PROGRAMME PER DAY
- DAY 1: arrival in Cagliari and transfer to Oristano, for the horse parades and acrobacy. Photography tips throughout the day, during this roadmovie
- DAY 2: transfer to carnival mask makers village in central Mamoiada, via Ottana, with yet another pagan traditional lore! Visit to mask makers and explanation of all the characters in the street plays you are going to see.
- DAY 3: Mardi Gras celebration, visit to 2 festive pagan carnival villages with bonfires!
- DAY 4: Ash Wednesday celebrations. In between always some local Blue Zone longevity inspiration personally, walking, visiting also difficult to photograph, mysterious prehistorical places.
- DAY 5: transfer with surprising typical Sardinian sites visits and flight back.
YOUR IMMEDIATE QUESTION IS?
JE EIGEN GROEPJE?
PAGAN SARDINIAN CARNIVAL IN NOT THE EASIEST PHOTOGRAPHY CONDITIONSOn Sardinia Carnival maintains many pagan elements, pre-Christian. The church participates but only in the beginning. There are bonfires in every neighbourhood. Local wine and local sweets are shared. Villagers dance traditional dances. New light and new spark to nature symbolize a new beginning. And what the Sardinian name translated into ‘meat to be cut’ means? This is far from Venetian or Beerfest carnival, this is heartcore Sardinia, millennia old. Plus we visit the 1-euro-houses village. And this is the background to photography lessons throughout the day by top-photographer Ron Gessel, not only fond of New York, but sure if this ‘New York’ quote applies to this week: ‘If you can make it (= great photo!) – here, you can make it anywhere!’
Ron Gessel lives and works in Amsterdam. He trained in graphic design in Utrecht in the Netherlands, then began a long career as an artistic director for renowned advertising agencies. He taught himself photography and travelled extensively, guided by his emotions and a great sense of spontaneity. He captures his images directly in the street, with his camera and wide-angle lens always in hand. In 2012, he received the prestigious PANL Award, presented by the Dutch Association of advertising, print and fashion photographers.
Passionately – and safely even in the middle of nowhere – guided by me, meeting Sardinians explaining and welcoming us to their village rites, around the official Sardinian carnival days of Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. And then the horse parades in Oristano! You will witness community feeling and pure connection to nature and tradition in a friendly atmosphere, surely miles and miles away from your normal whereabouts around the end of February.
Meeting also master craftsmen of the traditional Sardinian carnival masks, that show their special collections, rich with intensely felt symbols. Meaningful. Deep community feeling, kept alive throughout millennia.
Including Sardinia’s Stonehenge, but much older than that and not reconstructed by man, and ‘co-incidentally’ at the centre of this island and… surprisingly, but we have proof 🙂 … the antique world
The catholic church of course has a say in the Carnivals. Their ‘Saint Anthony Abt’ is supposed to have started carnival celebrations already at 17 January, but the origin is pagan to the max, as you will see.The priest may bless the fire and walk twice around it, and then he withdraws. And we? We learn how to make BETTER PICTURES than this.
Although in winter, the atmosphere is light in many ways: you learn how to walk more lightfootedly, on nature trails in the hilly interior of the Sardinian Barbagia region, the heart of Sardinia. Get also a good physical feel of the heart & soul of Sardinia!
We sleep in two characteristical agriturismo’s, holiday farms and B&B selected for their pureness and attachment to Sardinia. Not just by words but by personal character. Great people! All with a 9.0 grading at least on Booking.com. Food is all ‘chilometro zero’, very local indeed. First two nights in a B&B with ‘the best breakfast in the world’. Last three in a purest agriturismo you can imagine, led by a versatile, creative survivor, a small strong man. All around the mountain city of Gavoi.
Visiting two of the very traditional Sardinian carnival villages – Ottana and Mamoiada and more. – Bonfires in several neighbourhoods, with a special, profound meaning. And of course nice photo-opportunities.
-The price is 2000-2500 euro, depending on the number of participants. It includes everything, in addition to top phOtography tips by Ron Gessel. So not your flight, but mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance to make it to this unique international production. Included are all coffeestops and excursions and entry fees and personal interpreting and all the shared food and local wine and water at dinner table. All lunch picknicks in nature! All inspiration locally on healthy longevity. (Sardinia happens to be 1 in 5 Blue Zones in the World! And yes, we’ll be in the middle of that zone.) Price is based on a minimum of 4 participants. 150 euro supplement applies for a single room. Only 7 places available.
-between light frost at night to up to 25 degrees at day. Great sunrises and sunsets too!!!