Trongsa, BhutanTrongsa, BhutanNew

Trongsa – travelling back in time into a valley going crazy

I saw excitement, sparkling eyes and at the same time a reverent expression in the face of our guide Tenzin, when he spoke to a local monk in a monastery at the entry of the Trongsa Valley. It was joy, but not just joy. Maybe a little similar to a small boy waiting at Christmas Eve to be allowed to see the tree with all the candles and the strong believe that Santa is about to bring some presentsโ€ฆ

The big excitement: the blessing

So what was this all about? โ€œA blessing is being held at the Dzong tomorrow.โ€ was the explanation. โ€œIs this blessing something special to the people?โ€ I wanted to know. โ€œYes, very special! The monk is very famous. There will be a lot of people. It will be difficult to park the car.โ€ Difficulties to park the car seems to be a global topic, even in a remote valley in Bhutan. โ€œNo problem at all to walk. Will it still be possible to visit the Dzong then?โ€. Since the Bhutanese people are very open to visitors, it did not seem to be any problem at all. So we were curious.

The next morning, the atmosphere was somehow busy but at the same time very calm and patient.

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BhutanBhutan

Happiness – one-word description of peoples attitude in Bhutan

While many other cultures are steered along the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator for the development of the country, Bhutan takes a little bit a different approach.

Of course people in Bhutan are also motivated by and keep an eye on their financial situation, but overall many more factors are taken into account. Both on small scale by everybody individually as well as by the government.

First of all you can really see a feeling of belonging together between people on the streets, much more than in our western cultures. There is only a small number of people in the world speaking Zhongka (the local laguage) making conversations between each other a little different and makes them “special”, but its not only that…

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Thimphu FestivalThimphu Festival

Bhutanese festivals – THE yearly event for everyone in the valley

A buzzing atmosphere full of colors, smiling people, excitement to meet others, almost endless dances and music full of mystical aspects.

We were lucky to be in town while the Thimphu festival – one of the biggest in Bhutan – was on. Apparently the Tshechu is like Christmas, Easter and a city festival together for the Bhutanese living in the Thimphu valley. Months in advance people plan what they are going to wear. New clothes are being made. On the day itself, kids are often sent in the very early morning to reserve a place for the family, because literally EVERYBODY will go there, watch, meet and enjoy.

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Arrival in BhutanArrival in Bhutan

Bhutan – First Glimpse and the reason why we decided to go

Bhutan โ€“ the country, not the gas *smiley smiling* . But where exactly is it? And wasnโ€™t it a country which does not let travelers in, or only a limited number? How can you communicate there โ€“ the national language is Dzongkha. Only 237 000 people (less than the population of Bonn) speak it and there are at least 18 other languages used in Bhutan. Will it be like traveling in China 20 years ago when speaking with hands and feet really became real for me. Or maybe completely different?

Well, join us on our adventure through the little kingdom in the Himalaya and you will find out on all the questions above and be amazed as we were how different this world is over there…

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Easter Island, ChileEaster Island, Chile

Rapa Nui by scooter – continued

Day 3

5:00am! We will definitely beat the crowds visiting the Moai at sunrise!

Unfortunately the sunrise is on the other side of the island, its pitch dark (no street lamps), the road has quite some pot holes, we have a scooter… and it is raining *smiley annoyed* Don’t ask how, but we made it well before any sun light was hitting the horizon and enjoyed a dramatic looking scenery

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Easter Island, ChileEaster Island, Chile

Rapa Nui by scooter

Time to say goodbye to the South American Continent…

After almost 6 flight hours (Boing 767, no small what so ever bird…*smiley winking* there was:

One thing to clarify, as we Germans tend to speak about “die Osterinseln” and some English speaking people “the Easter Islands”: It’s only one island – and some two or three very tiny islets – so singular it should be!

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