Summary of the first stage
The most important insights / what I learned:
Live in the here and now, don't let the past drag you down and just let the future come to you.
- "It's going to be OK" is always true :)
-Be friendly, smile a lot, have positive thoughts
-Don't force anything, go with the flow
-Don't worry more than necessary
-Accept the things you can't control
-200km per day by bike is quite exhausting :)
-An average of 5-6 hours sleep per night somewhere outside is rather little :)
-Europe is quite beautiful, especially by bike
-I am stronger than the wind :)
-You can very well live mainly on kebab, bread, chocolate, biscuits and coke :)
-If you keep all your bike clothes on to sleep, you'll be ready faster in the morning :)
-If you never put up the tent, but just sleep somewhere outside, it's even faster :)
-If you also do without the inflatable mat and sleep with the sleeping bag directly on the ground, however, it becomes rather uncomfortable. Not recommended.
-The increase in performance due to the sawed-off toothbrush was not quite as great as hoped :)
-2 pairs of socks are more than enough
-11 days without a shower is rather long. Not recommended.
-6 weeks without exercise before I set off was the ideal preparation. Training is overrated...
-It's totally okay if you don't know anything about bikes, you just have to make sure nothing gets broken :)
-Bicycling somehow doesn't really get you anywhere with your choice of studies...
-When you're back home, you realise how cool the whole thing has been so far. That's why I'll soon be moving on again towards Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe... Daily updates, pictures and videos will be back on Instagram as usual!
Until then, I wish everyone a great start to the new year and look forward to many more unforgettable adventures, experiences, emotions, encounters and new places to share with you. See you soon!
Warm-up lap survived - Merry Christmas!
What a ride. The last kilometres of this 7'500km "warm-up lap" through 7 countries were just incredible. After Valencia, I did a short 300km day and was then invited by Johnny in Barcelona shortly after midnight. His hospitality was simply unbelievable, he cooked for me, did the laundry and I was able to take a shower at his place. Small detail: That was the last shower until I reached Switzerland... In Andorra, I was greeted by a considerable amount of snow. Admittedly, this small country doesn't have too much to offer, but I won't soon forget the day I spent in the mountains of Andorra. After just 3.5 hours of sleep in the snow, I crossed the entire ski area of Arinsal, followed a long and wild ridge and was almost on the summit of Comapedrosa - itself the highest mountain in Andorra at 2944m above sea level - when it became just too tricky and too risky for me. The place in question was incredibly exposed and icy - so mistakes were absolutely forbidden... In the mountains it is enormously important to find a good balance between "never give up" and "not too much risk", so I turned back with rather mixed feelings. A little later, however, my guilty conscience got the better of me, I felt that I couldn't just give up, so I turned back again. Somehow I managed to pass the tricky part and shortly afterwards I was standing on the roof of Andorra. An unbelievable feeling. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink for a long time, so the 6-hour descent in waist-deep snow was rather exhausting.
Back in France, I was treated to breathtaking roads, lots of sun, the sea and numerous wonderful towns and places - Aix-en-Provence, Saint Raphael, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco, or Menton, to name just a few - on the beautiful Côte d'Azur. In Monaco, the highest point is just 170 metres above sea level and therefore hardly worth mentioning. With a heavy heart, I left the Mediterranean and the almost summery weather in Imperia, Italy, behind me and continued north via Turin and the Simplon Pass back to Switzerland. The last few kilometres were hard, I just wanted to get home, so I just reeled off the last 500km in one piece...
Somehow I came home healthy, happy, really tired, but rich in memories, experiences, adventures, encounters and emotions. Now I'm enjoying a few days here with the people I've missed so much, a warm bed, a full fridge and without much exercise before I go back in January.
In the next few days, there will be a more detailed blog post about these first 7,500 kilometres.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends, sponsors and everyone who believes in the success of this project. Without you, this whole thing would hardly be possible!
Pictures say more than a thousand words, so here are a few impressions of the last few days. For daily updates, pictures and videos, it's definitely worth following me on Instagram or Facebook as well....
Merry Christmas and a good start into the new year!
5555 km done
Almost 2 weeks have passed since the last blog post. In this time I was able to experience, see and discover a lot. My tendonitis I got with the help of a Portuguese physiotherapist quickly so well under control that I could continue again. I enjoyed Lisbon enormously, as well as the sunny and warm south of Portugal. I drove along the Algarve coast with its breathtaking cliffs, paradisiacal beaches and fantastic sunsets back to Spain. There I enjoyed two more beautiful cities, Sevilla and Malaga. The Costa del Sol lived up to its name and spoiled me with lots of sun. I actually climbed the highest mountain in Spain directly from the sea. That day I left at 4am, first following the coast and then moving on to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. I left my racing bike in the beautiful mountain village of Capileira and walked the last 2000 meters of altitude. Shortly before sunrise I reached the summit of the 3492 meter high Mulhacén. A magical moment with many emotions, strong wind and a breathtaking view over the whole country of Spain and as far as Africa. My journey continued via Granada to the capital Madrid, where thanks to an invitation I could finally take a shower and wash my clothes after far too long. Meanwhile Valencia is behind me and I am on my way to Barcelona, Andorra, South of France and should make it back to Switzerland until Christmas..
Adventurer and athlete, soon bikepacking through europe, climbing the highest mountain and visiting the most beautiful cities in every of the 47 countries!