|Dates:||22 Jun 2017 - 16 Dec 2017|
|Duration:||5 months, 3 weeks|
Luc & Julia's Roadtrip with the 28 year old VW LT 31, starting from Basel on the 22nd June 2017 towards East.
Somehow there was so much to celebrate that we stay out quite long...first family members to see again <3
We are in Linz! And celebrating Luc's birthday with Martin & Julia having a great dinner...Christmas atmosphere all around <3
And the vagabunds go on...bye bye Vienna, see you in Linz
Haaappy birthday...Christina, Damien celebrated together with us the first minutes of Luc‘s birthday...thanks for the great time with you!!
Stephansdom...the main attraction of Vienna...as it is Luc‘s first time here we walked for 4-5h in the cold to see as much as possible....brrr not used to the cold anymore
Exploring Vienna...Karlskirche with cute Christmas market with little pugs and goats...
Morning walk through Budapest...
Too tired to go out...homemade dinner and nice Hungarian wine...
Szeged...worth a visit...we explored another Christmas market and the impressive dome...the city has the perfect size...you can still explore a lot by foot...
After our excursion to baroque we are back to science ;-) Luc feels at home here...great hotel with a nice science touch in Szeged!
Today is baroque time...we found a cute little hotel next to Novi Sad...Luc was surprised by the differently looking furniture...but there was also a spa & amazing breakfast...
Danube!!! We are almost at home (Linz)...this water has already passed Linz...
Another great Christmas market...we had chimney cake and enjoyed the sunshine...great atmosphere
Brrrr...we made it to the castle...so many battles were fought here...one more lonely warrior ;-)
This was the farest point we got...it was just too cold, snowy & wet to walk around more...jackets are wet and feet are cold...time to go back to our airbnb apartment...isn't it lovely to have a home? at least for 2 nights ;-)
Belgrade...St. Mark's church...exciting to wander through this city with so much rich culture...even though we are very tired and feel that it we are at our way back, we try to make most of our last remaining days on tour...
Next stop: Paraćin... There wasn't much to see but this made our stay so relaxed...no need to visit sights but just blend into the crowd of locals...
Luc riding an ancient „Emu“ ;-)
First stop in Serbia: Niš We visited the fortress, enjoyed the park and strolled along the shopping mile...while doing some food shopping a nice woman started talking with us...it feels so good to be welcomed in a new place <3
Welcome to Serbia...the road was very nice...some mountains again and cute little tunels...
We take advantages of staying in an apartment with an oven...so today it's "Kekserl / Guetzli" time
Yeah after a loooong time we went for a run outside again...felt so good!
Time to celebrate! After all good that has happened to us so far and the exciting future plans we thought it is time to enjoy a wonderful (you have to go there if you go to Sofia!) dinner at Kosmos and enjoy the moment...
We can't believe it! Christmas market with raclette!! Okay, it tasted more like "traditional" Bulgarian raclette but we are happy of the feeling of being at home ;-)
Sofia! Such a lovely city...we feel at home and are playing stupid as always ;-)
Here is the result of our second time fixing the roof top, the remaining duck tape was just enough (or at least we hope). The last transparent foil lasted for about 9000km! So hopefully this will stick for the last 1500km!
View over the old city of Plovdiv...maybe we didn't catch the best conditions! ;-)
Plovdiv apparently is the city of graffiti...not only on walls like this but also on the rocks and almost everywhere...but the pictures were really fascinating...
Even with the fog we can only see the juicy green gras everywhere ;-)
We found a Christmas tree...yeah! Slowly we get into "Advent-mood"
Preventing the rain from flooding our bus, since the roof top was damaged.
Welcome to Bulgaria, back in the EU. Before entering our car had to be „desinfected -> 3 euros“...from whatever...! ;-)
Small fishing village away from everything...astonishing nature... However, you can tell that life is not so easy for the people living here...
The view from our bedroom...good morning!! ;-)
Even with a little bit of dirt, we love our White Wheely
Black sea...down in that bay we will camp overnight
The bridge that connects Asia to Europe...we are finally back in Europe...doesn't feel so different ;-)
Last lunch in Asia, after we enjoyed our time on this continent for nearly 3.5 months!!
Crazy Luc went swimming at 10°C outside temperature...brrrr...brave man...Julia decided to just take pictures (in her winter jacket)
Shoooopping time...we decided to make a quick stop at a fashion outlet...2 pairs of jeans, 1 shirt, 1 pair of running shoes and hairdresser/pedicure later...just a quick stop ;-)
It‘s time for healthy tortilla wraps! A typical lunch while traveling in our büsli.
Who needs money? And another obscure thing on the road, a rolling ATM
It's hiking time... On our way back we met two nice Turkish man...guess what? They invited us to share their picnic...yummy ;-)
Just hanging around ;-) This crystal terrace gives an amazing view down in the valley...
Safranbolu is an old town...you can tell by the very narrow streets...
Safranbolu...UNESCO world heritage...fortunately we came off-season because it is quite obvious that it might be very crowded at other times...
A typical Turkish "village" ;-) fortunately, not but still there are once in a while villages that just consist out of such huge apartment buildings...
Again Turkey shows us another side....such a diverse landscape...and we have almost 4 hours to enjoy it -> our White Wheely is not the fastest ;-)
Also in the morning Amasya is worth doing an extra round to enjoy the view...the "holes" in the cliff are tombs...
Amasya...a beautiful small town...we were surprised by the old Ottoman houses next to the river...we even went for a longer evening walk than we thought...
We survived! It was really cold during the night but the good thing was we parked next to a gas station where many overland buses had their stop...this means there was a big hall where we enjoyed a breakfast in the warmth... After feeling warm again the snow looks so much nicer...
