Europe, Asia · 502 Days · 190 Moments · March 2017

Follow the Sunrise - cycle around the world


7 days ago

8 days in Dushanbe; the longest time we've spent just hanging around in one place so far. The main reason was Elis' mum coming to visit us. They were so happy to see each other again and spend some family time together! ❤️ We were all hosted by Safo, an old friend of Bettina, who not only gave us two appartements, but also drove us around and invited us to loads of great food! :) Sadly Elis had to spend two days in the hospital with a kidney infection, but now she's well again. We had a wonderful dinner at Safo's house and got to know all his beautiful family. In between was also my birthday, so I got a delicious camping pot cake and Safo took us out for a day of relaxing at a nice pool which was filled with cooold river water. :) Of course we also used the time to do some necessary shopping and organising and - as always - to meet old and new cycling friends. Thank you Safo for your amazing hospitality and everything you did for us!!

1 August 2018

We've heard that one of the highlights of this area of Tajikistan is "Iskanderkul", a large, high and super cold glacier lake. So we decided to give it a go and cycle all the way up there. It was a crazy steep 1000 m climb, but definitely worth it, because the lake looks like out of fairytale, mirroring the surrounding peaks in its turquoise water. We even found a little hidden private beach in front of an abandoned restaurant, where we camped directly at the waterline. The loong descent at the next morning gave us the opportunity to enjoy the winding road and steep cliffs much more than during the exhausting climb before. Down at the main road again we searched not long for an empty truck, to take us through the "Tunnel of Doom", apparently the most dangerous tunnel in the world: 5 km long, bad air, bad surface and very narrow. We were very happy that we didn't have to cycle through it! After that a 45 km descent all the way down to Dushanbe awaited us.

29 July 2018

Finally mountains!!! After all this time in the flat desert, we couldn't wait to see the famous mountains of Tajikistan. So we left our bikes in Zafar's hostel in Panjakent and went for a hike to the Seven Lakes; a row of lakes along a mountain stream formed by natural dams after an earthquake. Each of them has a slightly different colour from deep purple to bright turquoise. The hike was tough because our legs were not used to walking anymore, but the dramatic landscape was worth the effort! We camped at the sixth lake and in the evening Mahmood appeared, an Iranian guy who spent 9 days at the border - the last one with Elis. We had a nice evening together and at the next morning we hiked up to the 7th lake where Adam and I took a quick bath in the ice cold water. From there we walked down to the 4th lake, where we found a bus full of students, who took us back to Panjakent. It turned out to be a party bus, with loud music and dance! :D

28 July 2018

Finally we left Samarkand at the 26th July and cycled just 10 km before the Tajik border. There we found a beautiful last camp spot in Uzbekistan in Misha's field. On the 27th we where ready to leave the country and so we did. At 10:30 we left Uzbekistan but I (Elis) did not manage it into Tajikistan the same day! 😑 There was a small mistake on my Visa application and so I had to apply again and pay again 50 $! I waited 24h in no-man's land while Lukas and Adam reapplied for me and bought food in case the procedure would take longer. Luckily, after one night at the border I got my new Visa and I was able to cross. I was really lucky that it worked so fast, I don't think I would have resisted other two days there 😌. I always wanted to experience it once in my life to be stuck at a border crossing and for sure the Tajik border was the most comfortable one to be stuck in. The people where super nice 😊. But hey! I am in Tajikistan now! Ready for the mountains ⛰️

26 July 2018

Samarkand, the famous Silk Road capital. We had to spend much more time in the city than we planned, because we set a wrong entry date on our Tajikistan visa. But what seemed to be annoying turned out to be one of the most memorable weeks of this journey. This was because we shared our hostel with around 18 other world cyclists!! It was such a great community and because of all the interesting and different travel stories the time seemed to fly. Of course we also used the time to wander around and (through the back doors) check out the sights of this old, historical place. But in the end we spent most of the time on the comfortable couches, enjoying the company of many new and some old friends :) Thank you so much you beautiful people for this amazing time!

20 July 2018

We left Bukahra with the knowledge that we would go to a lake; a real, clean water lake! This idea made us all very enthusiastic and the lake was really beautiful. We had a wonderful night and morning there, until at lunch time a car came. The people took a still living goat out of the car and killed it with a knife in front of our eyes!! 😭😵. I know they do not know different, but I (Elis) had to run away and cried a lot! Probably this is part of the experiences we will get on this tour, but I really don't want to see this anymore! The next days were way better. We found a second lake thanks to our cycling buddies Linette and Lukas and enjoyed a beautiful evening together with beer, fire and water melon! The people there were super friendly and left us the only good shelter to protect from the sun 😊. The last 80 km to Samarkand were on a up and down road and many kids run from the fields to say "Hallo" to us. Next Samarkand, the last city before the climb 😁.

16 July 2018

We cycled out of Khiva together with Jack, but didn't make it very far. After another series of unpatchable flat tyres we ran out of replacement tubes and had to hitchhike 400 km to the next city. This didn't bother us much, because we were all pretty fed up with desert cycling and the road was in horrendous condition again. Getting a lift was easy and three truckers took us all the way into Bukhara, one of the great Silk Road capitals. When we rolled through the streets looking for a place to stay, a man called us into an old caravanserai: Jamik, a Couchsurfing ambassador. He offered us to stay in the beautiful building, which is now used as an art gallery. From there we explored the old city with its magnificent mud brick architecture. In the huge and busy bazaar we finally found new tubes to repair our bikes. In the scorching midday's heat I (Lukas) joined the local kids bathing in a well. :) Thank you Jamik and all the other artists for your amazing spontaneous hospitality!

12 July 2018

The old oasis town Khiva was the first place for us to relax a bit after all these weeks of nonstop cycling through the desert. We were amazed, how beautiful and sophisticated the buildings were, although they only consist of a lot of mud and a bit of wood. The old town is surrounded by a massive mud wall and was transformed into a big museum. You can just walk around and have a look into all the old buildings, madrassas and mosques and most of them contain exhibitions showing the history of the local culture and other interesting things. We found a perfectly relaxing guesthouse (Otabek) directly in the heart of the old town and spent three full days there for Elis to recover from her bad travellers' disease and to prepare for the next stretch of desert cycling. In the guesthouse we met Tatjana, a backpacker from Belgium and Jack, another fast cyclist from Britain, who has a lot of funny travel stories to tell. :D And we even saw a little bit of rain, but only from the distance. :P

8 July 2018

On the way to Khiva we met some old friends again and made some new ones. Vanessa and Simon, who we met in Tbilisi and the Dutch couple Lynn and Rob. Traveling on the road with 4 more cyclists felt like we were a Caravane. A Caravane cycling towards an Oasis: Khiva, the first UNESCO city of Uzbekistan! 🐪🚴🚴🚴🚴🚴🚴🚴🐫 On the way we stopped at the Amu Darya river and did like the locals, we jumped in! 🏊 Although we are conscious of the chemical pollution of the river and the murky, brown water, what would you do if you have nearly 50 °C in the shade?? 🏜️ At least we can be sure now, that no parasites will affect us 😅.

