Month: May 2013

Celebrating Sir Edmund Hillary who became to be the first person on top of the world…. exactly sixty years ago today!

Apart from my brother’s birthday there’s another historic event which deserves my attention today: the first ascent of Mt Everest (this blog is supposed to be about Mountains in the end!) When looking at the date you’ll see that it is exactly sixty years ago today that someone ever made it to the top of Mt Everest. And while Europeans, especially the British who had first calculated Mt Everest to be the world’s tallest mountain, were secretly dreaming of being the first ones on top of the world it was a Kiwi who became the first person on Mt Everest. Big day over here in New Zealand! And what a coincidence that I found out all of this today! Here’s how that happened: I was supposed to meet someone at Auckland Museum today and only got a message that he wouldn’t make it when I was already there (Shame on you when you read this, Rhys!). Making the best of the situation I decided to have a look at the building while I was already …

Happy Birthday, big brother!

One great thing here in New Zealand is that we’re always a bit ahead of time. Being already 29 May down here in Auckland I’m very lucky to be the hopefully first one to congratulate my big brother to his 34th Birthday. (Think I managed just in time before European midnight when probably his adorable girlfriend thinks she’s the lucky first congratulate.) Let me tell you one of two things about my big brother Tom: He indeed is a very big brother – as in terms of very tall (almost two meters!) but also being the greatest big brother one can imagine. I was lucky to grow up with him by my side, him being four and a half years older and always the protective big brother I needed. Whenever I look at pictures from our childhood I often find him hugging me, holding my hand or in any other way making sure I was fine (and looking into the camera). I always looked up to him – not only because of his height but …

Winter has arrived in New Zealand

As you might have seen from my beach pictures New Zealand had greeted me in a friendly way last week – with temperatures around 20 degrees and perfect t-shirt and jandal weather. Just when I started liking the idea of a mild winter Kiwi winter showed its real face and hit Auckland last night with a terrible storm and freezing cold temperatures. According to radio the peak temperature measured in Auckland today was 6.8 degrees Celsius. (Not that this would be really tough for me but did I mention there’s neither heating system nor insulation…?) Google News is full of weather coverage today and there seem to have been roads closed on both islands, snow falls down to sea level and power cuts in and around Auckland. Luckily, I wasn’t really affected by that over here – only concern were cold feet. In desperate need of really warm socks I headed to the close-by mall – wearing 1 long-sleeved merino shirt 1 Odlo thermal skiing jumper 1 fleece jumper 1 down jacket 1 rain jacket my …

The day I learned that dogs are not actually able to nod…

First thing I did last week after my arrival – apart from falling asleep on the couch – was going down to Piha which is a lovely beach-side  township at New Zealand’s west coast. Lonely Planet introduces Piha with these words: If you notice an Auckland surfer dude with a faraway look, chances are they’re daydreaming about Piha… or just stoned. This beautifully rugged, iron-sand beach has long been a favourite for refugees from the city’s stresses – whether for day trips, weekend teenage parties or family holidays. The view of the coast as you drive down Piha Road is spectacular. Last year when we first drove down to Piha it was already dark and we had no clue what an amazing view we missed but this time I got a picture on the way down. The big rock right at the beach is called Lion Rock – you can clearly see where that name comes from in the evening when the plants on the rock transform into a giant “mane” glowing in the sunset. …

The joy of doing something new: Fitness boot camp

To me, one of the greatest things about being in a completely new environment, where no one knows me is that it is so much easier to try new stuff that I wouldn’t usually do in my home environment. My personal goal over here is to do something new every day and today it was taking part in a fitness boot camp for the first time. Of course when it was about time to get there my inner self found hundreds of reasons why staying in a warm dry home was a way better idea than getting out into the rain but I convinced my feet to put on their trainers and move. And how much that was worth it! Just imagine Kiwis of all sizes and backgrounds sharing the experience of  pushing themselves to their physical limits. The class is exactly as you would imagine it: A military style instructor who’s incredibly well-trained and fit, shouting out exercises, counting down seconds to go, always adding a couple more seconds when you think you’re close …

What I’ve been busy with last week…

It’s been a while since I last posted and I feel terribly ashamed for leaving you guys in the unknown – especially during the first week after my arrival, where you might be most curious about things going on over here. Believe it or not I’ve been quite busy and among the many things I could share with you are… pictures from the many beaches around here that I’ve visited last week and how I am always blown away by the beauty of this country. why you should never, never ever, let the blonde dog off her leash on a black sand beach when you’ve just been giving her a good wash. pictures from some of the many bush walks in the Waitakere Ranges and getting ridiculously dirty in Kauri forest mud. Any why there are cleaning sprayers provided at the entrance and exit of each bush track. how I ended up meeting a crazy Canadian Oscar winner and hearing about the daily struggles of a Visual Effects artist while composing a film scene of dwarfs …

Fear of Travel.. It is in your Mindset..!!

Originally posted on The Lost Lander:
Agoraphobia is considered the most incapacitating of anxiety disorders. To be more precise- The fear of travelling ALONE.. It is all in your mindset.. What do you think will happen to you if you go out alone? You will die of a road accident or a plane crash..? A bunch of trouble makers will harm you..? A group of bad men will molest you..? People… Get a life.!!  You need to just come out of your frame of mind.. Harm can be caused to you anytime. What will you do if the ground beneath your house sunk in.? What would you do if a bunch of people barged into your home with clubs and hoses ? Your trusted neighbor of several years might knock at your door for all wrong reasons one day.. Or what if your best friend / family member is battling for life in a distant place.. Will you still step back to remain in the safe confines of your home? You ain’t doing anything worthwhile with your life if…