100 days ago, we left Berlin. 3500km later we have gone from Europe to Asia by bicycle and reached milestone number 4: Istanbul. On our way, we were surprised by snow, cycled through abandoned cities and enjoyed plenty of Turkish tea…
Winter in Greece – an abandoned country
On November 11th we leave Ohrid in Macedonia. After spending a week almost entirely inside, we have to realize that temperatures have dropped rapidly. Time for our winter outfit, bonfires and crawling into our cozy sleeping bags soon after dawn. Within 24h we reach the Greek border. Greece not only marks country number 11 but also the last country on the European continent. Soon after we will actually be crossing from Europe to Asia by bicycle. The next we find ourselves realizing that relying on regular supermarkets, cafes or restaurants isn’t an option anymore. Indeed, this time of the year isn’t what one would call peak season. However, this isn’t the only reason for empty roads, deserted cities, and broken buildings. The signs of the financial crisis in 2010 are clearly visible. Many factories are abandoned. Even in big cities such as Thessaloniki, people spend their days in cafes or in the streets. There simply isn’t enough work. Especially in the coastal regions, it feels like we have survived a zombie apocalypse – we cycle on completely deserted highways. Days pass by and all we see are stray dogs, sheep, and donkeys. Not seeing signs of other people around us. We camp on beaches, sleep in abandoned houses only with our sleeping bags, and enjoy each time we see other people. On our way to the Turkish border, we get invited by two lovely Greek families in “Thessaloniki” and “Alexandroupoli”. This bike world trip demonstrates us, there is incredibly kind and hospitalize people all over the world!
A bicycle world tour in winter
We deliberately decided to leave Germany in September. By doing so we cycle through winter in Greece, Turkey, and Iran – In the last two weeks temperatures have dropped again and have reached their lowest level so far. However, if we had left earlier we would have experienced winter in much colder countries like Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan (see our route here).
At night temperatures dropped down to 1-2 degrees and we often decide to crawl into our cozy sleeping bags (see our packing list here) and have dinner inside. On the Greek island “Samothraki” we already encounter the first snowy mountains. The cold season is particularly a struggle when getting up in the morning, having breakfast and packing bicycles while our hands start to feel like ice cubes. Nonetheless, we are continuing our journey regardless of all these difficulties. We are excited for to the powdered streets in the mountains of Turkey and yet we know it will be the biggest test on our journey so far.
From Europe to Asia by bicycle
It still feels surreal it’s been 100 days that we exchanged our daily routine with the life on the road. With mixed feelings, not knowing what the journey will bring, we said goodbye and hopped on our new home on two wheels. 3500km and 12 countries later we have crossed a new continent by bicycle. We actually cycled from Europe to Asia. How cool is that?! It feels exhilarating to have achieved something most people at home told us we cannot do. I still remember sharing our project and getting responses such as: “you won’t even make it across the first border”. We are aware of the journey to Beijing has just begun. Exotic countries, freezing cold temperatures and numerous difficulties we can’t even think of are yet to come. However, we’re optimistic and grateful for the mesmerizing moments we have already experienced.
100 days on the road – let’s talk numbers
The day we arrived in Istanbul also marks day 100 on our bicycle world trip. About time to share some statistics from our journey.
Average daily kilometers: 61.5 kilometers
Average expenses per day: 12 € per person
Days with sunshine: 54
Days with rain: 16
Cloudy days: 30
Nights in our tent: 48
Invitations to stay: 30
Paid accommodations: 22
Number of donors for the school: 514 people
Average donation amount: 49 €
Fundraising – halfway
More than 500 people from all over the world have already supported our fundraising campaign and €22,000 have come together in just three and a half months. We are overwhelmed by the support we receive on a daily basis. Your support gives us the motivation to continue in bad, hard and especially cold days!
We reach thousands of people every day through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube with our mission #moresocialinsocialmedia and we have the feeling that’s exactly what was missing in the “always perfect” media world. Every day people write us the kindest messages we have ever received. We could not ask for better support and we are glad to have already collected half of the donations. The love and support are indescribable. Especially now at Christmas time, it is a great feeling to be able to give less fortunate children hope for a better future.
We will take a break from it all until the New Year. Christmas and New Year’s Eve we spend with our girlfriends and best friends. We cannot wait to see our loved ones again and look forward to a chilled and fun break in the Turkish metropolis. From the 3rd of January, we start our journey again. Next stop: Iran
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