Travelling through Europe by bike: 13 months, 13 countries, collecting 1300€ donations per month for a UNICEF project in the Ivory Coast


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30th November 2022

The last couple of weeks: from Rostock home to Munich

Scenes recorded from 9th August – 29th August 2022 in Warnemünde, Rostock, Krakow, Malchow, Berlin, Finsterwalde, Meißen, Dresden, Pirna, Nabburg, Schwandorf, Regensburg, Abensberg, München, and somewhere in between.

Songs: ‚Heute hier morgen dort‘ by Hannes Wader, album ‚7 Lieder‘. Copyright by Universal Music International.
‚I Got Love‘ by The King Blues, album ‚Save The World, Get The Girl‘. Copyright by Soundproof t/a Field Recordings.

4th November 2022

Today one year ago…we crossed the Portuguese border and absolutely fell in love with this country, its relaxed and warm-hearted people and its beautiful landscape. We had intended to stay there for four weeks, ended up staying for ten weeks, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We had such a good time in Portugal and can’t stop talking about it. ❤️

We can’t believe it’s been a year already… Oh how we miss exploring it!

Have you ever been to Portugal? No? ➡️ We suggest: Go and visit! 😎

16th October 2022

Today we enjoy 23C° with sunshine and lovely autumn colours along our beautiful river Isar! ☀️

This is the first little bike trip we have done since we have been home. These past seven weeks (already!😳) have been lovely – with friends, family, colleagues, neighbours,… But also very exhausting. We think it will take many more weeks until we will have settled again.

Being back in our jobs takes up all the energy we have got … We haven’t forgotten about the résumé we wanted to give of our travels. A few more days or weeks is all we need for it 😉

Have a lovely start into the new week! 😎

2nd September 2022

In the upcoming weeks we will post about some more travel facts and thoughts about this past year!
Stay tuned! 😎

31st August 2022

Last chance. Letzte Chance.
Now. Jetzt.
Go for it. Mach es einfach.

Thanks. Danke.
Christina & Jacob 💙

31st August 2022

Yesterday, we walked around in our neighbourhood in Munich and hung the SZ newspaper article in shop windows to advertise our fundraising project for Unicef.
It ends TONIGHT!! ➡️ Last chance to donate – here, at the top on our website❗

We met quite a few curious people and when we came to one of our favourite bakeries, they had already read our article and invited us to coffee and cake! 😍 Thank you, Bäckerei Neulinger! 🙏

Come on, people, every € counts! 💙🚲🎉🙌

31st August 2022

LAST chance to donate to this wonderful project! Until TONIGHT! 🙏❤️ Thank you so much! 💙💚

LETZTE Chance für dieses wunderbare Projekt zu spenden! Bis HEUTE Abend! 🙏❤️ Vielen lieben Dank! 💙💚

English version
deutsche Version

30th August 2022

The last metres home to Munich

After 390 days of travelling we arrive home on 29th August 2022. On this last trip we cycled from Eching (Landkreis Landshut) to Untersendling, München, all along the river Isar.

Song: ‚Here We Go ‚ by Bouncing Souls, album ‚Maniacal Laughter‘. Copyright by Chunksaah.

30th August 2022

Screenshot taken from the SZ link below.

Wir sind ‚Münchener/in der Woche‘ in der Süddeutschen Zeitung! 😎🙌🚲
We are among ‚This week’s people of Munich‘ in the renowned newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung!

Danke an die Süddeutsche Zeitung für den Artikel und diese tolle Gelegenheit! 😊

Read – share – donate! 🙏

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/wiesn-rainer-maria-schiessler-volkstanz-spenden-unicef-magnus-kaindl-1.5646706

Christina & Jacob ❤️

30th August 2022

We have made it home! 😍

We arrived in pure sunshine in the afternoon and then had a lovely evening with friends at home! Thanks to all for coming and making this homecoming so special! ❤️ It doesn’t feel strange at all to be back!

No single picture was taken 🙈 We were simply too busy!

