Dream now, travel later! Ideas for the time after Corona. Arizona with a Navajo. Join us on a tour from Phoenix via Flagstaff, Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend to Monument Valley. A journey through XXL landscapes and through the history of the First Nations. Back to the roots! I look around in vain to find resigned: No, there are actually no coffee cups here. “Sorry, sir!” Says the very friendly service lady and points to a stack of plastic cups. I’m not in a cheap takeout or a gas station. I’m in the executive lounge of a five-star hotel in Phoenix, the capital of the US state of Arizona. But the cups for the breakfast coffee are made of plastic. In terms of wasted resources, the region is a nightmare anyway: high temperatures in summer and freezing temperatures in winter ensure that air conditioning systems run around the clock and average power consumption is twice as high as in the rest of the USA. That’s the page. The other: spectacular landscapes, many national parks, species-rich flora and fauna, a dry, almost always sunny climate. The southwest of the USA with the states Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado is four times the size of Germany and an almost perfect travel destination for nature lovers. Arizona: Long Road for the Native Americans There is also a special story: First the high cultures of the Anasazi and Hohokam Indians established themselves here, then those of the Pueblo on the Rio Grande and the Hopi in Arizona. Traces of old Indian settlements can still be found, for example in the White House Ruins in Arizona’s Chimney Valley, which are said to be around 1,000 years old. It took a long time for the traditions and language of the “Native Americans” to be recognized. The settlement areas of the Native Americans are now largely administered autonomously, many of them run their own tourism projects, especially hotels or agencies. Like Donovan Hanley, tour guide and managing director of Detours American West. On the Apache Trail through Arizona Donovan picks us up at the hotel in Mesa. It starts with the Apache Trail, an old stagecoach route through the Apache region. The trail runs through the Superstition Mountains, a mountain range northeast of Phoenix. After a short drive we reach the Superstition Mountain Museum. There Jeff Danfort leads us through the exhibition, which deals with the eventful history of the Apache Trail. Jeff points to the photos of the Buffalo Soldiers, the African American soldiers who fought for freedom from slavery on the Northern side during the American Civil War. The Indians called the soldiers that because the soldiers’ often curly hair reminded them of the mane of buffalo. Other pictures show Geronimo, the famous Apache chief who, for 20 years, used guerrilla tactics to wage a hopeless but all the more bitter struggle against the settlers and the US cavalry. In 1886 he surrendered and died in a reservation in 1909. Jeff emphasizes the intention of the exhibition: “We want to keep everyone’s historical legacy in mind, that is, from Indians, cowboys and gold prospectors.” Highnoon in Goldfield Ghost Town Just a good mile away is Goldfield Ghost Town, the largest settlement in Arizona with around 1,200 inhabitants in 1893 and an important outpost during the heyday of gold mining. Visitors can sniff a bit of the flair of gold prospecting along the main street, let themselves be guided through the (replicated) gold mine and then stop off at the “Mammoth Saloon”, where hearty cuisine is served, of course, and where posters by John Wayne adorn the walls. The place is a very tourist homage to the Wild West. Oatman and the decaying Ruby are more authentic. Navajos, the largest “nation” in Arizona Donovan belongs to the Navajo people. With more than 320,000 members, they are one of the largest tribes of the Native Americans. Donovan speaks of “nation” when he means tribe. The word reservation, as the regions in which the different tribes live, is not popular, Donovan continues. It still sounds like what it was once intended for: exclusion. Better be nation country. Navajo also call themselves Diné, translated: the people. Many of them still live in their traditional houses, the hogans, mostly hexagonal buildings made of wood, clay and stone. “Americans are great at looking down on other countries and cultures and telling them what they’re doing wrong. And they believe that they are doing everything right themselves, ”says Donovan. “That’s why they never really admitted to themselves what they did wrong with treating Native Americans.” Much has changed in recent years, the culture of Native Americans is being cultivated, promoted – and, above all, respected. In the saddle to the saguaro cacti The “Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch”, our accommodation for the next few nights, is not far from Saguaro Lake, directly on the Salt River. Built in 1928, there are 24 small bungalows, widely distributed over the site, spartanly furnished, without TV, without WiFi. One should concentrate on nature. Our early morning ride gives us that cowboy feeling, even if we as riders shouldn’t look as elegant as John Wayne. And here they are everywhere, in the hundreds, thousands: the cacti, the symbol of the Wild West. There are around 300 species, the name Saguaro – which is roughly pronounced: Sawaroh – comes from the language of the Native Americans, it is the largest cactus species in the USA. They can be up to 200 years old, weigh up to ten tons and 15 meters high. The typical arms only grow after around 80 years. Thunderstorms in summer and a lot of rain in winter provide the large cactus forests with sufficient moisture. Arizona icons: Route 66 and Grand Canyon Winslow is on Route 66. Since the Eagles in their song “Take it easy” the place with “Well, I’m a standin ‘on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my lord, in a flat-bed Ford. Slowin ‘down to take a look at me… “Every tourist wants to be photographed on this corner to set a monument. The residents of Winslow market their homeland with humor: “Winslow: 30 miles from water, 2 feet from hell” reads in brochures. They can be up to 200 years old, weigh up to ten tons and 15 meters high. The typical arms only grow after around 80 years. Thunderstorms in summer and a lot of rain in winter provide the large cactus forests with sufficient moisture. Arizona icons: Route 66 and Grand Canyon Winslow is on Route 66. Since the Eagles in their song “Take it easy” the place with “Well, I’m a standin ‘on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my lord, in a flat-bed Ford. Slowin ‘down to take a look at me… “Every tourist wants to be photographed on this corner to set a monument. The residents of Winslow market their homeland with humor: “Winslow: 30 miles from water, 2 feet from hell” reads in brochures. Finally we reach the landscape that stands for Arizona like no other and which is also immortalized on all car signs: the Grand Canyon. The mightiest gorge in the world is almost 450 kilometers long and around 30 kilometers wide. The red and yellow ocher cliffs plunge up to 1,700 meters into the bed of the Colorado River. The highlight of a visit to the Grand Canyon begins on a frosty note: very early in the morning, everyone sits there wrapped in thick blankets. This November morning is freezing cold. The wind whistles and makes the temperatures appear even icier. Everyone waits patiently for the sun to come up. It sends its bright and warming rays over the grandiose gorge, first covering the peaks, then the entire rock walls with golden light.
