the best of Brazil and have been numbered consecutively. The first three are only some hundred meters long, highly frequented and completely exploited for tourism. The fourth beach, in comparison, extends over aprox. 4 km and only a few isolated beach resorts and guest houses can be found there. The rest is an –almost- desert tropical paradise with coconut trees and "piscinas naturais" (natural swimming pools) with crystal clear waters, built by corral reefs during the low tide.

It is a peculiarity of Tinharé that there are no cars and the people move by walking, cycling or riding horses. Only some remote beach resorts offer an organized transport to and from Morro de Sao Paolo because the walk on the beach takes more than one hour (one way) and besides that it is impossible during the pronounced high tide coming in at dusk.

Tropical paradises do not only offer sun, sand, palm trees and sea, but sometimes also torrential rainfalls that can last up to some days... Due to this fact it has been impossible for me to do hikes or boat trips over and around the island. The sun came back when I was already about to leave, but at least I got the opportunity to do a scenic flight of 15 min in a little 2-men microlight plane between the southern end of the fourth beach and the lighthouse of Morro. The video shows some of these shots taken from the air and additionally a sunrise and sunset. (The crab beckoning with its leg is a "digital joke", because neither time nor my rudimentary portuguese were sufficient for convincing it to do so voluntarily).

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Bahia - Crab on the beach

 These are some scenes of the crab on the beach that is shown in the video "Flight over Tinharé", at 3:50 min, in close up, accompanied by the relaxing original sound of the waves.

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Cusco - Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, the so called “los city of the Incas”, is one of the most eminent sights of South America and has been declared world heritage of humanity by the UNESCO in the year 1983. The citadel has been constructed probably around the year 1450 on instructions given by the inca sovereign Pachacútec Yupanqui. It is situated around 75 km to the northwest of the city of Cusco in the midst of the peruan Andes at a height of over 2000 meters, framed by the “old peak” (“Machu Picchu”, in quechua, the language of the Incas) and the sugarloaf-shaped young peak ( Huayna Picchu ).

To be able to reach Machu Picchu in that days, it was indispensable to have an exact knowledge of its ubication and to do a long and exhausting walk through the dense rainforest vegetation of the valley of the Urumbamba river. These circunstances together with the strict secrecy concerning the existence of the installations made it possible, that Machu Picchu hasn´t been affected by the spanish conquest of South America, so that it has been conserved in a much better state than the inca constructions in the surroundings of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu consisted of a central living area with 216 buildings, connected with each other by stairs, and a side part with wider stairs, destinated to agriculture, whose purpose was to permit its -theoretically- up to thousand inhabitants a complete auto-supply with food.

As a consecuence of the military conflict with the Spanish, the Incas had to suspend the construction of Machu Picchu and only a few of them remained there to protect the holy place and to maintain the secret about it. Nevertheless, they were not able to avoid that the rainforest came over Machu Picchu and covered the city step by step. Persisting rumors about Machu Picchu as well as the finding of documents and maps that confirmed its existence, led to several failed attempts of its rediscovery until the year 1911, when an expedition of the US-american Yale University under the leadership of Hiram Bingham finally succeeded. Bingham began to excavate the ruins of Machu Picchu and published a book about his research in 1915. The exact intentions pursued by the Incas with the construction of Machu Picchu are not yet clarified.

Source: Wikipedia (german)  - Machu Picchu.

To get to Machu Picchu nowadays, there is no other way than first taking the train from Cusco in direction to Aguas Calientes, the village at the foot of the “old peak”. However, you can decide wether you want to get of the train on the way and do a 4 day hike over the so called Inca Trail (Camino Inca) through the Urubamba valley, or to go straight to Aguas Calientes and “cope with” the last ascent by bus, the way chosen by the lazy author of this text who preferred to take a relaxing bath in the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes rather than carrying his baggage through the jungle...Talking seriously: Walking the Inca Trail must be an extraordinary experience and if it hadn´t rained cats and dogs at the moment of making the decision (for doing the hike you have to book a guided tour in advance), I would have done it.

The short video shows only Machu Picchu, the pictures contain also some sights of Cusco and the Inca sight Ollantaytambo, located at a distance of about 30 km.

