Iceland

Stop 1 on our summer vacation.

Well, we questioned the word “summer” very shortly after arriving at Keflavik airport. It was about 8 degrees outside, blowing 45 knots of wind and felt more like the middle of arctic winter than summer. But it was still bright light outside at 1am. Very weird!

We did not have that much time in Iceland, so we limited our endeavors to  Reykjavik only. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, there was plenty to see and do: little colorful houses everywhere, new candy to try, good coffee to drink, a monstrous cement church, cold bachelor party habits, nice architecture and a very scenic surrounding!

Next time we bring warmer clothes and a bit more time!

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Goodbye Berlin!

It was nice being home over the holidays, visiting friends and family.
And while it’s always sad to leave home, it turns it even more bittersweet with a sky like this.

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Why I jump

Trying to explain why I skydive is difficult. Especially to people who have never jumped. Most people think you are crazy, others assume you have a death-wish, and some think it is cool.

But nobody associates attributes like “relaxing” or even “peaceful” with it. But it actually is. Skydiving has a very calming routine to it: checking your gear, putting on your suit, parachute, helmet, googles and altimeter, riding the plane up, enjoying the view and going through the upcoming jump before your inner eye. Last checks before you get to the door and I am out in freefall.

If I jump by myself I generally watch the plane disappear from my view before turning back on my belly. Freefall is not simply “falling like a rock”. You can turn, roll over, fly forward or back, sit up, go head down, whatever you can think of. Apart from going back up you can do anything. It is amazing.

Obviously there is the point where you need to open your parachute and things become more restricted, but still – you are flying. It can be a bit bumpy when it is windy, but generally it is a smooth motion, fairly quiet and a lot of fun!

Apparently I am not the only skydiver who feels like that and some guys who are much better in flying and filming than myself put together a really nice video. 11mins worth watching!

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Namibia – the pictures

Finally, I sorted through all my pictures taken in Namibia and here are a few.

Enjoy!

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Namibia!

Before my trainee program comes to an end and I will eventually get a chance to settle down (at least somewhat), I travelled to Namibia in January.

Even though I stayed for nearly two months, I did not get a chance to travel the country appropriately, but what I saw was so amazing I will come back!

Getting to Walvis Bay, where we would conduct a shipyard on one of our rigs, was a little adventure in itself. From Paris I flew to London, from there to Johannesburg and stopped again in Windhoek – Namibias capital. I had to stay overnight, as there is only one flight a day to Walvis Bay. When I arrived on a Sunday afternoon I was surprised, almost shocked, to find the city entirely deserted. I had planned to look for a bustling café, have a drink, watch people, and indulge myself into a new culture, but I was being disappointed. All I managed to get was some ice cream at a Mc Donald’s like restaurant. Instead I went for a stroll, stopped along the train station, the Namibian National Museum (closed as well…), and a very German rooted church.

German roots can be seen all over Windhoek, not much of a surprise as Namibia was a German colony from 1884 to 1915, but it felt odd nevertheless. Walking down the streets clustered with shops having German names, logos, and stereotypical German products was a very different experience to me. I was in southern Africa and the obvious German influence just felt out of place to me. The next morning when the city was suddenly back to normal – cars, noise, and people everywhere – it struck me again. Quite a few people were talking German on the streets, newspapers, radio stations, etc… One might think it would make me feel more at home, but it did the opposite and certainly took some getting used to.

In Walvis Bay though the German influence was minimal. Apart from Sülze and German newspapers being sold at the supermarket it was predominantly influenced by South Africa and therefore mostly Afrikaans-speaking. Swakopmund, about 35km north of Walvis Bay on the other hand is very German…

But most importantly Swakopmund is the home of Namibia’s only fun jumper oriented dropzone! More of that in a later post…

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Isle of Skye

Back in September 2012 Birthe, Elena, Felix and myself rented a campervan to explore the Isle of Skye. What I always thought of a “old people way of traveling” proofed to be the best way to get around Skye.

There is nothing better than a storm coming up, cold wind gusting and rain pouring down – while you are sitting in the camper enjoying the spectacular outside and making yourself a cuppa ;)

See for yourself!

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