The landscapes of the southern French region are characterized by fascinating contrasts. The Provencal nature is characterized by rocky stretches of coastline, as are extensive lavender fields or pink salt basins. We present five varied travel destinations where you can find relaxation in nature. 1. The Camargue coast In the west of Provence there is an exciting flat land that can be divided into two areas. The Grande Camargue is bounded by the two arms of the Rhône Delta, while the Little Camargue connects to the west and extends to Aigues-Mortes. The landscape is characterized by swamps, salt and rice fields and pastures. The dry climate, the many hours of sunshine and the constantly blowing mistral provide ideal conditions for mining the precious fleur de sel on the coast of the Camargue. Lookout points, such as near the village of Salin de Giraud, allow panoramic views over the surrounding pink salt pans. The white horses, some of which are still wild, and the flamingo colonies are symbols of the landscape, but black bulls are also traditionally bred in the Camargue. The coastal area is also a stopping point for migratory birds on their way between Europe and Africa, which is why the area of the Great Camargue in particular has been declared a nature reserve. During a vacation in the region you will surely see some flocks of birds stalking through the shallow waterholes looking for food. Explore the long beaches and wide plains of the Camargue on an exciting horse ride or a relaxing bike ride! 2. The Verdon Gorge The impressive depression in the limestone massifs of Haute-Provence is probably the best-known attraction of the Verdon Regional Nature Park. The white rock faces of the Verdon Gorge tower up to 700 meters high, which is why the area called? Grand Canyon du Verdon? is called. There are several panoramic routes along the gorge. At the viewpoint Balcons de la Mescla you can marvel at the pristine nature and the confluence of the Verdon and Artuby rivers. An impressive view into the depths can also be thrown from the viewing terrace of Rancouma, but this point can only be reached on foot by hiking. After the canyon, the over 160 kilometers long Verdon River flows into the Lac de St. Croix reservoir. Rental outlets offer various types of watercraft, from rowing and pedal boats to surfboards and small sailing ships. Since the temperature of the lake averages 24 degrees and there are small beaches on the shore, the Lac de St. Croix invites you to a wonderful bathing experience. But adrenaline junkies will also find numerous opportunities to let off steam in the Verdon Regional Nature Park, such as bungee jumping or paragliding. The white water of the Verdon Gorge can also be conquered with kayaks. In addition to water sports, there are climbing tours on the steep walls of the gorge or hikes through the reserve. Nature lovers get their money’s worth! 3. The Valensole plateau Not far from the Verdon Gorge and also part of the Verdon Regional Nature Park is the “Plateau de Valensole”. The French municipality of Valensole gives its name to the surrounding 800 km2 area, which is mainly used for intensive agriculture. The plateau is best known for its extensive lavender fields. In order to be able to experience this in all its glory, you should plan your vacation in Provence between mid-June and the end of August. Every year in July, Valensole hosts the Lavender Festival. In addition to the purple herbs, a lot of grain is grown on the plateau, which creates an enchanting purple-yellow color contrast. In spring, numerous almond trees bloom in beautiful pink and white tones. Cover a few meters of altitude through the hilly landscape by bike or follow one of the lavender routes by car. Past purple flower carpets and picturesque villages, these streets lead to manufacturers of perfumes and cosmetics as well as distilleries that process lavender into oil. Here you can learn interesting things about the purple plant and find peace and relaxation at the same time as you drive through the lavender-scented landscapes. 