Travel

Historical Moments in South Africa

Hello everyone!

We hope you made it safe and sound to the great 2014 and took it with full swing. For those of you following us on Facebook or Instagram (maybe twitter) have seen that we left for South Africa the end of November to enjoy a little rest and relaxing after our most intense year ever. 2013 has been incredible and we would like to thank all of you for being with us and supporting our work. Family, friends and clients: THANK YOU!!

Sorry but this is going to be a long post. Feel free to skip it if you don’t want to know our thoughts about South Africa and our experiences.

We have heard much about South Africa and gained quite a lot of friends down there over the last years. A lot has to do with our friendship to the top South African photographer Christine Meintjes and her hubby Iaan v. Niekerk but until now, we have never had the chance to visit the country and paint our own picture about it.

Together with great friends Yvonne and Ilja as well as our most favorite wedding planer and amazing friend Doreen Winking, we started in Cape Town (Green Point, later Camps Bay) to really do not much but hanging out at the beach, taking photos and enjoying the mostly warm, but very windy weather and the incredible food.

It was also a great chance to meet a lot of people from the social media streams for the very first time. Thanks to Nastassja and Tim, Antonia and Desmond, Lara and Claire, Ian, the pretty blog girls, Dehan and Sergio, and many more. (also Julia Winkler, who happend to be there at the moment ;-)

At the moment, the ZAR (South African Rand) has an incredible ratio to the Euro. Amazing for us, very poor for the traveling South Africans. However, with less money we really stayed at beautiful places and had unbelievable tasty food, everywhere!

So that sounds like heaven on earth right? Warm weather, amazing nature, incredible food and all for cheap! Well, quite a bit but there were two rather big drawbacks to all these which concerned us a lot and made us enjoy less than we wanted to.

From friends, who have visited the country, the media and from local people, we heard a lot about how dangerous South Africa is (maybe not CT but in general) and we got quite a lot of rules and restrictions up front. What to do and what not. To anticipate here: we always where safe and never had any feeling of fear or danger.

Well, but it made us be concerned. What ever we did, wherever we went, we always had in mind that something could happen. Just during the day, anywhere.

Normally, when we travel we of course stick to rules, which apply to every country of course, but we never had to deal with safety issues or restrictions due to unsafe conditions anywhere else. So that was totally new for us and to be honest, it kinda stressed us out.

The other thing was the countries history and todays status. Lets face it: There is still a big gap between white, black and the colored community. You see it, you feel it and if you listen to people you can even hear it!

And even though we never felt any racism against us, being white people made us feel somehow “guilty” with respect to the locals. If you aren’t familiar with the South African history, just go and google a bit how the white people ruled in the last centuries. Neither great nor fair, to sum it up.

Needless to say, that we personally have nothing to do with the past and it was difficult for us to understand why we felt that way.

The feeling had it’s peak during a 6 course dinner near the Addo Elephant National Park where we, for the first time, spoke some personal words with a local black African guy.

There was one waiter, a very smart boy in his early twenties. We talked a bit about our drive to the resort where Google maps sent us straight into a township saying the resort is at the main road.

Obviously that was wrong but all of a sudden we found ourselves on a very poor road, lots of eyes staring at us and of course knowing that this was the wrong way.

With all these stories in our mind we had no idea in what we brought ourselves into here. The people did look very friendly actually. Some ignored us, some waved and smiled. So, aren’t these people just like we experienced it in other countries. Welcoming everyone with open arms? We did not know, and we also didn’t had the guts to get out of the car and ask :-)

However, Bongani, that was his name, said. “Well you are pretty lucky google maps lead you into a nice town ship”. Thanks to google at this point and he went on, that the people living here totally know that the tourists coming to this area are responsible and indirectly providing jobs to at least one member of their families. And thus, there should not be any danger to anyone. That’s great to hear!

We continued chatting and he told us about his life, family, work and his dreams. That he had to quit university in Port Elizabeth since he could not afford it anymore. About 12000 Rand per year, which at the moment equals to 850,- Euros (but was 1200,- not too long ago) for University only.

Do the math yourself and find out how young, talented and inquisitive people should manage this on their own by earning about 40 to 80 Euro per regular workweek. Subtract, travel expense from work to university, support of the family and daily life. Well and studying takes time too, so you probably cannot work full time.