3 July 2018

How many of you studied the Aral Sea cathastrophy back in school? It felt very strange to actually be there, but hard to belive that we were standing on the bottom of the Aral Sea. Better said: Aralkum ("Aral Sand"). Not much is left that remebers one of all the water and fish that once was there, a few ships and the sand full of shells. Moynaq used to be a fishermen's village but now the seaside is over 100 km away. We were surprised that none of the information boards told about the reason for the sea to shrink... Although it is well known that it is one of the biggest man made disasters! The Aral Sea was fed by two big rivers: Amu Darya (south) and Sir Darya (north-east). While the north Aral was stabilized by the building of a dyke, the south Aral is disappearing from year to year and the Amu Darya no longer touches its bank. It was worth it to go all the way to Moynaq, but also really sad. We left with the thought: What else will we destroy?

2 July 2018

Some more impressions of our time in the Uzbek desert: The people are very nice, some workers gave us a trailer on wheels to escape the hot hot weather and also showed us where to find a well. There my bike needed to be fixed (maybe for the 10th time) and since Lukas loves it, there he goes! Thank you!! 😘 Then we met some hitchhikers from Germany and Canada going to Europe and had some time together while they were waiting for a car or truck to pass by. In the great Dinur Hotel we found a cool map of the silk road and Sasha (the owner) gave us a room for free to have a nap in the afternoon 😉!! Then a bit of headwind and finally a long descend towards Kungrad. The panorama changed drastically, no more desert, a green area arises in front of us. The valley of the Amu Darya river, which used to be the main water source for the Aral Sea. On the last 8 km into Kungrad some locals accompanied us. It is great how many people cycle in this country!!

30 June 2018

A typical day in the Uzbek desert: Wake up before sunrise and if possible leave the camp during sunrise. Cycle on terrible roads and then on a always straight asphalted road. Observe the flat and flat and flat area around us and occasionally some clouds like in a children's book, nothing else. Oh! Yes flies, a lot of flies here in Uzbekistan. Then find a shady place for a long looong lunch break, normally from 11 am to 6 pm. For now we found some good places, although we had to cycle at least 60 km to reach them. Then try to sleep and relax with well above 40 °C in the shade! Spend the rest of the lunch break trying to patch the tubes, which tend to dissolve on the boiling roads. Food for some energy and cycling again until 9 pm. Sunset and a tea and then early sleeping time!

27 June 2018

One week in the Kazakh desert. From Aktau we cycled down into the Karagije depression with the lowest point at -132 m below sea level. It was the bottom of a sea once and you can find seashells in every rock. From there up again to 240 m in a vast steppe with many scenic plateaus. We met a "top secret" transport of something huge that looked suspiciously like a space rocket. They were driving exactly cycling speed, so we surpassed them several times during the week. The last 3 days led us through a plain steppe/desert on a straight road. So we started cycling before sunrise, managed to do 70 km before the hot noon, passing horses and camel herds, and take long lunch breaks in the Чайхана (tea stops). In between we all had flat tyres, maybe because of the heat or just bad luck. All in all a challenge, but also rewarding. The highlights of this week: the beautiful sunrises each morning, the stunning night sky and the herds of horses galloping alongside us.

20 June 2018

2 am arrive in Aktau. 4 am ready to leave the port and find a good beach to sleep a few hours. 4:30 am beach found, now sleep! 8 am breakfast surrounded by some curious kids from a boxing school 😃. Rest of the day: chilling with François, Tom, Adam and Luke in a Restaurant. In the evening we started our cycling into the desert and just after a few kilometres out of the city the first Camel encounter 🐫 😯. François will be in our team for the next days 😉 Welcome!

18 June 2018

Crossing the Caspian Sea by boat requires a lot of patience: We arrived at the port of Alat on Friday afternoon, we entered our ship on Sunday at 7 am and it started 7 hours later. Luckily we shared the time with a lot of friends, because in the end we were 10 cyclists and 4 backpackers on the boat! 😁 We played games together and exchanged our travel stories. Also the crossing itself took longer than expected, because we had to wait 30 hours in a protected bay for a storm to pass. After three days on the water we got kicked out of our beds at 1 am, because we finally reached the port of Aktau. And after 2 more hours of border business we were free to explore this new country: Kazakhstan! 😁 Thank you François, Tom, Tom, Linette, Lukas, Luke, Daniel, Adam and Adam for making all the waiting time a memorable pleasure! 😄 Safe travels and see you again somewhere out there! ...Niiiiiiinja!!!

14 June 2018

Beachtime! :D The seaside south of Baku starts very ugly: Oil pumps, industry and huge hotel complexes underlined by a busy highway. But after several km we finally found a free beach, which was of course scattered with glass and plastic, but at least the water was relatively clean. So we decided to camp there and at the next day Adam and I had a relaxed time swimming and lying on the sand. :) Meanwhile Elis, Linette and Lukas(2) cycled back to collect their Uzbek visas. In the afternoon we united again and cycled together further south on our last kilometres of Azerbaijan. There we found a nice campspot at a small abandoned port.

12 June 2018

And so we arrived in Baku, the buzzing capital of Azerbaijan. We were especially excited to finally be at the sea again, but the water in the city center was ugly, oily and smelled bad. So we postponed the swimming and continued cycling to our host Movsum. He welcomed us late but warmhearted and in the end we spent 3 nights at his place. We used the time in the city to collect our Uzbek visas (Elis had to reapply, because her application from Tehran was mysteriously lost.) and to once again search around the bike shops for parts. Of course we also did a bit of sightseeing and saw the flame towers, the old city and the oil fields. We met old and new cycling friends and had a nice pub evening, the first in a looong time. :D Thank you so much Movsum for your hospitality, nice talks and the good time! :)

10 June 2018

The north road in Azerbaijan from Georgia to Baku is just beautiful! The colours change from dark green of forests, to light green and yellow of the fields, to yellow-brown of the rocky desert. Cycling through this beauty remembered me once again, why I chose cycling to travel. You can really see and feel the environment around you changing, you can breathe it and smell it. It is simply so great! Today we also met two other cyclists (this road is for sure more crowded than in Iran or Turkey). Linette and Lukas from Austria and the Netherlands, cycling to Singapore. So we cycled and had a great evening together 😊. And tomorrow we reach the capital, Baku. A few days of break are also welcomed 😉.

