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




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9th July 2022

Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ – part 4: our time in Copenhagen (Kรธbenhavn)

People had told us before our visit „You’ll like Copenhagen!“ – and they were right! ๐Ÿ˜Š

What did we do in the 5 days we spent there?
– on our first day we were part of the start of this year’s Tour de France – it was an interesting experience for us, being part of such a huge event, experiencing the atmosphere and people’s enthusiasm, despite the rain
– a nice coincidence: we ran into one of Jacob’s colleagues, Alex, who was on a weekend trip with a friend ๐Ÿ˜Š
– cycle through the city – such an amazing feeling! We always love exploring cities by bike, it makes us feel like locals! But this time it was also very special as this is definitely the best cycling city we have ever been to! ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘Œ
– free walking tour – always a good way for learning more about a city
– walk around the cute old lanes with colourful houses, looking for bakeries with cinnamon buns „Kanelsnegle or Kanelsnorrer“ ๐Ÿ˜‰
– walked around the „Free town Christiana“, a very alternative, relaxed part of the city

You might have heard this as well: Copenhagen has regularly been awarded among the first three cities titled „happiest people“ in the whole world. We had this in mind when exploring the city – and yes, we can understand why: Bathing spots along the canals, enough open spaces for everyone, street food, despite the very touristy places also many nice areas to spend time with friends and families, lots of options with children, cosy cafรฉs and shops making a „hyggelig“ atmosphere (meaning sort of cosy, a place where to feel good), lots of modern architecture fitting in with the rest of the city’s style,… We really liked the city’s atmosphere! Another city where we could imagine living! ๐Ÿ’›

A very special trip for us: visiting Christina’s Danish colleague and book co-author (about Autonomous Language Learning, will be published next year). We had such a lovely time with Leni in her hometown south of Copenhagen! ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ˜

7th July 2022

Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ – part 3: our time on the islands Langeland, Lolland, Falster and Sjรฆlland

Island Langeland:
– arrived by ferry, coming from the island ร†rรธ
– cycled about 13km on this very narrow island

Island Lolland:
– second ferry on the same day
– lovely evening atmosphere at our shelter place at the harbour near Nakskov (though we put up our tent, it just feels more like home to us ๐Ÿ˜Š)
– that day’s motto was „taking the long way“: 40-50km of detour because we took the route along the coast – beautiful though, and a bit more refreshing on a hot summer’s day with 29ยฐC!
– ended up in the nice town Maribo at a beautiful shelter: just us and some sheep at the lake next to us – so lovely and calm!

Island Falster:
– this time we crossed the bit of sea on the bikes ourselves
– just passed through it

Island Sjรฆlland (our last Danish island):
– cycled on a long and quite old bridge to cross the sea again (they are already building a new one, which seems like a good idea… But, well, cars and trains still cross it, so it should hold ๐Ÿ˜…)
– Vordingborg: We were totally surprised to see Anne&Mario from Germany again! We met at the campsite on ร†rรธ, but they were a lot quicker than us, doing at least 100km a day… We spent a lovely evening together, talking about our cycling tours! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿšฒ Mario also has a professional YouTube channel about his/their tours, if you’d like to have a look: https://youtube.com/c/MarioDorn
– we continued north, stayed at a beautiful shelter spot where we met Jens from Germany – it was his 6th time travelling through Denmark by bike! We spent a lovely evening together, watching the sun go down and the fog coming towards us
– our last cycling day before reaching Copenhagen: we passed the impressive Vallรธ Slot and had brunch in the lovely medieval town Kรธge where we also saw the first base of the Tour de France that was about to start the next day
– five days in Copenhagen [extra post]
– continuing north, passing very nice houses (by seemingly very rich people), cycling on a beautiful forest route, spending our last night in Denmark at a beautiful shelter place! There we also met Kerstin&Jens from Germany – they did three months of cycling in Scandinavia last year, so they were able to give us some advice on travelling by bike in Sweden! ๐Ÿ‘Œ
– Helsingรธr: beautiful castle Kronborg and city centre, quite touristy which was unexpected, our last place in Denmark – from there we took a ferry to Helsingborg in Sweden

Looking at Sweden

5th July 2022

Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ – part 2: our time on the island ร†rรธ

A little holiday on our sabbatical

This might sound strange, but sometimes we are quite exhausted from our current every day life. Putting up and down the tent, packing bags, buying groceries every day, planning our next steps, cycling, sightseeing, sorting pictures, posting,… We love this, no doubt! But sometimes we feel like we need a little break from it.

So that’s what we did on ร†rรธ. Three days of total relaxation. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘Œ

The island is amazingly beautiful and relaxing – it is actually a known „wedding island“ and we do understand why. Hilly, green fields with the sea in the background, lots of hiking and cycling paths, very beautiful houses (many having a shelf/box in front of the house where to buy fruit and vegetables from the garden), very clear and green-blue water (unfortunately sometimes there were so many jellyfish that it was difficult to take a bath), cute and colourful beach huts, pretty little villages and simply a very relaxed atmosphere.

We took a ferry from Fรฅborg on Fyn to Sรธby on ร†rรธ, cycled along the coast to the lovely ร†rรธskรธbing where we stayed at a campsite right next to the beach – all in all, probably the best campsite we have ever been to! After our rest days we continued to Marstal and from there we took a ferry again.

