A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Getting Ready.

So, that's the day I've been waiting for so long...

sunny

Finally, I'm preparing for leaving Berlin now and staying a few days in Mannheim with my lovely godson and his parents.

And then it's take-off time in Frankfurt! I'm really nervous...But still so happy! And with my cute guardian angel pinned on my backpack, nothing can go wrong, I'm so sure!

DSC_0621

DSC_0621

I love you all and will miss you so much! And my heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me organize with their useful travel experience and tips! (Omi, Peter, Mama, Papa, Alex, Hei, Flo, Lulu, Doris, Christian, Iris, jessi, Yoshij...)

Posted by Louisa31 23:17 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Delhi

rain 33 °C

endlich komme ich einmal dazu, die eindruecke aus delhi festzuhalten. Bisher hatten wir probleme, weil der starke monsoon oder die ploetzlichen sekunden-stromausfaelle fuer regelmaessige internet-blackouts sorgten.
P1020222

P1020222


Dehi ist genau so, wie wir es uns vorgestellt haben. Laut, dreckig, stickig, chaotisch aber unglaublich interessant. Unser Hostel ist billig doch total schoen eingerichtet und entgegen unserer erwartungen hat der airport pick-up super funktioniert. Unser Hostel befindet sich in einer kleinen gasse mit vielen verwaisten baustellen, in denen die menschen sich haeuser aus wellblech und stoff bastelten.
P1020254

P1020254

waherend wir morgens duschen und in einem silbernen bett schlafen, werden wir bei jedem blick aus dem fenster an das elend der menschen hier errinert. Obwohl wir uns monatelang mental auf den kulturschock vorbereitet haben, fiel es uns sehr schwer, die realitaet gut wegzustecken. am meisten schockieren uns die armen menschen, die in ihren lumpen im schlamm leben, sich ihr essen mit den Kuehen teilen und den ganzen tag betteln muessen um zu ueberleben. Und die abgemagerten tiere, die einfach ueberall sind und leben und die ganze stadt riecht einfach nur nach stall. Das zu sehen und zu akzeptieren faellt uns allen sehr schwer und macht uns ziemlich zu schaffen.
Hinzu kommt der Verkehr: die menschen sind wahnsinnig! strassenregeln gibt es nicht, ampeln, spuren und gegenverkehr werden gekonnt missachtet. Ach doch, eine regel gibt es: HUPE UM DEIN LEBEN.
P1020230

P1020230


Ein TukTuk fahrer erklaerte uns, dass die menschen hier die ganze zeit hupen muessen, um sich bei den anderen verkehrsteilnehmern anzumelden. Diese schauen naemlich grundsaetzlich nie in irgendeinen spiegel und fahren dann einfach nach gehoer...das ist sehr anstrengend und um eine strasse zu ueberqueren braucht man Mut, Nerven und vor allem vieel Zeit.
Langsam aber sicher gewoehnen wir uns an den Laerm und den Dreck.
wir geniessen das tolle essen hier, am besten auf einer dachterasse mit blick ueber den bazaar und die stadt, die menschen und natuerlich die kuehe. Die eindruecke sind bunt, gewaltig und nich immer leicht.
Wir haben schon am zweiten tag unseren rucksack gepackt um dehi zu verlassen. Unser naechstes Ziel ist agra: die stadt der wuensche und des Tajmahals!

Posted by Louisa31 00:30 Archived in India Comments (0)

Agra

Die Stadt der Wuensche und des Taj Mahals

semi-overcast 33 °C

Der Taj mahal ist ein Mausoleum, das der herrscher shah jahan im 17. jahrhundert fuer seine geliebte dritte frau mumtaz mahal erbauen liess, als diese bei der geburt ihres vierzehnten kindes starb. heute ist das tajmahals eines der neuen weltwunder und beliebte sehenswuerdigkeit fuer alle indienreisenden. Mit dieser Information im Hinterkopf sind wir ehrgeizig um 5 uhr morgens aufgestanden,um den tajmahal bei sonnenaufgang und ohne touristenscharen zu besuchen. Als wir um 6.30 endlich ankamen, war die sonne natuerlich laengst aufgegangen und die touristenscharen standen auch schon bereit. Wir hatten zehn minuten zeit um den tajmahal von weitem in seiner vollen pracht zu bewundern, bis der monsoon loslegte. (Fotos folgen!)P1020390