5 June 2018

Right after we crossed the river, we met two other cycletourists: Yasmine and Arthur (velo-aventure.com), who are on their way from France to Iran! We cycled one day together and had a nice big shared camp in a beautyful forest. Then we split up because they ride faster and don't sleep so much 😋. But we met again in Shaki, a quite nice, but super steep town with an almost Persian palace. There we had to spend a night in a guesthouse to do our tourist registration, but it was a cozy place and we had a nice evening together. See you again soon guys and safe travels!

3 June 2018

First impressions of Azerbaijan: On the first evening in the 13th country of our tour we found a campspot that just seemed perfect: flat green grass, some trees, clear starry sky and a tiny little river flowing around us. But it remained perfect only for a few hours, until in the middle of the night it suddenly started to rain. It was not simply rain, but the heaviest and longest pour we experienced so far. No problem for our strong tents, but when Elis creeped out around noon, she alarmed us sleepy guys, because the water was rising dramatically and we suddenly found ourselves trapped on an island in the middle of brown, roaring torrents! We had to move our camp further up and away from the water because there was a good chance to get flooded away. So we spent a forced day off in our wet tents, waiting for the water to calm down again. Luckily we had enough food and drinking water! At the next morning the river was much easier to cross and so we left our soaked island after breakfast.

1 June 2018

We spent two more days in Tbilisi, were we experienced a real Georgian party (Goga! Happy birthday again!) with a real "Tamadan" and lots of food, and one relaxing day on which I updated our wabpage a bit (follow-the-sunrise.webs.com). Then on Wednesday here we start again. Goga and a friend took us with the cars out of the city and we cycled 35 km further, till we found a wonderful spot to camp. Goga and Nino, thank you so much for your hospitality and help! We had such an amazing time in Tbilisi! We will for sure come back and visit the rest of the country with you :) and do not forget: Goga you will be my Tamadan when I become 50! :o So we spent two more very relaxing days on the beautiful roads of east Georgia, until we arrived at the Azerbaijan border. There a sign saying "Azerbaijan border, good luck" catched our eyes. We were very excited and this sign was representing our feelings and giving us hope, that the crossing would go well. And so it did. Thank you Georgia!

28 May 2018

Yuhuuuuu! We all got our Chinese visas :D. This was probably the biggest bureaucratic obstacle of our tour. Waiting in front of the consulate felt like an exam, but when we saw our passports with the 90 days, double entry visa in it, all the adrenaline left us! So we celebrated with delicious "lobiana" and "khachapuri" and a good coffee with our cycling buddies :D. Here we come China!!!

26 May 2018

We didn't want to just hang around in the city while waiting for the visas and so we decided to spend the weekend hiking in the Caucasus mountains. Harry joined our expedition group and George brought us a good part of the way out of the city. From there we hitchhiked North towards the Russian border, to the foot of the famous, 5000 m high, Kazbek mountain. On the way we picked up Bianca, another hitchhiker and former cyclotourist; she decided to join our hike. So we started all 5 together in Stepantsminda village and climbed up to the quite touristy Trinity church. Searching for a place to camp, we went further up the mountain and found a perfect spot with an amazing view. At the next day we made our long and steep way to the glacier at 3200 m, right below the summit. We had to walk through much more snow than expected; a challenge especially for the barefoot and crocs hikers :P But the dramatic landscape paid back for our efforts! It was great to share this experience with you guys!!

24 May 2018

After two nights in the hostel we were invited by Nino, a collegue of Elis' mum to her family's house. So we moved over and were welcomed by her husband George. He is a wonderful host and showed us his beautiful city and, of course, the great Georgian food :D He even took us out for a sunset at an old monastery. He explained us a lot about Georgian history, language and culture; for example about the "Tamada", the toastmaster, who is very important at every party, to hold speeches and entertain the guests during the whole evening. We also learned, that the Georgian word "mama" means "dad" and "deda" means "mum" in English. Such a confusing (and sometimes funny) language :D

23 May 2018

First impressions of Georgia: they apparently love washing powder xD, a beautiful nature, a bit less hilly than Armenia and a lot warmer :). On the road to Tbilisi we found our friend Mahmood, sleeping under a tree. We woke him up and cycled together to the capital. There we looked for a hostel together and found "MyHostel". A cozy old house with very interesting people. Like Marcelo from Brazil, who is skateboarding around the world, already for 9 years :O. So interesting stories and such an interesting guy! Go Marcelo! After preparing all documents to apply for the Chinese visa, we went early morning to the embassy. In front of the consulate we met 4 other cyclists, Harry, Tom, Simon and Vanessa, all with the intention to apply and all going to Baku next. So we chatted and exchanged information, with the hope of meeting again the next days. For sure we will meet to pick up our passports, hopefully with visa, at the Chinese embassy on Monday :).

19 May 2018

The last days in Armenia were almost only downhill, which was very nice after all the climbing we did before. Also the weather was a bit more on our side and it rained only one hour per day :P We found some beautiful spots to camp, each very different from the other: one at the big Sevan Lake, one after the last big climb next to a cascade and one in an abandoned factory. Thank you Armenia for the somehow relaxing time we had! Next time we visit you, we will leave the bikes home and hike up every peak :P

17 May 2018

Armenia why are you so rainy? It is so great to cycle with Adam again, especially because we're planning to travel together for the next three months until Kyrgyzstan! :D So three bicycles started from Yerevan and climbed up to the Geghard Monastery. Adam's first cycling days after the winter break were really challenging. Not only because of the hills, but also because of the weather, which is very reliable: Every day starts nice and sunny, but in the afternoon there is always a heavy thunderstorm with several hours of rain. We hope this will change for better in the flatter terrain of Georgia. The monastery was very impressive, because half of it was carved into the rock of the mountain. When we continued from there towards the Sevan lake, we had a great view of Mount Ararat. Later we met Mahmood, a cycletourist from Iran who is going the same direction, so we cycled together for some hours. :)

