Panama and the canal

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the visit to the Panama Canal was like an immersion into the recent past where technology and a pioneering spirit shaped a new, industrialized world. There are plenty of fascinating books and documentary videos out there, describing the effort in building the canal. Armed with such knowledge, I went to Panama City to visit the region. As my plane approached the Panama City airport, I was surprised to see a scenic city skyline on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

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Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic games opening ceremony

Attending the Olympic Games was a long time wish of mine that I kept on postponing for many reasons: Either it was too far away, too expensive or lack of remaining vacation days at my job. Moreover, a trip to these games requires careful planning – months ahead of the event.

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Everest Base Camp Trek – Day 6 (Dingboche – Dughla)

Day six greeted us with a thick morning fog when Evgeny and I were leaving our lodge at Dingboche (4410m). This village is a base for a variety of treks in any direction (Nuptse, Lhotse, etc.). Therefore, we had a hard time figuring out which of the small trails would lead us back on the Everest Base Camp trek. But we managed and after a short climb, we reached a lookout where we could only guess how fantastic the panoramic view must be. But we were in a very good mood and acknowledged that not everyone was lucky enough to enjoy this place in such a mystic fog. I guess Evgeny and I should become coaches for self-motivation.

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Everest Base Camp Trek – Day 5 (Tengboche – Dingboche)

At day five, Evgeny and I already started to have a daily routine by waking up early and leaving ahead of the crowd. The day’s trek would take us from Tengboche (3870m) to Dingboche (4410m), with a small breakfast break at Pangboche (3930m). Now, if you are confused by the place names – you’re not alone. Most of the tourists are mixing the “Teng”, “Ding” and “Pang” of all these “boche”. Most are using altitude meters to name the places. As there is only a handful of “boches” along the climb, speaking of altitudes instead of settlement names is therefore quite useful.

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Everest Base Camp Trek – Day 4 (Namche Bazaar – Tengboche)

On a map, the path between Namche Bazaar and Tengboche does look like a fairly easy walk. By the end of the day, the difference in altitude between the two villages is just a small climb of 500 meters. Unfortunately, this is just half of the truth: After a steep climb out of the Namche Bazaar village, the trail levels out. It then descends slowly from 3500m to 3200m, before ending in a steep climb of about 700m.

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