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Overview

  • 99 references 64 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish; learning Russian
  • 43, Male
  • Member since 2008
  • working in the reinsurance industry
  • Certified Bank Clerk, University Graduate in Business Adm...
  • From Sundern, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice ;-)

my motto:
Viel zu spät begreifen viele die versäumten Lebensziele: Freude, Schönheit der Natur, Gesundheit Reisen und Kultur! Darum Mensch, sei zeitig weise! Höchste Zeit ist's! Reise, Reise! - Wilhelm Busch, 1832-1908

ABOUT ME

Hi, my name is Stefan and I love travelling... Since having guests is a little bit like travelling and feels like a holiday is coming to my house, I'm looking forward to host other young and open-minded CS members from all over the world. I speak/understand various languages (German, English, French, Spanish, Portugese and a bit of Russian) and it would be an honour for me to show you the town I chose for work.

Hannover is an ideal stop-over for all travellers travelling from West to East Germany as well as for those travelling from Northern Germany to South Germany and vice versa since it is very centrally located:

By train it takes just

* 1h30min - 2h00 to go to Berlin

* 1h15-1h30 to Hamburg,

* roughly 1h00 to go to Bremen

* under 2h30 to go to Frankfurt,

* 2h30 to go to Cologne and

* 4h30 to go to Munich and Dresden.

and if you are fed up with the silly Bavarian accent and wonder why you don't understand a single word in German, you might want to come to Hannover where probably Germany's purest German is spoken! Promised! ;-)

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I joined CouchSurfing only after two years of experience as a Hospitalityclub Member, which is roughly the same.
I am enjoying hosting other members and being hosted by them on my trips. The only bad thing is that the Hospitalityclub platform is down from time to time so I hope the CS platform will prove more reliable ;-)

Interests

Travelling, languages, art, history, architecture, photography, (classical) music (singing in a mixed choir and playing the violin), dancing (Standard and Latin), sport (Tae Bo, Zumba, jogging)

  • animals
  • arts
  • singing
  • architecture
  • photography
  • dancing
  • traveling
  • music
  • violin
  • cycling
  • sports
  • history
  • languages
  • tours
  • mountains

Music, Movies, and Books

I am fond of getting to know foreign cultures, customs, languages and religions so I especially like documentaries. I listen to any kind of music except Heavy Metal and other aggressive stuff. I enjoy world music and folk music as well as pop music, it just depends on my mood!

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

There is not only "one amazing thing" I could name - on my tours abroad I have seen and experienced a lot of amazing things so far, these are my absolute highlights:

* Seeing the starry sky inmidst the desert in Erg Chebbi/Morocco

* travelling along the Silk road from Dushanbe/Tajikistan to Khiva/Uzbekistan, breathe history and admire the wonderful turquoise domes of the Medresas and Mosques.

* going on a train journey from Panama City to Colón on the legendary and more than 155 years old Panamá Canal Railway through untouched jungle and along the Canal with a superb view on the big ships passing Gatún lake on their journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

* horseback riding in the tobacco fields in Viñales region (Cuba) and swimming in total obscurity in a natural swimming pool deep inside a cave.

* staying in huts in the Amazon Rainforest in an indigenous settlement in southern Colombia

* seeing the planes landing below me at the former Quito City airport from 4.200 m high Volcano Pichincha

*cycling down the Ecuadorean Andean from Baños to Puyo, the doorway to the Jungle through dramatic scenery.

* going to Masai Mara National Park in Kenya to spot the wild and big animals (lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and much more)

* see how all the spices are grown in their natural habitat on the "Spice Island" Zanzibar - curcuma, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa... and snorkeling off the coast surrounded by colourful coral reefs

* going by train from Moscow to Beijing on Transsiberian and Transmongolian

* Doing a Mahout (elephant riding) training and riding an elephant bareback through the mountain forests of Northern Thailand. Best part was bathing with the elephant afterwards and enjoying to be showered by the elephant's trunk though ;-)

* visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi - the most beautiful religious building my eyes have ever seen

* travelling through the fragrant land of frankincense - Oman and taking a boat tour on a traditional Dhow accompanied by Dolphins in the fjords of Arabia in Mussandam

* Going on the "World's Most Beautiful Sea Voyage", the Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Express) on a winter cruise and spotting the Northern Lights

* driving a Husky dog-sled through the fresh snow in Abisko National Park in Swedish Northern Lapland

* spotting a Polar Bear lopping ashore from a boat in Spitsbergen and seeing the million year old pure blue ice of Nordenskiöldbreen glacier

* eagle hunting in the Kyrgyz mountains on a horseback and sleeping in a traditional Yurt in the steppe

* travelling from Petrozavodsk across Onega lake to Kizhi island in Karelia on a Meteor hydrofoil speedboat dating from the soviet times, a true dinosaur of the sea! ;-) Against all odds I made it back and forth!

* enjoying a very relaxing visit to the famous Abanotubani Sulphur baths in Tbilisi under the brick domes rising up out of the ground. Unwinding in about 40° C hot water, full of natural therapeutic minerals, which springs from the ground in the old town was a real treat!

* sleeping in the historical building of the formerly biggest Karavanseray on the Transcaucasian Silk Road in the Silk City Seki in Azerbaijan on my way overland from Istanbul to Baku.

* seeing the "Burning Mountain" (Yanar Dağ), a natural gas fire which blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku (Azerbaijan)

* experience from the grandstand the Parade of the most famous Samba schools Salgueiro, Portela and Mangueira during Carnival 2016 in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. I got so addicted to Carnival in Rio that I did it again two years later... and again in 2019!