4. The Calanques National Park The Calanques National Park is a 20-kilometer long, rugged stretch of coast between Marseille and Cassis. Numerous holidaymakers visit the nature reserve every year, and for good reason! Known as a paradise for climbers, the Calanques are also an idyllic hiking region. The limestone cliffs can best be explored from the water or on foot, because the nature reserve is criss-crossed by numerous, well-marked paths. During a hike through the rugged and wild landscape, the view of the turquoise Mediterranean offers a fascinating contrast. Especially the Calanque d’En-Vau with a small bay and pebble beach and the Calanque de Port-Pin, for which the large number of pine trees is characteristic, are among the most popular and probably most beautiful excursion destinations in the national park. However, plan a visit to the coastal section carefully in advance, because the core area of the park, which also includes sea area, is protected by specific regulations. In the summer months there are also access restrictions for many hiking trails due to the risk of fire. In this way, the unique ecosystem in the rocky limestone should be preserved. Some plant species, for example the “Sabline de Marseille”, and certain animals, such as the horned eagle, are found exclusively in the Calanques in southern France. 5. The Luberon Mountains The Luberon mountain range is the ideal destination for enthusiastic cyclists, whether beginners or trained athletes. The Lourmarin Gorge divides the elongated ridge into the Great Luberon in the east and the Little Luberon in the west. Due to its animal and plant diversity, the area was placed under special protection as a regional nature park. In addition, UNESCO declared the mountain range as a biosphere reserve. The Luberon Mountains have numerous well-signposted cycle paths with various levels of difficulty. Choose a tour for your active holiday and drive at your own pace on small, pleasant roads, past vineyards and olive groves. In addition to the impressive landscapes, there are also picturesque villages to be discovered that nestle against the mountain slopes of the Luberon. Five of them, such as Ménerbes and Gordes, are officially among the most beautiful villages in France. Furthermore, the region impresses with its ocher rocks, which shine in intense red tones. There are hikes or bike tours to the ocher quarries in Roussillon and Rustrel.
If it wasn’t such a hot day, a longer stop made sense. A few hairpin bends behind the Eisentalhöhe, in the hairpin (“Reidn”) number 24 of the Nockalmstrasse, is the oldest farmers’ pool in Europe. Nockalmstrasse> Wörthersee 52 hairpin bends and curves. 90 kilometers. The “Karlbad” is a real wellness pioneer: for over 200 years, stones have been fetched from the brook behind the house every day, chopped up and heated to almost 1,000 degrees in an infernal larch fire. The stones land glowing in the 14 massive wooden troughs full of cold spring water, where they burst. The dissolved minerals and the slightly sulphurous steam should be a boon. We don’t have time for that, we continue to the “Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden” on Lake Wörthersee, which is apparently very popular with rich Chinese and Russians. After lunch in the chilled “Seespitz”, Robert will sail us across the water of the Lago di Bonzo in a motor yacht. The always pompous but rarely aesthetic residences of Piëch, Flick, Horten, Glock, Quandt, Porsche, Stronach and other heavy and semi-heavy empires adorn its banks. Afterwards a few lengths in the lake and a drink in the “Beach Club” of the castle hotel are the order of the day. Slovenia the first: Vršič Pass> Soča Valley > Mangart> Spodnja Idrija 84 switchbacks. 210 kilometers.The Vršič in the Slovenian Triglav National Park has 50 hairpin bends and is the highest pass in the country. It comes up with a rarity: all curves and hairpin bends between Kranjska Gora and the top of the pass are cobblestone. It goes downhill through the valley of the Soča River (Isonzo). This can be seen in the 800 meter long and up to 20 meter deep Great Soča Gorge in almost unearthly blue and turquoise tones. The Mangart Pass, 55 kilometers away, provides a thrill. The beautiful cul-de-sac hangs and curves up to a height of 2,055 meters through the magnificent landscape. The road that you share with countless motorcyclists is extremely narrow. The view from above is terrific. The Fusine Lakes shine in the north, and the five-kilometer ridge of the Loška-Stena north face extends to the south. You then continue relaxed through the Soča Valley, an almost overcrowded hotspot for rafting and kayaking adventurers, to the town of Most na Soči. This towers picturesquely above the confluence of the Soča and the Idrija river. 35 kilometers later we roll in front of the “Relais & Châteaux Kendov Dvorec” in Spodnja Idrija, which is housed in an old farmhouse from 1377. The dinner that Franci Pivk and Klavdij Pirih conjure up on the plate is fantastic. This is especially true for their reminiscences of local cuisine such as Žlikrofi pasta filled with quark and herbs or the lamb in the strong bakalca sauce, which is cooked through and reduced over two days, for the Žlikrofi pasta and the trout from the river Trebušica.