Cheers! We had to open the bottle of redwine as we couldn't find an accommodation...this means we will have to sleep in our van at -5°C...cheers - wine please make us warm ;-)
After 3 relaxing days inside an amazing hotel (spa, fitness, big room), we are back in our White Wheely. Unfortunately, in the first city where we wanted to stay overnight all hotel rooms were booked :-o maybe it was better we had to leave as the reason was a military event taking place... While driving it started snowing again and we are still driving upwards...up to 2200m...let's hope everything will be fine...
Turkish snowman next to the hotel, including Swiss knife (nose), Iranian dates (eyes) and pomegranate (Wilhelm Tell style).
White Wheely hiding in the snow....and its very cold, about -5°....brrrr
The first “real” beer after a “long” (6 weeks) time!! ;-)
Welcome to the highway E80 traversing Turkey with a total length of 1800km until Bulgaria....see you there in short...! ;-)
View from our camping site onto Bazargan and Turkey with mount Ararat and little mount Ararat in the back. And again a typical situation in Iran: we parked next to a park to stay overnight. A nice guy, apparently working for the government, let us inside the park so we are even safer for the night ;-) unbelievable how kind people are here...
Exchanging the remaining 20 million rial....downgrad from millionaire to normal person! :-(
Beware camels and the first rain after 7 weeks!!! ;-)
Typical Iranian “supermarket” next to the road, with a lot of different fruits and soft toys (stofftier). You never know what you get....but what is certain is that if you are looking for something specific, e.g. vegetables, you will not find it for kilometers...
Julia and the Iranian baguette...saved from starvation!
Knife making in Tabriz in the wolrd heritage Bazar. Incredible what people here are still able to do by hand. On the left side he was flame-burning scissors!
This wasn’t even really mentioned as a sight...therefore surprised us even more!! A 108m hill which has in the middle a deep hole of 85m!!! We approached the edge with a lot of respect...
Tacht-e Suleman...a fascinating assembly of monuments from Mesopotanian time! 3500 years old!! However the parts to stabilize it our probably not so old ;-) And again just us visiting it in the middle of nowhere...
The protection pathway of one of the biggest fire temple in the world...
Keep on rolling...with more or less goods packed :-D
Our White Wheely is so pretty :-)
Saying goodbye is the hardest part while traveling...we had tears in our eyes...but we hope it is a see you again
As our fame grew, an independent film team approached us because they wanted to make a documentary about us :-D a very new experience for us but a lot of fun
Ali Sadr...the biggest and most beautiful water cave in the world...again we were lucky that we were one of very little visitors...
Mohammed & his wife...we cannot express in words how lucky we were to meet them...it felt like being with our family...we laughed, talked and enjoyed the shared time
We are one big team!! Everyday several trucks with supplies came...we sorted the goods and loaded it on trucks to be sent to Kermansha...even though the occasion was very sad we had fun working together and communicating with arms and legs
Before going to Red Crescent, Benni took us to Ganjname...these inscripts are 2500 years old!!
Next stop was the bazar...guess what having "guides" who can translate made it possible to try maaany delicious things
While helping at the Red Crescent we met Mohammed...a very nice father of 4 grown-up children...the family invited us to stay with them... Here we were taken on a great Sightseeingtour through Hamedan with Benni, Babak & a friend of them
As we not only decided to donate something but also help carrying and sorting goods we kind of got famous :-D This picture was shared on different Social Media channels and got many likes within a few hours...haha
First stop in Hamedan was Red Crescent...as being so fortunate we felt the urge to give back...here we bought food and hygienic supply as aid for the earthquake victims...
Despite the recent earthquake, which we “only felt”, we arrived safely in Hamedan. Our thoughts are with the affected people. We feel their pain as the people here made us feel more than being at home in their beautiful country.
View of Khorramabad with the old Castle nested between the mountain and river
Luc admiring the old building of Chogha Zanbil, another impressive UNESCO world heritage
Wandering around Shoushtar
A local man who demonstrates how flour was grained with a mill stone, driven by the water flowing underneath. The axis is vertical, in contrast to the ones in Europe.
The hydraulic system of Shoushtar (UNESCO world heritage) with its large number of canals and dams, with water flowing through mills
Drinking juice in a very nice park and appreciating the shade
Yeah, 149’000 km and still running!! Since the start of our journey we have already been driving 12’912km!!! Without any major problems! (touch wood) Unfortunately its about time to return...so heading northwest now...
90km straight, a turn, another 50km straight and nothing beside the road....navigation can get quite boring as well as the driving itself...from time to time an insect smashes into the front window (as in the photo), but other than that it's purely meditative....
A typical day at the Iranian beach....people on horses making selfies, picknick with a lot of food, standing / swimming in the sea and of course driving with the motorbike along the beach.
After swimming at a rather private beach, we got invited by the local people to eat seafood in their holiday house...14 people around the large floor table with SRF 1 on television, broadcasting one hour about Swiss cows and the racial differences!!
Swimming in the Persian Gulf...it helps against the temperatures of 34C
Finally....the first pizza since a long time ago...eating in bed, drinking non-alkoholic beverages (sweet beer), enjoying the AC and doing nothing...yeah!!
Even communication was difficult we laughed a lot together
In Shiraz we met this lovely couple and accepted their invitation to visit them in Bushehr...not only could we eat delicious, homemade food but also stayed overnight and were overwhelmed by all the gifts they gave us :-o fortunately we also had some nice things in our van to show our gratitude
Date trees as far as the horizon....with a field of about 30 by 10 km it is one of the most famous and best places of dates in Iran
After a very welcoming and friendly invite to a police station we parked next to, we came out with a washed car, clean dishes and a bottle of hot chai...this can only happen in this country!!