This is just one example of a young man, who is intelligent and eager of knowledge but he probably will have a hard time to break out of this circle. There are thousands probably millions of this stories.

All this happened while we sat over the first course of our 6 course dinner priced at 20,- Euro per person. Carmen was in tears and we have not even tasted the soup yet. How can we just sit here and enjoy this delicious food knowing that the waiter(s) are struggling in life and more over, white people from the recent history have caused this situation.

 

The next day, Nelson Mandela aka Madiba aka Tata passed away. We could see it in all the staffs’ sad faces. Their president and anti-apartheid revolutionary left this world but will stay in every mind forever. On the one hand people were sad but on the other hand they celebrated his life and are extremely thankful for what he did. We might not have 100% noticed it but this was a very historical moment for the entire world!

There wasn’t a single conversation going on with anyone not mentioning the vision and legacy of this person. We will of course follow the election this year very carefully and we can only hope that the current situation for this country is going to change again.

So our way from Capetown to Addo and back went via Hermanus (home of the wales, which left three days be fore we got there ;-( ), Knysna, Jeffreys Bay (Paradise Beach, which really was  a paradise,) back we stopped in Plettenberg Bay and Swellendam before we reached Somerset west at our friends place.

The time in Addo was very special. Not only because of the people we met, but also because of the nature and wild life we got to experience first hand. A Safari in the private game resort called Scotia brought us very close to the king of all animals. Enjoying the Elephants in the wild was possible in Addo Elephant National Park and a real once in a lifetime experience.

We also took the chance on our way back in Plettenberg Bay to meet orphan elephants and have a little walk (see video here) with them in a sanctuary while learning so much about these amazing creatures.

 

Somerset west was our last stop in SA at our friends place. Here is to thank Christine and Iaan for the great hospitality and amazing time we had with you guys.

On our very last day we also had the great chance to stop in Kayamandi, a township in Stellenbosch. Two lovely friends of Christine and Iaan guided us there to see first hand how life is in a township. It was wonderful to see the kids having fun and enjoying themselves even though, from our point of view, the circumstances would rather cause the opposite! And again, it is breaking our hearts if we imagine how hard it is for all these kids to get out and experience a “normal” life.

Thanks to you guys for taking the time to hang out with us and showing us around in beautiful Stellenbosch and surrounding. We really appreciated and enjoy it!

Last but not least we had to catch up with some touristy stuff in CT (table mountain) and had to check out the Penguins at Boulders Beach. We also had the honor to do a shoot with these two lovebirds at the beach as well as a model shoot, which is still due to blog here.

 

All and all we had a wonderful time in this beautiful country and we would love to see how the hope of all the people transforms into a better life for many soon.

Here is to wish you all a very good start into your weekend and enjoy a little bit of our South African adventure below.

Love and hope!

Carmen and Ingo

PS: UPDATE! Please understand that our blog is no political plattform and in no way we wanted to offend or hurt anyone anytime. If you feel that way, we are sorry! We were telling the story about our trip and how it made us feel. It is not a political statement at all. We totally understand that the current goverment is not good for this country even it’s the party of the former president Mandela. But this being said, we did not want to get too deep into a political situation as this is more complex than a couple of nice photos and a three week holiday. It’s just how we feel! Very simple. Thank you!

 

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38 Comments

  • Reply
    Juliane
    10. January 2014 at 10:46

    Toller Bericht und wahnsinnig schöne Bilder!
    Wir überlegen gerade dieses Jahr mal wieder einen größeren Urlaub zu machen und diesen in Südafrika zu verbringen… Vielen Dank für eure Eindrücke!
    Herzlichst Juliane

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      10. January 2014 at 11:24

      Vielen Dank Juliane! Südafrika wird unbedingt empfohlen…:) und größerer Urlaub auch!! go for it!

  • Reply
    Anija
    10. January 2014 at 10:56

    You two! Your words and the following pictures are sooooo amazing. Thanks for sharing this great experience with us. It’s my dream to visit South Africa and see those big animals. Now it get’s bigger and bigger… we’ll see!
    Have a good & save & tasty time on your remaining trip!

