Swiss panorama featured in Belgian online magazine

Swiss panorama featured in Belgian online magazine

As a Belgian living in Switzerland it is really great to see one of our Swiss panorama pictures from last year featured in a Belgian app magazine. The 2014 summer edition of the free VAB Magazine app features the panorama we posted last year on this blog of the cabrio lift going up Stanserhorn. The panorama features the first cabrio cable car in the world.

If you want to find out more about this lift or about Stanserhorn, make sure to check out our post from last year.

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Our panoramas featured in an online magazine and other websites

Our panoramas featured in an online magazine and other websites

Some of our panoramas are becoming famous. One of our Inside the Volcano panoramas was featured in a recent issue of travel + Escape magazine for iPad!  The special issue about Iceland has an article about the Inside the Volcano trip we mentioned in a previous post and included one of the panoramas to show an immersive experience. Check out the free app in the  App Store and the “Wild Weekends in Iceland” issue (1.99 USD)!

Another one of our panoramas is featured on a blog about James Bond. The blog describes Schilthorn where the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was set.  We visited the mountain a couple of years ago in summer during clear weather and enjoyed the beautiful views of the surroundings, including views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungrau.  As usual, we took the opportunity to take a panorama of the surroundings.

Have a look at the panorama here:

Piz Gloria panorama

Piz Gloria panorama

Or have a look at the interactive version here:

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New design, new functionality

New design, new functionality

We, The Wanderers, are pleased to announce that we have redesigned our blog from scratch.  We changed the technology and fine-tuned it to give you the best possible experience to read of  our adventures, browse photos, look around panoramas and  explore gigapans. We’ve added  videos as well, a much improved newsletter, easier viewing of photos on the site, integrated gallery, integrated panoramas that are easier to use, and integrated gigapans. Apart from all the benefits for you, the site is also much easier to maintain and update from our side which means we will be able to add content more frequently than we have been doing over the last few years. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter if you have not already done so to stay up to date about new content.

Reflections of the wanderers in Luzern

The Wanderers multiplied

You will have noticed we changed the banner at the top.  This photo is a real photo, without manipulation. Some places are not what they seem, and of those, some make interesting photos. For those of you who were fond of the old header, we have included it below:

Old wanderers header

We hope you find the site easy to use. Read the latest news on the homepage, browse specific countries by going to the locations menu, have a look at our photos, interact with our latest panorama photos or dive into our high-definition gigapans.  Be sure to click on images to get a full-page view  and to interact with panoramas and gigapans. Read how on the help page. You can give us feedback in the About section of the page.

Enjoy the new site!

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Welcome to thewanderers.net

This webpage contains the adventures of Johan and Karl, the worldwide wanderers. We hope you find the site easy to use. Read the latest news below, browse specific countries by going to the locations menu, have a look at our photos, interact with our latest panorama photos or dive into our high-definition gigapans.  Be sure to click on images to get a full-page view  and to interact with panoramas and gigapans. Read how on the help page. You can give us feedback in the About section of the page and if you want to stay up to date about our adventures, sign up for the newsletter on the right hand side of this page. Enjoy!

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Lost and Found

Lost and Found

One of the things we noticed about living in Switzerland is how honest (most) people are: when anyone looses and object, others go through efforts to try to get it back to them. Typically, if people don’t know who the object belongs to, the finder places it in a very visible place so the person who lost it can easily find it back.

Case in point was the following sign which we noticed at the noticeboard at the entrance to our building. Someone had found an earring and did not only not just take it, they went through the trouble of creating a sign and attaching the earring to the sign so the person who has lost the earring can easily find it back.

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The sign reads “who has lost this?”

The same honesty applies when you leave your bag or suitcase sitting somewhere – you typically do not have to worry about someone taking it.

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We ARE in Africa

Our website has gone very quiet lately, mainly due to being extremely busy. For those of you who are wondering, we still are alive and well and still are in South Africa.

In general, living in South Africa is like living in any other developed country with reasonable good road infrastructure, good housing, shopping malls, telephone, etc. It would be easy to forget that one is actually living in Africa.