Ancient inscriptions in stone...
The ancient city of Bishapor, once one of the most important cities besides Persepolis and Ephesus...and we were the only visitors!
Back to civilisation we decided to camp next to nomads ;-)
Another new experience on our attempt back to civilisation...no petrol anymore!! But fortunately we had 10l as reserve By the way, the sand on our car is because of +30km dirt road...we were just relieved that we made it back...we werent always sure about it :-o
In the middle of no man(d)'s land
The final end of our detour...after a really bad, steep and wild path (you wouldnt call it road anymore), dissolving itself, there was no way we would reach civilisation in this direction with our van (while only about 10km to walk). By chance there was a big family living there. No word English, chances very high that they had no clue what our problem was. But they invited us for tea and lunch, so great!! This literally was the end of the world for us...Probably we found the most remote, original place here in Iran
It didn't really look inviting but we just hoped that the road would get better
Making friends while we asked for the way...we were the highlight of the day of these school girls
The wall with 49 peaks!!
Autumn is here...with 23C up on 2267m...haha
White Wheely and Magroov waterfall
Good morning! We camped next to this majestic waterfall...100m wide & 70m high
Sundown over the Zargos mountains...just us and nobody around
In the villages people are excited to see us...everyone waves and smiles
Driving through the Zagros mountains...
Ghalat...our lunch stop which had more to offer than we thought...ruins, forest, waterfall and great view to the mountains
There is a real forest!! And a rare species - the chewing gum tree
Leaving Shiraz without having any Shiraz...! :-(
Fazinated by the colours in Nasir-al mulk mosque
What to do on the Iranian weekend (Friday)? Play a round of backgammon in the sun!
Chilln and watching the moon in an old caravansara in Vakil bazar
Shah-e Cheragh shrine...special atmosphere as it one of the holiest shrines in Iran...we were lucky and saw this ceremony
Is it a ghost? Is it a bedsheet? Nooo it is Julia in a Dshador
Travelling zoo on a beautiful old Mercedes truck
What a wonderful place to stay overnight...even though it was a pity surprising that there were Iranian locals coming and going the whole night...people drive around in their car...stop for 1-2h, chat and leave again...hm what a particular hobby ;-)
Impressed how well you could still see the reliefs...
In the back one of the palaces in Persepolis...even after 2h we are still motivated to explore this ancient site...
Persepolis...impressed by the massive buildings they constructed thousands years ago...
Good night :-)
4000 year old cypress tree...the right place to stop and camp next to it...
...on the road again...
Around this area is also the mountain we hiked up...magnificent landscape
This is how an old bathroom looked like...as we were in the area of the Zoroastrians we decided to visit the museum...it was definitely worth it and we learned about this religion...did you know that it is the oldest monolithic religion? And all the other major religions were influenced by it?
On our way back...after 1700m of altitude up and down (4h up, 3 down) we were really tired but still enjoyed the solitude at the path...who finds Julia?
While we enjoyed a short lunch break at the top, two men (you see them in the back) with scarfs around their face and a big gun (!!) approached us...Julia’s way of defense was to offer them some food to assure we are friendly and open ;-) as we weren't sure what their intentions are...they put away the scarfs, gave us a big smile and were so nice to take pictures of us...all good :-D
We made it to another top in Iran! Shir Kuh with 4055m...we are stroooong ;-)
Time to relax...after so many impressions we found this beautiful ecolodge near Yazd...the best thing: there is a garden with real green trees! So nice after many dry landscape
Luc clearly needs a break!! (This authentic mud house room is ours for tonight)
At Amir-Chaqmac square in Yazd
Beautiful view over Yazd with its many windtowers and mosques
Advanced packing also present in Iran. While turning the truck was clearly leaning over..
Julia in the middle of the “ice-house". About 5m deep, protected with a doom of about 20m, they were able to make ice during the winter and conserve it for summer time. The ice is nicely illustrated by the “plastic ice cubes”.
Most of the buildings here are only built out of clay and straw. Hopefully there is no heavy rain...and the city would be gone
Being invited to watch an ancient sports/religiouse ritual. Somebody was singing and playing the drums (top in the back), while the others were exercising, dancing and singing in the round area (front). As a gift for watching this unique ritual I received some local sweets!
Thats camping in Iran...find a park, park your car and enjoy
Life in Iran
Luc conquering the „sand-castle“. The castle is several thousand years old, and made only out of
Welcome to Persia...the land of 1001 nights, djins and wonders
The first step of our visa extension: a photo with hijab. When we went to the police office the fun began: counter 18 -> 12 -> reception -> Miss Amin -> bank for payment -> again reception -> 14 -> 19 -> again 12 -> again 14 Duration 3.5h (including lunch in our van) and in total 3 times entering the building with security check... As you can tell it was very efficient and easy :-D
It‘s hard to say goodbye :-( Sarah we miss you!
For our last evening together we enjoyed a great dinner in an amazing ambience...nights get cold here so we moved closer and closer to the fire...
The bridge of the 33 pillars
The palace of 40 pillars...there are only 20 but the reflection in the pool gave them the chance to talk about 40 which is an important number in ancient Persia...the garden was also really beautiful and on Unesco World Heritage list
At Naqsh-e Jahan square you don‘t know where to look...this is inside one of the mosques...
Julia found a new pot to cook for Luc ;-)
Hello? Anyone here in Isfahan??
Welcome to Natanz....for the next 10km, for certain reasons, photographing not allowed
Bling bling...at Tabatabaie historical house
One of the historical houses of Kashan...with more than 50 rooms and 4 courtyards...we would feel comfortable living here ;-)
A beautiful mosque including a volleyball field
Salt, salt, salt ... all you can eat!! Beautifully arranged in hexagonal shapes
The "salt-hotel" made out of salt in the middle of the huge salt lake (~50km)...seems salt is the topic ;-)
Tiny Julia is fighting...we had fun creating optical illusion...