13 May 2018

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. First thing we did when we arrived in the city was searching around the bicycle shops for a new and robust wheel (not so easy in a country with less developed cycle tourism). The mechanic at the Bianchi shop promised us to find the right parts and build a new wheel at the next day. In the evening we were warmly welcomed at Liliana and Umberto's house (an old friend of Elis' dad). And at the next morning it was finally time to meet up with our great cycling buddy Adam again! We used two relaxing days to stroll around the city and update each other about what happened in the last 6 months. We visited the cascades arts museum and from the top of it we had a great view over the city and a huge thunderstorm. After three hours at the Bianchi shop we left with a shiny new wheel which looks quite strong. Let's see how long it will last :P Thank you very much Lili, Umberto, Noah and Gohar for your hospitality and the great food! :)

11 May 2018

200 km before Yerevan we had our first major hitch, when the bumpy road was just too much for Elis' rear wheel (Decathlon quality :P). Several spokes ripped out of the rim and one tangled decoratively around the hub. So we stopped for the night and at the next morning we hitchhiked (this time literally) to Yerevan, the only city with proper bicycle shops in Armenia. After 10 minutes a truck stopped and took us directly all the way into the capital.

10 May 2018

In the little mountain village Tatev there are three tourist attractions to see: First of all the famous old monastery with its beautiful rock and wood carvings. Second is the longest free hanging cablecar in the world, which we could have used to skip a very deep valley. But we decided to roll all the way down (and up again later) to see the third and least known attraction: the warm mineral water spring at the devil's bridge. The man made pools at ground level were already nice, but the real wonder lay beneath it. We climbed down a quite suspicious ladder and entered a secret cave that the river had washed out of the rock. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place with the warm water dripping down from the ceiling and forming travertine terraces on the ground. In the evening we had a nice campfire and burned mushrooms with some new friends we made there. :)

8 May 2018

After a heavy rain shower, which transformed the street into a river in seconds, we climbed up the "easy and smooth" road to get to Tatev Monastery. On the way we met two wonderful cyclists, Stouf and Elo, who where cycling towards Iran. We spent a wonderful evening together, sharing food and experiences of our traveling. They are already 1.4 year on the road and stop sometimes in permaculture farms to help out. It was so wonderful to meet you guys, we have so many things in common! Hope to meet you somewhere on the road again, maybe this time cycling the same way! Follow them on c-levo.wifeo.com

5 May 2018

Armenia: once crossed the border a completely different world opens in front of us. It feels a bit like beeing back in Serbia or Romania: people look different, talk different, eat different and have another Religion then Iranians! We fortunately did not had to drink Vodka for now, but had already delicious bread and cookies :). After the 2400 m in Iran we now have a new record of 2535 m! 1900 m up in only 25 km, that was pretty hard! Armenia will continue to be challenging for us, since it is a continuous up and down on pretty terrible streets. Slowly but safe we cycle!

3 May 2018

From the desert to the jungle! (as Iranians would say, since their translator doesn't know the word forest) So, from Kashan we took a night bus to Tabriz, which we reached early in the morning. We went back to our favorite free camping place and recovered there for 2 days. And then up the mountains towards Armenia! The colours changed slowly from brown/yellow to green and some trees emerged. It felt like being in another country. Our last 3 days of Iran were beautiful and peaceful and we climbed our highest pass so far: 2400 m. So we say goodbye to Iran! Thank you to all the wonderful new friends we made in Iran, we will see you again!! But now we are very excited to visit a new country. Armenia here we come!!

2 May 2018

What a horrible behaviour! We love Iranian people, but for sure most of them don't care at all about animals! Next to the free camping in Tabriz, behind the wall, we heard some dogs barking. When we checked for them, the morning we planed to leave Tabriz, we found one of them chained to a tree in the middle of the sun, without water (in the second pic you can see where he was chained). We where so worried! He was hyperventilating and his body was way too hot. We first went with lots of fresh water and the poor dog drank without breathing in between. Then we unchained him and hardly managed to take him into the shade (first pic). He followed us without complaining, but was so week that he fell down a few times on the short way. The other dogs were: 2 small Husky puppies and another dog in bad condition. So please dear Iranian people, try to treat animals in a better way! They deserve even more than us to live in this world!

29 April 2018

"I've been to the desert on a horse with no name" ...(or a camel) We had this idea to take a tour into the desert near Kashan, so we searched around for tour guides and even found two other travelers to share the fun. :) But in the evening our host Moein said that we could also go together with him, if we are back before he needs to open his shop. So we started early at 5 am at the next morning together with Moein, two of his friends and our spontaneous new friends Niko and Robin all squeezed into a rumbling 4x4 car to chase the sunrise over the desert road. Sadly there was not much of a sunrise because the clouds woke up earlier than us. Still we had hilarious loads of fun when we all played like kids in the sand of the mighty dunes! :D We also got to know quite a lot of very handsome camels face to face. A beautiful encounter. ;) On the way back we drove onto the big salt lake. Suddenly it looked like snow and ice in summer. Thank you so much guys for this unique experience! :D

28 April 2018

In the afternoon we continued our Kashan sightseeing tour. First we went to the Tabatabaei house, which was constructed in 1834 by a rich merchant family. Its architecture and sheer size were so impressive! On the way out, we stumbled into another holy shrine, where we were welcomed by a very excited imam, who explained us a lot about his religion and the special features of the place. Later we followed Elnaz' invitation to the Fin Garden, a beautiful park with a surprising lot of water in fountains and channels. She and her family invited us to a delicious and big vegetarian dinner in their relaxing restaurant right in the garden. Thank you so much! :)
When we arrived in Kashan, we first went to Mr. Coffee, the cozy coffee house of our new friend Moein. After a really great coffee, nice talks and 4 falafels, Moein's friends invited us to come to their village for dinner. "Bring your instruments!", they said. There we sat in a beautiful garden and played some of our music in exchange for the sound of the traditional Persian Tar, which the house owner played like a master! It was great but very late evening for us before we went back to Kashan, where we spent the night in a spectacular old house of a friend. The next day we started of course with a coffee at Mr. Coffee. We spent some hours strolling through the old bazaar, where we observed the artisans at work, found a secret staircase onto the hot and sunny roof of the bazaar and refilled our travel kitchen with tea and spices. We ended up at Mr. Coffee (2) again, where we tasted an Iranian cocktail (non alcoholic of course). So refreshing! :)

26 April 2018

The past 6 days we cycled from Yazd to Kashan. Our feelings about this road are mixed. The first part till Naein is filled with trucks, that partly don't care about two small cyclists on the street and honk you off the road. We got pretty mad, but the landscapes payed back. The two first pictures are of an "ice house". In there people collected ice during the winter and stored for entire summer. Pretty amazing! When we saw the "careful camels" sign, we really hoped to see one, but apparently there are no wild camels in Iran. Maybe in Kazakhstan we'll be more lucky! We also experienced a desert sand storm. The wind came suddenly and through me off my bike, so we had to hide. Luckily we found an abandoned caravanserai to camp in. We actually camped in many caravanserais the past days, since they are the only buildings you can find in this deserted area. We were happy to find a quiet, alternative road 90 km before Kashan, which took us through small villages and sandy no man's land!

