Hawaii - the Aloha State
Aloha is the spiritual key and signifies the sentiments of affection, sympathy, kindness and love. And this is exactly what you can feel everywhere in Hawaii.
When I talk to people here in Austria about Hawaii, I always realize that they don`t know a lot about the island on the other side of the world. And this is already the first misconception. Hawaii is not one island, Hawaii is the longest chain of islands in the world, consisting of 8 islands.
The five main islands are: OÀHU with the biggest city Honolulu and the most famous place Waikiki. BIG ISLAND, the largest one, is still building up due to volcanic action. MAUI, the 2nd largest, KAUA`I also called "Garden Isle" (my favourite one) and MOLOKA`I. By the way the first European land on western Kaua`i on January 20, 1778. It was Captain James Cook, on his third voyage. He sighted Oàhu in the Hawaiin chain first, but adverse winds drove his ships westward, bringing him to land on Kaua`i. The other three islands NI`IHAU, LANA`I and KAHO`OLAWE are not visited that much, which doesn`t mean that they are not as beautiful as the others.
What I love so much about Hawaii is that life happens to nearly 100% outdoor. The temperature is always mild, even warm. It`s never cold and never hot – sunny skies, balmy breezes, gentel surf - that´s what´s to expect. So it is perfect for sightseeing, swimming, sunning on the beach, hula dancing, beachvolleyball, running, surfing, scuba diving and a lot of other exciting things, like doing a Color Run with friends and other funny crazy people
Paradoxically the wettest spot on earth is also in Hawaii (Mount Wai`ale`ale on Kaua`i).
When I start talking about the beaches on Hawaii, I think I will never come to an end ;-). For sure there are 8 islands, so you can imagine how many beautiful beaches you will find there. The great thing is, that on every island you find beaches with different attractions. So I will just mention a small selection on Oàhu, where I used to stay most of the time.
For sure there is Waikiki Beach, the most famous and most visited one. Definitly not my favourite, because I don`t like lying towel on towel with all the other tourists. This beach is crowded the whole year. Hanauma Bay is another tourist attraction and a snorkle paradise. On the North Shore on Oàhu you find a lot of beaches with the biggest waves, a paradise for surfers but as well for people who just want to relax, because some of the beaches are really lonly beaches. My favourite one there is Waimea, where you can jump from a rock into the waves. You also have to go to Pipeline (there are usually the surfer competitions), Sunset Beach, etc. On the East Side there is the beautiful Lanikai Beach and Waimanalo Bay. If you ever go to Hawaii you have to visit all of them and a lot more.
But when I talk about Hawaii, it is not enough to mention the beautiful beaches, the ocean and the perfect weather. Agriculture is also a very interesting topic to talk about. Hawaii is famous for Pineapples and Papaya, the best Papayas I ever ate! On Maui and Kaua`i are 70,000 acres of sugar, yielding about 340,000 tons of raw sugar. Hawaii is also very famous for its macadamia nuts and the coffee. And because I can`t live without coffee, I can tell you the Kona coffee is really good! But my favourites are definitly the famous cocktail "Mai Tai" with 3 different rums (never drink more than two ;-) and the Hawaiin fresh fish, like Ahi and Aku.
Last but not least, I have to mention my favourite places, where I spent most of the time while I was living in Hawaii. I love playing beachvolleyball, and because I lived in Waikiki, I was at the Fort DeRussy Beach Park nearly every day. It felt like having a small familiy there to play beachvolleyball with or just to relax the whole day till sunset. Every weekend I went to the North Shore to all the beautiful beaches and to my favourite litte town, Haleiwa Town. And because I am a girl, I also have to mention the shop "Victoria`s Secret" as one of my favourite places … I love this shop!
So what is it, why do I love Hawaii so much? Is it the beach, the ocean, the great weather? Sometimes it is better to speak with pictures than with words. Look, enjoy and you will see why.
Hawaii - its all about beauty, people and spirit – ALOHA!
Text & pictures: Daniela Walser