Alle Beiträge von Eva Fischer

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18.02.2020 First Nations and the state. Until the 1970s(!) children of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were forcibly taken away from their families by the state to assimilate them into the white community. They are known as the Stolen Generation. Native Australians were first included in the census in 1967 – before that they were not counted as members of the nation's population, but allegedly regarded as part of the flora and fauna. European s.ettlers arrived, declared the territory 'terra nullius', uninhabited land, and started to divide it between themselves. In some instances, the new arrivals did try to trade and make deals with the natives, who they thought must be in a position to sell or give them some land. What the colonists did not understand, however, is that in the indigenous way of thinking land cannot be possessed, and thus not sold or handed over among human beings. Australia is another place where the indigenous people were misunderstood, disregarded and treated inhumanely in the past. Today, the First Nations flag and indigenous art are visible everywhere. Guides start their tours by paying respect to the traditional owners of the land they are standing on. Things have improved, and some wrongs have been righted. Nevertheless, Aborigines are still fighting for recognition, equality and wellbeing today. During our short stay in Australia's capital Canberra we visited the national parliament and walked through the wide greens and parks around it. Several objects in Parliament House and monuments in the park remind visitors of the almost extinct cultures and Australia's dark history. #scoutbound #australia #canberra #parliament #firstnations #aborigines #stolengeneration #reconciliationplace #capital #flag #flags

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16.02.2020 Water wonderland. Three days ago, we left Sydney for Katoomba, a little township in Blue Mountains National Park which is usually only a comfortable two-hour direct train ride away from the city. However, the heavy rainfalls that we had witnessed in other places had caused floodings and landslides and also damaged the railway line out there, which is why passengers now have to change to buses at some point. Sitting spectacularly close to the edge of a huge, forest-filled canyon, Katoomba is a vibrant little place with quaint bars and cafes, numerous outdoor shops, and an impressive arts scene. And just outside the town there is a dense network of scenic walking trails that make outdoor enthusiasts' hearts pound. They combine boardwalks, sandy and rocky tracks, over- and undercliff walks with bridges, stepping stones and stairs. Hiking there means walking between fragrant eucalyptus trees, taking in stunning views of impressive rock formations and endless green forests from one of the countless lookouts, spotting birds and lizards in the bush, and, above all things, seeing some amazing waterfalls.  We did not get to freely choose a route, as some trails were closed due to flood damage, but we eventually followed the Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Katoomba Falls and Leura Cascades on our first full day and hike around Wentworth Falls the second. Locals informed us we were actually lucky to see the waterfalls at that precise moment in time, because they were bigger and prettier than ever with all that extra rainwater. And apart from these enormous, literally jaw-dropping wonders of nature, there were puddles, streamlets and inviting pools all along the way.  Today we visited the highly interesting portrait galleries and the World Heritage Exhibition at the Blue Mountain Cultural Centre before saying goodbye to our charming hosts from Nepal, and Katoomba. Next stop: the capital. #scoutbound #austalia #katoomba #bluemountains #waterfall #auntyeds #streetart #bushwalk #scouts #dpsg

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13.02.2020 Sydney sightseeing. It was around midnight and after a six-hour journey that our intercity coach entered an urban area and eventually crossed a steel bridge. When, down below, we suddenly caught sight of the world-famous sails of the illuminated Opera House, we knew we had reached Sydney, and were just travelling across equally iconic Harbour Bridge. Of course we were quite eager to go and explore the city the next day – however, all those plans were upset by the weather. It had been raining again and again since Friday, but on Sunday, it was coming down in sheets all day, supposedly unlike anything Sydney had seen in 30 years. We stayed in our hostel for most of the day and only ventured out in the evening for some groceries, still in the pouring rain, wading through ankle-high puddles and past overflowing drains. Thankfully, the sky had cleared up the next day and so we could set out for three days of sightseeing. It was great to see the Opera House and other monuments from close up and stroll through the parks and different quarters, some historic, some very modern. Our personal highlights were the large model of the city displayed at Customs House, the refreshing water park in Darling Quarter, a guided tour through the indigenous art section in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a shipwreck walk, as well as a visit to the area that hosted and still commemorates the Olympic Summer Games in 2000. It was fun to look for famous names at the medallist memorial; and we also had our little moment of triumph as part of the winning team at our hostel's quiz night – cheers to our three teammates from England! Going places in Sydney is very easy as there is a dense network of tram, train, bus and ferry lines, and instead of buying tickets, passengers can simply tap on and off with their credit cards. Also, transport will never cost more than about ten euros a day, and on Sundays the cap is as low as two euros. One more reason why this afternoon, we are going to embark on a little side trip and travel to the Blue Mountains by train. #scoutbound #austalia #sydney #harbourbridge #opera #sydneyoperahouse #sydneyolympicpark #artgallerynsw #shipwreck #brickpit