22 April 2018

Yazd! What a wonderful city with an impressive history. The first 2 days we were hosted by our great friends Honey, Mohsen, little beauty Roshana and their big family! It was a wonderful time with all of them: they explained us a lot about the Zoroastrians and their fire temples, about the water and air systems and filled me (Elis) with delicious food, while Lukas had the chance to recover from his stomach problems :/. Thanks so much for your hospitality and for being so wonderful people! We hope to see you in Italy soon again, to eat a good Italian Pizza ;). The other two days we spent at a Hostel, the first one for us in Iran, and we found a cool one in the center, with a spectaculer view from the top :). While Lukas relaxed, I went out with Alex, a tourist from Belgium, and we met some other world travelers in the falafel place. We had a great evening talking about traveling and the different countries. So interesting! We will meet for sure in some other place!!

18 April 2018

Between Isfahan and Yazd there is a semi-desertic area with a gigantic salt lake and a wonderful caravanserai (Castle Rabbit) in between. We decided to cross this area since so many cyclists said that it was the best part of their travel in Iran. It was pretty impressive and, although we observed the sand dunes only from far away, it was an amazing and somehow relaxing view :). Four days of cycling with lots of water to carry with us, since between Varzaneh and the next village is no drinkable water. It ended with a tremendous headwind and rain. But still it was worth it! Our first week of cycling (after so long) gave us again so many impressions and the certanty that cycling is the best way to explore the different countries and learn their cultures.

13 April 2018

And so we started cycling again :) we were very excited and had a wonderful first day. It didn't take long that we got invited again in the Iranian style: a car stopped 100 m in front if us and Farnoosha and her husband came out. They told us to follow them to their garden and since we planned to stop anyway, we followed them. We arrived at this beautiful garden where their entire family was waiting. It was a lot of fun: we played volleyball, drank çay and coffee, ate a lot and danced all together! Thanks for the wonderful afternoon. :D

12 April 2018

After 4 month off from cycling, we are back! From Persepolis we planned to take a bus to Isfahan, but two kind guys took us all way with them. Thanks so much! Then we spent the night at Farzin's house. Thank you very much for the last minute invitation and the great breakfast ;). Finally we reached our bikes at Reza's house. His brother and his parents welcomed us warmly and we spent a relaxing day, fixing the bikes and packing for the next day. Thank you so so much for sharing your house with our bulky bicycles for such a long time!

11 April 2018

Shiraz is surrounded by ruins from different eras, but Persepolis is probably the most known one. In the morning we went to the bus terminal in Shiraz to check how to get the cheapest way to Persepolis and we found it. For only 2 € we took a small bus (for sure it was the first time tourists took this instead of the 6 € taxi) and reached Marvdasht and then with 1 more € to Persepolis with a taxi. Persepolis was for sure a unique place. 520 BC a gigantic terrace (15 ha) was build on the bottom of Kuh-e Mehr mountain. On this terrace Persepolis arised. It was very interesting to see through the virtual reality goggles how this city might have looked like.

10 April 2018

Shiraz. We arrived early in the morning with the VIP night bus and walked through the city until we reached the Citadel. After a great breakfast in the park we started visiting all the beautiful sights of Shiraz: Karim Khan Citadel, the Vakil bazaar, the Pink Mosque and the great Shah-e Cheragh, which is a very spiritual pilgrim location for muslim people. It's the Mausoleum of the 7th Imam's son and our guide told us, that the non-muslims who enter this place are chosen by god and for that reason really admired by the muslims. Many people took pictures with us in the Mausoleum (even more than ouside xD). After a great but exhausting day in the city, we met with our host Hamid. We cooked together, drank together and played music for each other :). It was short but great. Thank you so much for hosting us and for the wonderful time we could spend with you! See you soon!

9 April 2018

Tehran. After several days of almost non-stop hitchhiking and nightbusing, we reached Iran's busy capital. We were very happy to meet Hamed on the bus, who invited us to relax at his house. Later in the evening he and his friends showed us some of the most beautiful places of their city: The Persian Gulf Lake and the Nature Bridge. Thank you so much for the great time and of course for the superb Iranian dinner! :D At the next day we went to the Uzbekistan embassy and applied for our visas (super easy). After that we visited the quite modern palace of the last king of Iran. In the afternoon we met Miri, another crazy worlcyclist and her hosts Honey and Mohse to talk a lot and enjoy Miri's delicious rhubarb cake. We hope to meet you again soon! Then it was already time to leave, as we took the night bus to our next destination: Shiraz.

7 April 2018

Hitchhiking in Turkey is very easy and people are so great with us all the time. The past days we had again a great great luck. We managed to go all way from Kayseri to the Iranian border in 2 days and over 1000 km with one truck driver! We hitched with so many different people, with so different lifes. I got many wonderful presents and Lukas used the hitch time with the truck to crochet me a beautiful hat for the sun. We had delicious food, but not so much sleep. And one open question: why speed limit 82km/h???

6 April 2018

We started the day lately, but managed to get some great rides from great people. We reached Aksaray at sundown, but we had a place in mind we wanted to go back to: Kapadokya, to our great friend Heval. And so we did. We took a bus for 3€ each and went all way to Çavuşin. The Pal Café of Heval; a place you never want to leave! So relaxing and having so much success! After a great evening we spent the night at our favorite cave (if you want to know where it is, contact us ;) ). See you soon Kapadokya, we'll come again!

4 April 2018

With the sunrise we woke up, jumped one last time into the Mediterranean sea water and packed our stuff. Then we quickly hitched to Antalya, where our great host Deniz was waiting for us. Then he showed us the city and we had some great and interesting conversations. Thank you so much for your hospitality Deniz! We'll see you somewhere soon, maybe diving together in warm water. ;)

3 April 2018

Our last day hiking was really beautiful again. We visited Phaselis, an ancient greek-roman harbour, and found another beautiful bay to enjoy the sea for one more time :). We'll come back here for sure!

