25,000 Kilometers and No End in Sight
“19 Months in a Nutshell”
In Montenegro, I had completed the first 5,000 kilometers of my trip; to arrive there, I had chosen a route through Eastern Europe climbing every mountain along the way.
I was already spoiled by all the beautiful scenery and didn’t regret my choice of this exceptional route at all. I was invited so often and was received so warmly in every country that it was almost unbelievable. It was a great start to an adventurous life.
Up to that point, I loved the nice wooden churches in Poland most of all, besides that, the fascinating Carpathian Mountains in the Ukraine, the nice people in Romania and the beautiful natural landscape in Montenegro.
After that, while Greece and Kosovo severely disappointed me, it was the small country of Albania that made me completely enthusiastic and was the highlight in Europe for me.
I think back on Turkey with very mixed feelings. On the one hand, the Turks are very hospitable,
but on the other hand, also very unpleasant. I was very unlucky there and will most certainly never cycle alone in Turkey again.
Georgia received me with bitter cold weather, but the people, on the other hand, were warm and open. The scenery was breath-taking and the food delicious.
In Armenia, my speedometer had already reached 10,000 kilometers. The winter had finally caught up with me and the passes were covered with deep snow. It was an interesting country, but somehow I felt the Armenians were rather strange people.
I had no concerns about entering any country other than Iran. But the Iranians celebrated me like a hero. Although not a bike touring country because of the traffic on the highways, which was really unpleasant, Iran was spectacular. The culture is fascinating, and the people are more hospitable than anywhere else I had been. It was the country that had surprised me the most in a positive way.
I found the United Arab Emirates totally boring, and the luxury was not very exciting.
Oman, in contrast, presented me with great nights in my tent around campfires, with peace, solitude and loving people. Oman offers steep slopes and breath-taking landscapes in abundance. Is there anything more pleasing to the heart of a cyclist?
After a second 4-week stay in Iran, I was in a race through Turkmenistan to meet a 5-day transit visa. In the middle of the desolate desert there, the next milestone was reached – 15,000 kilometers.
Uzbekistan didn’t inspire me in the least, while Kyrgyzstan was so beautiful that I spent two months’ time there. The slopes, the mountains, the beauty of nature, the seclusion …. Kyrgyzstan was great.
In the brutal heat of the Gobi desert, somewhere in northwest China, 20,000 kilometers were reached, which I had cycled under partly strenuous, but also extremely adventurous conditions since pedaling away from my home.
China presented me with wonderful scenery, delicious food and fascinating Tibetan culture, but also atrocious highways and infinitely annoying bureaucracy. I remained 4 months in China, a country that I plan to visit again soon, because, all in all, China was simply super.
I finally arrived in the 24th country of my trip –Laos. There I especially enjoyed the quiet, the first long break I had had and innumerable children who so lovingly called “Sabaidee” to me in every small village. But there, I was also forced to struggle again with brutally steep roads.
Shortly before arriving in Vietnam, I had managed to complete the first 25,000 kilometers of my trip.
But there is still a long road ahead to wherever the path is leading me, and therefore, certainly many more kilometers will follow. After all, the world is enormous and every day counts.
As Mark Twain said so beautifully:
“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life”
and Kurt Tucholsky:
“The greatest sight to see is the world; look at it.”
Right, and that’s also exactly the reason I’m doing it !!!
In the same breath, I would like extend my heartfelt thanks to all my supporters and my many fans around the world. Without you, the first 25,000 kilometers, so far the most important journey of my life, would not have been possible.
Whatever you’ve done for me, I offer you my very warm thanks from the depths of my heart for that! You are great!