To many people the Pacific paradise of the South Seas islands was and still is one of the most exciting dream destinations. There is no question that experiencing typical advertisement-like stereotypes such as snow-white beaches, coconut palm trees and crystal clear blue-turquoise water in person is a lifetime experience par excellence. Though the South Seas true gem is a varicoloured dialogue taking place between the locals, their fascinating tribal culture and a diverse unique nature that is captivating above as well as below the sealine. That beautiful togetherness gets only disturbed when the Earth’s most powerful forces get unleashed, when at the Pacific side of our planet all things called tectonics and volcanism are literally setting the place on fire as Oceania is part of the highly active circum-pacific Ring of Fire
Dream destination and synonym for all things called wanderlust as well as being often the first country visited ever after having finished school, that is New Zealand, the upside down boot in the southern hemisphere that came to worldwide fame as unique setting for the epic “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The Kiwis are laid-back and sociable people, but when it comes to the treasures of nature then things quickly get pretty much sold. For visitors that means a good infra structure but also many places that you can’t have and enjoy yourself only. The following photo stories are the essence of an almost 6000km long journey leading through north and south island and reflecting the volcanic soul of New Zealand as well as its magnificent mountain scenery with its endless forest and unique wildlife, that is a livewire particularly at the islands’ shores
Kamchatka (Камчатка) needs no further introduction for people playing the board game “Risk”. It is the tail at Russia’s Far Eastern end, an appendix of the Eurasian contintent kissing Bering Sea as well as taking Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk by the hands. It is the very same offshoot of Russia that made Alaska’s gouvernor Sarah Palin considering to be an expert for foreign affairs. Kamchatka is rough, mountainous and authentic, is almost impassable as well as pretty remote. Attributes undoubtedly being capable to prompt the next photo session of topless Vladimir Putin
The Indian subcontinent stands for long distances, is home to millions of people and was once the cradle of a unique early civilisation. In particular the dynasty of the Great Moguls and their sophisticated comprehension of Indo-Islamic culture and architecture formed the country. On a more than four thousand kilometres long journey through North India sights are literally lining the streets. Starting in Calcutta, the journey lead to the sacred city of Varanasi and further on to Indian classics such as the Agra-based Taj Mahal or Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned former capital of Great Mogul Akbar. In the West scenery is getting more and more meagre, though the wealth of cultural treasures is still on a high level, if even not higher. For example Jaipur’s and Jodhpur’s world of palaces and forts gives an idea how highly developed India’s civilisation once was. The ride’s grand finale was a visit to Abhaneri’s superbly symmetric step well, Deshnok’s bizarre rat temple and Amritsar, home of the amazing Golden Temple and heart of Punjabstate that is bordering with Pakistan in more or less peaceful way; the special border closing ceremony being held every evening near Amritsar gives proof of that
Without doubt East Africa is the cradle of mankind and also Ethiopia has its stake in this unique development. The country’s beauty isn’t as apparent as hay swimming on the surface; it has to be discovered by big adventure. Buckets with Sangria, animators jumping around uncoordinatedly and parties for singles are foreign words here. On the other hand you get the chance to see worldwide unique cultural and natural sights with your own eyes: lava lakes, hostile deserts and acid volcanoes approach you hand in hand with globally inimitable rock churches and the monumental Simien Mountains, which is the source of the life-bringing Blue Nile
There are only a few places on our planet, where our civilized world is colliding with the earth’s forces. Indonesia undoubtedly belongs to those places, as nowhere else in the world human life is daring to sit on a volcano the crowded way. An offshoot of the Pacific Ring of Fire is transporting the seismic heartbeat literally like an artery to the doorsteps of Java, Sumatra & Co. Catastrophes with an apocalyptic dimension happened there: the explosion of lake Toba, of the volcanos Tambora and Krakatoa, as well as the seaquake and the dramatic Tsunami on December 26th 2004
“Elves, Hákarl and boiling Earth” – That’s how Hollywood could have headlined and promoted my Icelandic road movie. At the end of a journey leading almost all around the island, I travelled more than 3800 kilometres through landscapes that nowadays still appear like at the time of God’s creation. For some people Iceland automatically means something like an artically cold island with all-season mulled wine service but it’s so much more. I was lucky to have weather, spring and the midnight sun on my side; two major ingredients to put the following photo documentary of a worldwide unique place, located at the interface of American and Eurasian continental plate as well as Atlantic and Artic Ocean, in the perspective of God’s eternal creation
There is nobody who never ever heard of the Stories from One Thousand and One Nights before, isn’t there? Without doubt there is no other region in the world as mythic as shrouded in legends Orient. For centuries it was a cultural centre of then known world, but also birthplace of civilisation’s achievements. Its proximity to the Holy Land and its wealth in terms of trading and resources quickly brought the Orient into the focus of Western civilisation. Conflicts came up, ebbed away or are persisting until presence. Empires were built and broke down again. Hence, one of the most enthralling and most misconceived areas of our planet.