Winterland


If we don’t get it by nature, we will make our own winter wonder land… our Christmas village. A yearly tradition which seems to become more and more popular here in Europe. Maybe it is part of the need to escape the wet and short winter days. In any case, we also have a yearly Christmas village in Hasselt which combines Christmas cosiness and winter fun.

It was raining in the morning and nothing really seemed to help on getting that warm through and through feeling today. Packed in my winter coat I dragged myself to the car, put the sofa heating on and headed to mum and vake whom were kind enough to tag along. I have to submit a thesis for my photography class this Saturday… 5 pictures of a “serie” of some sort. Thought I would get enough visual stimulation here: bright lights, bright colors, a lot of subjects and objects, indoor, outdoor… I am also testing out “my gear”. Especially the tripod is new to me. Clearly not easily set up and carried around in a busy area. And it attracts attention. Something I need to think about when I will be traveling in February and March…

I always need to get into it and it takes a while before that happens.

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After passing through a huge Christmas ball with mistletoe dangling inside it, we see the Grand Carrousel ‘Hesselse Poepjee‘. Since I was a little girl I loved this type of merry-go-rounds. This one is specially made for the city of Hasselt including iconic pictures and has a disability access which is a first in Europe.

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We really wanted to see the Ice Magic exhibition of our local pole traveler Adrien de Garlache, who explored Antarctica 120 years ago. As if it was not cold enough, we entered the hall where a temperature of -6C was maintained. Shock. I can really appreciate ice sculpture art. And this exhibition I really loved. It ends with a slide made out of ice… needless to say I had to try it… again and again. Once outside, the heat of the outdoor hit us, it felt like entering a (wet) sauna. What a difference 10 degrees makes.

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We’re finishing off with a visit to the “Spiegeltent” (circular mirror tent). Pure nostalgia. My mum tells me about gone by times when people came together to drink and dance in those tents. At the center is a wooden dance floor. The ladies kept a little dance booklet to note down who wanted to dance with them in which style. I was puzzled, how did they know what was on the play list? Dances were much more predictable back then and the music didn’t change as rapidly as it does now.

By the time we are leaving I have that warm fuzzy feeling.

 

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