reto mag

about the land and the people

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12/2015 Image of the Week: german woods

March 20th, 2015 by sophie · forest, germany, image of the week, nature, new zealand, photography

A while ago I went location scouting for a shooting in the woods. It made me think about german woods. As you know, I spent some time in New Zealand and most of the woods over there are extremely different to the german ones. They are like a natural wall, you can’t just walk in there, like you can do it in Germany. Its like the nature says: No humans please! Private party!
© Sophie Daum // February 2015

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15/2014 image of the week: close to queenstown

April 18th, 2014 by sophie · image of the week, nature, new zealand

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Photography by Sophie Daum // 2008 // New Zealand

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12/2014 image of the week: waves

March 28th, 2014 by sophie · image of the week, nature, new zealand, ocean

you can’t stop the waves,
but you can learn to surf.
old wisdom

photography by sophie daum
2008 // new zealand

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8/2014 image of the week: seagull at coromandel

March 7th, 2014 by sophie · animals, image of the week, nature, new zealand, ocean, photography

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation.
Look with your understanding.
Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Photography by Sophie Daum
2008 // New Zealand Coromandel

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3/2014 image of the week : el paraiso

January 17th, 2014 by Evangelia · image of the week, new zealand, photography, sightseeing, water

The paradise on earth is Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand.

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New Zealand 2009 / 2010 – First days on the south island.

January 7th, 2014 by Addy · article, new zealand

After two great months in Ponsonby, Auckland, I wanted to start my trip to the south island. I woke up at 6 o clock in the morning and took the 12 hours train from Auckland to Wellington. 12 hours in a train sound hard but it was amazing as I spent my time watching out of the window and talking with a girl next to me about god and the world. When I arrived in Wellington I took a hostel next to the train station, had a beer with two English guys from my room at the hostel bar and went to bed. I propably felt into the deepest and most wonderful sleep I`ve ever had. I woke up early in the morning to catch the ferry to the south island. On the ferry I had “New Zealand breakfast” which was pretty much English breakfast and when the weather became better I went on the deck and watched how we approached the south island. I was totally flashed by the beauty of the nature. One of the guys on the deck told me that I probably had one of these “postcard moments”. He was right. When I left the ferry I arrived in Pickton and directly wanted to take the bus to Nelson as my travelling guide had told me Picton wasnt that exciting. Guess what! The bus had gone. I was pretty annoyed as they told there would be no bus at this day to Nelson anymore. So I waited for the next ferry and asked people whether they would drive to Nelson. I felt like a true backpacker now. When I asked one red haired guy whether he would go to Nelson he said “Well evetually. I actually have no clue where I am going” So we decided to take hostel in Picton for this day. In the evening we went to a pub in Picton and I loved it as locals were dancing traditionally to Irish music. It was one of my happiest moments on the trip as I really love Irish culture and music. Even though Picton was probably one of the smallest villages I had ever seen, I really enjoyed my unplanned day there. In the next morning we took the bus to Nelson and watching out of the window was again a real pleasure. When we arrived in Nelson we checked in the hostel Paradiso and the hostel was paradise indeed. A pool, a whirlpool and a an old bus in the garden where people were drinking and smoking. The people were pretty cool as well. I met two Canadian girls and together and together with the other people we celebrated St Patricks day, with beer and lots of sun. In the evening we went to a Pub in Nelson and danced through the night. We ended up in a karaoke bar, which was a lot of fun. The next day I went into a Hippie store ( Nelson is a town famous for its Hippies and artists} and bought beautiful bracelets. Afterwards I went with one of the Canadian girls on a hill and enjoyed the view. It was another great day in Nelson but after two days I wanted to move on. In the next blog entry, I will talk about my experiences in the Abel Tasman national park.


Photography by Sophie Daum, Nelson Beach 2008


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The most chaotic time during my stay in Auckland

October 7th, 2013 by Addy · accommodation, auckland, new zealand, reportage, retomag, shopping, sightseeing

After a while I noticed that the student accommodation I lived in started to afflict me. All my friends, who used to live in the building had gone and the parties seemed to be the same after a while. So me and my danish friend from the language school had an idea, which can be called a cultural experiment. One man with two girls. We decided to move together with a  friend of her. I really loved the flat we picked as it was one of the old buildings in the city, which is a rarity in Auckland. I also liked to hear the street musician from my window. It went well until new years eve arrived. I spent the night on the beach with my friends and when I came back. In the morning the decision to move out again had to be made as me and my danish flatmate found out that during the last weeks our flatmate had not paid his part of the rent. Me and my flatmate moved out on the same day and luckily two friends offered us their couch. My danish flatmate moved back to her host family after a couple of days and I started to look for a room. There was was this quarter of Auckland, called Ponsonby, with art galleries and trendy boutiques, which I liked a lot and where I started to look for a new place to move in. When I had an appointment in a house in Ponsonby I passed another house where a group of young people were preparing their barbecue. I asked them for the way, and they told me that they had a room available as well. I really liked the room, the house and also the people seemed cool to me. They invited me for barbeque but I declined because I had another flat visit in another quarter of Auckland. When I came back, pretty sure to take the room, they had found someone else in the meantime. I was so disappointed as I had really fallen in love with everything about this flat. Two days later when I sat at work, my mobile rang and David, one of the guys from the ponsonby place told me that the room would be available again as the other girl would move somewhere else. I was so delighted and could not wait to move in. My flatmates, were a guy from New Zealand television, an Irish chef, an engineer and a girl from Germany who worked in a photostudio and who is also known as the founder of this magazine. I was very happy to live in this house and enjoyed every day of this splendid two months in Ponsonby.