Flirting with a Camel...
Hiking in the sand desert
Homemade (White Wheely) dinner with Sarah...we stayed at a beautiful guesthouse with traditional beds (the pillow bundles in the back)...many small details made this house the perfect place to relax
How many grapes fit into Luc‘s mouth?...13 big ones!! ;-) Things you do for entertainment during a long drive
Imam & mosque...
Next stop Qom...probably the religious center of Iran...in Qom are many schools for Imams and every woman was dressed in black...however, we were warmly welcomed and enjoyed the beauty of the mosques & shrines...
Sarah‘s first duty...helping to push away a motorcycle so we can get our White Wheely out of the parking space...streets in Iranian cities are really narrow!! Thank you Sarah
Wandering through the big bazar after hours...an experience for itself...
Laughing, drinking tea and smoking shisha...this is how you treat yourself here in Tehran
Exploring the rich culture of Iran...this is the Golastan palace...so colourful and impressive mirror work...
Exploring Tehran together is more fun...time to be crazy...
Sarah is here!!! We are sooooo happy and celebrate with cocktails...of course anti-alcoholic...
Beautiful vallies around Damavand...after warming up in some nice hot springs at the base of the mountain we are on our way back to Tehran...
Dinner with Mehdi and his wife Fara...life is good
Dizi...fatty soup where you have to smash the fat parts yourself...Julia is excited...haha...real food after the summit...
This is how you get down Damavand
Woooohoooooo smelling the volcano :-P
Wohoooo we made it! Getting up at 5am...starting at -10C...facing 50-60km/h wind (-25C)...and hiking 1400m of altitude in 4h40min...we couldn‘t be more happy
Dinner!! With ketchup bear, Mehdi & Julia
Again in the afternoon we hiked up a little more to get more used to the height and sleep better during the night…Julia is happy that the hike wasn’t finished for today
These cutie pies carried all our food and most of our luggage up to 4200m…we made sure they get an extra carrot ;-)
One step after the other…slowly we could tell that there is less oxygen in the air…
Chineeeese picture…one of the first things Mehdi (our guide) taught us…the week before he went with us he had a Chinese group and as soon as there was a camera they made funny faces ;-)
Good morning…we are ready for the next part of our hike…
Julia is a big muffin...it is cold on 3000m!
Candle light dinner on 3000m…
This mosque is our home for tonight...
Over the clouds…
After the short hike to the mosque and lunch we went up to 3600m to get better used to the height…we still have a loooot of energy ;-)
We are ready for Damavand! Together with our guide Mehdi we start the first 1.5h hike to the mosque on 3000m...the top of Damavand is still hiding but we will search for it ;-)
Our „lunch-box“ (+ 2 further boxes) for the next days...fortunately mules will carry it up to 4200m
Uiiihhhh....this is the Damavand!! 5671m...we are excited!
The probably cheapest hotel in Tehran, a university hotel. Located in the secured Polymer & Electrochemical Institute. We got out without taking any lectures!!
Yeah...we are 10‘000km on the road since the start of our trip!!! ;-)
Morning workout is the right start into the day...we camped next to a park and in the morning men & women were jogging and working hard at the outdoor gym
Basar!!! Guess what is on the plate in the left corner? Yes, meat...and the guy was smoking...haha
Luc in the middle of the basar in Zanjan...
A very nice small museum about this public washing room in Zanjan...all women could come here to wash clothes, dishes and take water for drinking & cooking...
In between the varnished land there are great looking villages with very simple houses
Up and down it goes through this abandoned landscape
Trust me the road looks less steep than it was...12% and more :-o we made it down to the green valley in maybe 1km...just down down down
Snow!!! The way to the Iranian border is not easy...two mountains to pass...tight turns and steep roads...up to over 2000m
After the first mountain crossings this view awaited us
One of the weirdest roads we ever took...to the left of the road is Bergkarabach and to the right Armenia...we were a bit nervous as some of those areas are still faced with tensions :-/
Good morning...rough night with low temperature but a beautiful sunrise we could witness while still lying in bed
The longest aerial tramway in the world! The more than 5km “ride” (or “flight” = how they promote it) takes only 12min...beautiful view but also quite high :-o Funny fact: it is an Austrian-Swiss construction ;-)
Yes this is a gas station ;-) they got very fast at repairing it when we told them we need petrol not diesel...2min and the hose was fixed to the pump again...
The first petrol station we found...as most of the cars here use methan, it is not always easy to find petrol...4 men, 2 canister of something...not sure if this is a good idea
Mount Ararat...we understand that this mountain plays the leading act in many biblic stories
Inside the Geghard church the atmosphere was without a doubt special…
Monastry of Geghard...
Stones of symphony…walking through the woods we discovered this beautiful view towards this special rock formation…
How we love getting to know random people...Misha secures the water reserve at Garni...no problem, we are of course allowed to enter and on the way back he invited us to some vodka & food...with a few Russian words and arms & legs you can talk about anything ;-)
All alone…this Greece temple is the only one that survived over all those years…
After rain we are out in the sun again…in one of a kind scenery
Yeah! After an odysse with getting all papers together, paying the fee and waaaaiting at the embassy we finally have our visa for Iran
Exploring Armenians culture...
Running up the cascade in Yerevan...what a wonderful city...we had to run up and down within 10min because we decided to do this last minute before we met Lía, a friend of Julia...Julia saw her after 9 years but didn’t feel like a good, close friend...thank you for your time Lía!!!
