Monday, December 28, 2009

'Heiligendamm' a legend with a future

One candle can lighten a thousand other candles without shortening its own life.
Wishing you all a happy & tenderfull new year!
Brigitte - 01.01.2010.

I'd like to take you for a moment back in time, 18°-19°Century. A place of splender & elegance... nobility from troughout Europe used as a summer getaway well into the 20°Century. Only a few places on earth makes us dream of times when luxury had nothing to do with glamour or show. I think of places like Martha's Vineyard or Deauville...

Heiligendamm 'The White', a Baltique symphonie.
The absolute harmony between architecture & nature.

A soft breeze fills your lungs, charged with iodine of course...but most of all the smell of the woods, the beechtrees, elm & oaktrees growing along de seashore. You are now at the end of the world, at the border of Germany on the border of the Baltic're at Heiligendamm. The sea is of a deep bleu witch suddenly changes into an emeraude green. This exceptional pure water is now the base of a luxury selection of products proposed in the exlusive Spa of the Palais Séverin.

I had the pleasure to meet this extraordinary women, full of talent & elegance, Anna Maria Jagdfeld. Company name 'amjdesign'. She is the interior designer and inspirator of this beautifull place. We were lucky to visit together with her this projects & I'd like to share this with you because this is not a daily thing...

It took 10 years of intensive work & restoration.0,1020,10689,00.jpg

Heiligendamm, this early 18°C resort was developed as an elegant meeting place for Royals & Aristocrats, the oldest seaside spa in Germany. An enornous project, she started (and saved) together with her husband, the renovation of this abandoned & deserted Royal Residences along the sea.

The neoclassical architecture is of a dazzeling white, everything has been restored from top to bottom. The parc & surroundings are unrecognisable,

Elegant cottages in an English landscape.


There's no elegance without personality.



Saturday, December 26, 2009


Bookstores...I love to spend some time in a (any) bookstore, it makes me calm...nobody talks & everybody is with his nose in a book. Do you realise that when you're looking in books in a bookstore, your mind is free, you don't think of anything but the pictures you see or the summary you're reading. Especially this period of the year, most of us buy a book for someone and 2 or 3 books for ourselfs. That's what happens to me everytime!!So, last week I found a book in 2 volumes about the work of our famous Belgian landscape architect 'Jaques Wirtz', his gardens & parcs are known all over the world.

Wirtz international landscape architecture

Of course, there was more ... A beautifull black covered book with attractive pictures of library & bookcases with old patinated italian looks & mythical aura took my attention. 'The Secret Archives of the Vatican'! It was not an option not to buy it, even without giving it a closer look...

It's not finished!!
There was this nice book about Christian Dior. I loved the cover but I didn't buy it....yet.
I love the dress on the frontpage, this elegant 'post-war fashion look' Dior rocked the world with.

This is elegance.

A very good one
'Queen of the desert', the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell.
Late 19°C, the first women who went to university in England.
She was an adventurer, Adviser of Kings, Ally of Laurence of Arabia...a true story.
One to read!!

Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist'

The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a younth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.
But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
he said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
“Why do you weep?” the goddesses asked.
“I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.
“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”
“But…was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.
“Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses said in wonder. “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”
The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”
“What a lovely story,” the alchemist thought.

Friday, December 25, 2009

breathtaking winterviews

We finaly had our winterdays...breathtaking views for our Xmas!

Look at this sunrise...

Wishing you all a merry Xmas & a warm & tenderfull 2010

This is the canal from Bruges to Damme (work of Napoleon), one of the most romantic places. In winter, when the water is frozen, we can walk or skate on the canal from Bruges to The Netherlands, trough the historical village of Damme...some students, after school, risk it to go with the bike on the ice!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cambodia, a country we fell in love with!

Since a few years we discovered this amazing country...culture, nature & extraordinary people.

The tempels of Angkor are one of the wonders of the oriental world, it's a symbol of power, greatness & immortality. Angkor Wat and the other stone temples of the ancient capital of Khmer were built by god-kings to link the human and the divine in life and to allow the two to merge in death. As such, Angkor's monuments legitimized sovereignty and served as palladia of the nation.

Man has constantly to work against nature to protect and restore Ankor.

It's located just north of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake), close to the modern Cambodian town of Siem reap.

These children have been adopted by a friend, Pieter, from an orphanage. They live in a house Pieter bought for them in Siem Reap & they go to the French college.

It's so beautifull to see that people take the initiative on their own to help children & give them a chance in life.

This is the beautifull 'hotel de la Paix' . There's a great spa!!

There's, of course, the 'Amansara' from the 'Aman resort group' . When you enter this place, you never want to go away anymore...