Hawaii - One Month in Paradise
On August 28, 2017, at 6 o’clock in the morning, I boarded a plane that would take me from Innsbruck to Frankfurt. This was just the beginning of a 27-hour journey to my final destination, Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. I had never been so far away from home before, and also, never this long. I went to Hawaii for four whole weeks. For most of this time, I stayed in Honolulu since I booked this trip as part of a language school program with EF (Education First).
I was lucky enough to experience so many amazing things during these four weeks and I want to tell you guys all about it. So, be ready for a little four-part-series on the blog, where I will get into detail about all of my adventures on Oahu and Kauai.
In today’s post, I am going to focus on Honolulu and the area close by.
Honolulu has to be one of my absolute favourite cities ever. I loved how it made me feel about myself and how safe I felt all of the time. I lived in Waikiki, which is probably the most famous part of the city. It is sectioned off from the other neighbourhoods by the Ala Wai Canal and the Ala Wai Boulevard (which was right in front of my house and a beautiful view to wake up to). Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. My favourite section of it is Fort DeRussy Beach Park, or how we liked to call it, Army Beach. It is a little bit further away from Kalakaua Avenue, one of the biggest streets there (great for shopping, btw), than other sections (and there are also considerably less people). Other great places to visit in Waikiki are Kapiolani Park and all of the amazing bars and restaurants in this neighbourhood (make sure to have an acai bowl and to also try poke, which is a national Hawaiian dish and probably one of my favourite foods ever).
Another very famous spot close by is Diamond Head. This is an old volcanic tuff cone right next to Honolulu. One of the first American military bases on Hawaii was located on the inside. Now, it makes for a great hike that is not longer than an hour. From the top, you get an excellent view over the city and the ocean, which left me personally speechless and I didn’t really want to climb back down again.
If you feel like Diamond Head was quite easy for you to get up, then why don’t you also hike up Koko Head. This is another old, non-active volcano close by. With this one, you can access the top by climbing up the old rail-system, which is, to be totally honest, quite exhausting, but totally worth it. I got up at 4 am to hike up to the top and see the sunrise over the ocean. It was one of those experiences I will never ever forget.
Right next to Koko Head is Hanauma Bay, an embayment within an old tuff ring. It is the perfect place to go snorkelling and see amazing wildlife like turtles, corals, all kinds of different fish, and even sharks if you are lucky. (Please be sure not to touch anything. Always remember: leave only footprints and take only memories.) I absolutely recommend visiting Hanauma Bay. I loved it. You have to pay to enter, and they only accept a certain number of visitors each day (in order to make sure the reef is not harmed), but it is completely and utterly worth it.
I hope you enjoyed this first post about my trip to Hawaii. In the next post, I will tell you more about different beaches and shores on Oahu and what to do there. If there is anything in particular you would like me to talk about, just let me know in the comments down below!
- by Sophie Grienberger