Scandinavians don’t only celebrate winter solstice (aka Christmas), but also summer solstice. In Denmark this happens on 23rd June. People celebrate at beaches with food and drinks, and when the sun goes down a bonfire is lit and people sing traditional songs. Unfortunately, they still burn witches, though… This is something that could definitely be left out in the 21st century.
We felt very lucky to be part of this special occasion and enjoyed it a lot! โ˜€๏ธ

We have also observed another yearly tradition: When Danish teenagers finish school or their apprenticeship, they receive a white hat with their name on it. They wear it for about 2-3 weeks, get congratulated on the streets, get a discount in shops, and on one day there is a massive party where they go from one parents‘ house to another… That’s what we observed on ร†rรธ – we love this! ๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŽ‰

3rd July 2022

Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ – part 1: our time on the mainland and on the island Fyn

Our route:
– we entered the country coming from Flensburg – at the border we met two pupils from near Stuttgart who had just cycled to this border within eight days, super excited and happy about having made it ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿšฒ
– we spent a few hours at the beach of Aabenraa – with the lovely company of bikepacker Dario from Switzerland, who was on his way from his hometown to Gรถteborg within 3 weeks! Wow!
– we slept in a shelter for the first time: shelters can be found throughout Denmark, they cost very little to nothing, they are wooden huts in which you can sleep or you can put your tent next to them, often there is water and a toilet as well. It is really an amazing concept, made for cyclists and hikers! ๐Ÿ‘Œโค๏ธ
– we stopped in the small towns of Haderslev and Kolding on our way
– on day 1 and 2 it rained a little bit in the morning/evening, but on day 3 we got completely soaked… We were scared the weather would be like that for the rest of our time in Denmark, but thankfully after a few hours the sun came out again and stayed โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š
– we cycled across a bridge to get to our first Danish island: Fyn > our first time ever to cross the sea ourselves ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ˜Ž
– we stopped in the cute little town of Middelfart
– we spent a day in Odense: third biggest Danish town, the town of Hans Christian Andersen – so we also went to a museum dedicated to him, we enjoyed the lively atmosphere, cute shops and relaxed people
– from Fรฅborg in the south of Fyn we took a ferry to ร†rรธ [next post]

Our first impressions of Denmark:
– it is a lot hillier than we expected (after our „flat time“ in the Netherlands and Northern Germany, this took some getting used to again ๐Ÿ˜‰)
– the road surface is really good for cycling (no holes, no bumps…)
– most of the times there is an separate cycling path next to the road
– there are not a lot of cars or people around (but with only 5,8 million people living in Denmark it’s understandable ๐Ÿ˜‰)
– people smile at us when they see us on our bikes ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ˜Š
– on the mainland we saw lots of yellow bikes and in smaller towns also yellow buntings – we asked: Denmark was getting ready for the Tour de France! We didn’t know about it being here ๐Ÿ™„
– lots of fields with various grains, but not a lot of farm animals
– people sell fruit and vegetable in front of their houses – in boxes, payment with trust
– this has been the calmest country on our tour so far… We had lunch breaks at beaches hearing nothing but birds and tiny waves
– the sea is very calm compared to the North Sea
– people seem very relaxed and quiet as if nothing could bother them too much – we like this! ๐Ÿ‘

2nd July 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled uponโ€ฆ in Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช –  part 1, The North:

Living in Germany means we know many things about this country – but it doesn’t mean we don’t notice things when travelling within Germany, things that we maybe don’t know from living in southern Germany or things we don’t notice when we live in our „bubble of every day life“.

We re-entered Germany after 10 months of travelling in other European countries. We were curious what would await us, how we would feel, what positive things we would notice.

We cycled from the Dutch border to the Danish border – spent 10 days in Germany, cycled 455km on 8 cycling days, took 4 small ferries, had really good weather ๐ŸŒž and slept in our tent every day ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Positive things we stumbled upon:

1. Stopping at traffic lights can be quite annoying – having a handle to hold on makes it a lot easier. This we saw in Flensburg and think every town should adopt it! ๐Ÿšฒ

2. Renewable energy is something we need to focus on in the future – this village is already on its way to making itself completely renewable.

3. This town isn’t only a „fairtrade city“ (supporting fair trade goods), but also a „cittaslow“, meaning… Well, it cannot be described in one sentence – just go and read it on http://www.cittaslow.org, it is absolutely amazing! There are only 100 „cittaslow“ in 10 countries around the world.

4. The region Schleswig-Holstein doesn’t only have a public transportation system, but also a system called „Mitfahrbank“ which usually can be found next to bus stops. You simply put up the sign where you want to go, sit down on the bench and wait for someone to offer you a ride. It seems a bit like hitchhiking. We don’t know whether it works, but it’s an amazing idea, we think! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

5. Another great thing in Schleswig-Holstein: On http://www.wildes-sh.de you can find public places where you can sleep in your tent for free. Sometimes even in someone’s garden, like we did. ๐Ÿ‘

6. The weather can be unpredictable in the North, people are used to quite a bit of rain and wind. No wonder the bus stops look like proper shelters in which a bike fits as well – great!

7. „Miteinander-Zone“, meaning „together zone“: a zone at the harbour of Flensburg where everyone should be respectful with each other on the road, pedestrians and cyclists. Always a good sign!

Next: Denmark and Sweden, before returning to Germany for good this August.

29th June 2022

Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช: The North – part 2

After crossing the river Elbe, we arrived in our second region: Schleswig-Holstein.

We stopped for a coffee in the cute little town of Glรผckstadt, stayed in Brunsbรผttel next to the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal (which is one of the most frequented artificial canals in the world ๐Ÿ˜ณ), continued along the „Nordseekรผstenradweg“ to Husum and from there to Flensburg. After having managed almost 500km in 7 days from Groningen to Flensburg, we had two rest days in Flensburg.

We liked this northernmost German town a lot, enjoyed being in the port, had some Flensburger beer, walked around in the nice centre. At the campsite we enjoyed the company of our very nice fellow bikepackers from France, going to the North Cape (which seems to be THE thing in the European cycling world! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿค”).

Our impressions from this region:
– cycling between herds of sheep on dykes is a wonderful feeling and has definitely been one of our personal highlights on our sabbatical ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸŽ‰
– the wind can be a pain in the a***
– also very flat until Flensburg (within the city it begins to get a little hilly)
– very touristy along the western coastline
… and still lots of green fields, cows and horses, red brick houses.

Next: Denmark, a country we have never been to!

27th June 2022

27th June 2022.
Day 327 on our tour through Europe.
Maribo, Denmark.๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
We make it to 8,000km of cycling.๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿšฒ

We always sort of guessed we could make it to this number – next goal: 10,000km. And then we’ll put on our dancing shoes for you ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ˜Ž

27th June 2022

Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช: The North – part 1

After exactly 10 months to the day, we cycled back into Germany on 9th June 2022, coming from the Netherlands. We decided to cycle quite quickly through the North, on our way to Denmark. For no particular reason we planned our route via Jever and Flensburg ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿบ.