29th August 2022

Germany 🇩🇪 – part 5: Bavaria

TODAY!!!! 🎉🎉🎉
We’ll arrive HOME today! 💛
We are about 20km north of Munich right now, taking a bath in the lovely river Isar and having a last picnic. We are so close now, we can’t believe it… 😍

Four days ago, we arrived in Bavaria by train. Originally, we had planned on cycling through the whole of Germany to Munich. Well… First Christina’s hand. Then there just wasn’t enough time to do it all by bike and we decided to cycle a beautiful bit along the Elbe in Sachsen, which most definitely was a detour. So we then simply took a train from near Dresden to Marktredwitz to make it home in time. And everything went really smoothly with our bikes on the trains, also when changing trains twice! 🙌🚲

From Marktredwitz to Munich:
We did about 300km of cycling, cycled through beautiful landscapes (at the beginning quite some hills) with lots of forests, cycled through the ‚Deutsche Hopfenstraße‘ (German Hop Street), along the rivers Naab / Regen / Donau and Isar, and passed some nice places on the way (Schwandorf, Regensburg, Abensberg, Moosburg an der Isar) .
And all the time: thinking back to so many great moments and places on this big 13-month tour…

Bavaria is the region we both grew up in and where we live. Still, there is so much we haven’t seen yet! We have enjoyed exploring it these past days and are looking forward to more exploring from home!

Unfortunately, we had rain and thunder storms for two days, but now we’re back to sunshine for our LAST cycling day & our LAST day of our travels! Puuuuuh, what a feeling…

We are super excited right now! Munich, here we come! 🚲🚲🙌🙌🎉🎉

29th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

❗3 days until the end of our fundraising project!

13. In Germany 🇩🇪 we have spent lots of time with friends – something that is just priceless
❓Are you spending time with friends today? Tell them about our project! Encourage them to donate! 😍

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

28th August 2022

screenshot taken from https://veitshoechheim-blog.de

[An online article was published in the blog of Christina’s hometown – so this time we write in German 😉]

Juhu, ein Artikel auf Deutsch in unserer Heimat! 👏Im Blog von Veitshöchheim (bei Würzburg), dem Ort in dem Christina aufgewachsen und Christina & Jacob beide zur Schule gegangen sind, ist heute bereits zum zweiten Mal ein Artikel über unsere Reise und unsere Unicef-Spendenaktion erschienen!

VIELEN DANK an Dieter Gürz dafür! Hier könnt ihr den Artikel lesen – viel Spaß dabei! 😎😊

https://www.veitshoechheim-blog.de/2022/08/christina-und-jacob-winter-sammelten-auf-ihrer-13monatigen-uber-10-700-kilometer-langen-fahrradtour-quer-durch-13-europaische-lander-7-423-euro-fur-unicef-projekt.html

27th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

❗5 days until the end of our fundraising project!

12. In Sweden 🇸🇪 we spent four days in the area of Vimmerby – an area full of places connected to Astrid Lindgren’s stories! It was a beautiful and amazing experience for us (especially for Christina 😉😍), but also a complete luxury, as all together it cost quite a bit… (though it was definitely worth it!)
❓Have you been to a film studio / theme park lately? Why not donate the cost of it to our project and make a change in someone’s life!

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

26th August 2022

Germany 🇩🇪 – part 4: Sachsen

An unexpected journey

In Brandenburg we asked our friends and their friends, which cycling route to take towards Bavaria. Everyone recommended to cycle a bit along the river Elbe – so we did. We ended up cycling from Torgau until 7km before the Czech border.

We just cycled, observed what was around us along the route and enjoyed tent life. No sightseeing, just a coffee stop from time to time. We saw quite a few nice towns along the way (Torgau, Meißen, Dresden, Pirna) and enjoyed the amazing views of the Elbsandsteingebirge. Definitely a route we can recommend and one day we’d like to continue this way until Prague.

After the hot days in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Berlin, we were quite happy with the very agreeable temperatures along the river.

Next: Taking a train to Bavaria and then cycling the last kilometres home.

26th August 2022

A bikepacker’s life 🚲🚲 – number 13:

In the past year we have met many other bikepackers on our way. One thing we have noticed:
We are different than most of them… Why?

1. Our bikes are really heavy ⚖️ – after so many people asking about their weight, we actually weighed them: Christina’s bike plus luggage weighs 50kg, Jacob’s 60kg. Now you can imagine why we don’t like hills 😉!

You may wonder why they are so heavy…
In the picture you can see some of the things that probably not many bikepackers take with them, e.g. hiking boots, a super heavy small laptop, diaries, coffee machine, metal bottles,…
We try to make environmentally friendly choices, so we try to avoid buying plastic. We also bought the majority of our equipment second hand, paying less attention to its weight. While most other bikepackers literally count every gram, we have got plenty of glas jars with us 😂.

2. We are primarily tourists 📷 – our bikes are our means of transportation to get from A to B.

3. We are travelling for a longer period of time than most other bikepackers. ⏳

4. We don’t use click pedals, but actually cycle in barefoot shoes and woollen shoes 😉.

5. We don’t wear cycling clothes, apart from cycling shorts (we call them „nappies“ 😉) under our normal pairs of trousers.

6. We usually don’t cycle more than 70km on a cycling day. Our average might be 60km by now, at the beginning it was probably 50km.