P1020390


Es regnete wie aus eimern und dicke wolken verschleierten den marmorpalast bis dieser gar nicht mehr real schien, denn die grenze zwischen tajmahal und himmel war fliessend und es erinnerte eher an eine fatamorgana als an ein grabmahl. der tajmahal ist atemberaubend schoen und selbst der regen und die touristenscharen haben unsere meinung nicht beeinflusst. (weitere fotos folgen!)P1020388

P1020388


Eigentlich plante der herrscher, ein identisches gebauede in schwarz fuer seinen eigenen leichnam gegenueber des weissen mausoleums erbauen zu lassen. llerdings hatte er dann kein geld mehr und zudem wurde er von seinem machtsuechtigen sohn eingesperrt. Von seinem Gefaengis , dem agra fort, konnte er bis zu seinem letzten lebenstag den tajmahal von weiten sehen, bis er starb.
Vom gebaeudeinneren hatten wir uns mehr erwartet. Ein schlichter, weiss verzierter raum beherbergte die leeren sarge. die Leichnamen befinden sich naemlich unter dem gebaude und sind fuer die oeffentlichkeit natuerlich nicht zugaengig. da mussten wir uns noch einmal vor augen fuehren, dass der tajmahal mit seiner pompoesen und beruehmten aussenansicht eigentlich einen ganz persoehnlichen sinn erfuellt: dem liebespaar eine aussergewoehnlich romantische letzte ruhestaette zu geben.
P1020395

P1020395

Posted by Louisa31 00:34 Archived in India Comments (0)

Jaipur- the Pink City

Monkeys, Elephants, Camels...

sunny 35 °C

We arrived in jaipur, the capital of rajasthan, yesterday. Some areas of the city are pink, because when a prince (forgot which one) visited the city in the 19th century, the whole city was painted pink to welcome him... (Pink was the colour of hostility)

Our Hostelrooms are amazing and we have an awesome view on the mountains from our beds.
P1020471

P1020471

We already spent hours in the monkey tempel watching these sweet creatures eat, fight and sleep. I fell so in love with them.
P1020431

P1020431


P1020437

P1020437


P1020461

P1020461

Luckily, jaipur is the best city when it comes to animal diversity. When walking down the streets of jaipur, we saw monkeys, elephants, camels, cows (of course), goats, sheeps, dogs...Sometimes even sleeping on the crowded road. The drivers always take car to not hit them or wake them up. Today we went to Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal and to the elephant house. We doubted the elephants being happy living in a crowded city and being painted with bright colours. Anyway, we gave them some bananas and they really seemed to be enjoying that!

P1020528

P1020528

P1020530

P1020530

Afterwards we went to a small domestic fabric that produces clothes for the whole world. It was a small, hidden shabby room and we could not believe that this was the place where the TopShops collection was made. We tried on some Saris after drinking a chai and ended the evening with a beer on our rooftop terrace! Nice greetings from incredible india :-)
555523_4540889728093_268911411_n

555523_4540889728093_268911411_n

Posted by Louisa31 09:17 Archived in India Comments (1)

Pushkar- the hippie city

experiencing the monsoon

rain 33 °C

Pushkar, the holy city, is our favorite city so far! It is a very small and romantic city, a gathering place for rastas and hippies. We felt very comfortable here and had an amazing time among all those relaxed and laid-back people. :)

Besides we experienced the monsoon at it"s best. It was an amazing experience. I think I will let images speak! Locals told us that this year, the monsoon was very weak. We didn"t know how to come to terms with this information...

