100 best books worldwide

Travel blog

Emily Brontë

Garden Route, South Africa

Safari, Addo Parc, Ostrich Farm


Alone Time

This is my first post after my travel to South Africa. Since, I only travelled with hand luggage I did not bring my laptop with me and such could not update my blog. Nevertheless, even during travel, books played an important role. Two weeks before travel I was researching for some inspiration in regards to new books to read. My last reads were all good but I had purchased them without much thought on the bookshops while on airport for business trips. Since I had to travel a lot for work in 2019. The books were a good read but I was missing the really good books, the masterpieces, the work of genius authors– the books I would be still thinking and talking about in decades. After some research I chose the book “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte. I must confess that the first 50 or 100 pages I was struggling with the book. I just did not get it, and while I was packing for my two weeks vacation I nearly decided to travel without it, without any book due baggage limit. I am glad, I changed my mind and kept this tiny book in my handbag. Without the book my vacation would have been just half as good as it was. Below I will explain why…..

Since, I was visiting a former colleague who was already living in South Africa I had to travel on my own. It’s a over 10 hours flight from Frankfurt, in germany. My flight was on the 7th December from the Frankfurt am Main airport. From my apartment to the airport it’s just a 15 minutes bus ride to the airport. Nevertheless, as usual I arrived three hours earlier and even after security I had more than 2.5 hours left. So I decided to eat something at a restaurant at the airport. The third picture from the book above is me at the restaurant at the airport. Being on my own at the airport I enjoyed reading while waiting for the waiter bringing my my food and also after finishing my meal and drinking my coffee.

Once, in the plane I stored the book away. Now was the time for the on the board entertainment. Since it was a night flight I spent most of the time sleeping anyway.

I arrived in Johannesburg and meet there my friend at the airport and we travelled together to Cape town. There we stayed 4 nights. I enjoyed it and everything was exciting and new. We went to nice restaurants, had breakfast at the waterfront, went on hiking to the table mountain and some shopping. By the time I went to my room in the hotel I was tired but still did not want to go to bed immediately. As such the book was perfect I read a few pages before actually going to bed. The first picture above is me in my hotel room in cape town with the book.

Still at that time, I did not get really why the book was amongst the 100 books to read. I only read a few pages at once not more since it did not manage to capture me. But since I was reading every day I managed to read a lot and slowly started to like the book as I realized it is not Romeo and Juliet type of love story but there is much more…. much more HATRED, REVENGE, SUFFERING, BETRAYAL, STRONG CHARACTERS, SAME ERRORS MADE IN DIFFERENT GENERATIONS……

So the time went by and we went to our next stops including cape of good hope and than further to Cape Agulhas. At Cape Agulhas we had a self service african type of a lodge directly by the sea. There were hardly any tourists. It was quiet, there was no internet no TV…. We purchased at a nearby supermarket some lamb chops, african type beef farmer sausages and corn on the cobs for a relaxing barbecue at our large balcony with seaview at our lodge. While the grill was warming up I enjoyed the view from the balcony and after dinner sat down at the balcony with my book enjoying the calm and relaxing atmosphere. I must say travelling with a former colleague is fun but I relax and enjoy much more reading a good book in the evening that doing chit chat. And the thought of having nearly travelled without my book gave me horror. Once it was dark outside I went to my room and enjoyed my book in my room. NOTE, there was no TV and no Internet. The best thing I had was my book. The next morning I was relaxed since I had a good sleep without constantly looking at my mobile phone at night as I would usually do.

The days went on and as such did our travel went on, and I must say unfortunately the conversation I had with my travel companion dried up the more days we travelled. I think being nearly all day long together doing everything together at some point made us both being a bit fed up of each other I would even say. which means we would sometimes sit for dinner and not speak a word. So I started to bring my book with me also to restaurants and day trips and would read while enjoying the view and weather.

Our next stop was at a Safari where we would stay two nights. It was amazing, I had in the middle of the wilderness amongst the animals a lodge on my own without Internet and TV. There was some limited electricity so that I had some light at night to read. The whole day we would spend watching animals in the private reservoir where we saw lions, giraffes, hippos, zebras and elephants and in the national parc, the Addo parc where we saw families of elephants. At night the ranger would drop me of at my private lodge. At first I was horrified to stay on my own at the lodge the next lodge and as such the next person was a few hundreds meters away. The only way of communication in case of an emergency was a radio he provided which I could use to contact the owner of the reservoir but only in case of real urgency. I thought I could not stay on my own but then I relaxed did some unpacking, brushed my teeth and went to bed with the book. The moment I started reading I forgot about my fear and started to enjoy the tranquil environment. There was no distraction, just me, the nature and my book. The next morning I was picked up by the ranger at 7am for a full day of safari and I was looking forward going back to my lodge in the evening. Cut away from civilization, Stress and hectic—- Just me and my book!!!!!!

The last picture above from the book is from a daytrip in Port elizabeth the last day before we would take the flight back home. We arrived at this viewpoint and my friend wanted to walk along the beach I wanted to enjoy the view from the viewpoint. So I stayed on my own while my friend went down to have a long walk. It was here when I finished the book. during the last days I was dreading to finishing the book since I did not want to finish it. By the time I enjoyed the book, I could relate to the characters and could understand why each of them was behaving the way they were…. Once I finished the book my friend has arrived and we were both sitting calmly at the point watching out to the see. When I suddenly saw several black points moving, by looking closer I notice that there were at least twenty dolphins swimming in the water near the cost. It was amazing we could see them swimming all together passing us by. Finally, It was time for the flight at airport I bought another book which I am reading currently and about which I will report to you in one of my next blogs.

I love South Africa and I love my vacation however my book made my vacation much better. It made me enjoy my “ME TIME”. It made me enjoy the “NATURE”. It made me enjoy the time that was not fully packed with “to dos” .

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