1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Why I love Germany September 10, 2009

Germany is not the country that is…eh…commonly loved. Apart from the sadly known historical background it can’t boast with great nature, climate, awesome sightseeing or else. Germany is just not a place one normally visits as a tourist. In Europe the masses head to Italy or France, may be UK… But Germany?

To me personally Germany has always been an attraction. There are many facts in my biography connected to Germany, I posted some of it here.I believe it is not only for my love to German language, but actually it is my love to German people that takes me there again and again…

I went ot Berlin few days back and was again pleasantly surprised by the amazing friendliness and readiness to help of Germans.

What I really like about Germans is how they are clearcut in their expressions, direct in communication and well structured. It goes well with some parts of my own character I think. And these are also the things that I miss in any other country I visited!

One more thing that fascinates me is the sense of Friendship. Germans are great friends, once they have enclosed you in their hearts – it is forever. It reminds me a lot of Russian friendship.

As usual I traveled with my camera and took some pictures for you. These are probably not the typical sights of Berlin, but that is what I found cute or interesting.

(more…)

 

The traveller’s wisdom: hitchhiking science as a great human experience May 14, 2009

 (Anton Krotov with the map showing his and his wisemen’ and miles)

I got hooked on the topic since I learned about The Free Travel – not because I want to travel by hitchhiking but because the wisdom which people gain out of such experiences is so beautiful and true… One of the Gurus of of the subject in Russia is Anton Krotov, a founder of The Academy of Free Travel. He is not only a passionate traveller, but a wise man and an exellent writer of handbooks. A short biographical note: Anton is born 1976, not married, a Muslim.

In a free from travelling time Anton writes books (there are already over 30 books in Russian) and gives lectures. People often ask him same questions and these are his answers to the most common ones:

WHY TRAVEL?

The outside world is very big, but having enough persistence you can eventually reach every corner of it.f you want to travel, don’t put off your intention. Don’t wait till you get much money, take up an important post or retire on a pension and have a lot of spare time. In ten years you won’t have so much spare time as you have today, and in twenty years it’ll become very scarce. Though in future you may earn more money than you do now, the value of your worktime will also increase and you won’t be able to afford a half-year vacation (because of increased cost of one working hour). Besides, you may eventually get children, grand- and grand-grandchildren, needing to be looked after.

 HOW MUCH MONEY DOES ONE HAVE TO TAKE FOR A TRAVEL?

Normally a person starts travelling with a certain amount of money. While travelling he/she spends the money and finally keeps travelling without it. One should not be afraid of that and wait for the “X-hour”, one need not keep some money for “just in case”. When all your money will is being spent for the sake of supporting the surrounding economy (you will spend it or it will be stolen) and you will have nothing left – you will suddenly find yourself in a situation of Communism! All that you have been buying before – you will get all that for free, and complete strangers will offer you money and food even without you aksing for that. And you will not loose your weight and your cloth size will remain the same. (more…)

 

A Professor of hitchhiking – “the world is kind, people are compassionate and hospitable everywhere” May 13, 2009

 (image by me)

I always felt that the drive to travel has something to do with the seeking of Truth (see my earlier post about it here). The phenomenon of hitchhiking seems to be the extreme expression of this kind.  Hitchhikings one of the most fascinated forms of travelling, and it reminds me of wise men wandering  in the past.

Hitchhiking s popular in many countries. It is a favorite pastime in Europe and a common way of travel for many people in Asia and Africa. A few decades ago, it was also popular in North America. But only in Russia it became a competitive sport, a science, an art, and a way of life for many people (very typical for a Russian mindset to lay a profound theoretical base under any practical thing )…

The Academy of Free Travel was founded in 1995 in Russia by Anton Krotov,who has covered about 400,000 km hitchhiking in Eurasia and Africa, and published 17 books about free travel. Krotov is well-known in Russia for his hitchhiking to unusual destinations like Magadan, Afganistan, Iran and China… The Academy of Free Travel  is however one of many hitchhiking clubs in Russia.

Here are some Academy guidelines, which I found very interesting and wise.:

“We do not do any fund raising. All our expeditions are financed by participants, who rely on hospitality and friendliness of local people. We know that the success of a trip depends not on the amount of money available, but on your preparedness and attitude.

Normally we don’t use hotels, commercial campgrounds, airlines, and travel agencies, and don’t try to arrange our own transportation. But anyone who is going in the same direction and agrees to give us a lift is welcome to do so. We usually spend nights outdoors or in the homes of people willing to invite us.

Hitchhiking trips tend to be many times cheaper than regular ones. But saving money is not our goal. We don’t mind spending if we wish to do so, and never mind losing money:the world is plentiful, and we’ll always find what we need on the road. We try to avoid touristic areas. Instead, we live, eat, travel, and communicate with local people, trying to experience their life as it is, not as it can be seen through specially arranged tours or politically correct guidebooks.

In our trips we found that the world is kind, that people are compassionate and hospitable everywhere, that our planet is open for everyone and belongs to us all. Life is wonderful; coming back from remote lands, we better understand people around us and try to be worthy of being a part of humanity. (more…)

 

The magnetic mount January 21, 2009

I have been there. I have been enchanted by this magestic mount. And I could have meditated on it forever…

This very special for me mountain may not look so special at the first sight. Although its peak is quite artistic, one can find many similar hills in some regions of Maharashtra, India – by the way, it makes me think that Indian architecture is just the mirror of its nature…

This mount belongs to Saptashringi Hills (near Nasik, Maharashtra) famous for the great sage Markandeya who used to live there in ancient times. As a beautiful outcome of his enlightenment and mediations we have got Markandeya Purana, one of the Puranas or secondary Hindu scriptures.

I can honestly say that this mount (or hill?) fascinates me even more than the powerful Devi Swayambhu (self-manifested divinity, mostly as a stone), which is on the opposite hill. The story tells that (more…)

 

 
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