P1060437

P1060437

P1060444

P1060444


Wish you were here Mum&Dad. You would love it here!
P1060413

P1060413

Laura enjoying beautiful Pushkar from a rooftop (Shiva Eye)
P1060426

P1060426

Udaipur impressions
P1060457

P1060457

Posted by Louisa31 07:49 Archived in India Comments (1)

One night in the Thar Desert

Jaisalmer

sunny 40 °C

We enjoyed our Safari Tour to the Thar Desert yesterday! Riding a camel (Lalu) until sunset, sleeping under the stars, waking up with the sunrise...Unfortunately we only had one night, but we all wanted to stay longer! No cars, no cows, no dirt, no people out there...(admittedly: no water either, only cold beer and CocaCola)
P1060516

P1060516


P1060537

P1060537

P1020702

P1020702

P1060550

P1060550

P1060567

P1060567

P1020811

P1020811

P1020784

P1020784

P1020807

P1020807

Waking up with the sunrise after an amazing starry night
P1060606

P1060606

our bedroom
P1020884

P1020884

Posted by Louisa31 07:26 Archived in India Comments (0)

Bikaner-Delhi-Amritsar: Ein Abenteuer kommt selten allein

Die wohl aufregendste Autofahrt unseres Leben...

semi-overcast 25 °C

Wir wollten nur schnell mit dem Auto von Bikaner nach Delhi fahren und hatten es eilig, weil unser Zug Richtung Norden nach Amritsar am Abend fuhr. Zudem war Laura sehr krank und wir wollten so schnell wie moeglich in ein krankenhaus kommen, um sie durchchecken zu lassen.
Doch der Monsoon machte uns einen Strich durch die Rechnung: und diesmal gewaltig! Fuer eine Strecke von ca. 400km haben wir stolze 13 Stunden gebraucht! Die straßen waren unglaublich ueberflutet und wir blieben mit dem Auto in kniehohem Wasser stecken und dann sprang es natuerlich erstmal nicht mehr an. Da saßen wir nun, mitten in der Pampa und spielten Titanik.
Wir konnten zusehen, wie sich das Auto langsam mit Wasser fuellte. Langsam gerieten wir in Panik, weil ueberall offene Stromkabel rausschauten...Als sich das Auto dann auch noch mit Rauch fuellte, wurde es selbst unseren fahrer zu viel und wir ließen uns von Passanten abschleppen. Diese Erfahrung hinderte unseren Fahrer natuerlich nicht daran, weiterhin durch die ueberfluteten straßen zu fahren. (oder zu schwimmen?) Trotz unseres Flehens, erstmal zu warten...Wir blieben natuerlich wieder stecken. Becky schoepfte literweise das Wasser aus dem Auto, Laura ging es immer schlechter und Jule und ich mussten das Auto aus den Fluten schieben, wurden klitschnass und waren DIE Attraktion des Dorfes. Die Einheimischen winkten und machten froehlich Fotos...Wir wussten echt nicht mehr, ob wir weinen oder lachen sollten.
Dann haben wir es aber doch noch geschafft, ein Krankenhaus zu erreichen. Dort hat Laura dann fuer umgerechnet 2 Euro ein paar Spritzen bekommen (natuerlich neu verpackt und steril) und es stellte sich heraus, dass es nichts ernstes gewesen sei. Allerdings konnte der Arzt kein English und als ich ihn fragte, was genau jetzt in der Spritze drin sei, sagte dieser nur 'vomit'. (gemeint war natuerlich ein Mittel gegen Erbechen). Da musste sogar Laura loslachen! Dann ging es auch wieder aufwaerts mit unserem Schicksal. Wir haben unseren Nachtzug nach Amritsar rechtzeitig erreicht und Laura ging es durch die Behandlung wieder viel besser!

Nach aufregenden Tagen in Amritsar sind wir jetzt in den Bergen in Mcleod Ganj angekommen. Der Ort, wo der Dalai Lama residiert! Die Einfluesse der tibetischen Kultur lassen sich hier ueberall entdecken und wir fuehlen uns richtig wohl. Wir entspannen uns jetzt, stoßen auf Lauras Geburstag an, gehen shoppen und zur Massage!

Schoene Grueße vom Fuße des Himalayas!

