If you can see a forest and mountains from a window of your house, chances are, you don’t need anything more. It is another matter if your window shows you only the big, modern, and never sleeping city, living its life. Sooner or later, you will feel the need to hear the sound of ocean waves, and not car horns. I admit that walking around the ingenius Neuschwanstein castle is a great pleasure for me, but the best medicine to cure the mad rhythm of any megalopolis is a flight to the Maldives.
A several-hour flight is a mere trifle if you fly to the Maldives. For these islands, I am ready to go to the ends of the Earth. It is year-round summer here. The Indian Ocean outside the window is whispering something again, and the rains are so warm.
We are in Male again. A small funny plane is waiting for us. Sure enough you may easily reach many of the Maldives Islands hotels with a high-speed powerboat, but to fly tо an island in a tiny hydroplane is something amazing. A dozen small, winged friends are waiting for their passengers in the emerald-green harbour. A short takeoff, and the quick little fellow will bring you to one of the lost-in-the-ocean Maldives Islands/hotels in thirty minutes.
We are flying quite low so we can easily see numerous atolls. It might be the most interesting part of the route.
There are only thirteen seats in the cabin of this miracle of the aircraft industry, and often it is run by only two–sometimes barefoot–pilots. One of them is nearly always a European. I wonder, whether this Italian or Belgian ever regretted that he runs this tiny plane rather than a huge Boeing? Or is living in a paradise completely worth it?
Water landing! Flight to the Maldives is over. Welcome to paradise. We have only seven days of the year to enjoy such an idyll. The Maldives’ pictures will express the beauty of the overwater and underwater worlds of these coral islands better than any words.
The pathway leads to the Reception under the thatched roof. A fresh coconut as a welcome cocktail, and everybody disperses on the island. It sounds rather strange but we almost never see each other on this tiny piece of land, except in the restaurant. People come here for isolation, and the island surprisingly manages to provide this isolation on the 300×700 meter territory. Hello, our new house, outdoor bathroom, open terrace with chaise-lounges in the case of a tropical rain, and seesaw under a palm tree.
This earthly paradise is worth visiting at least for a while. Sunrises and sunsets are unbelievably wonderful here. It is not astonishing that just-married couples from all over the world fly here for their honeymoon. We are not “just married” a very long time already, but all the feelings take on an unusual sharpness on these tiny islands. Seems, happiness lives here always. Everybody walks hand in hand here with no regard for age. The islands of lifelong newlyweds.
We are equipped with all five of our amateur photo cameras. Each has its own mission, but at the same time all of them are focused on one goal: Maldives’ pictures have to express the whole beauty of such a miraculous place on this planet.
It’s time to go underwater. Unfortunately underwater pictures of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll are not as good as those from Vilamendhoo Island. The warm current El Niño killed local corals—only a few survived. But we managed to shoot something new and interesting.
I could show you our underwater photos forever. We went ashore only to change batteries or memory cards. The first day on Reethi Island presented us with the opportunity to swim with a big turtle, and a day later we met it again. It is such a pleasure watching them in their native habitat!
However, the trademark of the Reethe Island beach is an evening feeding of giant stingrays, when a servant fearlessly goes into the water—to everybody’s amazement—feeds the animals, and periodically pats them, like kittens.
Well, Irina is also fearless, as long as it’s not about the insects, of course. We’ve chosen Reethi Island for the sake of that show. We flew to the Maldives dreaming of returning with our own pictures with the giant stingrays. I go first.
Fly to the Maldives at least once, maybe not for long. Whatever beautiful views you have seen at home, all the same you will like these islands in the ocean. By the way, holidays on the Maldives become cheaper and cheaper every year; of course, if you are prepared to rest without a butler or European chef.