25th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

11. In Denmark 🇩🇰 we were, without planning it, part of the Tour de France! It started in Copenhagen and we were there! Such a great atmosphere, despite the rain! ☔🎉
❓Have you been to a sports event lately? Ours was for free, but we know they can be quite pricy… Why not donate the cost of your ticket to a good cause? 😉🙌

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

25th August 2022

A bikepacker’s life 🚲🚲 – number 12:

Take nothing, but pictures. Leave nothing, but footprints.

24th August 2022

Germany 🇩🇪 – part 3: Brandenburg

From Berlin we took a train to Finsterwalde. Originally, we wanted to cycle this, of course, but Christina didn’t feel like it with her hand, yet. Generally, we don’t like taking the train with bikes, so we were quite sceptical… BUT: it has been our best train-bike-experience on this tour, as in Berlin Central Station we fit in one big lift with both our bikes, there were no steps to get onto the train, there was enough room on the train, and in Finsterwalde at the station there were no steps either. YES! 🙌🎉🚲

We stayed with friends for 3 nights and simply enjoyed being together, having lovely breakfasts and dinners, going out for drinks, going to a former surface mine (Tagebau) „Naturparadies Grünhaus“ which is now a sort of nature park.
AND Christina’s childhood dream of riding a horse has become true – thanks to Louise 😍!

Thank you, Louise and Talli, for these very relaxed days! 😎

After a seven day pause from cycling, we got on our bikes again and made our way through pine tree forests to the river Elbe and, thus, to our next German region: Sachsen.

23rd August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

10. The Netherlands 🇳🇱 are a country that does a lot for its future already now, as we learned in places like the Deltawerken. It has to, if people want to stay there, as about 1/3 of the country is below sea level!
❓Why not donate to our UNICEF project and do something for someone else’s future, too!? 🤔😍

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

22nd August 2022

Germany 🇩🇪 – part 2: some days in Berlin

We were so excited to arrive in Berlin by bike and be with friends for a few days! 🙌🚲😎🎉

We passed the town sign in the afternoon and immediately noticed the bad cycling lanes – actually one of the worst we have had on our trip: too small, cobble stones, cars parked too closely, roots of trees making it dangerous, and often with a small elevation between the cycling lane and the pedestrian path…
❗Well, and then Christina fell exactly because of all this. Fortunately, she didn’t fall onto her head, her bike bags prevented the worst, and she immediately knew nothing was broken, just some abrasions on one arm and hand and on her chin. The bike was also fine. We were both just shocked. It’s as if the universe wants to tell us it’s time to finish our travels – first all our bike problems in the past weeks and now this. 🙄🤔🙈
Thankfully, these cycling lane conditions weren’t the case in the whole of Berlin.

We were really happy to arrive at our friend’s home after this. Originally, we had planned to stay for 3 whole days, but then stayed for 4 to give Christina’s wounds the chance to heal a bit better.

We
– relaxed a lot at home. So nice! 😍
– had a picnic in the shade in a park. What else can you do in this heat? We were wondering: Are we ever going to put on a jumper again? 🙄
– had lovely dinners and breakfasts at home, and also went out to eat.
– were very surprised, almost a bit shocked, by the obligation to wear a FFP2 mask on public transportation 😏 (in these past months we have barely worn any masks, other countries were definitely less strict than Germany).
– went to a concert and absolutely loved the atmosphere: The Interrupters. They had been on Jacob’s bucket list for the past six years. ✔️
– did not only see Valeria again (she visited us on our tour in the Netherlands), but also Susanne (who visited us in Portugal) and Volker (a fellow bikepacker whom we met in France, and then also in Spain and Portugal last autumn).
– met our old school friend Lilly and her husband Philipp again after a long time.

Berlin as a city wasn’t new to us and we met so many friends – it really didn’t feel like being on our bike tour through Europe anymore, but simply like a visit from Munich. 😉 Thanks to all for spending time with us 😍.

Now we have been to all the capitals of our 13 countries on this tour! 💪✔️

21st August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.
There are only 11 days left…of our travels and of our fundraising project! 😯

9. In Belgium 🇧🇪 we just couldn’t resist the delicious snacks on our routes – waffles, chocolate, chips, beer… 🍫🍟🍻
❓Anyone else who couldn’t resist today? Clear your conscience by donating exactly what you spent to a good cause! 😉

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

21st August 2022

Sweden

Scenes recorded from 6th July – 8th August 2022 in Helsingborg, Halmstad, Göteborg, Lidköping, Forsvik, Katthult, Vimmerby (Astrid Lindgren Värld), Stockholm, Nynäshamn and somewhere in between.