At the beginning of December I will start in Tromsø. My plan is very simple: I’ll paddle two to three weeks in Norway on my SUP board to the North Cape on the waterway . On the trail of the northern lights, I will be challenged by the darkness, the cold and unknown waters in order to be able to see things with new eyes again. 500 kilometers, enough time and top material – what more do you need? Sparkling is good in the dark If it weren’t for darkness, we wouldn’t know anything about the stars, is a saying in Norway . My expedition should not take place during the warm summer months. I need to fight the elements again. So why not take on the challenges and experience Norway in the darkest season? The moments when my body slowly warms up after the first few strokes of the paddle are dances of joy for muscles and mind. The twilight that falls over the country for a few hours every day is a gift from the sun, which cheers me up every day. The tail wind that drives me along with the ebb tide is pure relaxation. Wind and peaks of waves After I was greeted by a snowstorm in Tromsø and the temperatures plummeted, I question this decision with every paddle stroke: Why am I doing this to myself? When the temperature is below zero, crawl out of the tent and then paddle through the darkness for up to ten hours. Lashing wind that piles up the water in waves and almost capsizes my SUP board. A fall would be the end of my expedition, because, as is well known, wet and cold become ice. But that’s exactly where the fascination of my trip lies. Finally northern lights! When the clouds lift after an exhausting week and I see the northern lights for the first time in my life, I am just happy. For me, life means that I face uncertain situations, challenge myself and grow or fail as a result. Don’t fear the end of life, rather fear that it never begins. According to this Norwegian idiom, I am not afraid of the uncertainty of my plan. I never take unnecessary risks. Already in the first week I decide against crossing fjords, always paddle near the shore and the last stage I do on foot because of the stormy winds. Often accompanied by the unearthly beautiful northern lights. z Home … Despite a dry suit, life jacket and emergency transmitter, I am looking for challenges in physical and mental combat and not in risky situations. It is the inner voice that screams, first softly and then louder, for freedom and adventure. On the way to the North Cape, this voice gets quieter and quieter. Another voice is getting louder and louder. It is the call for company and homecoming! I paddle not only towards my goal, but deeper and deeper into myself. A world which is my life and which I can create and shape myself.
A highway for UFO fans. A mini-state called Molossia. School buses buried in the desert sand and lots of nothing. In Nevada the slant is standard! No, he doesn’t need a crown. “I am a military dictator and not a king,” said Kevin Baugh. The outfit is perfect: green uniform, medals on the chest, a three-colored sash in the national colors, plus sunglasses. Only the big grin doesn’t really fit. The wind carries the smell of dust and sage into the 4,000 square meter Republic of Molossia near Dayton in the US state of Nevada. Ex-soldier Baugh, 55, founded his own state 19 years ago in the desolate nowhere. Complete with post office, own currency (Valora), state railroad (model train size), customs office (visitors have to hand in their change) and first lady (Adrianne, 38). “Molossia is my expression of freedom, imagination and personal sovereignty,” he explains. Wasn’t he just a strange weirdo? Baugh pretends to be genuinely indignant: “This is the first time I’ve heard such a question!” In Nevada, the slant is standard. The US state is a reservoir for out-of-the-way attractions and unusual people who would be referred to as strange, crazy, or interesting elsewhere. Crazy Las Vegas Now the tourism authority has discovered that the quirky attracts visitors. For the past two years she has been placing ads on websites frequented by fans of the fantastic or organizing her own tours under the motto “Weird Nevada”. Tourism director Bethany Drysdale: “This state has always inspired loners, bizarre people and people who think differently. They have settled here and are now living out their strange ideas. That attracts more people who are different from the mainstream. ” Already Las Vegas is basically madness turned into a city. An orgy of neon, music, show girls, stretch limousines and the plingpling of one-armed bandits. You can watch flamingos or tigers being fed, spend $ 10,000 on a single cocktail, or learn machine gun shooting. In the “Heart Attack Grill” fat people who weigh more than 160 kilograms eat for free, the largest burger has 10,000 calories. Best seller: coffins It gets even more strange in the country. And there is plenty of land. Nevada is larger than the UK and is home to just 2.9 million people, two-thirds of whom live in the greater Las Vegas area. The state offers loneliness and space a lot. Bryan and Dusty Schoening run their funeral home “Coffinwood” in the town of Pahrump. After his parents’ accidental death, Bryan decided to become a coffin carpenter. “It was disgusting how the undertakers treated me. I wanted to find a more personal way for people to say goodbye to loved ones. ”He has had a kind of coffin obsession ever since. On a tour of their dusty realm – a wooden bungalow with half a dozen sheds and corrugated iron huts – the two of them show me their collection of eleven hearses (“Unfortunately, only three drive”), black tulips and lilies that bloom on the beds, and the workshop, in which Bryan makes all coffins by hand.