The first region was Niedersachsen. Our impressions of our return to Germany:
– very flat
– windy (we still forget to calculate this into our day’s route)
– many sheep and cows
– green fields and lots of water
– red brick houses
– people say „Moin“ for „Hello“
– Covid: „it still seems to be a thing in Germany“ – as all of a sudden we see quite a few people with masks and there are still testing stations around (since April, Covid seems to have been absent on our trip)
– back to bad coffee and a slow internet connection
– we are quite shocked by how many overweight people we see
– Camp David
– often not possible to pay by card (in most other countries this was unheard of)
– good beer
– stands selling strawberries along roads
– cycling: approximately 95% of our routes were on cycling lanes (by which we were a little surprised), easy to cycle as it’s flat, many traffic lights, less people cycle compared to the Netherlands (it feels like cyclists are not as important in the traffic system), many people wear helmets

We cycled to Leer, then to Jever (and came across Amerika on the way ๐Ÿ˜‚), took a ferry from Wilhelmshaven across the Jade Busen, continued along the coast, took a ferry from Blexen to Bremerhaven across the Weser, continued until reaching the Elbe.

Just before getting on the ferry across the Elbe, we had a lovely and totally unexpected encounter: Franรงois, a guy from Montpellier, whom we got to know at a campsite along the Rhรดne in France in April, was cycling towards us! It was a loud and happy hello ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿšฒ๐ŸŽ‰ and we exchanged updates on our tours – he cycled from Montpellier to Oslo within a month, stayed in Norway for about a month and was now on his way back home. A very different way of doing a cycling trip – we are always amazed by how other people do it! We are definitely the slower ones, taking more rest days and doing more sightseeing ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿข๐Ÿ’จ.

Interesting fact: The area Ostfriesland in Niedersachsen is the number one area in the world for tea consumption – approximately 300 litres of tea per person per year! โ˜•

26th June 2022

A bikepackerโ€™s life ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿšฒ โ€“ number 9:

Obstacles on the way

When we don’t follow official cycling routes with signs, we let ourselves lead by a navigation app. Most of the times that’s fine – but we have also come across the wildest suggestions of where to cycle and have ended up
– at beaches,
– in front of steps,
– at creeks without bridges,
– in front of steep hiking trails with huge gaps,
– at motorways,
– at private paths with barriers,…

Often it’s ok and we just have to take a street further on, but sometimes this has also „cost us“ many kilometres of detours and quite a few nerves ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜……

Some impressions.

Twice the speed

25th June 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled uponโ€ฆ in the Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ:

We had always intended to stay in the Netherlands for at least two weeks as we had been so looking forward to this cycling country. We ended up staying for almost 4 weeks, 27 days. We cycled 868km on 15 cycling days.

But, honestly: How can you not fall in love with the Netherlands? People are so friendly and open-minded, it’s such a bike-friendly country, and besides lovely-looking windmills, canals and nice beaches, you also get blown away by the beautiful houses! We can only recommend visiting! ๐Ÿ˜

Positive things we stumbled upon:

A) Related to cycling ๐Ÿšฒ:
We could fill our ten pictures just telling you about positive things that are bike-related.๐Ÿ‘Œ
We have already posted pictures about
– the masses of bikes we saw,
– bike parking lots (sometimes they are even guarded or very pretty: on boats!),
– it being very normal and easy to take a bike with you on a ferry (the ones from Amsterdam Nord to A’dam Central are even for free!),
– cycling through bike tunnels,
– lifts that are made to fit also fully loaded bikes (yay!),
– buses made to carry bikes.

Picture 1:
It is quite common to see special cargo bikes made for transporting big things, maybe even for moving house (from the city of Groningen, for example, you can rent them).

Picture 2:
Traffic lights count the time down for cyclists.

Pictures 3 + 4:
There’s barely a road with no cycling lanes, most of the times it’s an extra path beside the street. And there are even long distance „fast lanes“, almost like motorways!

Picture 5:
You don’t really need a navigation device to take long-distance routes – simply follow the signs, you can really trust them, they don’t simply disappear all of a sudden (like often in Germany).

B) Other positive things:
We have already posted pictures about
– lovely mini campsites in people’s gardens / former farming lands (we loved them!),
– relaxing at canals as a form of enjoying life,
– making use of all available space, such as cafรฉs/bars having seating space on boats,
– poetry on house walls, sometimes in various languages within one city.

Picture 6:
As a Montessori teacher, Christina was amazed by the sheer number of Montessori schools in the Netherlands! And (apparently) going to one doesn’t mean having to pay fees, like in Germany. Meaning that this approach, focusing on the child’s needs and based on scientific observations, isn’t only meant for children whose parents can afford it! Wow, amazing!

Picture 7:
People have benches and tables outside their houses – making use of all available space to spend time with others! We loved this special bench that can be transformed into a table plus two benches!

Picture 8:
There were normal bridges – plus viaducts for boats and also ecoducts!

Picture 9:
We had seen this before, but still think it is a good thing: Fairtrade villages and towns.

Picture 10:
RUST are places where you can use sanitary facilities and electricity. Great when being on the road!

… And to the question „Do you speak English?“ we always got the answer „Yes, of course, I do!“ – a result of not dubbing films and television. We love it and think this should be common in every country! ๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜

21st June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ – some more impressions.

We just loved spending time in this country and took quite a few pictures of all the impressions we got there… These are our „lucky losers“ ๐Ÿ˜‰

17th June 2022

Scenes recorded from 3rd May – 14th May 2022 in Dinant, Bruxelles, Aalst, Gent, Brugge and somewhere in between.

Song: ‚The Great Escape‘ by Woodkid, album ‚The Golden Age‘. Copyright by Green United Music.