Now and then, you get reminded of this fact when reading the local newspaper with stories about a witch being killed by her fellow villagers, a chieftainess being killed because the village does not agree with having a female leader or a four-year old being killed by a traditional healer to ensure a successful hairdresser business. Of course, you also learn about some of the local Xhosa traditions such as the initiation rituals or boys stick fighting.

It is amazing to think that all those stories happen so nearby and you are not really aware of it on a day-to-day basis. However, we are also reminded about the fact that we are living in Africa every time recently we have electricity cuts. This happens on almost a daily basis, often for several hours at a time. Much of this is due to “load shedding” as there is not enough electricity to go around, so the power company turns of different parts of the country at different times. It would not be that bad if it would be announced when such cuts would happen, but the power company, Eskom, and the city, who send us the bill, cannot agree on who should inform the public so nobody knows when the cuts will strike. What we do know is that the problem is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it has become such a normal event that people hardly react when it happens. The other day I was in a business meeting when the electricity, and therefore the lights, projector and airconditioning, went of. People just continued to talk as if nothing has happened as it is such a common occurrence. Similarly, you learn to live with it at home.

A few weeks ago, the electricity outage caused our ADSL Internet connection to go down … and stay down for 8 days! The local telecommunications monopoly, Telkom, had many issues countrywide resulting in waiting times of up to two hours for phone support. The people providing the support often did not know what was happening and our ticket was closed automatically after a few days, even though the problem was not solved! Mind you, for all of this, we are paying among the highest ADSL prices in the world for very poor speed.

So, yes, we still are living in Africa …

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McNaught

Over the last week or so, comet McNaught was supposed to be visible on the Western sky in the early evening. Unfortunately, the weather has not been that great lately, so we were unable to see it because of clouds.

However, when we were at a concert on Saturday night, a group of people suddenly got up and went outside and started looking at the sky. We followed them and saw the comet very clearly in the sky with its tail trailing over a large section of the sky. It was spectacular.

Since we didn´t have a camera on that Saturday night, we went to a friends place on Sunday night to try to take some pictures. He lives at a farm away from the light with a great view of the Western sky. We found out it is very difficult to get decent pictures of a Comet. However, here are some of our best photo´s. As always, click on the photo to see a larger version:

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Prior team member wins photography prize!

Tony Linden was responsible for the IT infrastructure team within the company until he left us at the end of 2005. It as great to read in the local newspaper that he appears to be doing well after he left us!

According to an article in the daily dispatch, Tony won a car worth 290 000 Rand (42 000 USD/ 31 000 Euro) for a video he took about a wasp protecting her nest from the rain.  Tony has always shown interest in photography and it is great to see that he managed to win a prestegious prize with his hobby!

Well done, Tony!

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Christmas greetings from South Africa!

Christmas greetings from South Africa!

This year will be our third christmas in South Africa and we are still not used to this whole “Christmas in summer” concept. Yesterday, we wrapped Christmas presents after a swim in our 27.4 degree Celcius (81.3F) pool. Today, the weather is wet, but warm, and people are planning their braai´s (barbeque) and beach walks for the next couple of days. A very different atmosphere from Christmas in the Northern hemisphere!

I would like to share a picture with you that I saw in the Daily Dispatch, our local newspaper, that gives you an idea about the Christmas atmosphere in South Africa:

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Many of you, who are from colder climates, will therefore understand why we often “dream of a white Christmas” out here in South Africa. For your enjoyment, in case you have not yet seen it, here is a brilliant little flash video with reindeer singing “I am dreaming of a white Christmas” . The animation has been around for a while, so you may have seen it before, but it does the trick for me every time!

Anyway, best wishes for the holidays from South Africa!

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First swim this season

The weather has been pretty odd this year. We have had some really heavy rain causing flooding (see also blog entry from August 4th) and then suddenly some very sunny days. Yesterday, Saturday October 14th, was one of those sunny days. And it got warm enough to motivate me to get into the pool!

The pool was quite pleasant at 23.7C (74.66F) and my first swim was therefore a very good experience. If you remember, last year we did not get to go into the pool until the end of October, and even then the pool was a couple of degrees Celcius colder. It is amazing how much difference two degrees makes in pooltemperature.

And today … well, of course, it is raining again! We will see what happens by the time we get into the real rainy season in December/January! At least the weather is predicted to stay above 20C (68F) for days to come.

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