Dream now, travel later! Ideas for the time after Corona. Cliffs overgrown with moss, a wonderful view of the Bernese Alps and crystal clear water: the Oeschinensee near Kandersteg is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. The Engstligen Falls near Adelboden take care of the ahs and ohs Switzerland would not be Switzerland if one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the Alps couldn’t be reached easily by cable car. From the pretty village of Kandersteg, it takes ten minutes to get up to the Alp plateau. There the scenery is determined by the huge, heavily glaciated Blüemlisalphorn. We save the rapid summer toboggan run at the mountain station for later, because the Oeschinensee is only a walk away. Like a giant eye that lets the sun shine deep blue, then turquoise again, the lake is embedded at 1,578 meters in a semicircle of steep rock walls. A tour in a rowboat feels like floating when the paddles dive into the crystal clear water. In order to keep an overview while having a picnic, we climb a little up the panorama path towards the Blüemlisalphütte. High feelings in the Bernese Oberland On the wide alpine meadows above the magic lake you are very close to heaven – and in the company of fat marmots. The pug-cute mountain dwellers are happy about the first warm days of spring. They enjoy the first green stalks and in between complain with loud whistles about hikers who come too close to their fur. In the wild Gastern valley nothing can be heard from the rodents, and there is hardly any other noise in the ear. It is a heavenly rest! In contrast to the Oeschinensee, the high valley turns out to be a real insider tip. For six kilometers, the single-lane gravel road winds up through the narrow gorge, whose vertical rock faces are reminiscent of the granite giants in California’s Yosemite Valley. The road is regulated by a set of traffic lights. But it wouldn’t even be needed on this wonderful autumn morning. Up here you hike almost alone, if you have stamina, to the source of the Kander on the glacier of the same name. Adelboden: Totally intoxicating On the way from the valley floor near Adelboden up to Engstligenalp, we are intoxicated by the view and the raging water. The way up leads along the 370 meter high Engstligen Falls, the second highest waterfalls in Switzerland. Once at the top at 1,900 meters, the largest plateau in the Swiss Alps spreads out. The wide grassy landscape is somewhat reminiscent of Tibet. But instead of yaks, sturdy specimens of Simmental Simmental Simmental cattle tramp up here in the warm season and provide plenty of milk for Bernese alpine cheese. When the summer is over, the 500 cows and other cattle have to go back down into the valley, then the most spectacular alpine drive in Switzerland can be observed at the waterfalls. Sillerenbühl: swinging towards the valley The best panoramic views are also guaranteed on the Tschentenalp just above Adelboden. Numerous hiking trails start from the mountain station of the cable car. If that still doesn’t have enough swing, you should sit on the giant swing on the Scharihubel. The Sillerenbühl, on the other hand, is known for a literally crazy attraction. With 45 kilometers of marked runs, the mountain is Switzerland’s scooter hotspot until late autumn. Scooters were in vogue in the country long before there were high-tech mountain bikes that could scare marmots with full suspension. And since the Swiss love their traditions at least as much as their mountains, the two-wheeler is almost a cultural asset today. And it’s so easy: Just put it on and drive off. The longest descent takes us more than half an hour. Makes you want to more! Info: Oeschinensee: The mountain lake above Kandersteg is an experience in all seasons. In winter you can even hike on it, when ice fishing is also offered. Return ticket for the cable car 26 euros, oeschinensee.ch Engstligenalp: In addition to an extensive hiking network, the largest alp in the western Swiss Alps also has a golf course to offer. The best way to experience the Alp is on foot. Return ticket 30 euros, engstligenalp.chz Scooter tours: Adelboden awaits you with 45 kilometers of marked scooter runs from the Sillerenbühl mountain station. Blue routes lead over asphalt, red and black over gravel roads. Scooter day ticket 13 euros, rail day 32 euros, adelboden.ch Tschentenalp: Above Adelboden, the panoramic plateau offers many opportunities for extensive hiking and mountain bike tours , tschentenalp.ch
Refraining from flying is the trend. Our author has embarked on an anachronistic form of transportation: the classic ferry. He would never have dreamed of the adventure he experienced as a solo traveler. Recently I wanted to go to southern Sweden. What’s the best way to get there from Hamburg ? Flight portals recommend a flight to Malmö with two changes in Copenhagen and Stockholm. This is not only connected with crazy detours geographically, but also ecologically unacceptable. After all, it should go to Greta Thunberg’s home country. Even by train, the journey is not a stone’s throw away. Trains over the Öresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö only take 40 minutes, but a comfortable journey to the Danish capital with the continuous Eurocity is currently not possible. Track construction work on the Vogelfluglinie leads to replacement bus service. As an alternative, the train wants to take me from Hamburg to Flensburg first thing in the morning with the regional express, then it continues via Jutland with three changes to Sweden. However, I would only be there in the afternoon. The best would be to fly from Hamburg to Copenhagen in 50 minutes. From Kastrup Airport, you can continue non-stop to Malmö by S-Bahn in just 20 minutes. But in times of flight shame , I would like to forego the short-haul