16th June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: region of Groningen

When we cycled from Leeuwarden to Groningen we were chased by dark clouds… The weather forecast was very bad and we simply wanted to arrive – we managed to stay dry until one hour before the city of Groningen, then we got completely soaked. We decided to rent a wooden hut on the campsite – it was quite damp, but offered more shelter and room than our tent.

We stayed for two whole days in the city – we wanted to inhale a bit more of the Dutch atmosphere and also dive into city life again for a change. And, boy, what a cycling city! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ‘ŒWe parked our bikes in front of the main university building – and simply stood and observed for at least ten minutes…you really have to look for a parking lot there! No matter the weather! This has definitely been the city with most bikes on our whole trip, very impressive! ๐Ÿ˜

We loved the lively, international student atmosphere in the city, the standard of cycling (apparently that is also special for Dutch standard), the many cosy cafรฉs, people being so relaxed – we could imagine living there!
On the way to Groningen we met Leo when we all looked for shelter from rain at a rare bus stop. He sells delicious cookies at the city’s market – of course, we went to visit him and his impressive bike stand! What a lovely encounter! ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ˜Š

This was our last region in the Netherlands. We’ll definitely be back! โค๏ธ๐Ÿšฒ

Next: Cycling through Northern Germany to get to Denmark.

14th June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Friesland

To get from Noord-Holland to Friesland we had to get across the Afsluitdijk. Usually, you can cycle the 32km, at the moment you have to take a bus – it is for free and, of course, made for bikes. We were very fascinated by the bus driver’s patience and dedication to fit all the 12 fully packed bikes into the bus, protecting bikes and bus with blankets and fixing everything with old bicycle tubes. What an interesting experience! And we were actually not so sad, not being able to cycle across the dyke,… headwind all the way! ๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ๐Ÿ™„

We cycled along dykes with sheep, saw lots of cows in black and white, had lunch in the lovely town of Harlingen, passed through the cute village of Franeker, until we arrived in the region’s capital, Leeuwarden. We had been there before – it was nice to get back and find out where we had already been, what was new to us.

Outside the city we had our first ever „warm shower“! In case you don’t know it: It is like „couchsurfing“, but for cyclists. We were very lucky to be hosted by Ydwine and Geart – they spoiled us completely! We had a lovely evening and breakfast, Christina had her first contact with rats (they are so cute!!), we learned a lot about their region Fryslรขn (it’s the only region in the Netherlands where they do have their own official language – all the signs are in 2 languages or only in theirs), and we talked a lot about both of our cycling experiences. Three years ago they cycled through Eastern Europe for five months, which sounded amazing!

What a nice stay – we’ll definitely do „warm shower“ again! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ™

13th June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Noord-Holland – part 2

From Amsterdam we went north. We enjoyed stopping in Monnickendam, a pretty village with a nice port with impressive boats. We continued to Edam – and, wow, what a place! Until then we had seen so many beautiful places in the Netherlands, but this one was very special with its cute streets, amazing houses and the „cheese-vibe“. Of course, we tried and bought some ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿง€

We cycled along canals, passed some more beautiful villages, and took a small ferry before arriving in a village next to Egmond aan Zee. We were quite lucky to find a bridge on the way for shelter – one thing we have learned in the Netherlands: there are not many places where you can hide from rain! Bridges are mostly just above canals, so too small for us, and there are actually not many trees… ๐Ÿ™„

We stayed by the sea for one day, though we spent it in the town of Alkmaar – as, guess what, it rained ๐Ÿ˜œ. We liked the tiny lanes and cute coffee places! Alkmaar is, as Gouda and Edam, famous for its cheese market, but like with all of them, we were there on the wrong day.

The day we left the Egmond area was our „Happy day“: cycling through the dune reserve along the coast to Den Helder, taking a ferry to Texel, setting up our tent in the dunes. We loved it there and spent a day at the beach – sun and loooots of wind โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ

We actually wanted to take a ferry to the second island, Vlieland, but we hadn’t planned correctly… It doesn’t go every day, it was full for the upcoming day, and there was bad weather ahead – so we decided to go back to Den Helder. When we arrived at the Ijsselmeer, we had missed the last bus taking us across the Afsluitdijk (as bikes can’t cross at the moment due do maintenance work)… It all turned out fine as we ended up staying at a „Natuurkampeerterreinen“ campsite, one of the most beautiful ones we have ever been to! โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ•๏ธ

Next region: Friesland

10th June 2021

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Noord-Holland – part 1

From the city of Utrecht we cycled about 40km to Amsterdam, via the small town of Naarden and the famous castle Muiderslot.

Arriving at the campsite in „A’dam“ felt like going to a festival! So many people and tents! Well, it was a long weekend and the campsite was only 5km from the city’s centre …

We were quite unlucky with the weather during our time there – it was cold and wet. We stayed for two whole days, cycled and walked around the city, along its canals and many bridges (there are more than 1700 – it’s the city with most bridges in the world!), and also spent time in lots of cafรฉs for shelter.

We loved Amsterdam! It felt so huge compared to every city we had been to since Paris, and there were quite a few tourists, as expected. Still, we thought there were many places that were nice and calm, the buildings were amazing (mostly from the 17th century!) and we loved being part of the city’s bicycle life! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿšฒ

8th June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: the region Utrecht

From Kinderdijk we went north, passed many pretty villages and houses, cycled along canals and next to baby animals to arrive in Amersfoort.
There we had a very relaxed 1,5 days, catching up on some picture sorting / posting / diary writing etc. and getting shelter from the rain. We liked this city with its various lanes and pretty medieval houses.