2 April 2018

The Lycian way. We followed Adam's recommendation and hiked a small part of the Lycian way between Cirali and Phaselis. What a beautiful path! In this period of the year it's even better because the weather is perfect and there are just a few tourists. We spent two nights in one of these increadible bays, wich we shared with other great backpackers. Finally at the sea! We missed it so much. And we have to recharge sea air for the next 8 months which we'll spend in central Asia. It's on our to do list for the future: Walk the 500 km of Lycian way alongside the Mediterranean sea.

31 March 2018

The burning rocks of Chimera. After an easy hitchhike from Pamukkale to Ulupınar (south of Antalya), we started our sunset/night hike up the mountain of Chimera. When we arrived at the top, under the light of the full moon, we saw the very interesting natural phenomenon of this place: The eternal flames burning from a natural gas source directly out of the ground. We pitched our tent in a safe distance and sat down in the ring of fire to enjoy the warmth and the silence of the mountains. And of course we cooked some tea on the flames :P

28 March 2018

In the first picture you see our camp spot, only 1 km away from Hierapolis! An ancient greek city which extended above the travertine formations. We walked a few hours between Hierapolis ruins and enjoyed the peace and silence of a warm spring day. While all the other tourists were focused on the travertine pools, we enjoyed especially the lonely paths between the greek ruins. In the end we spent 4 nights here at Pamukkale, 2 days we just relaxed at our camp to recover from our colds and one day we visited the ruins. It was a wonderful relaxing time. Although without this cold it would have been even more beautiful :). Next stop: Mediterranean Sea!
Snow and ice at 20 °C! This impression comes from the travertine rocks in Pamukkale. These beautiful formations develop because of the warm, calcareous water springs. Many tourists come here every day to relax in the shallow pools and of course to take the obligatory selfie! We enjoyed the hot day and the warm water, since we both catched a cold. :/

25 March 2018

What a hitchhiking jackpot: We were just standing around at the exit of Edirne, trying to attract cars with our beautiful thumbs, when Özcan and his lovely kids stopped by. Though the car looked full from the outside, he played some trunk tetris and managed to fit everything inside. After we started, it came out, that we had almost the same destination 630 km away, so we drove all day together, took the ferry together and spent a night at his aunt's cozy house. The whole family was super welcoming! After they showed us their city Salihli, Özcan drove us to Denizli, just a few km away from our next destination: Pamukkale. Thank you so much, it was really big luck to meet you! :)

24 March 2018

After another snowy morning in Sofia we hitchhiked through complete Bulgaria and finally crossed the Turkish border by feet. From there two nice guys took us the few km to Edirne in the dark back of their transporter! :o In the small city we met our good old cycling buddy Günter again! It was so great to spend a day together, talk and share the hundreds of stories of the last one and a half year of travel! See you on the other side ;)

22 March 2018

Cold cold cold! Though we had great luck with our hitchhiking :) we managed to get all way to Sombor, to our great friend Alex in a few hours and had some relaxing conversations (it's always so great to talk with you Alex!!). See you very very soon our dear friend :*. Then the big challenge to get to Sofia, Bulgaria, 600 km. And yes we made it! Although we were standing at a small village in the dusk we got our last 170 km to Sofia with a great man :). Thanks to all drivers who made this possible :). Next up: Turkey!

20 March 2018

Vienna! The last two days we spent at my great friend Constanze's house! We occupied her room, had some great biologist like conversations (Dr. Pirolacta xD) , had some delicious "Sachertorte" with my cousin Giulia and I had some time in bed to recover from my cold :). Today we hitched on towards Budapest with the idea of entering Serbia (500 km from Vienna). But we had to stop 150 km before the border, because it got dark and we were frozen and tired. So now we spend our first (and hopefully only) night in a motel on the highway. It's comfy and warm in here :) cheers!!

17 March 2018

We are on the road again! Yesterday we separeted from Lukas' parents at a gas station on the A3 (it was very hard for everyone) and got pretty quickly to Nürnberg. There we were hosted by Julia and Uli, as last year :). This time we have a picture with Julia, since last time we did not manage to :P. Thanks a lot again you two! See you in Australia?!?!!! Next stop: Vienna! We are already on a car to get there ;). Continue following and supporting us on this crazy world tour! :)

9 March 2018

Dear friends, our journey will start again very soon! Here our plan so far: We will hitch back through eastern Europe and Turkey and stop for a bit in the south of Turkey - Lycian way :). Then we will enter Iran again in April, do some sightseeing in the south and come back to Tabriz in the north by bus/train. From there we will enter Armenia and meet with our friend Adam in Yerevan. The journey continues with Adam through Georgia and Azerbaijan. From Baku we will take the ferry to Aktau in Kazakhstan, cycle from west to east through Uzbekistan and reach Tajikistan. There we will climb up the great Pamir Highway, with a pass at 4600m. We are very excited about that road. It's a must for touring cyclists :) Once we managed that, we will enter Kyrgyzstan and cross to China, from there or from Kazakhstan. Pfiuuu, quite a big plan! We are so excited! And you? What do you think about our plan? Let us know and continue following us! Thanks!! www.follow-the-sunrise.webs.com

15 January 2018

Holiday from holiday xD great time with our friends in Austria :) but today not much skiing! Hopefully we can go back home tomorrow! :o 1 month left and we are on the road again! Stay connected ;)

24 December 2017

Dear friends! Since we both reached our homes now, this blog will be quite silent during the next months. We are really glad that we decided for this pause. Nevertheless we are already missing our bikes and looking forward to continue this journey in spring! We will most probably start again in early March. Of course we will let you know here, so stay tuned! :) Until then we wish you happy holidays and a merry time of lights!

22 December 2017

Home sweet home. Thank you Jac for helping me set this new hitchhiking record: Freiburg-Leverkusen in only 5 hours! :D On the last kilometers I got really excited and then it was pure happiness to finally hug my family again after nine months of travel! Seems like nothing changed.

19 December 2017

After some beautiful, relaxing days in Rome I had to say goodbye to Elis and started my way home alone. Alone for the first time since we started many months ago; what a strange feeling! Luckily hitchhiking north worked flawlessly and super fast. I enjoyed travelling through the winter wonderland of Switzerland and after two days I reached Freiburg, where I met my good old friends Inga and Maike. We spent two days happy together before I continued. Möööooouuuh!

