As I stepped out of the plane and into the airport, I was taken aback. Instead of the typical sleek corridors and contemporary architecture with overhead announcements, I was confronted with something else. It was a shack with flowers hanging on the roof. Polynesian women dressed in floral clothes checked our tickets and welcomed us with Aloha and a smile.
Hawaii consists of 5 islands. Because of constant volcanic eruptions and erosion from the sea, it is constantly in evolution. You will find grasslands, mountains, beaches, plains, and all other sorts of topography – all in a very small span of space.
Perhaps what are most enchanting about this place are the people. They truly embody the Hawaiian spirit. Always smiling and friendly, it is a pleasure just to walk on the street and get caught up in its vibe. In fact people would come up to me on the streets and invite me for a luau (an evening feast) or an evening of hula dance. One man even said, â€œYoung girls should not roam around without flowers in their hairâ€? and offered me a plumeria to wear.
One beautiful feature is Hawaiian graffiti. People are environmentally sensitized. So they go through a lot of trouble collecting white coral stones from distant beaches. The newly solidified volcanic lava is black in color. The natives use these white stones against the black ones as an art form.
Because of the constantly evolving nature of the islands, there are several interesting things to see. There are areas where lava flow is visible. And on cold early mornings, large stretches of the plains get covered with steam and fog. Then there are underground caves with lakes inside them. These are called lava tubes. People usually do not go there. So it is important to befriend a native if youâ€™d like to visit these places.
I stayed in Kona which is a quiet town. Here, you ought to primarily laze around the beach and go snorkeling on occasion. One could also visit the black beach (one with black sand present only in Kona).
Honolulu, on the other hand, is a busy town. Driving through the street is like discovering a shopperâ€™s paradise. Every single designer exists in Honolulu. Though lets be honestâ€¦I cannot afford Jimmy Choos, et al. So I walked out to the thrift street. Carts after carts filled with anything you could possibly want â€“ dresses, jewellery, Hawaiian handicrafts, etc.
On the second day we took a trip down to Pearl Harbor. One can visit the ship on which the peace treaty with Japan was signed. A strong sense of history overcame me as I walked through the various levels of the ships. The navigation rooms, sailorâ€™s bunk beds and the captainâ€™s cabin are still preserved from that age. It is literally as though one has stepped through the looking glass into an image of history.
I found it rather ironic. The most heinous act of humanity lies preserved in Hawaii â€“ a paradise of beauty and peace. However, the native is Hawaii consider themselves rather separate from the rest of the population. The strong Polynesian traditions still exist. Once in Hawaii, you realize that Aloha is not just a word. It is a way of life. In Hawaiian Language, Aloha stands for hello, goodbye, I love you, Iâ€™m having fun, etc. It is an experience. It is a retreat into the lap of nature.
Hawaii in all its natural glory is a must visit!
Hawaiian language only has 13 characters i.e. H, W, L, P, K, T, M, N, A, E, I, O, U.
When the natives stepped on the hot lava, they went â€œAA! AA!â€? in pain. Today, these solidified rocks are called Aa Aa rocks.
Hawaii has a strong cowboy culture!
The tourism industry is the largest industry in Hawaii. It sustains their economy.