Our next stay was in Utrecht. On our previous trip in the Netherlands this had been our favourite place, so we knew we had to come back! We stayed on a lovely campsite just outside the city and were lucky enough to get to know a local! Getting an insider’s view and some advice really is nice! Thanks, Lieke, also for taking us out on our first live concert since before Covid and for a lovely evening with your friends!๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ™
We loved Utrecht and really felt like locals with our bikes! There you can find the world’s biggest „fietsenstalling“ (bicycle parking garage) which can host up to 12,500 bikes – no wonder we saw bikes everywhere! We loved the city vibe with the bikes and many students (there are hammocks on the university campus!!), the beautiful and quite special „Grachten“ (you can walk right beside the water), and could definitely imagine living there! ๐Ÿ˜

Next region: Noord-Holland

7th June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Zuid-Holland โ€“ part 3

After spending time with our friends in Leiden, we decided to take a day off from travelling and sightseeing. The previous weeks had been very intense, we had seen so many different places and so much beauty and we felt quite exhausted. One „day off“ seemed like a good idea, also because the weather was quite bad! That felt really good and then we were ready again for new things! ๐Ÿ’ช

After that we continued south-east again. We stopped in Gouda for a few hours. It is famous for its cheese – of course we tried and bought some ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿ‘Œ- and really liked the city’s atmosphere with many small streets, cafรฉs and shops.

We continued south, passed many green fields with cows, had to take a ferry again (which is something very normal here, as there is quite a bit of water everywhere) and stayed on a „Mini Camping“ again. Next to donkeys, horses, frogs and windmills,…
We visited „Kinderdijk“, a site 16km east of Rotterdam and part of UNESCO. There you can admire 19 windmills, some made of stone and some of wood. You can enter two of them (the other ones are still inhabited and, thus, private) and simply enjoy the area. We loved it and would definitely recommend visiting this place if you are in the area! So impressive and interesting to learn about how the area has been dealing with water for centuries!

Yes, we were proper tourists in Zuid-Holland ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘Œ

Next region: Utrecht

6th June 2022

France part 3 plus Luxembourg and London

Scenes recorded from 4th April – 3rd May 2022 in Toulon, Arles, Tarascon, Monfrin, Avignon, Tain-l’Hermitage, Lyon, Strasbourg, Lutzelbourg, Nancy, Metz, Luxembourg, London, Paris and somewhere in between.

Songs: ‚Sociรฉtรฉ tu m’auras pas‘ by Renaud, album ‚Amoureux De Panama‘. Copyright by Polydor (France).
‚Weddings and Wars‘ by Will Varley, album ‚As The Crow Flies‘. Copyright by Smugglers Records.

5th June 2022

Today is World Environment Day.

This year’s theme is „Only One Earth“.

You are wondering what you could do to help this one Earth we have got to live on?
Have a look at our posts from „April – our GREEN month“. There are many ideas that we have collected. Try one today! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘

Together for planet A. Together for our future. ๐Ÿ’š

Yours,
Christina & Jacob
Aka „Cycling for planet A“ ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿšฒ

3rd June 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Zuid-Holland – part 2

Our time in Leiden

We had been looking forward to this for a long time! Three friends came to visit us in Leiden to spend some time together and to discover this Dutch town.

We rented a little house in the city centre – the street was full of bikes and plants and in the back people had lovely roof terraces! We enjoyed breakfast there ๐Ÿ˜Ž.
Together we
– went for many walks along the various canals (after Amsterdam it’s the Dutch city with most canals),
– took many pictures of the beautiful houses with cosy fronts (after all we had a professional photographer with us ๐Ÿ˜‰),
– sat along canals/in cafรฉs,
– went on a boat tour,
… simply enjoyed spending time together! โค๏ธ

All of them were also amazed by the Dutch lifestyle, one even said „It seems like we have arrived in some form of a higher civilization. They really know how to live.“
Yes, we do love spending time in the Netherlands! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿšฒ

Thank you for visiting, David, Rici and Valeria! ๐Ÿ™
A special thanks ๐Ÿ’š goes to La Rici Photography for taking such lovely pictures of us!! ๐Ÿ‘‰We can only recommend checking out her website http://lariciphotography.com! (Some of you might remember her as our wedding photographer.)

3rd June 2022

Happy World Cycling Day! ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿšฒ

To all those people who like cycling as much as we do,
And to all of the others: Just try it! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š

Lots of love from the country of cycling ๐Ÿ˜Ž
Christina & Jacob ๐Ÿ’‹

2nd June 2022

Today has been one of our favourite days of our tour!

Pure sunshine, cycling through the „Noordhollands Duinreservaat“ from Egmond aan Zee until Den Helder, all along the coast, taking a ferry to Texel, setting up our tent in a beautiful spot in the dunes, having an evening picnic at the beach and watching the sun go down. Wow, such an overwhelming day!

We are very grateful for this very happy and beautiful day. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿšฒโ˜€๏ธ

We are going to stay here and relax at the beach for one day. Or maybe two, who knows โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’‹

31st May 2022

Day 300 of our travels!

We cannot believe how long we have already been on tour! ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿšฒ

300 days, 11 European countries, exactly 6800km by bike, 5,609โ‚ฌ donations for the Unicef project we are supporting. Wow! And THANK YOU!

3 things, among many, we have been really grateful for in these past 300 days: ๐Ÿ™
– not having had accidents or bike problems (not even a single flat tyre!๐Ÿคž)
– not having had any health issues (apart from Covid in March)
– still getting along even though we spend so much time together โค๏ธ

3 things we are looking forward to in our last three months of travelling: ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜€๏ธ
– experiencing the Scandinavian summer in Denmark and Sweden
– going for a swim in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
– sleeping in our tent a lot (hopefully with great weather)

Love,
Christina & Jacob

30th May 2022

A little impression from our time in the Netherlands… Adopting the relaxed style of cycling, the way Dutch teenagers do ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿฆฅ

28th May 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Zuid-Holland – part 1

Wow, so many beautiful towns and cities in this region!

[We actually made a mistake in our last post: The last two pictures were already in the region of „Zuid-Holland“, as well as the tunnel we took to get to the Rotterdam area.]

From there on, we passed through Delfshaven, which is part of Rotterdam now and one of the few places in the city area that wasn’t completely destroyed during WWII.

We continued via Schiedam (impressively beautiful along the canal in the centre) to head north-west towards Delft. We stayed on a beautiful, natural and calm campsite – we had been there before and absolutely wanted to come back! ๐Ÿ’š

We enjoyed the atmosphere in Delft – a city full of bikes, students (its university is quite famous), canals, beautiful houses, and good places to eat. We also liked that many people seem to enjoy doing water sports, like rowing and canoeing, in the city.