Perfect assimilation with the surrounding ;-) Luc fits perfectly in here!
Our first night in Armenia...waking up to such a breathtaking surrounding
Winter is coming...! Pumpkin and mushroom for dinner in 12 degrees!
Near the National Park...you have to imagine that all of this is up on 1400-1900m :-o
...and as if this wasn't jaw-dropping enough...two eagles flew extremely near the point we were standing...
Thank you detour!!
Being forced to do a detour is not always something bad...as we missed the "good" road at the first crossways we had to drive up to this top...but White Wheely made it once again! With 12% inclination, it was an adventure...
Even though the streets were a challenge to drive...this beautiful view all around was definitely worth it! Some villages looked abandoned which gave it a melancholic twist...
Welcome to driving in Armenia! People drive better than in Georgia but we managed to find a lot of these roads on our first day...and the car you see is also driving - still driving! We are one of the "youngster" with our 28-year old VW van
Armenian car insurance! After almost 2h all paper work for the car was done. Was signing the papers in Armenian (no translation) a smart idea? We are happy that we are allowed to explore Armina now.
Julia along at the Armenian boarder. Will she make it?!
Yihhaaaa...we also found some cowboys here in Georgia! Another challenge when you are driving
Suit it up...spontaneous idea to watch a classical ballet in the beautiful opera house of Tiflis. Luckily, since we joined two weddings, we have the appropriate garments.
Julia in her element! Cooking fresh fish in a tiny kitchen while doing laundry and dancing, yeaah!
To enjoy our time despite two days of constant rain, we temporarily abandonded our white wheely and found a great guest house in the former capital of Georgia. And Julia outperformed herself once more with her great cooking...! ;-)
Healthy lunch with a view...just next to this spot we went up to a nice ruin of a castle...
Sight towards Caucasus where big clouds are approaching....this is not a good sign for our planned summit attempt in that region! Just a few meters behind the highway is the semi independent region South Ossetia.
Dark clouds over the "Bundestag"...just a coincidence?
First settlement in Uplistsikhe dates back to 1000BC…most of the caves/buildings we saw were built between 500-1000AC…we saw churches, ceremony halls, wine cellars…and except of a few Russian tourists it belonged just to us…
Overlooking the majestic scenery of central Georgia…
Enjoying the end of the summer season!! We still had 28 degrees during the day
Old Russian trucks are just one side of the interesting traffic life of Georgia...almost every 10th car is missing its front bumper (mostly Mercedes & BMW) Also the streets here are a challenge - big holes hidden in the shadow, narrow, many turns... But the biggest challenge is how they drive :-o first we thought Albanian drivers are crazy, then the Turkish were even worse but all of them know what they are doing...here it's just out of control
Lunch break is over ;-) we found a lovely picknick table guarded with a fence to keep the cows and pigs away...
Back in the city after the night in the middle of nowhere...Georgia has beautiful corners!
Georgian dinner...we are in the middle of nowhere...the "street" was more than narrow and remote...chicken, ducks and a dog passed by while we enjoyed the delicious food
Modern ruins similar to the ancient ones
Bodysurfing in the black sea....only the surfboard is missing...! ;-) Our last swim in a sea for a while
Jogging & sightseeing in the morning
The slowest waiters we experienced so far...so maybe the name of the bar is just coincidence...! ;-)
We arrived well in Georgia! And stopped in Batumi to get car insurance...not the smartest idea on a Sunday...so instead we enjoyed a relaxed afternoon...and this was the most delicious dish during this trip so far. Vegetables, meat and a lot of oil cooked in this metal jar with bread as topping!!
Güle güle (byebye) Turkey, we had such an awesome time!!
Rize...beautiful tea terraces everywhere...oops there is another raindrop ;-)
And we woke up to this...falling asleep while hearing raindrops was great but waking up in grey weather is more challenging...
Rain rain rain...so we decided for sightseeing by car ;-)
Should I go surfing or not?!? Didn't assume to find such waves here...
It's döner time again...although Julia is more interested in the waiter...more food for Luc! BTW many people mentioned the great fish you can eat along the coast line of the black sea...this was our 4th attempt trying to get some without success...! :-/
The great city park of Trabzon. It looks like a miniature city in a valley.
Luc and Wheely are hidding...Who finds them? Wait...there is black Luc and White Wheely, what a combination....
Sightseeing time...view from the castle down to the "town" of Giresun. For us it is surprising that most houses have many levels (5 to 10). Rather fast growing cities.
What a wonderful world...lala...relaxing in the hammock, Black Sea in front, home in the back...what do you need more?
You can even find some jellyfish here...!
Black Sea vibrations....! ;-)
We finally arrived at the Black Sea. After a long and hot drive we were very much looking forward to swimming in it, but to our surprise it was forbidden in this area (waterpark). With a life jacket we were allowed to shortly dip in! ;-)
How much can you put in a truck? Definitely not legal in Switzerland/Austria
Prove! We were in the middle of the hot air balloons...flying up to 1,500-2,000m
How many balloons can you count? We enjoyed the amazing flight which lasted unbelievable 1h20min! What an experience
Waiting for the balloon to be blown up...nervous thoughts if everything will be alright ;-)
After the Pigeon Valley we made it up the hill to a former castle in Uchisar...of course also carved into the rocks...we just cannot believe how impressive this region is...
In the back you can see the castle of Uchisar...
Definitely not from this world!
Today after 12 weeks it was the first time that all balloon flights were canceled...last minute...which means we got up at 5am...but no problem, we decided to hike through Pigeon Valley instead! All around you can see holes in the rocks...people made them in the old days for the pigeons to live in...they were flying schnitzel and their sh!% was fertilizer for the fields...