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      10. January 2014 at 11:22

      Thank you Anija, and thank you for taking the time to read our long blogpost ;) you should go there, it´s an incredible country! and the Elefant walk was best ever :))

  • Reply
    Delia
    10. January 2014 at 11:04

    You’ve captured my home land beautifully :) well done on an amazing job xx

  • Reply
    Sandy Willmann
    10. January 2014 at 11:11

    Eure Bilder sind so wunderschön! Ich liebe die Kap-Region und ihr habt so eine wunderbare Art alles auf Fotos festzuhalten was diesen Ort ausmacht! Der absolute Hammer! Und wenn ich es richtig erkannt habe, dann wart ihr im schönsten Guesthouse …138Marine :-D Da schlägt mein Herz gleich höher, da wir 2011 dort in der Lounge geheiratet haben!

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      10. January 2014 at 11:20

      Danke dir Sandy! Oh, wie cool is das denn!? ja das 138Marine war ein Traum, waren leider nur eine Nacht dort…ihr glücklichen…das klingt nach einer traumhaften Hochzeit. Echt lustig dass wir im gleichen Guesthouse waren.

  • Reply
    Sarina
    10. January 2014 at 11:20

    Ihr seid der Wahnsinn!!!! Ich hatte das Gefühl, ich bin direkt mit dabei,… Die Elefanten, Pinguine,… :) Ihr habt das einfach soooooooo wahnsinnig toll festgehalten, einfach unglaublich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LG SARINA

  • Reply
    Melanie
    10. January 2014 at 11:37

    Amazing, stunning, wonderful pictures!!

  • Reply
    Lilli
    10. January 2014 at 12:03

    wow, was für tolle Eindrücke. Ich liebe sie alle. besonders das Löwen-Portrait.:)

  • Reply
    Antonia
    10. January 2014 at 13:11

    Was fuer grossartige Bilder! Sooo toll euch kennenzulernen! Much love, Toni + Des

  • Reply
    Diana Zwarthoed
    10. January 2014 at 13:22

    Impressed…thank you so much for sharing…

  • Reply
    Caroline Lima
    10. January 2014 at 13:33

    Loooooooooooooved to read your adventures and point of view about South Africa! What a beautiful country! And seeing all those kids that go through a lot and still have a big smile on their faces made me think of my dear country Brazil. All the photos are gorgeous!!! And that hairy lion…ohhhh that hairy lion is soooooo amazing!!! So great to also see Christine, Iaan and Doreen on the photos! I hold the memories of the first workshop I ever attended (Munich 2011) dear to my heart!!!

  • Reply
    martina
    10. January 2014 at 14:18

    lässig lässig schöne zeit noch lg aus der Heimat

  • Reply
    Gayle du Preez
    10. January 2014 at 14:27

    I read with interest now your post about South Africa, and as a South African (from Cape Town, now based here in Germany) I think that there is a lot more to the situation that would need to be said in order to explain the current situation, for example, the corruption of the current government, as well as the previous government. While it is safe to say that the white regime caused a lot of damage to the souls and hearts of the people, I think it is not fair to make such a sweeping statement while talking about Bongani and his problems, that “white people from the recent history have caused this situation.” The change over from the white government to a fully democratic government happened already in 1994, almost 20 years ago, and there comes a time, and as I must presume that Bonganie is fairly young, one needs to ask what has the now fully democratic government which Madiba fought so long and so hard for, done for the likes of Bongani? In 20 years, despite numerous promises to bring about equality to ALL South Africans, to build homes for the underpriviledged, this has simply not happened, to make a difference. Will people now write in 20 years time, that the ongoing poverty has been caused by the democratic government? Probably not, as it will simply be easier to continue to blame the inequalities on “white people!”

    If you are ever near on in the Frankfurt area, please do give me a shout as I would love to meet the two of you!!

    Gayle
    xoxox

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      11. January 2014 at 4:54

      Hello Gayle
      thank you for your comment, and you are totally right, there is so much more to say about this country. totally agree with the things you said, were talking about this a lot with our friends there. everybody was complaining about the current goverment situation…
      we did´nt want to blame it all to the white people, we just wanted to say that this was there and we could feel that there is still a big gap between all the south africans and we hope that this will change someday. and sure therefore you need a democratic strong and good goverment…and again a change.