From Delft we took a 30km cycling route through villages, parks, along canals, to get to the city of Leiden > next post: time with friends ๐Ÿ˜Š.

26th May 2022

The Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ: Zeeland

We have arrived in our personal paradise! ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ’š
When starting this trip we always knew we’d want to spend some time in the Netherlands. By the time we had arrived, we were a bit afraid our expectations would be too high… No, it’s absolutely amazing to cycle here! There are cycling lanes everywhere (really everywhere!!), cars pay attention to cyclists, traffic lights switch quickly, ferries are made for taking your bike with you (we were overwhelmed when we took one on our first day here), everyone cycles,… Here, cycling really is part of the country’s lifestyle and everyone’s everyday life! We LOVE it!! ๐Ÿ˜

We arrived from the south-west, coming from Belgium, so our first region was Zeeland – an area full of water, islands, peninsulas.
We
– visited some very pretty places (Middelburg, Veere),
– passed through cute little villages,
– stayed in lovely Mini Camping places which are actually in people’s gardens (there are so many of them!),
– cycled along canals,
– saw many windmills, cows and sheep,
– cycled on the famous and quite impressive „Deltawerken“ – a project that started after the whole area had been flooded badly in the 1950s, and which regulates the sea level in the area,
– spent some time at the beach,
– cycled through the „Benelux Zuid“ tunnel which is made for cyclists/pedestrians to go underneath the river Nieuwe Maas (fitting 2 fully loaded bikes into a lift is no problem! So far on this trip we have very rarely managed to fit just 1 bike into a lift…)
– started to learn a bit of Dutch for everyday words/sentences (though everyone can also speak English very well here!),

and simply dived into this very relaxed lifestyle that people in the Netherlands seem to have. It’s too good to be true! We’ll definitely stay for a bit…๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿšฒโ˜€๏ธ

22nd May 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled uponโ€ฆ in Belgium:

We spent 12 days in Belgium โ€“ 9 of which were cycling days, with a total of 421 km.
In the Wallonie we cycled 226 km and mastered 2619 metres altitude (thanks to the Ardennes). In Vlaanderen and Brussels we cycled 195 km with 726 metres altitude. You can tell in which region you can find more cyclists on the roads ๐Ÿ˜‰.

We had a great time exploring Belgium – here are some positive things we noticed ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‘:

1. We love that Belgium has more than one official language – this makes discovering it much more interesting! The picture was taken in the Brussels area, where even the signs are in two languages.

Related to cycling: ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿšฒ
The Belgians like cycling, at least once you are outside the Ardennes.
2. Like in France, there were special signs for cyclists at traffic lights – which makes cycling a lot easier in cities.

3. In Vlaanderen we found cycling repair stations along cycling routes. Always good!

4. In Vlaanderen there were many roads where cars were allowed, but car drivers had to pay attention to cyclists – called „Fietsstraat“.

5. In Vlaanderen, following cycling signs for long distances was quite easy – we liked that a lot!

6. In Vlaanderen, outside villages the speed limit for cars is 70km/h – which is amazing for feeling safer on the roads, as well as for your ears.

7. We have seen this in many countries now, but always think it’s a nice gesture for all: Being respectful with each other on the road.

8. We stumbled upon quite a few „Fairtrade Gemeenten“, which means these communities support fairtrade goods. What a fantastic cause to support!

9. We have also seen this in many countries already – but it is so, so important to remind people: Taking care of your own rubbish. It makes a difference!

10. Something we stumbled upon quite early in Belgium: It is obligatory to wash your hands after using the bathroom! We are not sure whether this is meant for employees, guests, or simply everyone, but thought it was quite funny and special – our first time ever to come across something like this! And washing your hands is always a good idea ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘Œ.

16th May 2022

Belgium: Part 4 โ€“ Vlaanderen number 2

From Gent we continued to Brugge – it is only 45km away, we cycled all along the Gent-Brugge canal, next to cows and green fields. We have finally arrived in a very flat part of Europe, yay! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

In Brugge we stayed for two whole days – and immediately fell in love with this cute town! The whole city centre is part of UNESCO – and rightly so! Canals with boats, beautiful houses in various styles and colours, small cobbled streets, an impressive belfry (from which you also have a beautiful view), maaaany cyclists, … And then there are chocolate, waffle and beer shops everywhere! Brugge isn’t an insiders‘ tip anymore, there were many tourists all over (this must be really crowded in summer!) – nevertheless, it is very worthwhile visiting! We had a wonderful time, sometimes we were even a bit exhausted by its beauty, if that is even possible…

On the nice campsite we met lots of bikepackers – for the first time since last summer! We met Roy from South Korea, cycling to Spain now – have a safe trip and see you around! It was lovely to meet you! ๐Ÿšฒ

From Brugge we went north towards the Netherlands, the border being only 18km away. We cycled along picturesque canals and stopped in the pretty village of Damme. What a nice end to our time in Belgium! ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช

We will be back! Now, we are off to the Netherlands! ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿšฒ๐ŸŽ‰

15th May 2022

Belgium: Part 3 โ€“ Vlaanderen number 1

Flanders is, together with Wallonie and Brussels-Capital region, one of the three regions of Belgium. What can we say about it? It’s flat, very cycling friendly and there are many places with beautiful houses! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿšฒ

After cycling up and down in the hilly Ardennes in south-east Belgium, we were very happy to get to Belgium’s flat part. We cycled through some villages, visited some smaller towns (like Aalst, with its UNESCO belfry), saw our first windmill, and enjoyed our first rest day since Luxembourg – in Gent.

We absolutely loved Gent – this is a city we could imagine living in! It is cycling friendly (cars are not allowed in the centre), has got a big city feeling (it’s Belgium’s second biggest city), it is full of history, situated along canals which is quite idyllic, there are many good food options, and it feels quite young as it’s also a student city. Gent is actually called „Europe’s vegetarian capital“ – you find lots of vegetarian options and the city advertises not to have fish or meat on Thursdays, „Veggie Thursday“. Quite a few European cities have followed Gent’s example. We like that!