flight . I used to travel many times by ship from Kiel and Rostock to Scandinavian countries. Why not take the night ferry across? And doesn’t Deutsche Bahn stop at a train station called Travemünde Skandinavienkai? Great, I choose the trip from Travemünde to Trelleborg. According to the timetable, it starts at 10 p.m. and arrives the next morning at 8 a.m. Then I have a whole day in southern Sweden at my disposal. “Where are we going to Helsinki?” When I get off the regional train at the Skandinavienkai stop in the evening, I’m to myself. Signs direct me through an underpass to a bus stop. A fence with a closed gate blocks the way to the harbor. By looking at the map I knew that there was still a long way to go to the ferry terminal with a bus. The area is anything but inviting. As darkness sets in, a young cyclist, heavily packed with saddlebags, is looking for the way to the terminal. “Where are you going to Helsinki here ?” Asks me, clearly desperate. She feels lost in this maritime no-man’s-land. We’ll find a way around the port area for you using your smartphone. According to the timetable, the bus from Travemünde-Strand in the direction of Lübeck city center should arrive soon. It’ll come at some point. I get on the overcrowded public bus for just one stop. The driver opens the port gate by remote control, drives past endless rows of parked containers, new cars and agricultural machines. In a few minutes I can get off at the ferry terminal and am amazed that my wheeled suitcase and I are the only ones far and wide. Doesn’t anyone take the ferry these days? Only those who travel by car or mobile home? Two friendly ladies greet me at the shipping company’s counter and hand me my boarding pass. “The driver of the shuttle to the ship is coming soon”, says one. A large bus pulls up in front of the rear entrance of the terminal in which I take a seat alone. Probably only I’m late, I think, the others are already on board. In the glaring light of the headlights, semitrailers race across the premises. The bus curves around caravan teams that want to Finland. The driver accelerates and drives over a ramp directly into the belly of the ship, which is so wide that he can easily make a 180-degree curve in it. “Take the left door, the right elevator is broken,” he advises me as I get out. The ship’s engines roar, there is a smell of diesel and truck exhaust fumes. Hipster and Instagram free zone A few decks higher, the number of passengers remains manageable. The majority are men in shorts with Adilettes on their feet. You go to the buffet on the right for “Truck Driver”. To the left are the other, mostly older couples, who particularly appreciate the self-service taps for beer and wine: some fill up several glasses at the same time and set them up in front of them. Is it still so dry in Sweden? What I like about this almost 20-year-old ferry: The product with food and cabin is honest and does without cruise frills. There is no romantic port excursion. Instead of 10 p.m., we don’t cast off until 12.30 a.m. The sea remains calm, the ship pleasantly quiet. We moor in Trelleborg exactly at 8 a.m. At the reception I ask which deck I can disembark from. There is no gangway here either. “Please wait here until you are picked up,” is the answer. First all vehicles have to disembark, then the shuttle can drive on board. I’m waiting. Alone. “You are the only passenger, on foot and without a car.” I’ll be the last to disembark. The routes of the big bus are even longer here than in Travemünde. How to scare off passengers A few days later, on my return trip, I find out firsthand why I am a lone perpetrator. This type of locomotion seems to me to have fallen out of time. I only walk five minutes from Trelleborg train station in Malmö to the port terminal. Departure to Travemünde also at 10 p.m. But there is no check-in counter on the Swedish side. After 6 p.m. there will be no counters here. Machines are only available for those who have already booked a ticket. The device spits out my cabin card without any problems. You will be picked up 30 minutes before departure. Then it’s time to wait. In the Hafenhaus there is neither wifi, a snack, nor a reference to toilets. The benches are made of hard wood. Outside, the articulated lorries speed past the window. There is another man in the hall with me. He sleeps on a sofa. He looks less like a passenger. But at least it’s dry here. . The buffet is cleared when you put it down And where should the shuttle bus leave? No scoreboard, no announcement, nothing. We’re not at an airport here. But then something happens that I no longer thought possible: At around 9:30 p.m. one of the glass doors opens. A man in orange overalls shouts a single word into the room. I beg your pardon? I go to him. But he is extremely taciturn and unfriendly. At least I can elicit from him that he is not looking for a person by name, but has just called Travemünde in Swedish. The second word he says is ticket – with a question mark. I show him my cardboard card that the machine had printed out. He turns around and just starts walking, I follow him to a city bus. He brings me into the ship, the deck of which is almost completely parked with trucks. I go to the stairwell on the right: the elevator is repaired and working. Great. I quickly roll my suitcase into the cabin. It is 9:50 p.m. when the ship suddenly vibrates. We cast off. I rush to the restaurant. But the buffet is already being dismantled. Bad luck if you are the last to be brought on board. What timing. Customers can be a nuisance. I feel like a traveler who uses the wrong mode of transport at the wrong time. But a double negative does not automatically turn into a yes. I now realize why I’m the only one again: Why is it made so difficult when you want to do without driving and flying?