Songs: ‚Under The Thunder‘ by Skegss, album ‚Rehearsal‘. Copyright by Loma Vista Recordings.
‚As We Live‘ (feat. Tim Armstrong & Rhoda Dakar) by the The Interrupters album ‚In The Wild‘. Copyright by Hellcat.

19th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

There are only 13 days left of our travels and of our fundraising project! 😯

8. In England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, going to a pub is part of its culture. Hanging out with friends and family, enjoying life, playing games, watching live music. We enjoyed drinks in a few nice pubs when we were in London to visit friends this April.

❓Are you going out for drinks tonight? Why not donate the cost of it to a good cause? 🍻🙌

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

18th August 2022

Germany 🇩🇪 – part 1: From Rostock to Berlin

When we left the ferry with 20 other cyclists, we were quite excited 🚲💪 That’s always a good feeling! But then… Within the first metres: we all had to get off our bikes and push them through a small door in order to get out of the harbour. Ach, Deutschland… Welcome back! 🙄🤔

We had a really nice time cycling from Rostock harbour to Berlin! 😎
– We cycled in the regions of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg.
– We cycled in lots of forests and actually found out that there are pine trees in Germany! 💡 Did you know?
– It was so hot ☀️ that we went swimming every day in one of the many lakes along our route.
– When cycling in the heat between pine trees, we sometimes felt like cycling in southern France.
– We cycled in beautiful landscape.
– We had great dark bread for our breakfasts 🍞 and Jacob really enjoyed being back to German beer 🍻.
– We had some really nice encounters with other bikepackers along the way. 🚲
– We discovered some nice places that we had never been to before –  e.g. Rostock and Güstrow.
– We made it to our 10,000km of cycling! 🚲🚲🙌🙌
– We had a Warmshower stay in someone’s garden (thanks again!) and saw the moon rise from the roof of the house! 🌕👌

We suppose coming back to your own country, after such a long time of being abroad, is always a bit difficult. There are quite a few things we don’t understand, as we are returning to our home country… 🤔❓
– Why are people so grumpy? Most people in Germany have got all they need, but there still seems to be a culture of being frustrated/negativity.
– Why is it often not possible to pay by card? In so many places you find signs saying „Cash only“. As an elderly Danish lady once said to us: „Germany is so behind.“
– There are so many long distance cycling lanes in Germany and, actually, many of them were quite busy this past week. But they are very bumpy, with wholes and roots coming out of them very frequently – the famous „Wurzelaufbruch“…, which is actually painful, quite dangerous and often unexpected. And then you are cycling next to perfect car roads. Yes, we are in a car country! 😡
– Why is the internet connection so bad? For the first time on our whole tour we had problems loading our daily routes from the phone onto our navigation device. Come on, Germany!

Next: A few days in Berlin with friends (today we are actually already moving on again).

17th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

7. In Luxembourg 🇱🇺 we made use of the free public transportation – something that is quite extraordinary in Europe!

❓When was the last time you took a means of public transportation? Why not donate the amount you paid for it to a good cause? 😁😉

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

15th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

6. In Gibraltar 🇬🇮 we climbed „The Rock“ to have amazing views ☀️ of the Strait of Gibraltar, towards Africa and Spain, and of course to see the famous monkeys 🐒.
❓Have you been to a natural park or a zoo today or recently? How much did you spend? Why not donate the same amount to our project?! Donating to a good cause will make you feel better, we are quite sure of that! 😁

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

14th August 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled upon… in Sweden 🇸🇪:

We spent 34 days in Sweden, cycled 1478 km on 27 cycling days, and took three small ferries and a big one back to Germany.
It was our first time in the country – what a joy to discover nature like we were able to do there! 😍 We loved listening to this very melodic language and, like in any country that doesn’t dub films, we were amazed by people’s English. This made it easy for us to communicate, but then again we didn’t pick up a lot of Swedish 😉.
Thank you, Sweden, for these amazing weeks! 🇸🇪

Positive things we stumbled upon:

1. The Allemansrätten says you can put your tent anywhere you like as long as you are not too close to houses! Amazing! We have made use of this right many times 😎.

2. If you buy a coffee in Sweden, you just help yourself to it – meaning: you can also refill your cup! And in cafés and bars you always find free drinking water! This should really be the case everywhere throughout Europe! 👌

3. Drinking water is also something we often found in public places along our routes. Sometimes also in combination with an air pump! 🙌

4. We mainly used official cycling routes which were good, quite easy to follow and in beautiful landscape.

5. Supermarkets (and also many other shops) are open every day of the week! Coming from Bavaria, where nothing is open on Sundays, this was amazing! 🎉

6. People seem to really enjoy being outside a lot. In many places we saw public barbecue spots.

7. Shelters can also be found in Sweden. They are especially handy in forests as usually it’s a bit flat around them to put up your tent there as well.