Julia conquered the Valley!
Not from this world!!
Exploring the area...today we made it to Love Valley...guess why it is named like this? ;-)
Flying through the fantastic stone region of Cappadoccia
Waking up at 6 am, having a self-made coffee and sitting on the great terrace of the Camping, while watching more than 80 balloons going up into the air and passing over Cappadocia during the sunrise! Just a great start in the morning.
Julia found the Winery...of course..! ;-)
The tunnels between the rooms are really tight. Nothing for claustrophobic people!!
The underground city of Kaymakli. The can host up to 3500 people and are about 8 underground floors deep carved into the stone to protect the local Christian community from predators. The city included storage places, stables, living rooms, kitchens, churches and even wineries!! The ventilation system is a 70m long shaft, passing in the middle of the city. Here you can see a typical room with many "doors" leading to different rooms. In the center is a mil stone which was used to close passages, against invaders.
Jogging in the morning keeps sorrows away!
A great scenery for jogging. A 10km long canyon with cave houses at the side and a river in between! Just amazing...
Our campsite just between rivers and underneath the trees (we just ignored the concrete all around ;-) ). We had to put our power cable of 60m, which was really just enough, over this really stable bridge to supply our van with power.
A great mountain with cave houses....apparently Star Wars took place here....may the force be with us!! ;-)
The modern Winnetou...!
Filling up your car at a petrol station can very easily lead to some cup of tea and the invitation to stay over night there and have dinner! Thanks a lot Fahri! ;-)
The biggest Caravansaye stopover along the Silk Road, built in 1229 ac. Every 30-50km there was a fortified housing for the travelers, who got free accommodation and food. Good old days.
50km straight road, scenery: flat fields...couldn't happen in Switzerland
Driving in Turkey requires a lot of fine feeling!! Despite these strict rules, people have their own way of driving: overtaking from the right, making two lanes out of one and going much faster than certain signs....its an adventure and here you learn how to drive ;-)
Enjoying the atmosphere and mingling in with the many muslim tourists
Maybe the worlds smallest version of Koran. The writer became blind when he wrote it :-o
The tomb of Rumi...impressive how well his words suit to modern days...
Fixing our White Wheely again....after checking water we forgot to put everything together completely. Fortunately, they discovered the water leakage at the nearby petrol station and a friendly truck driver helped us out! On the road again...
Staying over night in park was incredibly overwhelming! In total we were invited four times for tea, twice for dinner and received several different fruits. Unfortunately we couldn't accept them all...! ;-) But such incredibly nice people! In the picture a mother with her two daughters with whom we had tea and snacks.
Another impression from the road....after a long time finally a curve again! At the side mostly flat and really dry land, some agriculture and after a while some mountains again.
Finally again a fruitful and green valley...
some windmills, rather modern...
A really big salt lake along the road, even a railway made it out here
Our accommendation in Pamukkale with a great water slide in front of the chalk terraces
The beautiful chalk terraces of Pamukkale
Julia posing ...
What you can find on the road...oh its a red submarine travelling through turkey..! ;-)
Eating some Koefte (meatballs) with a great scenery...At that time we were the only guests while at least 8 people where somehow working there! ;-)
Good morning! We looove wild camping here...so easy and great spots just next to the beach...
Yeah! Back in Turkey & our White Wheely is still there next to the big ships
Short stop on Kos...unfortunately the effects of the earthquake are still visible :-( At the side the famos tree of Hippokrates
Saying goodbye...we had a fantastic time! Thank you for everything :-)
Uhhhaaaa! Helping in the garden and conquoring the palm trees!
What a wonderful island...even the goats pass by to say hello...
Playing backgammon...training for the brain ;-)
Date night with delicious Greek food...a typical Greek couple ;-)
Between Asia & Europe...on our way to Kalymnos to visit Luc's mother...first time without our White Wheely :-o it was quite interesting to organise that we can leave Turkey without our van...hopefully customs hands it back when we return ;-)
Ice cream!!!! Julia is in heaven...first time ice cream during our travels...as we had to spend 6h in Turgutreis until the ferry to Kalymnos left, so we spoiled ourselves...
Beautiful clouds, huge freshwater lake and relaxed driving...life is good
Tropical beaches at the Mediterranian ocean. But unfortunately, the end of the summer is approaching...which means we have a good sleep with only 25C during the night
Now this is an honest advertisement!! ;-)
Julia standing in front of the main entrance of the market place
Old terrace houses of Ephesus...the architectural style didn't change too much in the last 1000 years
Seeing Ephesus was truly impressive...thousands years old but youcan imagine how much knowledge was already around...here the amphitheater of Ephesus
It had to happen...a flat tire!! :-/ Fortunately Julia felt it immediately and pulled over as it happened on the highway...also it was not too hot anymore and we could figure out how our repair stuff works. It took quite some time to get off the really rusty screws, but we finally made it!! In the next garage, they exchanged the valve (which was broken), while we were drinking the offered tea! After a relaxed 20min we had to pay only 10 €, which somehow is standard during our travel (the third time we pay this price in a garage). But really great service!!
What a great windsurfing day!!! A lot of wind, a lot of fun and a lot of adrenalin and sometimes too much power...! :-( after surfing about 4 hours my hands were bleeding, in total five blisters and two bad cuts, but it was totally worth it!!
Freshly grilled local fish! How delicious...
Julia racing around with harness...even finding some time to wave to her fans!! ;-)
After two hours of searching for a new gasbottle we finally found a tiny shop in some narrow streets. Even though we have Swiss gas pipes, the guy said..."no problem, I will do"...so finally we now have a new Turkish gasbottle! Fortunately with some force it just fitted into our caravan!