People eat on land instead of on the ship and the excursions are anything but off the shelf: Intrepid, the world’s largest company for adventure travel, is also breaking new ground on the water. How much adventure there is actually in the announced Adventure Cruise, our author tested on the “Harmony G” Young faces laugh from the Intrepid website, the potential customer is talked about. “As a solo traveler, you share your accommodation with someone of the same sex.” That would be an innovative first for me. The average age of cruisers is just under 60 years. Do you really want to share your cabin at this age? Or will the passengers on the Adventure Cruise actually be younger? And what does “Adventure” actually mean in this case? Together with Heidi and Phil from Utah, I’m looking for the Greek yacht for a maximum of 42 passengers in the port of Málaga between large cruisers. The two twenties travel with trekking backpacks and say: “We could never go on a big ship on our first cruise.” But they have only had good experiences with the Australian tour operator Intrepid so far. Does the land philosophy also go on the water? Authentic experiences in small groups that travel sustainably – this is the goal of the world’s largest “Adventure Travel” company. The adventure consists in foregoing full board, using public transport as often as possible and sleeping in small hostels or even with private families. Tour leaders accompany the small groups on their way, although their task is more of an organizational nature. Now the company philosophy is to be transferred to the water. “Adventure Cruising” is the name of the company’s latest coup, which with this offer also wants to appeal to more holidaymakers from Europe. The principle of small groups also applies here: Intrepid charter ships for a maximum of 50 passengers and, unlike all other cruise operators, does not offer full boarding. The guests should eat in the destinations, which, according to Intrepid, is also a form of sustainability. The “Harmony G” trip is adventure light The saloon on board is slowly filling up. Nobody has to share a cabin, although that would certainly have been exciting. There is an above-average number of women traveling alone. A 33-year-old Mexican celebrates three premieres: She is traveling alone for the first time, in Europe and on a ship. And a 44-year-old newly divorced Australian overcomes her fear of the ship’s movement to have a new experience. For them the trip is probably really an adventure. Viewed objectively, however, the so-called Adventure Cruise from Intrepid is also a very sheltered form of travel. In almost all ports, passengers travel with their own coach, which runs parallel to the ship on land. And before they go hunting for their lunch alone in a city, the tour leaders offer an “Orientation Walk”. Sustainability as a leitmotif “Please remember: we are a sustainable travel company. Buy your souvenirs from small local shops and not from large chains ”, tour leader Fatima reminds her guests before they scatter in all directions. When the aluminum water bottle provided by the organizer is empty, I feel guilty while I fill it up with the contents of a plastic bottle. Avoiding plastic waste is just as much a part of the Intrepid principles as 100 percent climate compensation for all trips and offices on land. And while large ships have their supplies delivered to the pier by truck, hotel manager Yannis buys the food for the “Harmony G” fresh in the harbor. With 22 passengers and 17 crew members, he can just about manage it himself. The long-term goal is to build his own ships that use renewable energies such as solar power.
Experience Singapore in 36 hours – is that possible? Yes, if you limit yourself to the most important sights during a stopover in Singapore. We show what you have to see, including three 360-degree panoramas. Psst: 48 hours would be better If you fly to Australia, Bali or New Zealand with Singapore Airlines, it is best to extend the transfer time and refine the journey with a Singapore stopover for a city break. The Singapore Stopover Holiday (SSH) program makes it possible. From 33 euros per person there is a good hotel, bus transfer to and from the airport, free travel on the SIA hop-on bus and free entry to most of the major sights worth over 350 euros. It couldn’t be better. Marina Bay Sands Our Singapore stopover starts at the landmark of the boomtown. From the lush Sky Garden of the three-tower hotel at a height of 200 meters and from the 150-meter-long infinity pool you have a great view of the Singapore skyline. Unfortunately, only hotel guests are allowed to swim. MRT station: Bayfront Singapore Flyer The tall Ferris wheel was the tallest in the world until 2014. Worth seeing and experiencing and free for SSH customers, otherwise 22 euros. MRT station: Promenade Gardens by the Bay 50 meter high supertrees overgrown with climbing plants, which in the evening provide the backdrop for a sound & light show. Two ultra-modern greenhouses: Flower Dome (largest glass greenhouse in the world) and Cloud Forest. Entry to both “Conservatories” is free for SSH customers, otherwise it costs 18 euros. MRT station: Bayfront Colonial District There is always lively activity around the water-spouting stone sculpture of the Merlion (half lion, half fish). This is also where the excursion boats leave: On the Singapore River Cruise or on one of the Original Singapore Walks (one of five walks is free, otherwise 12 or 19 euros) you can feel the pulse of the colonial heart of the Glamor City: Cavenagh Bridge, Elgin Bridge , Empress Place Building, The Fullerton Hotel, statue of Sir Stamford Ra ﬄes and Clarke Quay. Or just stroll along the Singapore River on your own, from the party mile Clarke Quay to Robertson Quay and back. MRT station: City Hall Chinatown Lively streets with shops for Chinese stamps, silk clothes, lanterns, shops for Chinese medicine and dozens of restaurants. The “Yum Cha” is the perfect stop for dim sum. The pastel-colored facades from the 19th century are typical of the shophouse architecture of that era. Don’t miss the Chinatown Heritage Center, the Indian Sri Mariamman Temple, the Temple of the Toothed Buddha and the Thian Hock Keng Temple. MRT station: Chinatown