8. We took three small ferries to get across a river or a fiord – for free! 🙌

13th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

5. In Portugal 🇵🇹 we absolutely fell in love with the country’s pottery! 💖 Until then we had been really good at not buying any souvenirs… But then we ended up sending a package with beautiful cups home. We are looking forward to using them when we get back home! 😊
❓Are you on holiday right now and have bought a souvenir for yourself? Why not donate its cost to a good cause – making not only yourself happy, but also someone else in a different part of the world?!

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

12th August 2022

10,000km 🚲🚲
… On day 373 on our cycling tour through Europe…

Date: 12th August 2022
Time: 8.20am
Place: forest road near Zempow, Brandenburg, Germany
Weather: 22°C, pure sunshine
Feeling: hyped, happy
Time on bikes: 770h 5min

Song: ‚Come Dancing‘ by Good Riddance, album ‚Cover Ups‘. Copyright by Rude Records.

11th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

4. In Spain 🇪🇸 we stayed for more than three months. Three months in which we often ate out, making use of all the lovely tapas places, especially in Andalucía. 😁
❓Are you eating out today? Why not donate the cost of it to a good cause!? 😎

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

10th August 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 7: starting our way back home

From Stockholm we started our tour home. Going HOME ❤️ … We thought this day would be very difficult for us, but we are actually looking forward to being in our flat again, in our neighbourhood, seeing friends and family 😊😉.

We had a really relaxed last day in Sweden – woke up by the sea, enjoyed a lazy morning and our beloved porridge, cycled to Nynäshamn, went to our last foreign supermarket on this tour, had our last kanelbullar… We sat at the cute little harbour, looking at islands, boats and red houses… What an idyllic spot!

The ferry left in the evening – with us and lots of other bikepackers on board! We sat on deck until it got dark, watched the ship pass many small islands and watched the sun go down… Perfect weather!

Thank you, Sweden! We had an amazing time! 🇸🇪

9th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

3. In France 🇫🇷 we spent quite some time in bakeries and also quite some money on all the lovely snacks we found there 🥖🥐. Combined with some delicious cheese, we had some amazing picnics on our cycling tours!
❓Are you going to have a picnic today? Why not donate the cost of it to a good cause, combining your personal luxury with helping the less fortunate to a better future?

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website, you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

8th August 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 6: our time in Stockholm

Our last big goal for our travels: reaching Stockholm, our northernmost and easternmost place of our cycling trip through Europe. And then, all of a sudden, we were there… Incredible! 😎

We treated ourselves to a beautiful flat on Södermalm, one of the city’s 14 islands. We loved exploring „our“ island, connecting to our neighbourhood and being in a home – something, we now noticed, we do have missed a lot.

We stayed in Stockholm for four days:
– explored some parts of the city by bike,
– walked around in the beautiful old centre „Gamla Stan“,
– enjoyed the summer weather and even went swimming with locals at one of the many bathing spots,
– went to the Vasa Museum to see the famous ship that was salvaged and restored after more than 300 years of lying in the waters of the city – what an impressive ship!,
– enjoyed eating out as well as cooking dinner at home,
– went to see a very fascinating underground station,
– loved the atmosphere with all the boats lying at the various harbours on the many islands,
… Simply enjoyed being in this big, vibrant city! It felt so huge, even though there are less than 1 million inhabitants – we wonder whether it’s because there’s so much water around?! This is yet another city we could imagine living in! 😉😍

We were a bit tired from all the previous days and also rested a lot. There’s so much more to do and see – we’ll definitely be back! Stockholm has been one of our favourite cities on our tour – and we somehow didn’t expect this to be the case.

This is it now… We are making our way back home! 😍
From now on: going south only! 🌍🚲

7th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

2. In Switzerland 🇨🇭 we mainly stayed on campsites ⛺ – something we really enjoyed, as they were really good quality and we always met nice people. We know that going on holiday and paying for a night away isn’t something that is affordable for everyone.
❓Are you on holiday right now? Why not donate today’s cost of your stay to a good cause?

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

5th August 2022

☀️ YOU can make a change! ☀️

As we are coming to the end of our travels – we are in our 13th and last month of cycling through Europe – we often think about what we have been able to experience in the various countries we have visited.

