Siem Reap, Cambodia

To present the candidate certificate to Mr. Phirin in the – literally! – best light, we had decided to do the ceremony in the afternoon, before the sun set. The accumulated heat of a full day of sun was such that, even without moving, my shirt stuck to my body and inevitably turned from light blue to dark blue. But, I thought to myself, I should not care too much – it is just a fact that I am not at home in Switzerland, we are in a hot country and this is what happens …

The terrace in front of the main gate of Angkor Wat was beautifully decorated when we arrived. Beautiful flowers, colorful carpets, white seats, welcome banners. It was simply a delight and really made us proud and feel warmly welcomed.

The ceremony became such a moving event that everybody stayed afterwards to marvel at the sun setting. This was the most beautiful ending of a candidate ceremony on our World Tour so far!

Over the next few days, we had the time to visit, film and photograph nearby temple cities, and we were impressed to see just how many incredible structures are part of the Angkor compound – while we knew that Angkor Wat is merely the most famous building there, we were really amazed by how much else is there to be marvelled at and appreciated! The dimensions are absolutely unbelievable. Some of the temples which most impressed me are the Ta Prohm temple, which is famous for the huge trees growing from its roofs and sometime even holding together parts of temple, and the Angkor Tom, with huge faces on its towers. For me, these gigantic stone faces looking out from the walls in the jungle created one of the most fascinating, mysterious and fantastic (in the real sense of the word) environments I have ever experienced.

A realization: Here, the gods are worshipped in a truly magical way. It is heaven on earth, paradise!