Portugal Travel Tips # 1 Get lost in Lisbon’s old town Welcome to Lisbon, Portugal’s eternal longing! No travel tips Portugal without the capital. Cosmopolitan and dilapidated down to every single brick. So graceful, so full of alleys that meander over hills trying to bring order to this rampant romance of walls and marble. A cloudless dream on the Tagus. The capital of light is a place of reverie and poetry. One would rather be unhappy here than happy, but without this view elsewhere. Fado already sings about it! Inferiority complexes of a proud seafaring state put into melodies and its high gloss, humbled by the earthquake. A sound of lament at the highest level. Lisbon cannot be reduced to its sights, the city is in between. Whoever gets lost in it is on the right path. Portugal Travel Tips # 2 The vast nothingness of the Alentejo In the vastness of the Alentejo, summer lovers can go on into autumn. Across golden fields on which lone green trees grow that can be seen from hotels that lack stars because so far south everyone is needed for the night sky. Everything gets better the further you go inland. More daring, more carefree. An environment that doesn’t ask for anything other than feeding happy cows. A cozy scent of cow shit that can relieve tension and one of the largest reservoirs in Europe, smooth as glass, suitable for days of boating and mooring and what you always wanted to say to each other. Portugal Travel Tips # 3 The giant waves of Nazaré Nazaré is beautiful and dark and heavy. Two hours by car north of Lisbon, it is due to a topographical natural phenomenon that is divided by a headland protruding into the ocean. On the one hand, Nazaré is a popular holiday destination with a fishing tradition. The tourists buy, the fishermen fish. Nothing new. On the other hand, the eighth wonder of the world wakes up in winter. A wave monster, a paradise for superlatives, which creates the biggest waves in the world at the end of the foothills of a huge deep sea trench. As soon as a low pressure area is approaching, the world elite of big wave surfers gathers between October and March and thousands of onlookers make the cliffs on the headland the largest big wave stadium in the world. Waves of up to 30 meters in height were measured here. For good money you can book the Nazaré Surfing Experience with world record holder Garrett McNamara. Portugal Travel Tips # 4 Rendezvous with Coimbra The former capital of the country – it should definitely not be missing from the travel tips Portugal – has everything a southern city needs to be beautiful: It is southern and it is beautiful. There are places with statues and cafes around them and 300 year old trees. The pigeons are aggressive in Milan and the yellow lantern light goes on in the steep streets of the old town after sunset. Coimbra is a proud World Heritage Site, despite the pigeons, it has even been the Capital of Culture. Joanne K. Rowling got her Harry Potter here. So actually she has him and his wizarding school Hogwarts from Porto, but the ones from Porto have them from Coimbra. The university in Coimbra is over 700 years old, one of the oldest and most beautiful in Europe. In Coimbra the people suffer from revolutionary precociousness, here the resistance against the Salazar regime formed as early as the end of the 1950s and from here literary movements set out to finally herald this damn modernity in the rest of the country. Portugal Travel Tips # 5 The most beautiful road in the country The Estrada Marginal is the most beautiful coastal road in the country and leads out of the heart of Lisbon towards the open sea, past the Jeronimos Monastery, very close to the Tejo, until it turns into the enchanted N224 in Cascais. It is one of the main traffic arteries that repeatedly suffers from a heart attack around the evening hours. Once you have left Cascais behind you, the sand turns into rocks that eventually become cliffs, between which a beach is squeezed every now and then, offering unbelievable panoramas that invite you to enjoy the view and to have rear-end collisions. Behind the surfer’s paradise Guincho, the Sintra Mountains rise proudly, which are surrounded by a royal national park and take the coastal road up to Cabo da Roca, mainland Europe’s westernmost point. It goes deep through a tropical, majestic vegetation that leaves romantic villages free and markets and seduces to drive on until its climax is reached: Sintra. On the way you should definitely go swimming at Praia da Ursa (parking at Cabo da Roca, a 15 to 20 minute walk). Portugal Travel Tips # 6 Arrábida, Portugal’s Garden of Eden Portugal is a proud woman who doesn’t let everyone get close to her. Protected by high temperatures and a rigid sensitivity that follows a bizarre collection of old-fashioned rules behind the linen shirt facade. Drunk with friendliness that is not needed for survival and closed like a dusty bottle of hard, homemade schnapps. Conversations lurk around every corner that lead nowhere and make you cheerful, until you think that life consists only of lunch breaks and good red wine. From fat olive oil mothers waving from large, romantically overgrown driveways whose gates lead across carefree avenues to the fulfillment of southern dreams. A life more curve than straight. Through a landscape that you always want to water. A car driving in the distance. Silent. Next to it a bay. A water color overflowing with the sea with boats on it, which suddenly falls off the cliffs as if it had hardly seen the coast coming. Ride a bike and eat cheese, water the roses and catch stunned trout in a clear stream, that’s Arrábida.