Europe 2016/17

europe

After wintering in Lefkada Island in Greece (according to the locals, the coldest winter for at least 50 years), it is time for the last leg of my bicycle trip around the world – from Greece to Denmark, which I expect to reach sometime during Autumn 2017.

Like Greece, I have travelled most Western European countries 20-30 years ago but I haven’t been everywhere, so my plan is to bike new places. My rough plan is going to southern Italy, Malta, Sardinia and Corsica before riding through northern Italy and San Marino over the Alps and then head west through Switzerland and Liechtenstien. From Geneva, I intend to travel back south to Monaco and ride along the French Mediterranean coast to Andorra in the Pyrenees. Back down from the mountains, I’ll navigate the French Atlantic coast with a short detour to the Channel Islands before riding the last stretch through Belgium, Netherlands and Germany to Denmark. It’s only around 8-10,000k depending on which way I choose, so despite the many mountains I have lots of time to visit friends and do a couple of detours.

After 3 months with little bicycling (and no other exercise) I'm completely out of shape but the good thing is that I've managed to gain around to 20 kg. As always, it will be tough in the beginning but to my knowledge, the first stretches in Greece and Italy are not too hilly. Mentally I feel ready for heading out on the last leg of this incredible adventure. Gone are the language barriers, cultural differences, visa challenges and long desolate stretches, so both communication and long-lasting bike problems should be limited. The challenges in a densely populated Western Europe, are to a minor extent navigation (hopefully my new phone can solve that) and a larger extent wildcamping though I’ve done it many times before, so I’m sure it will work out this time as well. With little local interaction through Asia, I hope once again to encounter much friendliness, helpfulness and hospitality from the many interesting people I'll meet along the way.

 One thing is for sure - another adventure and epic journey is about to begin.