1. In Liechtenstein 🇱🇮 we visited family and had a lovely time together.
❓Are you going to see your family today? Tell them about our project! Encourage them to donate! 😍

❤️ YOU can make a change ❤️

➡️ At the top, here on our website, you find more information about the UNICEF project we are supporting + you can donate right here! All of the money goes to this project! Our personal goal is to collect 1,300€ per month ~ 16,900€ in total until 31st August > every € counts! Thank you! 🙏

4th August 2022

365 days…

of travelling through Europe with our bikes 🚲! WOW, time really flies! 😯

We cycled 9,742 km in 13 countries, spent lots of time together as a couple, but also some time with family and friends, made new friends, got to know different countries, landscapes, cultures, cuisines, languages and lifestyles.

We could definitely find 365 things we have been grateful for in this past year – that would just take too long, so we simply want to say:

THANK YOU! ❤️

> For everything that we have been able to do and see.
> To everyone who has been part of this journey.
> To every single donation that has been made to the UNICEF project we are supporting!

In the Ivory Coast, bricks are made from plastic waste which are then used to build schools, giving children the chance to learn for a better future.
So far: 6,090€ of donations for this project – that’s absolutely amazing! 😍 Supporting the less fortunate in making their way towards a better future – that’s what we want to do and what you have done with your donations! Thank you! 💚

Actually:
The only reason we are blogging about our travels is this UNICEF project we are supporting! Blogging is often very exhausting and time-consuming, but when we see that donations are made for this good cause, we feel that it is absolutely worth it! Of course, we always love getting feedback from you to our posts anyway! 😘

➡️ Our fundraising project is still in progress – you can still donate until 31st August 2022! 😎👌

Thank you and lots of love,
Christina & Jacob

All five pictures taken from https://www.unicef.de/informieren/projekte/afrika-2244/elfenbeinkueste-193008/elfenbeinkueste-innovation/191144 (4th August 2022)

3rd August 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 5: our way to Stockholm

5 days, 320 km, lots of hills…

These past five days since we left Vimmerby have been quite exhausting for us …
Our bodies were tired, we didn’t really feel like cycling, the hills just didn’t want to end and we had quite a few bike problems: Christina’s bike stand broke (Jacob fixed it creatively), the plastic disc preventing the chain from sliding into Christina’s back wheel broke (Jacob took it out, but then she couldn’t use the first gear until we fixed it properly 🙄), and Jacob had his second flat tyre even before getting on the bike in the morning (he patched it and it has been fine ever since 🤞). We were accompanied by quite some bad mood on a regular basis …

But then in the past two days we were quite excited about finally getting closer to Stockholm. We enjoyed some lovely picnic & bathing & wild camping spots. On our wedding day we had planned not to cycle a lot – well… We left our wild spot at 7.20am, had breakfast in a café in the nice town of Nyköping, cycled along the main road for 85km with breaks and lots of consumption of sweets in between, and then finally arrived at 7.30pm at our lovely warmshower place (including a cat😍). Totally exhausted, but happy.

Today was the last time we cycled away from home. We have arrived in Stockholm now – the northernmost and easternmost place of our whole Europe tour 🇸🇪🚲. We are going to stay here for a few days before making our way back towards home… Incredible, how time flies! 😯


2nd August 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 4: our time in the Astrid Lindgren area

Dear Astrid Lindgren,

ever since I was a little girl I have loved your stories. Together with my brother, I spent so many hours reading, listening to & watching your stories. I remember when you had your 90th birthday & my whole family „lived in your world“ for weeks.

When my husband & I decided to travel through Sweden, I had only one wish: visit the area of Vimmerby. He isn’t as emotional about your work as I am, but was so kind as to let me dive into your world for a few days.

We first went to see „Katthult“. It is such a beautiful place in a scenic setting, no wonder the Emil films came alive there!

We then took the „Astrid Lindgrens-leden“ to the little film museum in Mariannelund. We especially liked the original photos of the actors on the various sets & the beautiful film posters.

That day we had a „warmshower“ – we slept in someone’s garden in the real Lönneberga! It was nice to get an insight into one of these beautiful wooden houses!

Then we cycled to Sevedstorp, your father’s childhood home & the film location of Bullerbyn. It was very easy to picture children having a wonderful childhood there!

We then stayed in Vimmerby for two nights:
1. We went to the Astrid Lindgren Värld & were very surprised by how much we liked it, even as adults! All the story settings & plays you can go&see – quite overwhelming for fans of your stories! And if you as an adult have little children sitting next to you, shouting out for Pippi or singing along to the songs of Emil… It just warms your heart & brings you back to your own childhood! What a beautiful experience!
2.We visited your childhood home. We have come to understand the source of your stories much better. We didn’t know you were so active in fighting for better animal & human rights, speaking out for ecological & political topics. There is much to be proud of when looking at your life…We can all just hope to have a tiny bit of an impact in other people’s life, in comparison.

