Island, sun and beaches

Johannes Wittlinger in Levuka. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

THE friendliness of the Fijian people is very peculiar and nice. That’s what German, Johannes Wittlinger, enjoys and believes in.

“I heard of Fiji before I came but very little,” Johannes said, “For many in Europe, your country sounds like a place with islands, sun and beaches.”

“Many people have a very scant idea of what Fiji really is. The first time I came here, I didn’t really know anything really. I didn’t know how rocky the political history was and that you’ve had
many coups.”

Johannes first developed a passion for travelling some six years ago. Since then, he has taken a few long trips from across Europe, including the current one, which started two months ago.

To pay for his travel expenses, he has his house on rent. “I have been travelling a lot currently so I rent out a house and I try to travel cheap,” the travelling bachelor said.

“From here I want to go to Tuvalu and Tonga but with the virus (COVID-19) it has become difficult so I’ve stayed a bit longer in Fiji and exploring a few places.”

Johannes first visited Fiji three years ago on his way to Samoa and Vanuatu. However, this time, he has been able to stay for a while. He went to Mana Island in the Mamanuca Group, Sigatoka and Suva before travelling to Ovalau.

He says the country’s first capital, Levuka seems very quaint and interesting. “Levuka is a very interesting place with a very interesting history.”

“I like it because all the old buildings give the town a very interesting feel, like they belong to another time.”

However, Johannes recommends that the Old Capital give more options for tourists, saying there is “not much to do in Levuka” except viewing historical places.

“I think Levuka could attract more tourists but it needs to offer more. Some people like to come for a few days and would like to do different things but that’s not really possible.”

“There is no beach here, there is no dive centre and the museum was closed today. I wanted to go to Lovoni because it sounded very interesting but it would be expensive to go alone.

“But the great thing is the people are friendly in Fiji. That’s really nice.” Before entering Fiji, Johannes was in Sri Lanka and the Maldives “I am not a travel journalist and I don’t have a blog site to talk about my travel experiences. I just love travelling and I like to take pictures, which is why I have a big camera.”

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