      South Africa is a wonderful country with amazing people (in any color) and we always felt that people are extremly nice and friendly. we did´t want to get too much political here…we just wanted to write about our feelings (we read a lot about the history on the travel and we spoke a lot with people so thats why it was so present in our heads during the trip)…never wanted to hurt someone or offend somebody.

      We really like to travel and therefore you have to dip into a country with all the good and all the bad things…and sometimes you have to deal with a lot of feelings and emotions. but thats like in a very good relationship: you love somebody, but still you have to fight sometimes. but mostly it will bring you closer…and this what´s happend to us and beautiful South Africa.

      Greetings Carmen and Ingo

  • Reply
    Aline
    10. January 2014 at 14:33

    Wunder-wunderschöne Bilder! :-) Weiterhin eine tolle Zeit Euch Beiden!!!

  • Reply
    Christin Engel
    10. January 2014 at 14:36

    Danke für die wunderbaren Bilder ihr Lieben! Sie sind traumhaft schön!!!! Lasst es euch noch gut gehen und wir sind ganz gespannt auf neue Bilder von eurer fantastischen Reise.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    10. January 2014 at 15:32

    Wunderwunderschöne Bilder! Und Euer Text genauso. Danke! Es steigert die Vorfreude ins Unermessliche… So tolles Licht. So tolle Natur. Wow, wow, wow… Wo führt Euch Eure Reise dieses Jahr noch überall hin? :)
    Liebe Grüße

  • Reply
    Dewald Kirsten
    10. January 2014 at 16:46

    I am a born South African and I have lived here for my whole life.

    I have read the post and to be honest, I am hurt! I am a white man and I am happily married with a baby girl and I LOVE south Africa. I love the fact that foreigners come to visit our amazing country and I am glad you had a great holiday.

    BUT

    I for one wish that the world will get of their high horse about aparteid, yes it was not the right thing to do and yes the previous government did lots of things wrong, BUT it also did a lot of great things. Things they do not tell you in the “tourist” attractions. Stuff like there was a very LOW crime rate, stuff like that there was jobs for all and the list can go on and I know quite a few who will back my point.

    I am now 31 years old and I was 12 the day SA became democratic, what did I know about politics back then…. ZERO ZIP NADDA and most of the young people today, black and white that is either being affected in a positive or a negative way, was not even born back then, so how does apartheid have an influence on them??

    We have coices to make, and I have made mine, and so must everyone else make it. I came from a middle class home, dad didnt have a bad income, but there was no money for me to go study! So what, I am making a damn good living for myself and my family on my own with no education. Why couldnt bongani go and apply for a student loan? He is black and need a very minimum income to afford such a loan. My wife studied with a student loan and is still paying back after almost 10 years out the college.

    I bet what everyone didnt tell you is why they had to drop their dreams and now work for a minimum wage, its most of them support a family, often its a family that DO NOT WANT TO WORK. When you where in Khyamandi, did you notice how many satalite TV dishes was installed? A Luxury I would say…. Yet they can afford it on their bare minimum wge they earn because they do not pay for a house, they do not pay for water or electricity! The lower, middle and upperclass people of SOuth Africa, yes that is black, white and coloured people, has to foot the bills for that portion of the nation who do not want to pay for those things.

    South Africa is dangerous, fact, get over it. If you only see the bells and whistles off course you will think that people are over reacting. A state of the art German Saloon car is stunning to look at, but under that hood there is some very dirty oil… its the same. You dont have to listen to the stories that the cleaner lady tells you every monday on how KIDS was shot infront of her house, or read the news papers of 3 month old babies that got raped, or people protesting about toilets and then goes and dumps buckets full of shit in public spaces in cape town, no you dont see any of that.

    I love my country dearly, but if you where here for a couple of weeks you have no clue as to how this country works and is run by our “government”. How would you feel if I blabber on my blog about my amazing holiday in Germany but the GERMANS was so horrible to the Jews and I could feel the pain blah blah blah?? It long gon, get over it. The fact that people like Bongani want to work is amazing and I really wish he makes his way in this tough life, but for that one person who wants to do good and get somewhere in life there is 1000 others who do not care about this beloved country of mine and will milk it for every last cent there is in life.