Thank you, Astrid. You were a big part of my childhood & your stories will now always remind me of the lovely time we had in the area of Vimmerby.

Lots of love,
Christina

PS: To many this might sound like a love letter… It is just a way of saying thank you to these wonderful days I was able to spend in that area.

31st July 2022

Northern Germany and Denmark

Scenes recorded from 9th June – 6th July 2022 in Leer, Jever, Flensburg (street musicians Cascade http://www.markwhitelive.com/), Kolding, Odense (Hans Christian Andersen Museum), Fåborg, Ærøskøbing, Marstal, Vallø Slot, Køge, København, Helsingør and somewhere in between.

Songs: ‚Home‘ by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, album ‚Up From Below‘. Copyright by Community Records, Fairfax.
‚Loud Pipes‘ by the Ratatat album ‚Classics‘. Copyright by XL Recordings Ltd.

26th July 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 3: From Göteborg to Småland

We have made our way to Småland, following the water.

Our route:
From Göteborg along the Trollhättan canal to the lake Vänern (Sweden’s largest and Europe’s third largest lake), then to the famous Göta kanal (made in the 19th century to connect Göteborg and Stockholm), around the lake Vättern, back to the Göta kanal until Linköping. From there we went 100km south through forests to arrive in the area of Astrid Lindgren.
We have made it to our 9,000 km of cycling! 🚲😎💪

Landscape:
All in all, we cycled through lots of forest (quite a few pine trees and masses of blueberries), passed many yellow fields of grains, passed thousands of beautiful red houses with lovely gardens,… Jacob once said „It feels like cycling through an open air museum.“ we are totally in love with the red wooden houses! 😍

Sleeping:
We found wild spots to sleep in our tent most times, but also slept indoors for the first time (thunder storm and heavy rain) since the Netherlands – after 42 nights in a row outside. This was our personal record! We have had so many amazing spots – the most special one was quite likely on a tiny island! 😍

Weather:
We had a bit of rain, but also three days of heat (probably the hottest day on our tour so far with 33°C!) which made us go slowly and take some rest time at the Göta kanal/lakes along the way. 😎

➡️ This time it was really difficult to pick the best pictures – as always: if you want to see more pictures and read a little more about our stays in the various spots, go to > Menü > Our route. This leads you to our Polarsteps page.

25th July 2022

A bikepacker’s life 🚲🚲 – number 11:

We have had our first puncture…but we suppose after 9246 km that is ok 🙄. Nevertheless, we hope this is and will be our only flat tyre for the rest of our trip! 😁🚲🤞

sdr_vivi

18th July 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 2: our time in Göteborg

We had two goals for Göteborg: getting both our bikes fixed and Christina getting a haircut. Both ✔️

What else did we do?
– strolled in the big and small streets
– had some delicious pizza and, of course, kanelbullar
– browsed at quite a few of the many second-hand shops
– admired the huge buildings in the classicist style, a sort we had never seen before
– enjoyed the good cycling lanes
– were amazed by the fact that Norway is only 150km away (wow, we are so up north! Yet there is so much more till the North Cape)
– enjoyed the big city vibe and good atmosphere
– read some interesting facts about Göteborg: Sweden’s second biggest city with 580.000 inhabitants, has been named among the world’s most sustainable cities (e.g. almost 100% of public transportation runs on renewable enegery, plenty of locally produced organic/vegan/vegetarian, a lot of second-hand shops)

Goodbye Sweden’s west coast! 👋

Next: Cycling towards Sweden’s biggest and Europe’s third biggest lake, to follow the Götakanal from there.

15th July 2022

A bikepacker’s life 🚲🚲 – number 10:

Our bikes are not only our means of transportation for getting from point A to B, but also: we couldn’t carry all our stuff without them! They are very essential to us getting anywhere on this tour! 😉
So from time to time we get them checked. That’s what we have done in Göteborg – we picked them up again today, have got new cassettes and new chains (so shiny! 😁), and are ready to move on tomorrow! 😎
Thanks at bikefixx for doing it within 2 days! 👌🚲

Still the case:
So far we haven’t had any big problems and still not a single flat tyre 😁💪💛!  Fingers crossed!! 🤞
But:
Jacob’s front rack broke in Denmark… We put some of the „kitchen stuff“ from his two front bags in other bags, Jacob fixed it provisionally with two straps and we’ll just continue like this. It would be too risky to get it fixed for now. Fingers crossed it holds until we get home!!🤞

14th July 2022

Sweden 🇸🇪 – part 1: our way along the west coast

We have made it to our 13th and last country! 💪💛

The first few days in a new country are always very special – some things that usually go through our heads at the beginning:
– What does the language sound like? Can we understand anything? Maybe when reading it?
– Can we manage with the languages we speak?
– What does the currency look like? Do we need cash or do we pay everything by card?
– in the supermarket: What are the local products? Anything that is new to us?
– What is it like to cycle in this country? Do the locals cycle?
– How do people react to us on our bikes? Are car drivers patient/impatient?
– nature: New smells? New plants? What types of flowers/trees are there?
– Do people greet each other/us?
– Do we tip at a café or not?


