Photo Challenge in April: Water. 5 continents flow into 5 stories!

by Elena

“Show me your water!”, is what Carolin Hinz proclaims on her travel blog “Esel Unterwegs” (Travelling Donkey), inviting us to participate in a collection of travel articles showing what experiences we have had in or around “water”. Even while I am reading hers, my mind starts wandering off to all those particular travel memories concerning water. I realise that water is ever present as a travel motive, be it in the form of breathtaking lake districts, mighty glaciers carved of ice or fascinating coastal landscapes. Often, water is the source of the very activity itself: Where would I be, snowboarding fan that I am, without beautiful powder snow?

So here is what I invite you to enjoy now, a splashing display of five travel stories from five different continents. Each story has moved me in quite a particular way, and I hope you will want to dive in yourselves. So let us open the watergates for:

Africa, South Africa. Here, I am actually swimming right into the landscape!

Auch das bietet Kapstadt: Unweit der Metropole finden sich im Land rund ums Kap faszinierende B & Bs, wie dieses mit luxuriösem Swimming Pool direkt hinein ins Land ..

Exploring Cape Town, our way leads us to this beautiful luxury B & B about two hours outside of Cape Town near the city of Robertson.

 

Responsible for taking me to this precious hideaway in the Cape province of South Africa is my dear friend & co-blogger Antonia Krauss. I have met Antonia more than 10 years ago living in London, and it is almost as long ever since she has migrated to Cape Town. Rosendal Winery & Spa Luxury B&B, which you can see on this photo, is about two hours away from Cape Town and has captured my imagination last but not least thanks to this gorgeous “infinity pool”. Go there if you want to pay someone a special treat or surprise!

 

Asia, Thailand. Floating markets are what people live, work and eat on near the city of Bangkok.

Was wie eine idyllische Aufnahme einer Reise nach Thailand aussieht, ist in Wahrheit Lebensgrundlage für die dortige Bevölkerung. Ein einmaliges Erlebnis, welches ich so noch nie zuvor beobachtet habe!

This lady offers us fresh coconut drinks and other delights straight off her barge: Thailand’s floating markets are a wonderful and very exotic experience for somebody like myself visiting from far away!

 

What appears to be a very idyllic scenery is probably a daily struggle to survive for this very lady. Water means livelihood for all Thai people in or around the so-called floating markets: Here, they construct their houses, bargain with visitors, cook on floating make-do kitchens and offer their goods to everyone interested, naturally travelling from one spot to the other. Common streets as we know them only exist to access the floating markets. Right there you will have to switch to one of the boats yourself.

 

Oceania, New Zealand. More than 16.000 kilometres of coastline make it hard to choose one single photograph …

Auf meiner Weltreise gebe ich insgesamt weit mehr als € 5.000,- aus. Verrückt, sagen einige. Das Glück eines (Lebens)Traums, stelle ich hier während einer einmaligen Wanderung am Abel Tasman Coastal Track in Neuseeland fest.

… however, I do choose this one right here: Lucky me on the beautiful Abel Tasman Coastal Track.

 

Some of you may know it already: New Zealand is something like my second home to me. More than a year, I have lived, worked and travelled in beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more about my stories and experiences there in my collection of travel articles: “The Year Of My Life: Travelling Aotearoa, New Zealand”. The reason for appearing just so happy on the photo above is one in particular: I survived. Seriously: The day before – you might not believe it what with all the sunshine in the photograph – I was almost flushed away. Two days of persistent rain have been enough to cause rivers in this north-western part of New Zealand’s South Island to flood, an adventure I am still proud of today.

 

America, South America, Peru. “El Lago Titicaca”, the highest navigable lake in this world is located at more than 4.000 metres above sea level!

Apropos schwimmende Inseln: Das Volk der Uros lebt auch heute noch nach ihren Traditionen und bindet im Titicaca-See wachsendes Schilf zu "schwimmenden Inseln", Booten und Häusern zusammen. Dieses einzigartige Kulturphänomen steht heute unter dem Schutz der UNESCO-Welterbe-Kommission.

Right on lake Titicaca, the Uros people still live according to their ancient traditions, tying together reed for constructing floating islands, little houses and boats. This particular cultural phenomenon has been protected under the UNESCO World Heritage status.

 

Living, breathing and existing at this altitude (and right on a lake the size of a small sea) is something totally “out of this world” for us Middle-Europeans. All the more, it is worthwhile to visit – last but not least because each step teaches you awareness, of both low oxygen and the amazing achievements of this people. Here, we are visiting the “floating islands” of Titicaca lake and their unique boats and houses! Read more about this type of “community-based tourism on Titicaca lake in Peru”.

 

Europe, Germany. The Baltic Sea Coast has something in the way of making you fall … in love.

Erinnerungen an stürmische & gleichzeitig traumhafte Momente: Blick auf den Strand von Wustrow an der deutschen Ostseeküste.

Memories of magic moments standing, watching the sea at the Baltic Coast in Eastern Germany.

 

Just beautiful. It has taken us just over 1.000 kilometres in order to travel to and capture this moment from where we live in Austria, travelling via Berlin to the German Baltic Sea Coast. Being from a landlocked country, the magic of the sea leaves us spell-bound: for listening to the wind, the sea gulls, the tidal waves coming in and out. Beautiful. I love the sea. And keep wanting to come back.

 

Thank you so much, dear Carolin Hinz – “Travelling Donkey”! – for inviting me to join your “water” photo challenge. Check out Carolin’s post and many other, fascinating photographs and stories about water & travel here: http://www.esel-unterwegs.de/foto-challenge-april-wasser/

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