    Thanks for coming to our country and I am glad you enjoyed your stay.

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      11. January 2014 at 5:33

      Hello Dewald,

      first of all we are very sorry that you felt offended from our words. we didn´t want to hurt ANYBODY, and we loved to travel through your wonderful country with so many amazing and nice people (in any color ;))

      We just wanted to write about our feelings, we didn´t want to blame on the white people or beeing too poltical at all. All the thoughts and emotions were travelling with us, we were talking with so many people about all this things and it was helping us to get a better understanding of this country, it’s history and the people! it´s always important for us to get both sides, the good and the bad. in any country we travel!

      What we can say is that at least for us, 20 years is almost no time to get over something. our history is horrible and it´s still in our lifes, movies, newspapaer, politics… and it should be there to be not forgotten. it should be there to remind us that nothing like this should happen any more, to show how horrible human can be. and specially for those who were not born at that time should be reminded about it always! it would be too easy to “just get over it” and make same mistakes again!

      20 years after Apartheit, its still a long time to go, to get over all this.

      we did´nt want to write about politics in our blogpost, we just wanted to say that this country has still a gap between the ppl and we heard that the actual government is not on the right way either…but you can write books about this situation and we are sure, someone did that :-)

      as we said above (as a comment): We really like to travel and therefore you have to dip into a country with all the good and all the bad things…and sometimes you have to deal with a lot of feelings and emotions. but thats like in a very good relationship: you love somebody, but still you have to fight sometimes. but mostly it will bring you closer…and this what´s happend to us and beautiful South Africa.

      thanks for your time and comment, again, we did NOT want to hurt you in any way.

      greetings Carmen and Ingo

      PS: 2014 a sat tv is NO luxury anymore. #justsaying

  • Reply
    Kay Maguire
    10. January 2014 at 17:05

    Carmen I just love your words and photos, a magical trip. I was in South Africa 10 years ago and loved it so much and your post sums up very much how I felt about it and takes me right back there, Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful trip with us. x

  • Reply
    Michael and Carina
    10. January 2014 at 18:21

    Thanks for sharing this. One of our favorite blogs of yours, ever. <3

  • Reply
    SANDRA
    10. January 2014 at 20:09

    Wow.. would LOVE to go there.. is it safe enough with a little baby boy? Might be our next big trip in 2014. Loved your images guys! :) Great work!!!

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      11. January 2014 at 5:03

      hi sandra! thank you so much for stopping by. what an honor! a fellow photographer Rudi Töws just went to SA with his whole family and did a blog post about it. It’s in german though so you might want to ran it through google or contact him directly. http://www.rtphotography.de/2014/01/01/elternzeit-in-suedafrika
      from what we have experienced it is of course safe enough. as said, we did not feel any danger at all. but you should get yourself updated about the locations you want to go to.
      have a great weekend.
      c and i

  • Reply
    Stef
    11. January 2014 at 0:17

    Die Bilder sind einfach klasse … ich bin in den letzten 9 Jahren mindestens einmal pro Jahr in das wunderschöne Land am Kap gereist und kann nur bestätigen, dass Südafrika eine Reise wert ist.

    Sehr überrascht hat mich jedoch der Seitenhieb gegen die weiße Bevölkerung. Das Ende der Apartheit liegt nunmehr 20 Jahre zurück und ich empfinde es alles andere als fair, noch immer nur die Weißen für das Schicksal von Bongani und seinesgleichen verantwortlich zu machen. Für mich sind vielmehr der Regierungsstil der ANC Gründe dafür, dass ein ganzes Land den Bach runter geht. Denn Korruption und Kriminalität gehören heute zum täglichen Leben aller Südafrikaner. Unfähige (schwarze) Politiker wie Zuma oder Malema sind zur Verantwortung zu ziehen, dass es der Bevölkerung schlechter denn je geht. Es wird ja lieber in die eigene Tasche gewirtschaftet wird, anstatt in Bildung, Gesundheit oder Häuser zu investieren.

