Showing posts from 2017

Australia: Sydney - where Santa works as a Surf rescue

Eat & drink healthy - go to the Hotel! Sydney has not escaped from the new age trends for food and healthy living. There is no shortage of avocado, quinoa and gluten-free food on the menu. Smoking is not permitted literally anywhere (even in outdoor spaces). On the other hand, Aussies do like to drink - while it is (technically) not permitted to drink on the beach, in the parks and in many public spaces, the bars are always welcoming and, for some unexplainable reason, nearly all bars in Sydney are called..."Hotels". Christmas and New Year's on the other side of the world It is not the first time I celebrate Christmas and New Year in the South hemisphere (having spent them in South Africa before) and I am convinced ...this is not my gig, but it is tons of fun, nevertheless. As Christmas is approaching, people get together in huge crowds to celebrate, make donations and sing Christmas carols under the sun in the parks. Christmas day Aussie st

Australia: The Great Barrier Reefs - where one should simply let go and discover

Discovering the underwater worlds Exploring the coral reefs is a moment of a lifetime to remember. First of all, the crew of the Red Cat boat is hilariously entertaining and I get to make friends with them, so much that I manage to accomplish my ever-standing mission "drive any boat I get on".  So, "drive a boat at the Coral reefs" - checked :) Snorkeling in the reefs is a discovery of an unimaginable world, a world of color, life, beauty and freedom. I am floating around without any direction just trying to feed my eyes and heart with this ultimately delightful and mysterious underwater view. The fish is of all bright and neon colors, and shapes that one cannot see even in the "Finding Nemo". It is so abundant that it is impossible to pass without physically making contact, I feel I am an invader in their beautiful world. The corals are gracefully swinging with the current of the water, forming an underwater forest of explosions of

Australia: Airlie Beach - where entertainment is provided by the nature

I cannot resist my urge to board a plane and go explore the country on my own. I've always dreamed to see the Great Barrier Reefs of Australia and I find myself in Airlie, a little coastal town where time has stopped between crazy backpacker party hostels, quiet beaches and white boats. I book a little bungalow in a tropical rainforest resort, called Kipara, and as soon as I get there I meet at the balcony my neighbor Christopher, an Australian who will turn into my best partner in crime over the next days. Wildlife encounters in front of my bungalow In Australia you don't need to put too much effort in order to see the most horrifying animals. While local people are perfectly used to them, travelers like me are simply intimidated by how they live and walk all over the place. My first encounter is a gigantic brown frog, much larger than my hand. Technically, it would not harm me, but the sight of it in front of the bungalow is definitely not something I am pr

Australia: Sydney - where all you need is flip-flops

When I was little I always wondered if people in Australia were walking upside down and never ever had I thought that I will find out the truth one day myself. Nevertheless, it is for everyone to go and find their own truth there. And that's what people do. There is hardly any more distant point to go to, but yet some magnetic force draws people there and they go there to stay. This special magnetic force did not spare my brother and his girlfriend either. They packed a suitcase and boarded a plane to go live in Sydney. Obviously, I HAD to pack a suitcase and go figure what is it that happens to these people when they start walking upside down. Buildings buildings buildings - old, modern...fruit-shaped At first Sydney is overwhelming for me. It reminds me a little of New York with a few major differences - people walk around in shorts and flip flops, and this poor, peculiarly ugly bird Ibis happily inhabits all streets and public areas (not astonishingly cal

Myanmar: Welcome to the Jungle - where human and nature merge into a divine union

I have been to the jungles of South Africa and to the Himalayan jungles in Bhutan, and there has always been something that mysteriously fascinates me and makes me feel truly alive. However, experiencing the jungle between Ngwe Saung and Chaung Tha in Myanmar will leave an eternal mark on me. Driving through the fisherman villages and (literally) through the rivers is not within our capacity, so my German friend and I rent two motorbikes, accompanied by two local guys. The route starts from our Ngwe Saung village, crosses three rivers, two beaches, some other fisherman and jungle villages, and reaches to the neighboring Chaung Tha village. I am enchanted by the little bamboo houses erupting within the palm trees, the people chilling on the ground and just observing what is happening (which is not much). They live in complete unity with nature and whatever it has offered them to live with - to make their houses and boats, to eat, to play with. My driver looks like he is