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04.02.2020 Seaside fun and surfing. Beautiful long beaches, surfing hotspots, unique wildlife and nature, sunshine all day long: These are some of the things that come to our mind when thinking about Australia. So after visiting Brisbane we happily moved on from the bustling big city life to the airier seaside, with nice beaches and the opportunity to give surfing a go. On our way south we hopped off the bus in a place called Surfers Paradise and stayed in Mermaid Beach with Vivian and Roberto, a Brasilian couple who moved there for work just one year ago. We relaxed some days at the beach, strolled through the night market, went for sunset runs and had a Brasilian barbecue, called churasco, with our temporary flatmates. We did not try surfing, however, until we arrived in Byron Bay, where we have now been for the past four days. Byron Bay has numerous beaches, some with bigger waves and others with moderate and rather predictable waves that are perfect for the first surf lessons. So we enjoyed learning, and we really liked the vibe of Byron Bay in general. It is a typical surfers' town with a lot of buskers, art shops, yoga schools, 'green' shops, outdoor markets, cafes, bars, places to chill out, and of course beaches. At one of them we had an awesome silent disco evening, dancing in the sand and the ocean under a sky of stars. Today is the first day of rain since we arrived in Austalia, but the poor weather makes leaving Byron Bay a little bit easier. Tomorrow we are going to take the bus to Port Macquarie, probably our last stop before Sydney, always keeping our eyes open for more of the things we associate with Australia. #scoutbound #australia #australien #surfersparadise #goldcoast #mermaidbeach #miamimarketta #byronbay #surfing #lighthouse #busker #poolboy

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22.01.2020 Bye-bye boat life. Our two weeks aboard Carola have come to an end, and we will definitely miss our fellow crew members and the awesome times we had with the gang. Thanks to Jo, our marvellous captain, who is an excellent teacher that soon trusted her crew enough to let us do most of the steering, trimming and tacking during the day. And on top of this, she treated us to freshly baked bread rolls now and then, and played the violin for us! When sailing, there was always time to read and chat, play games and take naps, and in the mornings and evenings we could relax in the hammock, go for walks, runs and swims, or give the paddleboard a go. Grocery shopping was always something out of the ordinary, as we did not do it often and stocked up for many days at a time, taking heaps of provisions back to the boat in our inflatable dinghy. In Marsden Cove marina, we gave our floating home a thorough cleaning, installed a bigger front sail and wind cups, completed a couple of other maintenance jobs and also did some laundry, with our clothes drying on long lines on deck. We used the marina's shower facilities and even decided to give some crew members a new haircut, making both Carola and everyone aboard sparkling clean from keel to mast. Yesterday we vacated our berth bed on Carola for new crew, Maude and Silvain from Switzerland. We are now staying with Micha on Pantagruel, enjoying two extra days on sea, and more wildlife encounters: This morning, on our way to Kawau Island, we came across a large school of dolphins! It was simply breathtaking to see these beautiful animals jump around and swim with our boat for at least an hour. And during a walk on Kawau we spotted wallabies, hopping through the bush as if to foreshadow our next adventure: a short side trip to Australia! #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #neuseeland #sailing #yacht #pantagruel #carola #dolphins #kawau #crew #dpsg

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19.01.2020 Nature by boat. Travelling on sailing yacht Carola gives us the chance to enjoy a bit of New Zealand's coast and its unique wildlife from the sea. As we sail, we encounter plenty of seabirds, fish and jellyfish, and we are constantly looking out for penguins, dolphins and whales. On a day of little wind and high waves, Pantagruel's captain Micha invited all of us to join him and his crew on a day trip to Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. These rocky islands are covered in thick green woods and have been declared a bird sanctuary, so people are not allowed to set foot there. It was a lot of fun to dive and snorkel there and explore the islands' rugged shores and water-filled caves with our dinghies. On our way back to the mainland, we finally spotted something bigger than a kingfish or a seagull: a shark, right next to our boat! A few days later we anchored in a bay outside Marsden Cove marina and went for a hike around the cape. The footpath we followed is part of the Te Araroa trail spanning the entire country from north to south. Our walk took us through the bush, along a rocky hillcrest, up to giddy heights offering stunning views across the peninsula and the ocean, and then down to a picture-perfect beach. We went for a very refreshing swim in the waves and relaxed in a warm, salty puddle the retreating tide must have created there. #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #neuseeland #sailing #yacht #pantagruel #carola #dinghy #teararoa #oceanbeach #snorkeling #hiking #cave #crew #beach #jellyfish #poorknights #dpsg