Posted by Louisa31 01:45 Archived in India Comments (0)

McLeod Ganj (Dharamsala)

From tattoos to political enlightment

overcast 25 °C

McLeod Ganj is so different to Amritsar and Delhi! It's so quiet, beautiful and healthy, we couldn't believe we were still in India. Also because of the large presence of Tibetan shops, monks and restaurant, we wondered about the history of this beautiful city. So we started investigating a bit...And we were deeply shocked.
Before 1959, Tibet was a beautiful and peaceful autonomous region in the Himalayas, lead by the spiritual leaders and the Dalai Lama. Then the Chines occupied the area and millions of lives have been lost and 90% of the Tibetan culture has been razed. And the conflicts goes on and causes new deaths day by day. In front of the world!!
Why? You may ask yourself. It is, of course, all about money, natural ressources and power. This is how the Chinese justify the massacre.
The dangerous situation in the Himalayas made thousands of desperate Tibetans search refuge in Mcleod Ganj, India, which is today seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile and the official residence of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.
We coincidentally met Tamdin Tstetan, a tatoo artist, musician and political activist. He told us his story and we could not believe what a shitplace this world actually was.
Wandering around the streets of Mcleod Ganj, Laura suddenly decided to get another tattoo. Entering the tattoo studio of Tamdin Tstetung, we were surprised first, because it wasn't a studio at all. We were standing in the middle of a living room with guitars everywere and loads of tattoo pictures on the wall. Tamdin entered the room and we immediately started to talk and laugh a lot.
P1060676

P1060676


P1060678

P1060678

He has long hair, tattoos and wore a T-shirt saying "Free Tibet, save Tibet". When he asked about our age, the conversation suddenly turned serious. He told us he didn't really know his age, because he didn't trust his passport. He then told us his story:

Nearly dead from starvation, after months of desperation and unimaginable horros, Tamdin reached McLeod Ganj. He did the journey (1000 km, across the himalayas!) by foot in wintertimes, because the chinese troops cannot live at altitudes that high. One day the Chinese troops fired on them and half of the group never reapperaed. Later on, some refugees were arrested and sold back to the Chinese border by a corrupt policeman for a few dollars. He even watched a monk drown in a river. From his group of 49 people only 12 survived. He never knew what happened to all the others.

Today, Tamdin has a reputation in India. He is one of the best Tattoo artists on the subcontinent, he is a musician and a talented artist. We listened to his songs and from his smusic, it was abundantly clear that he is still a Tibetan who loves his homeland and hopes for nothing less than its freedom. He will never forget the experience and it drives him in his mission: to make the world aware of the plight of his people trhough his creativity and activism. He fights for his homeland to realize his biggest dream: a free Tibet.

We completely solidarise with the Tibetans and hope for a better future for all of them. Hopefully one day there will be peace again in this wonderful region, embraced and sheltered by the Himalayas.

Beautiful McLeod Ganj
P1060681

P1060681

P1060712

P1060712


P1060709

P1060709

P1060716

P1060716

P1060779

P1060779

P1060698

P1060698

At the Dalai Lamas residency

P1060692

P1060692

Posted by Louisa31 05:59 Archived in India Comments (0)

Bangkok

sunny 30 °C

Flying from Delhi to Bangkok felt like entering a whole new world. For me, Bangkok was so tidy and quiet compared to the last month"s experience. In the beginning, it was strange to travel on my own, because I was so used to the girls and I miss the long conversations we had and the funny time and all the laughs...Love you Girls :)
But then I started to see the advantages of travelling alone. You get to know new and interesting people immediately and in fact I am not alone at all. For my part I really enjoy the advantagesd now!

Impressions of Bangkok:
It is amazing to see how fine the traditional side and the modern, pulsating side of Bangkok assimilate. You see monks and topmodels walking down the street and sometimes it looks like a photoshop experiment.
P1060855

P1060855


This country is definitely better off than India and there are not as many people living on the street as I expected and the buildings and shoppingmalls are so modern, they look surreal.
P1060892

P1060892

P1060893

P1060893

But what I like most here are the locals! They are, of course, used to western tourists and so no one is staring at me like i was alien. And they are smiling ALL THE TIME! I haven"t figured out yet why exactly but there is always a smile on their faces that even brightens when you return it.
Unfortunately not many people are speaking English here. So when you get lost somewhere off the beaten track, (what of course happened to me so often) the locals are not really helping, Because they don"t understand what i want from them, they tell me arbirtrary directions to just say anything and to not lose their face. So I expereinced a 4hour walk through bangkok without having any ideay where i was on the map (because many signs are written in thai, they are not much of a help either.) But someone finally unerstands what i was looking for, they do everything to help you. For example, I asked a policeman for the right way and he drove me to the right place with his motorbike without hesitation. It was half an hour! You couldn"t even think of something like this in Germany. I was so happy and impressed by the Thai hospitality that i fell in love with the country immediately.

