Archive for November, 2007
The world is full of experiences and I feel grateful to have seen quite a few of them already. To the extent that usually I do realize that there is something new and different, sometimes incredibly beautiful. But what I've seen on the Maldives, it was my first visit there, goes beyond my wildest imagination. Especially, as the natural beauty and the entrepreneurial concepts around put me in an unprecedented awe. Thats one of these typical views like one believes they existed purely in a travel catalogue:
The entire picture-set on Flickr is here. Maldives are for the heroes of chilling as in the first place one might get afraid: 10 days, one island of 450 m x 50 m. What to do? But after arriving one realizes that this is the wrong question to ask as it's really about pacing down and going with the tide.
We were very well taken care of by Atoll Paradise, an agency located right on the Maldives which directed us to the Anantara Resort, just a 35 minutes ride by speedboat south of the airport. And I have never in my whole life seen a hospitality place which is run so well like Anantara and the opposite island/resort of Naladhu where we "upgraded" ourselves for the last days of our stay. They belong both to the same Thai company group, but are positioned as two different brands. I'll write a bit more on the experience in the next days, especially from the viewpoint of an entrepreneur there is heaps to discover and respect to make such a service-miracle happen in such a remote place.
So the most pressing decisions of the day were for instance in which of the four restaurants to eat, what to order, when to schedule the catamaran-trip and when not eat too much because a dive was coming up.
The underwater world alone deserves a prize, it feels like swimming in an aquarium with tunas, moreys and turtles around stunning coral reefs. Well, well, back at work now in Bangalore, but luckily in order not to fall back into bad habits of working too much, I am really looking for meeting Arnd Benninghoff from Holtzbrinck eLAB on Saturday in Bombay and spending two days in Goa together for "fun-related work" before heading back to Bangalore and then to Germany on early Wednesday morning.
Really looking forward to my vacation. And yes, it's vacation where I even hope to be offline for 10 days, in one of the last paradises on earth: The Maldives . From Bangalore, it merely a 1.5 hour flight although I was surprised how difficult it was to get a seat even 3 months back when I planned for the trip.
So I am even more thankful to see this part of the world as well. The nice thing is that because of the warm climate, traveling to the Maldives also means traveling light. With the most important document not being the passport, but my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver's license and the logbook to add a few entries. Will share some pics when I report back to duty on the 21st. Really looking forward to my departure in a few hours.
Too bad that I am missing this year's Diwali by a small, small margin. On Saturday I'll be in India, but that's two days too late. Diwali, the Festival of Light, is one of the most important Festivals in Hinduism "where the lights or lamps signify the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within."
At least thanks to E-Mail one is not entirely cut off from the scene although I would have much more preferred to celebrate the festival together with my Indian friends. For some small comfort this is the type of greeting cards that you get from your Indian business partners.
And that's a very nice one with Ganesha , the elephant god
Check out the top left and right corners and consider the cultural difference: For putting the symbol up in Germany as the "Hakenkreuz" you go to jail, putting it up in India with the "swastika" you go to heaven. At least, some kind of … :-)