Has anyone ever been to Fiji

Fiji: island paradise in the South Pacific

Fiji - somehow heard of it before. Isn't that right down there on the world map? Correct. Where Australia is long gone and New Zealand is already around 2,000 kilometers to the south behind you, there are a few small green spots rise from the blue sea: the Fiji Islands.

This South Seas dream has to be worked hard. There are no eight or twelve hours of flight ahead of the traveler, a full two days have to be planned for the 17,000-kilometer route. After arriving, you will fall out of the plane, pretty tired and plagued by jetlag. A hot and humid cotton ball surrounds the body - the South Pacific climate.

Musical reception in Fiji

Arrived in Fiji. At the other end of the world, where time is also very different. And the first unreal impression of it is a polyphonic “Bula!”, Which the travelers echoed in the terminal hall of the international airport in Nadi from a group of colorfully dressed musicians and singers. We have arrived in the world of light-heartedness.

The island state of Fiji, under the rule of the British Crown for a long time and still emancipated with the Commonwealth symbol in its national flag, is in a spirit of optimism. The Fijians have been seeing their tourist opportunities for some time and no longer want to be just an exotic stop on Oceania tours.

The country with a population of 850,000 is not rich. But nobody goes hungry in Fiji, unemployment is below six percent, and the South Seas Republic of 332 islands has set out to unearth a great treasure: its everyday paradise. A simple life in the sun - except in the rainy season in November -, eternal warmth and constant music.

Cruises through the islands of the South Seas

The following professions have no chance in Fiji: Heating engineers can leave their tools at home, as can producers of warm clothing or the shoe trade. Fijians prefer to go barefoot. On the beach and on rough terrain in the mountains. Only when the boat people on the island cruise ships have to do tricky maneuvers on deck do they reluctantly slip on a couple of flip-flops.

Island tours are the core of the tourist offer. Several shipping companies offer cruises through the islands of the Yasawas. The tours are well organized - you always have to factor in a certain “Fiji time” factor - and offer diving courses, shore excursions for snorkeling, and folkloric on-board programs. The on-board catering is not free from English influences, tea time is standard, but seafood fans will get their money's worth.

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Insight into the life of the Fijians

Anyone who goes further ashore beyond the strip of beach encounters an island reality that does not correspond to any postcard cliché. The villages are unadorned and sober. At least now it becomes clear: Fiji is also a piece of the Third World. The dark-skinned Melanesian population, very reminiscent of the Australian Aborigines, only got more intensive contact with what we call Western civilization about 200 years ago.

One result of this is the widespread Christian (Methodist) religion. What impresses the Fijians, their unadulterated and frugal way of life, may also irritate some western tourists. Their culture is not set in stone, it resides in their hearts and in the form of songs on the tongue.

Visit the blue lagoon

And so the guest from Europe looks around three times when he enters the house of the village chief Selema on Matacawalevu - one of the Yasawa Islands, right next to the blue lagoon known from the film of the same name. Crouching on the floor on a palm bast mat, he sits across from the gentleman, who was born in 1936. He accepts the traditional gift, the kava root, in a friendly and calm manner.

The guests ask curiously whether he has ever left Fiji. He replies with a smile: “Yes, I was in New York once, with my son, who works for the UN as a climate expert. But that was way too hectic for me there. I was happy when I was back on my island. "

His house consists of a single room, sleeping, cooking and sanitary areas are separated by partition-like partitions. This is how the village chief lives, this is how the neighbors live. There are only a few glazed windows on the windward side. And they have an open lamellar design.

The air conditioning, which is unavoidable in restaurants, shops and hotels, is just as unavailable in the island villages as there is electricity. Diesel generators occasionally provide energy for the most necessary supply. Light is not so much a part of it. Cell phones, on the other hand, are widespread - for many the only quick contact to the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. And satellite dishes are common for television, which has only been around in Fiji since the early 1990s.

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Rough diamond in the South Pacific

A trip to Fiji is almost inevitably a trip to an undiscovered, rough paradise. Fiji is something like a diamond in the rough among the palm beach dream vacation regions. If you're not skimpy, you can also daydream directly into a walk-in postcard: In luxury holiday villages such as the Likuliku Resort, Fiji for calm water, on the island of Mamanuca, where you can watch the fish through the glass floor while brushing your teeth in the bathroom.

Or in the Malolo Island Resort, which invites families with children in particular to dive adventures and races with playful dolphins. Excellent adventure - Awesome Adventures - is therefore also the name of one of the tourism providers.

Fiji Islands - where was that again? Right, on the other side of the world. And how different the world is there, you will only realize again at home. After a good two days return trip. The sounds of the farewell songs from these friendly Fijians can still be heard.