Everyone has heard of Brugge – go and visit Gent as well, it’s not as touristic and has lots to offer! ๐Ÿ˜‰โ˜บ๏ธ

13th May 2022

Belgium: Part 2 โ€“ Bruxelles/Brussel

Brussels isn’t only the capital of Belgium, of the European Union and the NATO. The Brussels-Capital region is also one of the three regions in Belgium. It is bilingual, people speak Dutch and/or French.

People from Belgium had warned us that cycling into and in the city wouldn’t be that nice – we actually didn’t have any problems, there were many cycling paths. Getting out of the city towards the north-west was more exhausting, as the cycling lanes were very narrow and right next to the cars on big roads. We were very happy when had managed to be in the countryside again.

In Brussels we enjoyed the atmosphere on the main square „Grote Markt“ with all those impressive buildings there, walked through some of the nice lanes in the centre and went to see the famous statue „Manneken Pis“, and – of course – had some chips/fries. It wasn’t easy to get around with our fully packed bikes as there were so many people – we decided: We’ll be back another time and take some time for visiting without luggage! ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ˜‰

12th May 2022

Spain part 4: Mallorca

Scenes recorded from 4th March – 4th April 2022 in Palma, Alcรบdia, Pollenรงa, Artร , Portocolom, Santanyรญ, Cala Figuera, Llucmajor, Palma, Sรณller, Port de Sรณller, Santa Maria del Camรญ, Port d’Alcรบdia and somewhere in between.

Song: ‚Calgary 88‘ by Antรฒnia Font, album ‚Lamparetes‘. Copyright by Robot Innocent.

11th May 2022

The project we are supporting with the help of your donations focuses on three things – all of which take place in the Ivory Coast:
1. Making something new from something used: Bricks are made from plastic waste.
2. Making jobs available with this, especially for women.
3. Building schools from these bricks, thus, giving children the chance to learn for a better future.

You want to know more about the project we are supporting? Have a look at our „Menรผ“ on our website! ๐Ÿ˜Š

THANK YOU for considering donating for this wonderful UNICEF project! ๐Ÿ’š

THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who has already donated! We are very grateful! ๐Ÿ™โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿšฒ

Christina & Jacob

10th May 2022

Belgium: Part 1 – Wallonie

We didn’t really know anything about Belgium before we came here – a few important facts:
about 11 million people live in three regions – mostly in cities, there are three official languages (French, Flemish ~ Dutch, German), it is a kingdom, it is famous for chips/fries, chocolate, waffles and beer.

Coming from Luxembourg, we arrived in the region of „Wallonie“, the French speaking part of Belgium. We had to cross „The Ardennes“ first – it is the very hilly south-eastern part of Belgium, with lots of green fields and forests.
We saw lots of cows, cycled in lovely nature, passed nice houses and villages, visited the lovely situated small town of Dinant (the home town of Monsieur Sax, the inventor of the saxophone) and the region’s capital and most likely hometown of chips/fries: Namur.

We cracked our personal 6,000km and we had to climb loooots of hills! Every evening we were absolutely knackered, we hadn’t done so many hills within just a few days in a very long time! This went on until after Namur, then it got a lot flatter towards Brussels.

We have been very lucky with the weather in Belgium so far, lots of sunshine. But we have also taken out all of our rain gear for the very first time. Overall, it’s good enough to sleep in our tent every day! ๐ŸŽช๐Ÿ˜Š

First thing after the border between Luxembourg and Belgium: a „Friterie“! Welcome to Belgium! ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ˜

8th May 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled uponโ€ฆ in Luxembourg:

We spent 6 days in Luxembourg (before and after our London/Paris trip) – 2 of which were cycling days with 80km. We spent most of the time in Luxembourg City where we had been many times before, especially Christina. Travelling by bike, though, always feels more intense and your focus of observation shifts, you notice things you haven’t noticed before.

Some positive things we noticed:

1. People speak Luxembourgian as their first language, which is the national language. Quite early on they also learn French and German, both are official languages. Growing up speaking more than one language every day – what a blessing!

2. Luxembourg is a very international country. About 600,000 people live there – almost 50% of which are foreigners! This makes listening to people around you very interesting, you never know which language you might hear. ๐Ÿ˜Š

3. Since 2020, all public transport is free! Luxembourg is the world’s first country where this is made possible! ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‘
Despite this, we thought there was still lots of traffic! Come on, make use of the free public transportation, dear Luxembourgians! ๐Ÿ˜Ž This isn’t only cheaper, but also better for the environment ๐Ÿ’š

4. We thought Luxembourg was very clean. Bins making people aware of not throwing waste anywhere but inside.

5. We have seen this in many countries now: Sharing a common path, respecting other people.

6. Water dispensers in a park – yes! We have seen this in quite a few countries and are big fans! ๐Ÿ‘

6th May 2022

[Screenshot taken from RTL Luxembourg’s website]

We were on Luxembourgian television! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ

If you want to watch the four minute-video, here is the link:
https://www.rtl.lu/tele/de-magazin/v/3287491.html

Be aware, though, it is mostly in Luxembourgian, and when we speak it’s in German ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a very interesting experience for us – thanks again, Philippe from RTL Luxembourg, also for these amazing shots! โ˜€๏ธ

5th May 2022

Our time in Luxembourg

We stayed with Christina’s grandmother for a total of six nights – three before London/Paris and three after coming back. She is already 94 years old, so we were happy to be able to spend some time with her! โค๏ธ Our personal ‚rule‘ for this trip through Europe is to visit only countries/places that we don’t know well… Well, for grandma we made an exception! ๐Ÿ˜ (And also for our trip to London and Paris.)