Our route from Helsingborg to Göteborg:
– We followed the national cycling route Kattegattleden along the coast – no need for our navigation app, just following signs! So relaxing!
– We mixed staying at campsites (shower, laundry, wifi) with wild camping (making use of the Allemansrätt – meaning you can put up your tent basically anywhere in nature, which is fantastic!)… We stayed at some really amazing spots right by the sea! There we also met Claas from Germany who was on his way back home from his tour to the North Cape – he is a cyclist, too, but with a motor 😉. We enjoyed a lovely evening together! ☀️
– At our first campsite we met a family from Andorra who is currently cycling in the Baltic Sea area for four months – with two teenage girls and a dog! Very impressive!
– We cycled between many fields/flowers/in small forests, on an old railway track path, had beautiful views of the sea, loved looking at all the beautiful houses (especially red wooden ones).
– Generally speaking, those 390km weren’t a challenge concerning the metres altitude, but the wind sometimes gave us a really hard time! 🌬️

… and when you hear small boys singing ABBA songs on their way to the beach, then you know you’re in Sweden! 😂🇸🇪

We have arrived in Göteborg and have left our bikes for a full check-up > currently: two days of relaxing, exploring, planning the next steps. 😎☀️

13th July 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled upon… in Denmark 🇩🇰:

We spent 19 days in Denmark, cycled 761km on 12 cycling days, and took 4 small ferries. It was our first time in the country – we didn’t expect houses to be so courful, the weather to be so good, and not to find any mosquitoes (yeah!). We loved that we slept outside every day 😊 (twice of which in a shelter), and we really liked people’s idea of „keeping your life hygge“ – meaning cosy, comfortable, making you feel happy. Thank you Denmark, we had a great time! 🇩🇰

Positive things we stumbled upon:

1. Denmark as a cycling country: many cycling routes which are fairly easy to follow (signs, numbers), many people seem to cycle, there are nice things for cyclists like handrails to hold on to when waiting at a traffic light, it’s really easy to take your bike with you on a ferry. And then there is Copenhagen, our personal number one city for cycling on this trip through Europe!! 😍🚲 You might have noticed we are huge fans of the Netherlands – the whole country is amazing for cycling! Copenhagen has just the advantage that its streets are huge – there is enough space, sometimes even for 4 bikes next to each other! 👌😲

2. Shelters: all over Denmark, wooden huts to stay for a night or two, often with drinking water and a toilet closeby, cost little to nothing. It’s an amazing concept for hikers and cyclists! 🚲💛

3. Campsites have got kitchens you can use (sometimes they are even fully equipped!) and there are always community areas with tables and chairs, inside and outside. So simple, but it just makes the stay nicer!

4. In front of many houses you see small boxes/shelves where people place homemade food/homegrown vegetables and fruit. You can buy them right there – payment is with trust in a box or via „mobile pay“ (which seems to be like PayPal).

5. In the countryside people recycle right at their house – never before have we seen such bins! We think this might motivate people to recycle! 👍

6. When cycling/walking around Copenhagen you can tell it wants to make an impact on people’s near future. The goal is to be emission free by 2025! 👌💪

7. Free drinking water at cafés and bars – you can just help yourself! This should really be the case everywhere throughout Europe!

8. Growing up in Germany means growing up with good dark bread! 🍞😁 We have had difficulties finding good bread on our tour… Since Switzerland, Denmark was the first country where we really liked the dark bread!

9. There are many public toilets and you can also use toilets at churches. Great for travellers!

11th July 2022

Scenes recorded from 14th May – 9th June 2022 in Sluis, Middelburg, Veere, Goedereede, Delfshaven, Schiedam, Delft, Leiden, Kinderdijk, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Utrecht, Muiden, Amsterdam, Monnickendam, Edam, De Rijp, Alkmaar, Texel, Groningen and somewhere in between.

Songs: ‚Outside‘ by Jamaram, album ‚To The Moon And The Sun‘. Copyright by One World Records.
‚Pressure Drop‘ by the Toots and The Maytals, album ‚Monkey Man‘. Copyright by Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company.

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