    Ohne Frage – Apartheid war furchtbar und es war ein großer Tag als Madiba zum ersten schwarzen Präsident des Landes gewählt wurde. Die Regenbogennation schien endlich Wirklichkeit zu werden – alle Menschen sollten einander mit Respekt begegnen – unabhängig ihrer Hautfarbe. Eine Idee, hinter der ich voll und ganz stehe – denn mir ist es egal ob jemand schwarz, grün, blau oder rot ist. Doch nicht egal ist es mir, wenn seine politischen Erben solche erstrebenswerten Visionen mit Füßen treten und nicht bereit sind aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit zu lernen. Das ist Dummheit – da eine ganze Nation mehr denn je leidet. Leider hilft es nicht, wenn Touristen/Besucher mit einer verklärten Brille durchs Land reisen und bei jedem Township-Besuch oder Gespräch mit Kellnern glauben, es waren die bösen Weißen, die dieses Leid verursacht haben.

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      11. January 2014 at 5:51

      Hallo Stef,

      danke für dein Kommentar. Wir wollten niemanden einen Seitenhieb verpassen (wie auch schon oben geantwortet). Wir wollten auch gar nicht politsch werden in unserem Blogpost, aber drüber schreiben was uns beschäftigt und begleitet hat. Wir haben sehr viel mit Leuten (nicht nur mit einem Kellner, Bongani war nur ein sehr lieber Mensch der uns beschäftig hat) geredet, mit unseren Freunden, mit Fremden, schwarzen, weißen, rosafarbenen ;)…ganz egal. Es war uns wichtig, wie du gesagt hast NICHT mit einer verklärten Brille durch dieses wunderschöne Land zu reisen und ein wenig mehr einzutauchen.

      Wir persönlich empfinden 20 Jahre als keine sonderlich lange Zeit…Es wird noch viele Jahre brauchen um mit Distanz auf diese einschneidende Geschichte zurück denken zu können. Das ist auch das was wir empfunden haben, der Unterschied zwischen den Menschen war für uns leider noch immer zu spüren.

      Wir sind ganz deiner Meinung dass die Regierung seit dem unglaublich viel Falsch gemacht und Korruption und Kriminaltiät Gift für Süd Afrika ist. Wie schon gesagt wollten wir auf keinen Fall in eine politische Richtung gehen mit unserem Post.
      Es ist sehr traurig zu sehen dass noch relativ wenig passiert ist und viele Visionen immer noch fern jeglicher Realtiät und wir wissen auch dass es jetzt an der Zeit sein sollte das endlich was passiert und der richtige Weg eingeschlagen wird.

      Egal welche Hautfarbe, jeder Mensch sollte die gleichen Möglichkeiten haben sein Leben zu leben…

      Für uns war es gut viel über die Vergangenheit und Gegenwart zu reden, uns unterschiedliche Meinungen anzuhören…wir konnten dadurch diesem wunderschönen und unglaublichen Land viel näher kommen.

      Das ist, was wir am Reisen lieben…nicht nur die schönen Seiten anzusehen und auch die Vergangenheit nicht außer acht zu lassen (auch in beispielsweise Vietnam, Kambodscha und Laos war die Vergangenheit ein großes Thema in all unseren Gesprächen…)

      Ich hoffe das hat einiges geklärt.

      grüße aus Indien

  • Reply
    Kristin
    11. January 2014 at 10:53

    Wunderwunderschöne Fotos die ihr gemacht habt. Wir werden diesen schönen Ort im März wiedersehen und euer Bericht steigert unsere Vorfreude auf den Urlaub total. Hoffentlich können wir auch viele schöne Momente und Kulissen fotografisch festhalten.
    Liebe Grüße

  • Reply
    Model Shoot in Cape Town | Carmen and Ingo Photography
    12. January 2014 at 7:46

    […] in South Africa desperately. With all the traveling and seeing a bit of this amazing country (in case you would like to see some photos, it’s right HERE) there was not much more time than for one shoot. We love to step out of the wedding box now and […]

  • Reply
    nastassja harvey
    9. April 2014 at 17:29

    incredible, incredible images! x

  • Reply
    Grethe
    13. May 2014 at 15:20

    Carmen and Ingo, I have long been a great admirer of your work but Dewald has basically put into words what most South Africans would think when they read this. I am South African myself and I also still live here, which is why I feel I have to comment on this even though the post is a couple of months old already.

