Before setting off on a journey to foreign latitudes, a general plan of action seems a reasonable idea. When time and funds are limited, the most has to be made of both. The aim is an agreeable cocktail of experiences upon whose long-lasting effect individual memories and emotions can foster. Sometimes even carefully charted programmes are missing a vital link. One that takes travellers back into a country’s historical and political past, grim as it may have been. Then it will be understood why the past is inseparable from the present and the future and why landmarks such as Joburg’s Constitution Hill epitomise the lifeblood of an entire nation.
Reading time: about 5 minutes
No tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll
In the history of man’s evolution, „up the tree – and quickly!“ seemed a splendid option when it came to escaping from all sorts of bloodthirsty evil inadvertently popping up from nowhere. In order not to be devoured, predominantly benign early humans, hunting and gathering relentlessly, just followed their instinct. Enabled by helpful tools shaped from stone, hammered from bronze or cast from iron in later ages, the long-hatched dream of a safe permanent dwelling high up a tree did come true. Second best to the cosiness of easily defendable caves, the properly fastened tree-house offered lofty shelter, an ideal lookout for invaders and food protection from voracious scavengers – whereby the odd poisonous snake or spider moving in unasked had to be tolerated.
Reading time: about 3 minutes
China’s Kazakh minority preserving culture
Chinese Kazakh eagle hunters ride with their eagles during a local competition in January, 2015 in the mountains of Qinghe County, Xinjiang, northwestern China. The festival, organised by the local hunting community, is part of an effort to promote and grow traditional hunting practices for new generations in the mountainous region of western China that borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The training and handling of the large birds of prey follows a strict set of ancient rules that Kazakh eagle hunters are preserving for future generations. (Photos by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images, introduction: Qinghe, Xinjiang/China)
Reading time: about 1 minute
The 10,000 Island Dolphin Project
Naples, Marco Island & the Everglades are known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. In 2014, the destination facing the Gulf of Mexico, was assigned theTripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands Award, as being the Top Island in the US of A – and the fourth on the prime list worldwide. Local dedication to a special mission may well have influenced the jury’s decision.
Reading time: about 3 minutes
The Niederwald Monument – another Statue of Liberty
Her body mass index may cause reason for concern: at a height of 12,35 metres and a weight of 32 tonnes, she may well be considered obese. Any serious physician would long have thrown in the towel over a patient so negligently indulgent as to tolerate an unbelievable BMI of 210! In Germania’s case, she’s innocent. She was designed as a symbol of prowess and was thus cast in virtually indestructible iron bronze – to make her last forever. Planning and building phases together took twelve years.
Reading time: about 2 minutes