Travelreport

Travelreport

Tales from around the world

I visited Kyrgyzstan in 2003 on a three-month trip travelling back to Germany from China overland that also brought me to Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia before ending in a Mad Dash Home to make it back in time for Christmas.
I will cover Kyrgyzstan only briefly, I visited again in 2008 and have much better pictures from that trip. I’ll focus on the things that are peculiar to the 2003 trip. […]

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I had visited China for the first time the previous year. Whereas I was very happy about returning to Hong Kong I felt conflicted about China. On one hand a very interesting place, on the other hand I found it complicated, difficult and annoying. Because of this, I decided to spend little time there and cross quickly to get to Central Asia. I spend six days in Hong Kong and planned to spend the same amount of time to cross China to Kyrgyzstan, a distance, as the crow flies, of more than 4000km. Crazy idea but I was young and inexperienced. […]

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I am flashed by Hong Kong. I feel so much more at home here than in mainland China. People speak and understand English and I like these dense cities where everything is compressed in a small space. The bathroom in the hostel has less than one square meter, it is not very convenient but everything you need is there. And the setting is beautiful, it reminds me a bit back to Vladivostok on the same trip but Hong Kong is more dramatic, by far. […]

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I’m intrigued by China, a country so big and unknown. I listened to an interesting conversation at the guesthouse in Ulaanbaatar. One guy had worked in China for two years, the other had travelled there for six months. They seemed to complain all the time about it and every sentence seemed to be graced with the word “fu**ing”. After some time, I asked why they spent so much time in this obviously annoying place, the travelling guy was first to answer, “because it’s fu**cking interesting”. I got what he meant. […]

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I started reading about Mongolia on the long train ride west from Vladivostok. So far, I had considered it as just another country but now I realize how different it is. I’m a bit shocked and don’t have a concept yet. The guidebook contains information like “how to drive a jeep”, “how to repair a jeep”, and “how to buy a jeep”. It was written by a representative of Mercedes Benz in Mongolia but he recommends the Russian jeeps, they are easy to repair and spare parts readily available. I give you an excerpt about how to traverse deep rivers: “it is better to face the inevitable and open all the doors of the car as you enter the water. This allows the flow of the river to easily pass the car. In this the front-seat passenger also has to fulfil an important duty.” Well, I was expecting something more normal, […]

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Creating this website forces me to take a look back into my own travelling history. And here we are, in 2002, right at the beginning of my first longer trip, and the first time of really travelling outside of Europe. With my parents we went on holidays, every year, two weeks, usually with Christian groups and usually somewhere south where the sea was warm. Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Yugoslavia. Only once we got out of Europe, to Israel (and Egypt’s Sinai), the Holy Land, how fitting for a Christian family. My first time on an airplane. As a teenager, I would take tours with my friends, often on a bike, the first going to Lake Constance (about 160km). Later we discovered the BDP, a youth organization that offers trips around Europe. Sweden, Corsica, Slovenia. I wasn’t dreaming about anything further away. But in my last year in school something changed, […]

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