    A year ago, I was in Munich on holiday for two weeks and I can in all honesty say that it was the greatest holiday of my life and I cannot wait to go back. Did I write a blog post about how I perceived the political situation in Germany, a topic of which I only know what the history books and the internet can tell me? No. What I did do was spend time with my wonderful German friend whom I had not seen in eight years while she and her husband guided myself and my partner around your incredible city and took time out of their schedules to show us as much of Bayern as they could manage. Even though we did have discussions about politics (as you do), it was by no means the part of our stay in Germany that stood out to me the most. I was blown away by the food and the atmosphere and the beautiful architecture and the SNOW and the scenery and so, so much more. But I can assure you that I went to Germany with the intention of experiencing your country and going on holiday and not to go home heartbroken by my own doing.
    Yes, I did stand in the atrium of the Ludwig-Maximilian University where Sophie Scholl dropped the White Rose Resistance pamphlets against the Nazi government in World War Two – a gesture that led to her and her brother’s execution, as you all know – and my heart was filled with hurt at the injustice of it all, so I can completely and totally relate to how you felt when you met people like Bongani and the people of the townships in South Africa. It is unfair and heartbreaking that they have to suffer, but please know that there are many white people in this country who also have it extremely difficult – poverty is a big problem for everyone in South Africa.

    There is a lot about our country that you cannot possibly hope to understand within only a few weeks of visiting here, just as those two weeks I spent in such a very small section of your country cannot possibly make me understand how your country works either. In fact, I find it a bit hurtful that seemingly the only thing you took away from your visit here is how upset our politics made you feel (and how you cried at dinner) instead of the experiences South Africa had to offer enriched your lives. With every other travel blog post you’ve put up (and I admit I did not read every single one of them) it doesn’t look like you’ve written such a hurtful article about a negative part of said country’s history as you’ve did with South Africa. Can you imagine what a let down it is for a South African scrolling through your blog archives hoping to find a post about our home as a “country to fall in love with” and then finding an article about guilt and sadness?

    Your blog header is called “historical moments in South Africa”, yet all you mention is apartheid. Yes, apartheid is an absolutely tragic part of our history but there is much more to our country’s past than apartheid, just like there is way more to Germany’s history than World War Two and the Holocaust. I am really, really sad to see that instead of just beautiful photographs and a story about how incredibly beautiful and wonderful you found South Africa you decided to talk about a political situation you don’t really know much about and how dangerous it is here, all after you (briefly) mentioned the good food and how ridiculously cheap it is for Europeans to come here.

    Regardless, I am really glad that you two came to visit South Africa because I will forever love this place with my entire being and I am always delighted and proud when I hear that tourists had a great stay here! I am also very sorry that you had to be here during the time that Nelson Mandela passed away – it was an incredibly sad time for the entire country.
    I also really enjoyed the photographs, I love looking at South Africa through the eyes and lenses of tourists – hope to welcome you back soon!

    • Reply
      Carmen and Ingo
      3. December 2014 at 10:44

      sorry that our writing and our feelings are hurtful to you. that was not our intention at all. we never said that the political situation was the only thing we brought back from this trip and also we never said this is a political statement or that we are experts about the SA situation.

      south africa is a fantastic country and we sure are coming back one day. however, we aren’t going to be offended if you feel like writing a blog post about your stay in germany and how you felt visiting a concentration camp and places from ww2. we think you have all rights in this world to talk about what ever you want and express your feelings to the world. we would not even be thinking of blameing you for anything.

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    Fernwehosophy | Issue #1 | South Africa | Carmen and Ingo Photography
    8. July 2014 at 12:30

    […] PS: in case you missed our blog post about South Africa –> it’s right here […]

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    Twelve month ago | Our First Wedding Anniversay | Carmen and Ingo Photography
    12. February 2015 at 9:02

    […] our stay in South Africa we took the chance to get our both wedding rings done, quick and easy. While it wasn’t easy to […]

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    Daria
    16. May 2017 at 10:51

    Auch nach Jahren finde ich diese Fotos nach wie vor wunderschön!!

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