Julia looking for lunch...
Arrived in Alacati...windsurfing for the next days! Julia's first lesson: watch, learn & relax
Our little farm
Is it a dog or a chicken? :-o Who would have thought...Julia is starting to love dogs...
New haircut for Luc. With Google Translate and arms & legs he almost managed to explain the hairdresser what he wants ;-) But we got chai afterwards ☕️
Work work work - we helped to finish the isolation of this wooden house. Unfortunately Luc's pants decided to do the opposite ;-)
Fantastic börek that Julia almost made herself
Dinner at "our" little farm! Getting working experience of the different kind
Helping to turn 65kg tomatoes into sauce
Driving in Izmir was an experience!! Julia adapted to the Turkish way of driving...haha
Helping two guys from Greece who got stranded at a gas station...their motorcycle broke Thanks to Google Translate a Turkish guy, 2 Greek guys and a Swiss & Austrian could communicate
After an afternoon of playing volleyball we enjoyed a bottle of Turkish wine which we got as a present Q: Why we got it? A: Just because we are van neighbours :-)
Biggest Turkish festival and we were there!! Probably the only ones who didnt speak Turkish
Our first tramp ;-) a fine artist who was on his way to a music festival...thanks for the great time Sükrü!!
At the beach again....
First time cleaning the van...Julia is having fun!!
Fitness exercise for free....it was quite steep up the hill! Hopefully we will not go through such training!
Boarder to Turkey
New mechanic! Luc in action "repairing" our top window (duck tape & sheet protector)...unfortunately the window made acquaintance with a garage roof in Kosovo...
The roads get exciting - 3km = 20min
Maybe the dog joins Julia's yoga session?
Those dots are flamingos!!! In the Nestos National Park
Let's go swimming!
The White Wheely also likes it between big caravans - crowded but nice campsite
Beautiful beach but it was definitely not the best idea to go for our morning run at 9:45 - dead afterwards!
Having arrived in Greece we found this peaceful spot next to the beach. Enjoying a glass of redwine and watching the waves was the perfect way to be welcomed in Greece after the long drive…
Back in the EU....! ;-)
Long drive today - 550km - 3 countries - but still we have the chance to enjoy the beauty of Macedonia’s landscape
And the second time at a garage in Kosovo. Even though we arrived at the end of the opening hours those 3 mechanics took the time to repair our window. Not having AC -> opening windows is quite important to us ;-)
Yeah we found the 3rd and probably last sight of Pristina - spacy looking library!
An impressive monument honouring the strength of the women during wartime…
New Born - sightseeing in Pristina. To be honest we were positively surprised how many shops, people and prestigious cars were around...
This is called appetizer - after this the real dinner with fish started! Very delicious and extremely economic prices
Our white wheely is getting some cosmetic repairs (leaking air from exhauste pipe). The mechanic quickly cut a metal part and soldered it to the car, 15min and done!! By the way, the car just fitted inside the garage, scratching only a little bit at the roof.
Welcome to Kosovo...!
Skopje, what a culturally nice and interesting city. The amount of sculputures is incredible, during our stay we saw at least 50 different ones
Finally, some rain and "long-pants-weather"! Unfortunately too late, since we couldn't hike as planed to the highest mountain of Macedonia because of bush fires. So we had to change plans and are heading in direction of Kosovo instead.
Beautiful lake of Mavrovo
inside the church
A church which was drowned and yet re-dried again!! The banks of the lake are clearly visible at the side!
Sun set over the Mavrovo national park
The wonderful old city of Orhid with the impressive castle (Samuel's Fortress)
Now that's a nice car!!
Desperate need for some culture; classical music in an old church (852 AD) during the Ohrid summer festival
Luc writing his proposal, travelling is not always fun!! ;-)
Playing a great outdoor wodden game (Mölkky) with our neighbours
Our White Wheely
Moon rising over the mountains of Macedonia
Its Monday again....! ;-) We wish you a great start into the week, cheers!
Tirana - maybe not the most impressive capital but nice people
Everybody loves the White Wheely
After a day at the pool we made it up the hill to Rozafa castle
Another border: Montenegro to Albania Officially our van can only take 3 people so Philipp & Julia have to cross the border by foot ;-)
All 4 of us...maybe not 100% legal but 100% fun
12km sandy beach
Our vehicule for the next travel...so big, so great!! ;-)
Hello coastline of Montenegro! Many people but stunning view - here: Sveti Stefan
Our new camping neighbours! Yesterday we picked up Philipp & Julia from Podgorica airport. Happy to travel with friends the next days...
Ostrog - one of the 3 main Russian Orthodox monuments. It was built in a cave on this steep stonewall. We thought it is best to walk up the "short" trip to experience the pilgram feeling - not the best idea at 38°C during lunchtime
Just arrived in Montenegro and we have already made friends <3 next to a lake those 3 families saw us and immediately invited us to have bbq with them...it was such a great evenig! Hvala!
Narrow street, many tight turns and dark tunels
What a view on Piva lake. We were driving for about 15km along this beautiful lake. And finally a extremely narrow street up to enjoy this view!
...and finally cooling down again
And another great rafting tour. Now on the river Tara, the natural border between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. Julia before jumping into the freezing water...
The "main" road to Montenegro. At the edge of these 3m it is just an incrediblely steep drop...about 500m straight down to the river Tara
This was apparently a nice restaurant / cafe 25 years ago before the war
Meeting with Andelka and her family. Julia went to school with her and thanks to a very spontaneous invitation we spent a lovely afternoon together! Thank you Angie!
The "tunel of hope" or "tunel of life". An 800m long tunnel going underneath the international airport of Sarajevo. During the war it connected the seiged city of Savarjevo to the outside to provide supplies, weapons and transport people. The seige itself lasted nearly 4 years, leaving behind a nearly completely damaged city. What a sad part of history...