11 December 2017

Once we were back home, our friend Paul contacted us saying he is also in Italy. With Paul and his travel buddy Julian we cycled together in Austria many months ago (bike2climb.wordpress.com). We were all in Iran during the past month but did not manage to meet there. So surprise! Paul visits us in Rome. We showed him the city and let him taste the great Italian food :). Have a good trip home! We will enjoy Rome a bit longer :).

8 December 2017

Back Home! :) After a night in the ferry from Durrës to Bari, we hitched very fast all way to Rome. Our drivers were all wonderful people and we had great chats! Next time we will stay in Puglia for a longer time and visit the Trullo Santangelo (Agriturismo) of our new friends ;) At home my dad awaited us and we where extremely happy to see each other after so long. We had a wonderful Italian Pizza! (although not the UNESCO Napoli Pizza xD ). Good to be home again!

7 December 2017

Four countries in one day! Yesterday we started thumbing in Istanbul and made it easily to the very silent Greek border. Two nice guys from Macedonia stopped and offered to take us all the way through Greece to their beautiful little country. Late at night we dropped out somewhere in the middle of the mountains at freezing -5 °C. Luckily only seconds later a nice man rescued us and after some hours of customs trouble at the Albanian border, he brought us to his bicycle shop. In there we spent a cold, but relaxing night after such a long day. At the next day we took the chance to see Albania's capital Tirana, where we found our first Christmas market for this year. It is the first city on this journey where we saw churches and mosques equally spread next to each other.

5 December 2017

Should we call it "hitchflying"? :P We were much faster than expected and crossed whole Turkey in only two days! Now we are in İstanbul and met our dear cycler buddy Adam again :) We started the day with a wonderful brunch prepared by our hosts Nadir and Fatma. Walking along the northern Bosphorus we enjoyed this very calm part of the metropole. On the way we got a lift by some super friendly Turkish truckdrivers, who smashed all our prejudices and even prepared us a decent dinner in their surprisingly advanced outdoor kitchen. We are already extremely looking forward to cycle together with Adam again, next year to China! :D

1 December 2017

We are in Turkey again! In only 4 days of hitching, we crossed all Iran and arrived at the Turkish border. In Doğubeyazit, the first city behind the border, we met Romain, another crazy world cyclist, who came all the way from France and wants to go to the Iranian mountains for the winter, to volunteer in the earthquake region. We spent our first and Romain's last night in Turkey at Zeze and Mehmed's house. Thank you for the hospitality, the delicious French food and the interesting discussion about Zoroastrian religion! :)
After a long day of hitchhiking to Tabriz, we stumbled directly into a birthday party. Although we were quite tired, we really enjoyed to get to know this part of Iranian culture. We ate, drank, took selfies, danced and sung into the late night. Now we know that Iranians definitely know how to party, even if it is forbidden and the birthday child was only 7 years old! :D Thank you very much Moni for inviting and hosting us!

30 November 2017

After our first hitchhiking experiences in Iran, we reached Rasht. There we finally met our old cycle buddies Lena and Silvio (aka bikefiction.co) again! We spent two nights together, laughed a lot and talked and talked and talked about all the wonderful things that happened to us during the last months. Thank you Mostafa for hosting all four of us at your not so typical Iranian place! :)

27 November 2017

Plans are made to change. Dear friends: Some of you already know it, but for the others this will be quite a big announcement: We are coming home for Christmas!! :D The new plan is to leave our bikes in Esfahan and hitchhike back to Germany. We will arrive before Christmas and stay until March. Then we will hitchhike back to Iran and continue cycling. The reason for this decision is mostly that we miss our friends and family at home. But it also fits nicely into our travel plan: When we come back to Iran in spring, it will be warm enough to cycle overland through the Stans to China. This way we avoid taking the plane to India. We are extremely looking forward to see you all again at home! :D Thank you so much Reza for feeding our bikes while we are not there!

26 November 2017

Our last day in Isfahan was pretty impressive again: After I shrunk a bit on a huge bicycle, Reza took us out in the evening for a "little" walk on the city mountain. It turned out to be a quite big hike up to the peak! We were very exhausted, but the view paid more than back for the effort! A sea of lights with little island mountains. Thank you so much for this great adventure, for your hospitality, your relaxedness and all the great food!!

24 November 2017

Esfahan, "half of the world"! We made it in time to this beautiful city, to extent our visas and visit all its beauty. At the house of our host Reza, we also got to know Tom, a Swedish cyclist traveling to India. We spent a sunny day together around the city: We saw the huge Naqsh-e Jahan Square, the grand Bazar, the Chehel Sotoun Palace and the Si-o-Seh Bridge, which is beautiful, but pointless now, because the river is dry for 10 years. The second day it took us 4 h in the police station to get our visa extension, but after that we went to the grand Bazaar and did some shopping for the families! We walked at least 10 km per day, but got delicious free felafel!

22 November 2017

The past days we cycled on a very calm road between wonderful mountains and the pampa. We camped and enjoyed the quiet time together! We also found an abandoned caravanserai!

19 November 2017

Two days ago we met a nice guy on the road, who invited us to his home in Arak. We wanted to go to this city anyway, so we were very happy about the offer! When we reached the house of Amir and his family, we were overwhelmed by their hospitality! They cooked fine vegetarian meals for us and we had a late but relaxed night. At the next morning Amir showed us the old Bazaar and his father's fabric shop. Thank you so much for the great time, for the cake and all the food! ..and for the carpets :P You are always welcome to our house in Germany!

16 November 2017

After many dry days in this dry country we were suddenly surprised by a naughty little river that decided to flood our road. Pushing through the ugly, dirty and knee deep water our parasitology lessons came to our minds. Luckily no underskin worm drilled into our legs! In the last days we experienced the coldest nights since last April with nice ice cubes in the bottles for breakfast. So we were happy when the guys at the fuel station allowed us to sleep in the heated prayer room :) The villages in this part of Iran look really nice with their clay houses. Some of them are empty and in various stages of decay. We stayed in one of them for one night. In there we discovered the most prickly seeds in the world, a huge, bottomless hole of an old well and yet another breathtaking sunset!