Even though Christina had been to Luxembourg many times throughout her life, and also Jacob a few times with her, it felt very different – as we explored the city by bike! Different angles, cycling through parks, taking paths we had never taken before. Experiencing Europe by bike really is lovely! ๐Ÿ’›
Now we have visited all countries of our four nationalities on this trip! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿšฒ

We were also quite busy promoting our cycling and Unicef project in Luxembourg. We had a live radio interview (if you missed it, you can still listen to it here: https://www.rtl.lu/radio/feature/s/3951127.html) and we also did a film report which is going to be on Luxembourgian TV anytime soon (we’ll let you know about it)!

Next: Belgium – a country we have never been to! ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿšฒ๐ŸŽ‰

3rd May 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled uponโ€ฆ in France (part 2):

In September/October 2021 we spent 47 days in France (part 1) and already posted about our positive things we experienced there and then:
getting water for free when eating out, lots of organic stores and bakeries, people playing Pรฉtanque everywhere, packages/groceries being delivered by bike sometimes, following Eurovรฉlo signs is very easy, signs reminding people to keep their environment clean

In April 2022 we spent another 18 days in France, cycled 500km on 9 cycling days and did 1480km by train.

Some more positive things we noticed the second time:

1. Another way you can tell the French like cycling: along cycling lanes/in cycling towns you can see „cycling stations“ to help you when having problems. Yay! ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿšฒ

2. Great in cities: Cyclists are actually allowed to keep going also when cars aren’t – these signs guide you through traffic lights! ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ‘Œ

3. Finding dog poo on the ground is quite normal in Franceโ€ฆ Is it something positive to add this photo here? Mmh, well – let’s simply hope posters like that one help! ๐Ÿคž

4. 1,90โ‚ฌ for a single ticket in Paris is quite cheap, we find – for a big city like Paris and in comparison to other big European cities.๐Ÿ‘ŒWe still wondered why so many cars were aroundโ€ฆ Come on, Parisians, hop on the metro! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰

Merci, France, ร  la prochaine! ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿšฒ

2nd May 2022

Our time in Paris

When you take a train to London with Eurostar (which goes through the Channel tunnel), you can either go via Brussels or Paris. Coming back from London, we decided to go via Paris and stay there for two days. ๐Ÿ—ผ๐Ÿš

One of Jacob’s cousins lives there and also a friend of ours with whom we lived in a shared flat in London. We had a lovely time seeing them! ๐Ÿ˜
We enjoyed some lovely meals together, were fascinated by the view of Tour Eiffel, really liked the area of Montmartre and Marais and simply walking around the streets with beautiful old buildings. It was an interesting experience visiting Paris directly after London – it felt so small in comparison! And you can actually walk everywhere, if you want to! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž

We have entered France four times since August – by bike from Switzerland in August, by train when we got vaccinated in Perpignan in February, coming from Mallorca by ferry at the beginning of April, and now by train from London. This was it now. Time to explore a different European country! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We are now back in Luxembourg, with Christina’s granny. Tomorrow we will get back on our bikes – next: Belgium! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿšฒ

1st May 2022

POSITIVE THINGS we stumbled upon… in England > Well, actually only in London.

We might be a bit biased, loving London unconditionally ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰. Still, coming back after many years made us notice quite a few things.

1. Street art: You can find it everywhere. Areas that are well-known for it are Brick Lane and Camden.

2. Generally, we find, people are friendly and respectful towards each other. And here it really works: People let others get off the public transportation before getting on themselves. ๐Ÿ‘

3. Tube: It might be the oldest underground in the world, nevertheless, some things are done better there than in other big cities. We like that due to informative announcements you always know where you are. And, when sitting, you can also read the station’s name signs outside. We do miss this in quite a few other European cities, also in our home town.

4. Yes, London is a massive city! But if you are looking for a bit of green you don’t have to go far: There are many small parks in the various parts of London, and, of course, also some big ones, like Hyde Park.

5. There are so many second hand shops in London! And in every high street you can find charity shops – the money you pay for your purchase goes to organisations helping people in need. ๐ŸŽ‰

6. We admire the bravery of London’s cyclists…Especially cycling between the big red route masters and taxis. Good: lots of space for cyclists at traffic lights. ๐Ÿšฒ

7. There are many public toilets.

8. There are many signs reminding people to keep their environment clean.

9. Saving energy: Sockets have to be switched on when in use.

1st May 2022

Our time in London

We have looked at the map of Europe many times throughout the past months. ๐ŸŒ When we decided to visit Christina’s grandmother in Luxembourg, we realised that it’s a lot easier taking a train from there to London than from Munich, of course. So, once more, we decided to disregard our personal rule of not going to places/areas we already know, and hopped on a train to London. ๐Ÿš We left our bikes and our luggage in Luxembourg.

10 years ago, we lived in London for 13 months, with an exchange programme from our universities. And we absolutely loved it! โค๏ธ It was also a special year, as 2012 was the year of the Olympic Games in London and it was also the Queen’s 60th jubilee, so there was a lot going on.

We would have loved to stay there, but our lives took different paths. Now, whenever we get the chance to, we come back to visit friends – always a bit nostalgic…

We hadn’t been to London in a long time – some personal impressions from our week there:
It is a massive city!! We totally forgot how big it is and how long it takes to get from A to B! We were a bit overwhelmed this time…
People are so respectful and friendly with each other. We wish it were like that all over the world ๐Ÿ’š
We love listening to British English! ๐Ÿ˜
We loved the multi-cultural atmosphere!
London is so beautiful! The styles of houses are very varied, it never gets boring!
Some parts of London have become more touristic than they were ten years ago. We didn’t like that too much. Maybe it’s also because people start travelling again after the pandemic?
Even though we did lots of exploring when we lived there in 2011/12, we now walked through quite a few areas that were new to us. London has so much to offer!

We walked around some of our favourite areas. We met one of our fellow bikepackers from Spain – he lives in London now. And we enjoyed some days with our dear friends Ambra and Sean – we always love staying with them, though this time was really special as we also got to meet their little son for the first time โค๏ธ

Thanks, London, it was an absolute pleasure! As always! And, as always, time was too short… โค๏ธ
It’s good that we left our bikes and our stuff in Luxembourg, otherwise we probably would have simply stayed there… ๐Ÿ˜‰


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