Photography by Sophie Daum

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New Zealand 2009-2010 series 2nd part: Trip to Taupo and Roturua

August 19th, 2013 by Addy · article, new zealand

I was very excited about my first trip, which I would be going to do with my roommate and a couple of other nice people, I met in my language school.  We started in the evening and while I was sitting in the bus I became surprised how big Auckland actually is. The city center itself is relatively small but the are a lot of suburbs, which make it the biggest city of New Zealand. It was really rainy but I could not stop watching outside, as, after one week in the city center, it was so refreshing to see green, green, green. After hours of drive, I guess around 5, we arrived in our hostel in Rotorua.  But we did not really rest inside that long as there was a bar next to the hostel. We were pretty surprised, that there were a bunch of securities checking our identity card and when we went inside,it was totally empty. It was undeniable that cold that I was wearing one long shirt, two jumpers and one jacket in the bar, even when we were dancing. It was, according to the Arabian  calender, the birthday of one guy from Saudi Arabia and I think it was the best birthday of his life, because he danced happy like a child and jumped up and down to the song „I’ve got a feeling“ by the Black Eyed Peas. I jumped as well. The party became great and I was not surprised about all the securities anymore as the bar became crowed with backpackers from all over the world. When we arrived in our hostel, I probably felt into the deepest sleep I’ve ever had.

The next day, we visited a Maori village. We saw one of the typical hot pools of Roturua, where Maoris could also cook their food. I doubt that it was an actual Maori village though as there were no Maoris in the “houses” and it all looked pretty unused. Finally there was a Maori show were the Maoris danced their traditional dances and did the typical “haka”.At the end of the show everybody could take a picture with a Maori and one girl even took a picture with a Maori baby. I did not know what to think about it. It felt like the Maoris were kind of “prostituting” their culture for us Western people. On the other hand, most of the the Maoris still belong to the poorer parts of the  New Zealand Society and tourism is a way for them to earn their living and also to keep their culture alive.

On the same day we went into a national park, where we could again see hot pools, which were filled with something that looked liked Lava and had impressive colours like orange or gift green. We even got see a Gazier show. It works like that: The magma warms the water inside the earth (..)0

We were a bit disappointed though, as they had given a piece of soap into the gazier to make the show more impressive.

The next and final day of our trip we went to Taupo, a town with a quaint lake. Behind the lake you could see the snowy top of a mountain, which was even used in lord of the rings. The lake and everything around was indeed a scenery, which could as well be from lord the rings. The only thing which did not not really fit into the picture was that at the promenade there was a range of  American Fast Food chains such as Burger King, Subway or McDonalds. We got snacks at burger king and sat down at the lake with our fast food. Truly romantic!

At the same say we finally drove home and it was a sunny beautiful bus drive. I enjoyed the trip a lot and me and the other guys from the language school had become good friends. I could not wait for the next trip in this country full of beauties, waiting for me to get found.


Photography by Sophie Daum 02/2008

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New Zealand 2009/2010 series – Hello Auckland!

July 30th, 2013 by Addy · article, auckland, new zealand

Before I came here I did not know much about the world. My holidays had so far solely been to places in Europe but that was not the point: My world was small as I was a girl of 18 with typical interests as party, clothes and boys but nevertheless anxious to find out what was waiting outside there for me. I was doing an internship at a German newspaper and had one of those typical, surfing in the internet sessions, when I clicked on a map and decided that, for my Gap year, I would go as far as possible: New Zealand. It was my father who did not want me to do work and travel but to do something „useful“ in his eyes. So I ended up doing three month of language school, three months of internship and one month for a trip to the south island. A decision which, I do not regret. For Retomag I will present my most impressive and intensive experiences in New Zealand as good as my memory is able to recapture them.

Day of arrival: Hello Auckland!

My flight to New Zealand was already an experience for itself: I had this unique feeling, which you have when you do not know what to expect but you are sure that it must me something great.

After 24 hours I finally arrived , went out of the plane and a man was waiting for me with a sign of our language school in his hands. We drove into Auckland and I could not stop watching out of the window. I did not know what I had expected to see but I was surprised that Auckland in regard to landscape seemed relatively normal to me. I did not know at this point that the full beauty of this country was yet to discover. The driver dropped me off at my place to stay for the next months. A student accommodation called Empire: A gray and high building with the charme of the 70ties. I noticed that there were mostly Chinese people around there. Later I got to know that Auckland is a very popular city to study for young people from China.

I knew that I would share my room with another girl, which was already in the room when I came in. When she turned around I saw a very beautiful girl. She was from Hungary and directly said. „Oh, you are from Germany. Dann können wir auch Deutsch sprechen.“. Luckily I directly said no because I did not know at this point that she would become a very good friend and talking partner to me. We went into the city and despite being the the biggest city in New Zealand, the city center itself seemed relatively comfortable to me. I had a „New Zealandish Italian Pizza“ and found out that „German Italian Pizza’s“ are much more heavy and greasy. Being exhausted by the Jetlag I went into bed at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, just to wake at the same time in the morning and to have breakfast with my roommate at this rather unusual time…


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new zealand leaves

May 11th, 2013 by sophie · new zealand, photography

when i worked in auckland, new zealand, i had a 15 minutes walk to work every morning. these 15 minutes were full of seeking the air in the streets of ponsonby and expiring everything what didn’t look like home. i found some pretty great leaves and started collecting them.

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