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By bicycle from Switzerland to Vietnam?

 

Alessandro, Lukas and Michael were sixteen years old when they cycled along the Rhine River, around Lake Constance and back to their hometown Basel at record speed. Due to the wonderful experiences, new ideas for longer bike tours came up soon. Not even a year later, on Easter 2008, Lukas and Michael started in Basel heading for Rotterdam. Because of their first trip, they knew the upper part of the Rhine fairly well. Now, they wanted to discover its further course from Basel to its water mouth into the North Sea. The weather conditions on the whole journey were extremely bad; hence the joy was all the greater at the first sight of the Sea in The Hague – an unforgettable moment.


First sight of the Sea in The Hague
First sight of the Sea in The Hague


All these experiences really aroused travel nerves – in summer 2009, Lukas and Michael hit the road again. This time, they followed the Danube River from Ulm on. Via Vienna and Bratislava, they cycled to Budapest; fortunately under much better weather conditions. The picturesque landscape, the discovery of the unknown and the travellers’ life were fascinating and left memories lasting forever.


Lukas and Michael at the arrival in Budapest
Lukas and Michael at the arrival in Budapest


These particular experiences led to the dream of a much longer cycling tour. From the very beginning, the two could not imagine any other transportation means than the bike. If travelling by bike, you get the chance to experience every single meter as well as to get in touch with local people and their culture. The feeling of freedom when being on the road is indescribable.


"...there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
Chris McCandless (1968 - 1992), out of the book „Into the Wild“ by Jon Krakauer

 

On August 7 2011, Lukas and Michael finally started heading eastwards; aiming to cycle from their home to Vietnam. The first part of the journey led the two along the Danube again, this time, however, they followed the river until its mouth into the Black Sea. Afterwards, they passed through Turkey and Iran; all the time equipped with a tent, cooking utensils and repair materials. From Iran, they flew to Mumbai in order to travel through Southern India. After catching a further flight, Lukas and Michael cycled through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos until Hanoi in Vietnam. Back to Switzerland, they had ridden their bikes as far as 12’474 km and experienced eight months of an uncountable number of adventures.


Arrival in their hometown after 8 months
Arrival in their hometown after 8 months


„The world is a book, and he who doesn’t travel reads only one page.“
Aurelius Augustinus (354 - 430)