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Nasca - Nasca Lines

The so called "Nasca (or Nazca) Lines" are lines and figures that have been dug into the soil of the desert of Nasca and Palpa (geoglyphs). Their clear depiction is due to the particular composition of the soil which contains a dark-red surface followed by a light-coloured yellowish sediment. If the surface is removed, the underlying earth is revealed in the form of a brightly drawn line. The lines, triangles and figures that are exhibited over a total surface of 500 square km are so large, that they can only be recognized from the air.

The drawing of the geoglyphs is mainly attributed to the Nasca - Culture (200 BC to 600 AC), even though recently discovered older figures are dated around 800 BC - 600 BC. The conservation of the merely 30 cm deep lines until today has been favoured, above all, by the constant, extremely dry and windless climate of the region in which the hot air above the surface functions as a form of protecting cushion. In the face of global climatic changes however, it is unsure if these favourable conditions will endure on a long-term basis.

With the beginning of the commercial aviation over the peruan desert in the 1920ies, the Nasca Lines enjoyed an increasing degree of fame, and a considerable number of more or less reputable scientist started to explore and interpret the figures, standing out among them the german born mathematician and geopgrapher Maria Reiche (1903 - 1998), who dediated her whole life to the exploration and conservation of the Nasca Lines ever since she started her work in the 1940ies. Reiches´ untiring efforts have also been decisive when the Unesco included the lines in the list of world cultural heritages in 1994.

Until today, the exact purposes followed by the Nasca population when they elaborated the lines have not been clearly determinated. It seems to be sure, that a religious motivation has been their main drive. However, questions regarding the exact ways the Nasca used the geoglyphs for the worship of their gods (e.g. it has been suggested that the figures have been used as paths for processions) remain unanswered, just as the hypothesis, that the lines could also have served agricultural and astronomical reasons.

At least it has been demonstrated, that the Nasca Lines could indeed have been made by careful planning with the methods and tools available at that time, without the need of aerial or even satellite images. As a consequence, speculations that they have in fact been elaborated by extraterrestrials are built on somewhat weak foundations... Source: Wikipedia (deu, esp, eng).

This short video shows some of the large figures that the average tourist gets to see during the approx. half-hour overflight from Nasca. Please refer to the photos to get informed about their denominations. (The order of the photos is chronological, the one of the video not completely).

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Canaima - National Park and Angel Fall

The "Parque Nacional Canaima", located in the southeast of Venezuela, extends over a total surface of 30 000 km2 up to the borders with Guayana and Brazil.

The unique feature of the dense rainforest vegetation are its Tepui, that induced the UNESCO to include the park in the list of world heritages of humanity. The Tepui ("houses of gods", translated from the native indian language) are enormous table top mountains whose faces are so steep that the plateaus normally can only be reached by air. They are remains of a thick layer of sandstone that collapsed millions of years ago, leaving behind the more than 1000 meters high Tepui as isolated island-mountains.

The landscape of the several hundred km2 wide plateaus is composed by rugged rock zones with deep gorges and dense, impenetrable forestal areas. As the peaks of the Tepui are not only geographically completely isolated from the surrounding rainforest but also with respect to the prevailing clima (temperated chilly and rainy all year arround), the flora and fauna that developed on the plateaus is unique and cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Among other things, there is a large variety of carnivorous plants what might explain that the majority of the altogether 115 Tepui have not been entered yet by any human being - a fact that contributes to speculations about a sort of prehistoric world with species of dinosaurs that could have been preserved in the plateaus (like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle suggested in his book "The lost World").

The main attraction of the Canaima National Park, besides the Tepui, is the Angel Fall which is, with a total height of 978 meters, the tallest waterfall on earth. Although it would seem to be indicated, his name does not come from an association with divine beings but from the US-american bush pilot Jimmy Angel who discovered the fall for the non indian world in 1937. His first step is an uninterrupted 800 meter fall at an enormous face of the Auyan Tepui. Then, the water flows together again at the foot of the mountain, falls over a second step of nearly 200 meters and finally leads into the Carrao river that crosses the national park.