Sarajevo is a rolemodel when it comes to tolerance! A great hub of intercultural lifestyle and religious monuments just next to each other. Within close vicinity, there is a Mosque, Catholique Church, Orthodox Church and Synagogue
The "War Childhood Museum" in Sarajevo! An exhibition of the Most precious objects belonging to a generation of lost youth. A real must-see. Intense, emotional & deep insights.
The old "metal workshop" of Sarajevo
Quite a challenge for our 2500kg...ufff! Just afterwards there was a sign next to the road "beware of mines" next to a hiking sign...I guess thats called adventure hiking...
Posing with the "active aging" group, which is supported by Red Cross Switzerland. Julia was fascinated by their enthusiasmn & motivation. This group of 65+ even organizes parties with live music!
Julia with Azmir & Amit, two Young Red Cross Volunteers! Feeling inspired after hearing their stories - goosepumps due to the fact what Red Cross changes in peoples' lives
Bathing in a salt "lake/pool" in the middle of Tuzla! Find Luc...
It's Octopus time...! ;-)
Similar family events on Sundays everywhere in the world. Here just with loooots of Cevapcici!
2222km on the road now! A lot more to come!! ;-) The digit of the thousend is non-existent
The beautiful countryside of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Crystal clear waters, this national park is just amazing
What great fun!! Changes are high to get wet!
Rafting down the waterfall Strbacki buk in the Una Nationalpark (boarder to Croatia), so great!!
The best hosts we could have imagined! Hvala Ado + Senada! It really was a tearful goodbye...even though we got goodbye presents: 5kg potatoes, 10kg apples, homemade juice, cheese,...
The most crystal clear river we have ever seen...refreshing 12°C...brrrr
Just a short hike but an astonishing view and a lot of sweat...
Our Bosnian mom & dad 😉 Ado went fishing with us...he caught two beautiful and delicious trouts...
Playing tennis and getting tanned
We had coffee with this young man in Bihac...he is our age but has to work as parking lot guard because there are almost no jobs in Bosnia...he spoke perfect German because he worked in Austria but after being diagnosed with epilepsy he had to leave...no perspective, no insurance, few euros per day but a big heart, smile and not complaining
Bihac...beautiful little city with crystal clear river Una
Never seen such crystal clear water in a city!
Waiting and getting nervous to cross the border to Bosnia & Herzegovina...first "unknown" country on our tour
The old village of Slunj with beautiful scenary
Julia feeling inspired while writing
Staying fit and healthy... jogging next to the lake
Castle of Ogulin...
My "hometown" containing 3 houses...not a good sign!! :-/
Bay of Opatija
What a beautiful view
Dinner with friends...we stumbled upon Julia's former flat mate Isa and her boyfriend Max
Most remote ATM ever
Pork lunch Deluxe
First Cevapcici's on our grill...btw this stop for the night was next to a cemetry
The great cave of Škocjanske (UNESCO heritage). The biggest cave we ever saw, just amazing!! This chamber in the cave had a height of nearly 100m! Check out more pictures on www.park-skocjanske-jame.si
The beautiful river of Soča
Switch back (Serpentine) Nr 47! The second last one...After that the breaks stopped working (not funny situation at all)...so time for the camp!
UPDATE: after about an hour the breaks cooled down and were fully functional again...! ;-)
What a view...! The Julian Alpes in Slovenia!
Hiking in these mountains is just amazing...
Double rainbow after a looot of rain and thunder. Hint: our van is in the pic 😉
What a hotel ... the owner must have huge green thumb!!
Lovely lake and beach with the castleof Bled in the back
On the way to Slovenia...
Lunch at a golfcourse
First dinner inside the bus...the weather was crazy stormy...
How beautiful Austria is...
Having a drink with friends and our great host in Linz on the boat
Deserved Jause (Grammelschmalzbrot) after the exhausting hike
Great Pyhrgas (2244m) - sight could be better, and it was freezing (about 5 degrees) - summer could come again...
Trying to play tennis (with no technique) against the great playing family Ebner
Great roastbeef with mushrooms sauce (Schwammerln) and vegetables
Typical Austrian dinner (Brettljause) with the parents of Julia in Molln
View from Schoberstein onto the Austrian Alpes. Julia with her sister and kids.
Beach for relaxing in Urfahr, Linz
Great dinner with friends in Linz
Donauschlinge / Schlögener Schlinge
Dream Wedding in Austria...who will get married next?
"Dreifaltigkeitssäule" on the Main Square, symbol for overcoming the Pest...perfect blue sky
Parking with no servo steering ... difficult, but with potential for improvement...!! ;-)
Austrian food (Knödel mit Schweinsbraten und Sauerkraut)....just delicious...!!
First night stay in the deep valley of austria! Start of the day with a great breakfast and of course hot coffee....! ;-)
Driving along the Bodensee while the sun is saying goodbye
Last great meal in Switzerland with Barbara and Rahel!!
Finally, my doctoral thesis is printed and handed in!!! In the back is the building of ETH Zurich, with the nanooptics group!! Thanks to all of them for the great and inspiring discussions!! 🤓
Our white wheely has spent 136'068km on the road yet, and hopefully many more kilometers to come....if the rusty parts don't take over...!! ;-)
Start of our journey, thanks a lot to our hosts Ralf and Sabine for the great time!!!
|Dates:||22 Jun 2017 - 16 Dec 2017|
|Duration:||5 months, 3 weeks|
Luc & Julia's Roadtrip with the 28 year old VW LT 31, starting from Basel on the 22nd June 2017 towards East.