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13.01.2020 Sailing in the Bay of Islands. Only five days ago we did not know more than a couple of words of sailing vocabulary in German, and none in English, but yesterday we were already part of the crew of Sailing Yacht Pantagruel in the Russell Tall Ship Regatta. Pantagruel is a 100-year-old boat, built in Hamburg, and owned by Micha. It was confiscated during WW2 to serve as a training boat for the Hitler Youth, after the war it went to Poland as a training boat and 23 years ago it came back to Germany. Last year Micha and Joanna crossed the Atlantic and Pacific to take Pantagruel to New Zealand. Thanks to Micha for the invitation to come aboard for the Regatta. Our temporary home is Carola, Jo's own boat, a little 12.6-meter one-mast yacht that sleeps up to six people. The day we joined her, right after the Jamboree, Captain Jo picked up an entirely new crew. So now there are Maike from Germany, Marc from Spain, Andrea from Italy, the two of us and of course Jo from Great Britain. Some of us already have sailing experience, and through Jo's brilliant teaching we quickly learn about hoisting and trimming the sails, manoeuvring the boat and navigation. In the first few days we already got to know our co-sailors pretty well and had a lot of fun, for example at the yacht club party after the regatta, which included a hangi, where food is cooked in the ground in traditional Maori manner, and live music. We are going to enjoy ten more days of life on sea with our crew, cruising around the Bay of Islands and then heading south along the east coast near Whangarei. #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #neuseeland #sailing #bayofislands #russell #yacht #tallship #hangi #pantagruel #dpsg

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07.01.2019 Impressions from Jamboree. Yesterday evening we represented Germany at the closing ceremony, and today we are leaving the big scout camp with lots of new ideas and great memories. Our job with the food distribution team was good fun, and when we were not at the warehouse, we walked around the site and tried to take in as many impressions as possible. We had a look at activity bases, the welfare tent and creation stations. We attended the international evening stage show and were amazed by dances from Pacific Island Nations. In big marquees we learned about camp cuisine, the pedagogical programme of Scouts New Zealand, the national scouting museum and the badge trade business, which Kiwi scouts are totally crazy about. For this Jamboree, there were about 250 different troop badges, day badges, activity badges and more to collect and swap, and so the streets between subcamps could get very busy with kids looking at what others had to offer and negotiating good deals. Walking around the individual camps was probably the most interesting thing to us, as we could spot many clever things like bike-powered washing machines, camp kitchens in trailers, or really creative (and often illuminated) camp gates, and of course have nice chats. Among the lovely people we met were Shannon, a Wellington leader who went to the post office there and collected a parcel for us, Duncan, who agreed to take most of our camping gear to Christchurch and store it for a while, and Bruce, who taught us how to handle a digger and is now giving us a ride to Auckland. Shouts to all (tired but happy) Jamboree attendees out there, and especially to the scouts helping us and our gear go places! #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #neuseeland #jamboree #dpsg #mystery2020 #scouts #nz22 #scoutsnz #mystery #camp #washingmachine #zipline

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06.12.2019 Challenging crossings.  Maybe it was in reaction to our quick departure from the capital that on our way to the ferry terminal the winds and rains blew us through Wellington's streets with full force and put our waterproof gear to the test. We could definitely have spent more time in this city, but there will probably be more occasions in the future and we were simply eager to move on to the South Island. Taking the ferry on a stormy day is perhaps a bit risky, and the waves were quite impressive indeed on the high seas of Cook Strait, which did not agree with all passengers' stomachs. Luckily we were fine and could fully enjoy the 3.5-hours crossing to Picton, which offered stunning views once our ship reached the much calmer sounds and bays in the northeast of the South Island. We spent the night in Picton, treating ourselves to an evening bath in our hostel's open air jacuzzi, and then cycled on to a charming DoC campsite in the green forests of Marlborough, a region known for its wines. Unfortunately, we had to take a longer detour, as the scenic route we had wanted to take was closed due to a landslide. At the campsite, we got to know David from Switzerland, who cycles the world on a hybrid trike powered by solar panels mounted on an aluminum trailer. Meeting him in person was a bit like coming across a mythical creature out in the wild, as some of our Warmshowers hosts had accommodated him before and already told us about him and his unique way of travelling. The next day a real challenge was waiting for us, when we set out on the conquest of Mangatapu Saddle via a steep and difficult gravel track of the same name. With rough trails, demanding climbs, steep downhill sections and streams to wade through, this crossing was quite an adventure, and getting both of us and our heavily loaded bikes to Nelson on this route required a real team effort. #scoutbound #neuseeland #nz #newzealand #nelson #bluebridge #ferry #picton #jacuzzi #mangatapu #solarbikes #vineyard #trees #landslide #sunbeam #warmshowers #couchsurfing #scouts #dpsg #worldbycycling

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