If you want to visit the Canaima National Park, you must not be afraid of flying, because the only way to get from Ciudad Bolivar to the Laguna de Canaima is by a small sports aircraft. The lagoon is the starting point of the several hours lasting tour in a small outboard powered boat over the Carrao River to the Angel Fall. As the trip to the fall goes upriver, it is considerably slower then the journey back. Therefore, it starts usually in the afternoon and is interrupted by an overnight stay in a camp on the way, whereas the trip back goes directly from the fall to the lagoon (there is also the possibility to visit the Angel fall by a sight seeing flight).

The video is not strictly chronological and shows
-first recordings during the boat trip through the beautiful Laguna de Canaima and the nearby Salto el Sapo (the "toad-fall")
-then impressions of the national park and the Tepui during the partly adventurous tour to and from the Angel Fall (especially the views of the dark black Tepui at dusk remind you of the theories about dinosaurs)
-more shots of the Laguna de Canaima at dawn and, of course, the Angel Fall himself.

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Los Roques - An archipelago like paradise

The "Parque Nacional Archipiélago de Los Roques" is considered to be one of the most beautiful archipelagos on earth. It is located at about 170 km to the north of the venezuelan coast on a plateau in the caribbean sea and receives direct flights from Caracas, Maracaibo and Palomar (Isla Margarita).

The National Park Los Roques is a paradise "right out of a picture book" with approx. 50 rock islands surrounded by snow-white beaches and crystal waters in the middle of a deep blue sea. Apart from the main island "El Gran Roque" they are all practically uninhabited. Divers and maritime researchers highly appreciate Los Roques because of its fantastic coral reefs and the abundance of species of its underwater fauna (if you understand spanish you can get more detailled information about the geological origin, fauna and flora on www.los-roques.org - subpage). Sailors, surfers and fishermen will enjoy Los Roques a lot as well, but ... no those who seek to spend some vacations on the beach. The extreme climate conditions (the days are very hot and practically without rainfalls and the nights are chilly) provoke, that mangroves and cactus predominate while there are no shade spending palm trees, and due to my own experience I can assure that it is not possible to stay for a long time under the burning sun, especially at midday. Therefore, to spend some beach holidays on Los Roques you will need a ship that provides the possibility to cool down below deck from time to time. Nevertheless, those who go to Venezuela should definitely visit the national park, at least for one day, because it is a real paradise that can hardly be found elsewhere.

This video shows impressions during a one day trip in catamaran through the archipelago. If you have a deeper interest in Los Roques, especially concerning the diving possibilities, you can also watch an excellent video on www.venezueladigital.net (subpage) which contains many underwater scenes in the second half.

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Berlin - Loveparade 2006

The Loveparade in Berlin is the biggest party on earth for electronic music and is usually held every year in july as a free open air concert (exept for 2004 and 2005, see above).

In 1989, a DJ of Berlin, Matthias Roeing alias "Dr.Motte *", initiated the event, officially as a political demonstration for -simplified- love and peace. Only 150 raves joined the first party celebrated on the avenue "Kurfuerstendamm".(* die Motte (germ.) = the moth).

In the following years, the number of visitors increased in gigantic steps so that in 1998 it exceeded for the first time one million. Already two years before, the Loveparade had to move to the "Strasse des 17.Juni" (Street of the 17th of July) as the Kurfuerstendamm had become to small for the event. The 1,5 million ravers joining the party in 1999 represent until today the all time record.

From 2000 to 2003, between 750.000 and a million people continued celebrating on the Street of the 17th of July every year despite of the economical crisis, wars ad fears of terrorism. However, when the Loveparade lost its official character as a political demonstration in 2001, its financing became increasingly complicated so that in 2004 it had to be cancelled for the first time in 15 years, a fact that repeated in 2005 (info: www.loveparade.net).

Fortunately, a new sponser could be found and the Loveparade returned on saturday july 15th, 2006 under the motto "the love is back", and that with an impressive success: From 2 p.m., more and more "fanatics of dance and love" of all nationalities, from techno-teens to the somewhat more madure age-groups, poured on the Street of the 17th of July until finally 1,2 million people (official information of the organizer) celebrated an uninhibited but at the same time absolutely peaceful party to the music of some hundred DJs coming from dozens of music trucks. The event culminated in the traditional concert around the "Siegessaeule" (victory column) and ended at 11 p.m.

