On the move in: Germany

BEST OF 2014 – SOUTHERN AFRICA, GERMANY, SWITZERLAND & ITALY

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New Year’s Eve at Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town (SA)

Usually I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve since I feel that expectations are often set too high, places are too crowded and everything is overpriced. But not this time. A relaxed picnic under the stars in a botanical garden with good friends and great music was the right way to begin a new year in style. Of course we also didn’t miss the chance to take a photo with Yoav, a talented Israeli/ South-African singer-songwriter pictured on the right.

Best of 2014

New year, new beginnings

My first flat share in Cape Town was great but at the end of the year, most of my friends went back home and I had to find a new accommodation anyways. So together with my good friend Alexa I moved to a new place. At peak times we were about fifteen people living together so there was always something going on. It definitely felt great coming home to a house filled with energy and like-minded people!

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A perfect summer day in January

My flatmates and I drove along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a 9km long scenic route between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, had gelato on the beach in Camps Bay and ended up at The Bay Hotel for a sundowner.

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The Rock

One evening, my friends showed me a very special place in Cape Town called “The Rock”. Probably not the official name but that’s just how we called it. As the name already suggests, it’s a magnificent viewpoint on a rock overlooking Camps Bay and the Clifton beaches. It’s not easy to find since it is located at the end of a street in a residential area but ever since, we sometimes came there in the evening, watched the sunset and had a picnic.

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Photo credit: Alexa Behrla

A night under the stars

There are days in your life that you will never forget about. Days when you feel purely happy. Days that you never want to end. As for me, two of these days took place in January 2014. Together with my roommates I spent a weekend at Kogel Bay, a 1.5h drive away from Cape Town. We set up our tents against an imposing mountain backdrop right next to the sea, smoked shisha with strawberry flavour, ate delicious food and simply enjoyed life. At night, we sat around the campfire with marshmallow sticks in our hand, talked about anything and everything and listened to the sound of the splashing waves. The moon was shining bright, the breeze was warm and we spent the night outside under the starry sky…

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Just like in heaven…

Watching the sunset from Table Mountain.

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Quality family time

Who I miss most when traveling is my family. Therefore, it has been simply amazing when my mum and godmother came to visit me in Cape Town and I could finally show them the beauty of South Africa. Apart from the Mother City we spent seven days exploring the beautiful Garden Route where we had the time of our lives. If you want to know more about our road trip, just read the following post: 7 Days Garden Route.

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Khayelitsha – an insight into a different culture

My two good friends Ax and Face were playing tour guide for my family and me in Khayelitsha which is one of the biggest townships in South Africa and means “new home” in the Xhosa language. I’ve already been there two times before but still it was very important to me that my family would also see this part of Cape Town since it is a place of extreme disparities and social differences. In my opinion, you have to see both sides to “understand” Cape Town. We visited formal and informal settlements, characterised by corrugated-iron shacks, talked to locals, attended a small private mass, went to a viewing platform and even tried a little bit of a sheepshead. Again, I was fascinated by the friendliness and hospitality of the people.

Brief remark: These two guys are working for a non-governmental organisation which is concerned with improving the living standards in Khayelitsha and give everything to make this township a better place. With their vitality and ambition for equality they really have inspired me and therefore became to role models for me who I look up to. 

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Unity Jam: Gentleman live in Cape Town

A relaxed day in the township of Langa listening to smooth reggae sounds of Gentleman and other talented artists. But note to myself: next time when standing first row and directly facing the artist, know the lyrics better. To be honest, it felt a little awkward just singing, respectively screaming made up words whereas everyone around me seemed to know the lyrics by heart. But all in all a great day which united people from all different kinds of cultures.

Best of 20143

A hike and a picnic with a view

I can’t count anymore how many picnics I already had in my life. I’m an absolute picnic fan! Nevertheless, this view over Hout Bay probably tops everything. This has been the best reward for an exhausting but wonderful hike with my friend Anna.

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A train ride to Kalk Bay

A day out with two of my colleagues from work. We arrived by train offering terrific views of the seaside, had lunch and explored the charming town of Kalk Bay. Our day ended at a cool Cuban bar/ restaurant.