I did, of course, visit the cultural hotspots of Bangkok as well. For example the golden lying Buddha (40 metres long!!) which is supposed to represent the Buddha when entering Nirvana.

P1060881

P1060881

P1060886

P1060886

i love bangkok an recommend everyone to visit it sometime! I"m so looking forward to the next weeks and adventures of this trip :)

Posted by Louisa31 21:25 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Tao- Turtle Island (Gulf of Thailand)

A (Diver's) Paradise

sunny 30 °C

Koh Tao is a small Island (21 km²) in the Gulf of Thailand and is worldwide kown as THE divers's Hotspot.
Cleary, I visited it immediately. It took me around 12 hours with the night train from Bangkok to KohTao (around 400Baht).
For me, finally arriving at an island was double spectacular: After one month of India and a few days of Bangkok, my heart was longing for some silent places.
P1060967

P1060967


P1060907

P1060907


P1060925

P1060925


P1060933

P1060933


P1060912

P1060912


P1060968

P1060968

It was hard to find some silent places on Koh Tao though. I met young, passionated backpacker-divers everywhere and i felt comfortable immediately. I mean, who needs silence if you meet people who are cut from the same clothes as you are at every corner? It was amazing. This island is so small but there seems to be a party every five meters. And everyone spoke my favorite language: Scuba Diving.

The best thing was that since Koh Tao is a diver's island there are special offers everywhere. Me and Andrea (who did her open water course on KohTao) where offered free accommodation at Ban's Diving Resort as long as we dive daily. We had a clean appartment with hot water, a television and a Pool! This was a luxury I couldn't even dream of! We enjoyed the time and had amazing dives at Sail Rock.
P1060986

P1060986

SAIL ROCK: A bullshark experience.
This part of the blog entry can be kind of boring for non-divers. But since i know so many people who share this passion, I will talk about it anyway.
Koh Tao is rather expensive for Thai circumstances. A Fun Dive costs around 1000 Baht and a day trip to Sail Rock even 3000 Baht. But i was longing for adventure and so i decided to go for it. And it was worth it all! After 2 hours we reached the small "island" between Koh tao and Koh Phangan. We descended to 20 metres and then we were in the middle of a Bullshark-meeting! There were seven (!) of them surrounding us! I have to admit, my heart was racing like crazy, even though I was prepared and fully briefed to this meeting. But still, bullsharks are wild, unpredictable animals and they are getting used to the divers more and more. Who knows, one day they might rise their interest in us. But not yet. I was lucky, they didn't care about me and my onervosity, although they came pretty close (about two metres away from me).
I definitely loved the experience and I will visit Sail Rock again. I am aware of the risks that are connected to shark diving but i just can't help. I love them, they are so beautiful, peaceful and stunning. And as long as you act appropriate, there will just be a little risk left.
What I didnt like was the overcrowding. I am used to a kind, family atmosphere at dive centers but this was more an anonymous, assembly line, trip. Ididnt get to know the dive instructor and their experience and life-story as I usually do. This waskid of frustrating, because i loveto listen to their stories.
I was entertaining the idea of becoming a dive instructor here. I could work and live in a fancy Resort on Koh tao and be happy all over, diving and practising every day, teaching other people the beauty of the ocean...But I decided against it since it was too expensive for me and since there are so many other places in South East Asia I want to discover during the next months. So, being a certified dive Instructor on Koh Tao will remain a dream...
P1060930

P1060930

Posted by Louisa31 06:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 10 of 20) Page [1] 2 »