• Indien

    Mit dem heiligen Valentin zur Massage

    Ayurvedischer Massagesalon: Alle Fliesen verlegt!

    Eine ayurvedische Massage zum Valentinstag! Das ist doch mal was, oder? Nicht, dass das Datum irgendeine Rolle spielen würde in Indien. Aber als Nomadin in Asien feiert man die Feste eben wie sie fallen. Letzte Woche Tumpek Landep in Bali, nächste Woche Maha Shivaratri in Rishikesh. Heute halt die Geschichte mit dem Heiligen Valentin. Es fängt gut an. Die Massagefrau erkennt mich wieder. Voller Herzlichkeit begrüßt sie mich, hält lange meine beiden Hände und schaut mich prüfend an. „Wie geht es Dir?“ Die Frage ist nicht unberechtigt und die Begrüßung vielleicht nicht selbstverständlich. Immerhin habe ich ihr vor zwei Jahren, als ich zur Hochzeit meiner Freundin Christine an…

  • Indien,  Human Encounters

    Climbing the Fence


    It’s 6 o’clock in the morning and the receptionist of the Indian beach resort promises to get the gate towards the waterfront opened upon my apparently unusual request for beach access at that time of day. Now? Now. Like we discussed yesterday already. Some of my guests want to enjoy the early morning hour by the sea observing the fishermen coming back with their catch. While I’m strolling the couple minutes which are needed to cover the distance between reception and beach I figure the guard located directly beachside might have done his job by the time I get there. But something tells me, that he and I…

  • Indien

    Hiking in the Western Ghats

    Most people think of the venerable Himalayas when they think of hiking in India. They travel to Dharamshala, Ladakh maybe Sikkim. But Mama India has many a national park which invites the avid nature lover to incredible adventures. Lovers of a somewhat warmer and more humid climate can now head south and explore the forests and mountains of the Western Ghats. It’s Cardamon Hills, Shola Cloud Forest and quite a few well-kept Bird Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves. Look out for wild elephants, sambar deer, black panther, wild dogs, wild boars, monkey, langurs, wild cats, a plethora of delightful sounding birds and most of all the protector of the…

  • Indien

    Backwater Colours

    Warding off Evil

    Kerala’s 900 kilometers of backwaters appear like an ink drawing in the early morning. There is a sweet quiet around the palm trees by the water. Quiet and lifely at the same time. The rivers, canals and lakes near the Arabian Sea are to this day the lifeline of the local people. They are waterways for transportation, place for the morning shower and the laundry, location for fishing and playing. Take a small boat for an overnight trip and read “The God of Small Things” by Keralan author Arundhati Roy while you cruise. ?

  • Indien

    Eye-boggling dance

    Kathakali dance drama is a pretty impressive art form of Kerala. The performers – traditionally only men – are dancers, but at the same time mimes with a truly incredible ability to express human experience in gesture and facial expression. It’s like an elaborate sign language combined with full body control and presence. For at least five years the artists undergo a rigorous training, of which the physical part involves learning to control the muscles of eye balls, eye brows, eye-lids, lips, neck and shoulder to narrate their story in a larger than life manner. They also train to apply the artistic make-up signifying different shades of character…

  • Indien

    Afternoon Stroll Fort Cochin

    Chinese Fishing Nets

    Taking an afternoon stroll through Fort Cochin, Kerala, India. “You go to Cochin?!?!” asked a couple of airport staff in Mumbai incredulously. Probably still having the deadly floods of August in their minds. It was the worst flood in a century and took a heavy toll on the Southern Indian state. Tourism has still not recovered. But people down here are mostly back to business. And the scenery is beautiful. Check it out when you travel South India the next time.

  • Indien

    Indian Wedding Plus

    Eleven days in incredible India. I’ve seen incredible beauty (my favourite picture of the bride: Chris Tine. Ah! ?). And there was splendour and totally exaggerated décor of course. And Love actually! Deep, deep – couples, parents, friends, people, random. Yummy. And pure heart-felt friendliness like the unknown neighbour offering me support and a ride, when I had this long-lasting intimate date with my toilet bowl instead of wearing a sari dancing on the main wedding party. Or my taxi driver well-known for the most erratic monkey mind of all, who ended up being the one who held my hand very patiently when we eventually drove to the…

  • Indien

    From Bridge to Bridge

    My favourite walk along the river Ganges in Rishikesh: starting on top of Lakshman Jhula in Tapovan, going all the way down and crossing the first of the two bridges named after the famous brothers of Indian mythology; then continuing through the hustle and bustle of the touristy bit of town, coming into the far end of Ram Jhula with all its ashrams, following Ganga Ma until the crossing of the second bridge is possible, lastly continuing to the burning ghats and have a moment of contemplation there.