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Jenman African Safaris – The best internship one can wish for

For 7.5 months I was an intern in the marketing and product department of a local tour operator. During this time I learned a lot and realised that I definitely want to work in the tourism industry later on. But not only did I gain insight into my future job, I also got to meet wonderful people. Even though the team at Jenman consisted of a high variety of different personalities, everyone shared the same passion for traveling and adventure. The picture below was taken on my last day – I was really touched that a lot of my colleagues took the time to have some farewell drinks together at night.

Neighbourhood (27.03.14) 5

From Cape Town to Johannesburg

Fortunately not too much time to be emotional about another chapter in live having ended. Gesa, a good friend from back home, came to Cape Town from where we set off on a two-week road trip along the Garden Route, Sunshine Coast, Wild Coast, South Coast, Durban to Johannesburg. In only two weeks we saw so many beautiful places in South Africa and that’s why I still want to write a post about it and share some more photos with you.

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Horseback riding on the beach

Back in my childhood days when I used to be the biggest horse fan alive (just like most girls in this age, right?), I said that one day I want to go horseback riding on a beach. A word and a blow – about fifteen years later my dream came true on the beach in Coffee Bay.

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A safari through Southern Africa

When you work for a tour operator, there comes a time when you finally want to try the product yourself. Especially when there are so many beautiful cultures and places to discover. For more than seven months I have been constantly writing and reading about Southern Africa – so it was about time. Therefore, at the end of my internship I decided to go on a safari tour called Southern Adventurer, highlighting Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, and it has been incredible. I still need to put this experience into words and will then dedicate a post to it.

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Hong Kong reunion in Germany

Katie, one of my best friends who I met two years ago while doing an exchange semester in Hong Kong, visited me in Germany last summer. It was amazing seeing her again and realising that nothing between us had changed during this time. Also my family and friends who had heard so much about Katie before, directly fell in love with her positive and outgoing personality.

Katie zu Besuch (27.-28.06.14) 5

Hitchhiking to Switzerland

Most days in summer were troubled with writing my bachelor thesis which felt like a neverending story to me. Only a few days after I’ve passed this freaking thesis as the last part of my four-year-long studies, I was desperate for another adventure. And so were my classmates and good friends Michi and Tim. Since we all were on a very tight budget, we decided to hitchhike to Switzerland to earn some money and realise our travel plans in 2015. It was a real adventure to hitchhike more than 500km with three people and a lot of luggage but after one day we arrived at our desired destination. If you want to know how we did it, just have a look at the following post: Hitchhiking to Switzerland.

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One weekend in Lugano (CH)

Hitchhiking was not only our preferred means of transportion to get to Switzerland but also to travel within the country. The best trip we had was our weekend in Lugano which is located in the South in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. The first night we slept in our sleeping bags right next to Lake Lugano where we were woken up by some upset police officers. What happened after that you can read here: One weekend in Lugano.

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Breakfast in Italy

A spontaneous and perfect weekend getaway at Lago Maggiore in Italy and a last glimpse of summer.

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A day high in the mountains

When we had a day off from work, my colleague Liana and I used the opportunity to visit Jungfraujoch (3471m), also called Top of Europe. The view up there was breathtaking. On our way down we had a stopover at Kleine Scheidegg at the restaurant where we are working and enjoyed some hot Glühwein in the outdoor tent. The picture below was also taken there.

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Well, this was 2014… Happy New Year to all of you!

(Read more: Best of 2013 – Hong Kong, Germany & South Africa)

About author

Jacky

I’m Jacky, a 27-year old globetrotter from Germany. However, I usually can be found almost anywhere but in my country of birth. Until not long ago I was on an important mission in Australia to chase the sun, adventures, good chats, unforgettable moments and the beauty of this world.
Moreover, I’m a hippie at heart, recently did my yoga teacher training in India and just love to bury my nose in a good book. I’m mostly exploring countries on a low budget and often can be found with a colourful sign and a big smile in my face on the side of the road, trying to hitchhike from A to B.
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