The video shows the constantly accelerating rhythm of the Loveparade 2006 from the very beginning to the end. I am very grateful to my friend Marko (alias DJ Leschi) togehter with whom I filmed the event!

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Ibiza - Beaches and Bays

The legendary island of Ibiza is surely the most well-known of all Mediterranean Balearics, despite of being only the 3rd largest of them with an extension of appromimately 570 km2. That is mainly due to the frenetic 24-hour-party, celebrated particularly in july and august all over the place, from the beaches to the world-famous Megaclubs.

However, Ibiza is also a wonderful natural park: Wooded mountain landscapes, many magnificent remote bays and beaches for locals and tourists with and without bathing suites, deep blue waters, always clean and refreshing due to light currents, the view of mystical rock island "Es Vedra" and the spectacular sunset in San Antonio, accompanied by chill out music in the famous Café del Mar, are only some of many attractions you come across during an extended trip through the island.

This video shows the natural part of Ibiza.

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Ibiza - Cova de Can Marca

The "Cova de Can Marça" is a stalactite cavern situated in the northern part of Ibiza, near the village of San Miguel, whose age is estimated to be more than 100.000 years. In former times, smugglers used it as a hiding place for many years because of its low height (originally the cavern could only be crossed by crawling). These days, walkways chiselled into the rocks and a partially "trendy" ilumination enable visitors to stroll through the interesting world of artificially irrigated stalactites. The visit ends with a (somewhat touristic) music- and lightshow at a waterfall specially created for that purpose.

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Málaga - Fireworks Feria 2007

The "Feria" of Málaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, belongs to the biggest and most important traditional fairs of Spain. It is held every year in august to commemorate the reconquest of the city by the "Catholic Kings" Isabel and Ferdando in the year 1487, who endet in this way the reign of the muslim Nasrid-dynasty.

The fair lasts ten full days and nights and has attracted over 6 million local and foreign visitors in the year 2007. During the day the celebrations take place in the historic city center whereas in the evening the crowds move to the big fairground "El Real" where they can continue to party until dawn. The "big summer party" offers not only traditional costumes, music and dances, splendid horse drawn carriages, typical food and drinks and many more things that are very popular among the people of Andalusia, but also a concert organized by the music channel MTV that brings international stars like e.g. mexican singer Paulina Rubio to Málaga.

It became already a tradition to inaugurate the Feria of Málaga with a spectacular fireworks display directly on the beach, parts of which are shown in this video. I am very grateful to my friend Caroline who offered me her terrace in the 7th floor, where not only we but also my camera could enjoy an unbeatable view on "los fuegos".

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Budapest - Queen of the Danube

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is one of Europes` most beautiful cities and therefore also one of its most popular destinations. The denomination "Queen of the Danube" derives from its unique ubication at the large river of the same name: The Danube passes through the city in north-south direction, dividing it this way in a western part (Buda) and an eastern part (Pest).

Buda is hilly, green and calm and houses, apart from numerous residential areas, the Royal Palace on Castle Hill and the Gellert-Hill which offers phantastic scenic views of the two districts, the river Danube and its bridges. This city panorama is one of several Unesco-world heritage sights Budapest has to offer.

The flat and extensive Pest, on the other side, converts the 2 million city Budapest also into one of Europes´ largest metropolitan areas. It is characterized by highrise buildings, broad avenues, high traffic, crowds, countless shops and restaurants, numerous museums, theaters und other cultural offers and a vibrant nightlife. The National Parliament and the St. Stephens Basilica are the most impressive buildings of Pest.

In the middle of the river Danube, between Buda and Pest, lies Margaret Island. It is approx. 2,5 km long, predominantly green and contains wide parks, walkways, a thermal bath and even a running track along the riverside. Thus, it is a popular destination among Budapests inhabitants, especially on weekends.

This short video shows parts of Buda, Pest and Margaret Island. Please refer to the photos for some more informations.

The famous thermal baths of Budapest are not shown. They belong to the most beautiful in the world and can be attributed to the turkish influence during the occupation of the 16th and 17th century. Even if you are not a friend of "swimming-pools" you should at least visit the Gellert-Bath. Where else could you have a swim in a cathedral??

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