* visiting the Iguassu waterfalls both on the Brazilian and Argentinean side - a simply impressive (and very wet) natural spectacle!

* travelling through one of the least visited countries in the world - Turkmenistan - and being flashed by the beauty of the capital city Ashgabat, a city entirely built in white marble! Simply stunning! I have the best memories of this visit even if for a moment it looked like I was to be arrested and deported back to Germany. How I got into and out of this situation is a crazy story which you only can experience in Turkmenistan...

* going on a sea voyage on the largest ocean liner ever built, for the transatlantic passage, Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 on its cruise from Hamburg to New York via Southampton and indulge in true luxury!

* spending a night in the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, the Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, idyllically located in the southwesern Rila mountains in the deep valley of the Rilska River at an elevation of 1.147m above sea level inside of Rila Monastery Nature Park and declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

* visiting St. Petersburg during the White Nights for Alye Parusa graduation party and seeing the firework salute to the sailing ship from the rooftop. I have never seen such amazing fireworks in my life!

* travelling on the tracks of Eric the Red, the Viking that settled first in Iceland and then moved further to "green" southwest Greenland: Getting to know the world's northernmost capital city (Reykjavík) and the stunning nature of Southwestern Iceland, then sailing around 1.000 seamiles on board of Arctic Umiaq's weekly coast passenger ship Sarfaq Ittuk along the west coast of Greenland all the way from Ilulissat to Qaqortoq and back to Nuuk and getting to know the remoteness of some cute, colourful fishing villages with unpronounceable names (think of Qeqertarsuatsiaat) and extreme beauty of the nature along the way, spotting icebergs, glaciers, impressive mountain ranges, fjords and fauna such as whales, seals, eagles and polar fox.

* sleeping in the Sumaj Rijchariy and Luna Salada Salt Hotels, hotels built out of Salt bricks and with salt floors, walls and furnishings on the edge of the Uyuni Salt flat in Bolivia which turns into the World's biggest mirror in the rainy season. Sunsets and Sunrises are magic there and if you are lucky you can spot flying Andean Flamingos . And during the night you see an amazing starry sky and the Milky Way just above you, a breathtaking experience!

* going on the all-day PeruRail Titicaca train ride from Puno to Cuzco and indulge in luxury of rail travels of days long gone by while crossing the Andean mountain range reaching the 4.300 m pass at La Raya.

* climbing 3.061m high Mount Machu Picchu through the jungle trail to have a superb view over the Ruins of the Inka village below - a sweaty, but very memorable affair!

* attending the 2019 150th Jubilee edition of the Estonian Song Celebration Laulupidu in Tallinn taking place every 5 years on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Tallinna Lauluväljak) fitting up to 100,000 people. Hearing up to 24.000 singers from all over the country singing on the stage at the same time was an acoustic blast!

* exploring the Belarusian Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park , the home of the world's largest population of European bison and Europe's last fragment of the virgin forest that once stretched across the European Plain. It was funny seeing day tourists from neighbouring Poland entering Belarus on a visa-free regime by bike, using the pedestrian border crossing in the middle of the forest to visit this part of the bi-national UNESCO World Heritage site.

* flying with the Search and Rescue pilots on board the Atlantic Airways helicopter on a scheduled 24 minutes flight from Klaksvík via Tórshavn and Koltur island to Sørvagur airport over the scenic Faroe Islands perfectly lit by sunshine this day!

* seeing Humboldt Penguins and Pelicans nesting among many other birds on the Nature Reserve Ballestas Islands in the Pacific, off the Peruvian coastal town Paracas

* travelling 2.000 km through the Chilean fjords and wilderness of Patagonia, accompanied by Albatros and Co. on the NAVIMAG ferry Evangelistas from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, a scenic route that takes 3 days and nights.

* visiting the lowest point of earth, the Dead Sea and floating on the excessively salty water that feels like soapy. Also visiting on the same trip some more wonders of Jordan, such as Petra, the impressive Mosaic in the church in Madaba or celebrating my birthday in the extremely Wadi Rum rocky desert and snorkeling at the Red Sea reef at the Gulf of Aqaba, so close to the Saudi Arabian border that I was welcomed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by SMS ;-)

* going on a epic railtrip crisscross winter wonderland Switzerland in February 2021 riding all those famous panorama trains I had on my bucket list since long time ago: Voralpenexpress, Rigibahn, Treno del Gottardo, Bernina-Express, Albula Line, Glacier Express, Gornergratbahn, Golden Pass and as a highlight the ride up to the highest railway station in Europe, Jungfraujoch Top of Europe at 3.454m above sea level, an absolute must-do for railway fans!

* riding the picturesque Großglockner High Alpine mountain road in Austria all alone in the moonlit night with a special permission.

* riding the panoramic Amalfi Coast road in Italy on a scooter.

* swimming in Yucatán Peninsula's hidden gems, some breathtaking Cenotes, groundwater-filled sinkholes naturally formed by the collapse of limestone, enjoying cristal clear turquoise waters in extremely beautiful surroundings.

* drinking "Mediterranean Blu", a wine as turquoise blue as the crystal clear waters that surround Cyprus island at Omodos winery, produced without any artificial colours

You can find some of my photos on my Instagram account sjk_pictures

What I Can Share with Hosts

certainly a lot of stories and my humour!

Countries I’ve Visited

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City State, Viet Nam

Countries I’ve Lived In

France, Germany, United Kingdom

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