14 November 2017

After yet another flat tire we reached the famous Alisadr Water Cave. It is the largest accessible cave of Iran and one of the biggest water caves in the world. It is really a magical place: An 11 km long underground lake with an island in the middle. Complete with an underground harbour and a pedalo boat shuttle. The ceiling of the cave is covered with stalactites and other amazing rock formations. We spent one relaxed night in the park in front of the cave entrance. There we first met a really nice and far-travelled girl from South Africa and later a group of German tourists appeared and we had a good chat. Who would have guessed that so far from home. ;)

12 November 2017

The past two days where very intense. We cycled over 2000 m altitude in 160 km. Pretty exhausting, but the landscape paid back for our effort! After reaching the first peak (2350 m) it was already getting dark, and we were without water or food. So we stopped at a small village to ask for water and these great people invited us to stay for the night. The entire family was there and we sat there for hours talking, eating and drinking çay. The interesting thing was that I was the only woman between men and only the next day we noticed how many women actually live in that house, but eat and stay in a different room when there are guests! The second day we reached Bijar after our new record of 104 km. Just arrived, a man invites us to stay at his (beautiful) house and after many çays, food and an earthquake (Iraq-Iran border: 7.2 M) we celebrated his daughter's birthday. Again a very long night and just a few hours of sleep. But we are very thankful to you all! Good luck Farnoosh!

9 November 2017

Sometimes it's good to take a ride! The forecast showed rain for the entire day and we planned to do over 100 km, so why not accept a ride when one offers you one? Sahid took us all way to Miandoab, even 50 km off his way! Thank you so much :). On the way to Miandoab we surpassed the wet and freezing Benedikt, who started very early in the morning (not as lazy as us!). So we met in Miandoab and searched for a place to stay for the night. We found a wonderful park! But a group of guys came, telling us it's not safe there and it is cold! So they started to organize a place for us to stay. And they found one! A friendly man hosted us and the guys gave us food :) It was a bit of a overwhelming situation so late in the night but we enjoyed the warm and interesting night. Thank you guys!! :) The next day we reached our first real river in Iran and went to bed in our tents very early! The next day we parted from Benedikt, who managed to go back to his >100 km rhythm ;) Gute Weiterreise!

8 November 2017

For the way out of the big city we protected our lungs with some really chic dust masks this time. We heard of a place called "Kandovan", which is similar to Kappadokya in Turkey and decided to give it a look. What we didn't know is that the place is a real mountain village at 2300 m altitude! So we climbed much higher than expected and spent a night at the slope. When we finally reached the top, we found a really beautiful village with it's houses carved into the stone. And all the rock houses were still inhabited. Definitely worth a visit, but maybe not by bicycle :P

7 November 2017

We spent 3 nights at Tabriz Free Camping and had some interesting days of sightseeing and shopping. Walking through Tabriz was very funny, with all the people staring at us and welcoming us to Iran. The Bazaar was the highlight for us: very old, with many little streets and everything you could need (new outfit for me -Elis-). If it wasn't for a local, who showed us around, we would probably still be wandering around there :) The bicycle shop was also very cool: 25 $ for Lukas' parts, so cheap! The only uncomfortable thing was the way back by Bus. We where pushed inside the Bus by the ticket man. Once we clarified with the driver where we had to go, we looked around us and noticed that I was the only woman! Then we realised that the women sit in the back -.- Very strange moment! But as a tourist it was ok. Back at the campsite we found Benedikt there with two other Germans with their 4x4 truck (Ute & Holger). They are also heading to Oman, so we will meet them again soon!

4 November 2017

The way to Tabriz is a smoggy one. We rolled down the silent hills of northern Iran and suddenly found ourselves on a very busy highway full of old, smoking trucks. Literally a "breathtaking" experience! When we finally reached the city centre, we were surprised to find some nice cycling lanes. A guy taught us the correct way to buy bread in Iran: You have to use the broom in front of the shop to swipe off the flour and stones. In the middle of the city we found a big park with real, green grass, where tourists can camp for free. There are even showers and a kitchen! When we arrived, the park was empty except for one mysterious tent. At the next morning we got to know our neighbours: Bruno e Federico dall'Italia! They are hitchhiking around the world. Elis was very happy to have an opportunity to talk Italian again! :)
Some great photos of our first days in Iran, by our friend and cycling buddy Benedikt! Thanks a lot for these cool photos of us together xD it happens so rarely :)

2 November 2017

After a rainy night on the top of a plateau we woke up with the sun and a spectacular view! Ararat mountain to the west and Azerbaijan's exclave with its mountains to the north! With the sun in front of us we cycled alongside the Azerbaijan-Iranian border and reached the St. Stephanos Monastery, after an extremely hard climb with the bikes. We thought: "This road is for sure not made for cyclists, we are probably the only ones so crazy to climb up here", puff in that moment three other bicycles appeared behind us! A French couple with their guide! We all thought, we could stay there for the night, since on 'openstreetmap' it was marked as a camping place. We relaxed, had lunch together and then we asked....No camping here. Since it is border street it is forbidden to camp, and the street closes at 7 pm. So we hurried into the monastery and then parted from the others, since they where heading West. It was a short meeting, but a great one! See you in France soon!

31 October 2017

In a flyer, we got at the border, we found a hot spring close to our planned route and decided to give it a try. The "Showt Medical Spa Complex" came out as three small concrete ponds under construction. Still the water was relatively warm and the view was fantastic! Elis had to bath completely dressed, but at least we could enter the water together. Coming out was freezing cold and windy! Luckily the boss of the construction engineers invited us to warm up and rest at his place. He and his two friends (Joseph, Mahmud and Behruz) provided us with çay, food and nice talks and it soon got so comfortable, that we decided to stay there for the night. At the next morning they escorted us out of the village with the car. We felt really important :D Thank you very much for explaining the Quraan and teaching us some Farsi; for your hospitality and all the effort!!

30 October 2017

After a good first and last beer 2 km before the Iranian border, we entered Iran. We bet, who and if we would have to unpack all our stuff and show it the Iranian police officers, and we were all sure about it. But No! They have an extra tourist room, where a kind lady asked us again where we will travel in Iran (more for our security) and answered all our questions. Out of the room, the officers made us a way through the crowd and so we entered Iran. First many people came to us with lots of Rials to change money, but we managed to get to the official change office. 100 $ = 4.400.000 IRR! First time Millionaires. We spent the night alongside a canyon river.
Our very last night in Turkey we spent in a small, traditional Kurdish shepherd village directly at the foot of Mount Ararat. This is the mountain, where according to the legend, Noah's Ark landed after the great flood. With 5137 m it is the highest peak of Turkey and a very impressive sight. Sadly it is right now strictly forbidden for foreigners to climb it because of PKK and military conflict. Once we got through the military control and reached the little house of Burhan's family, we found a very comfortable place to stay: Every room is covered with carpets and selfmade wool pillows. After we had a hot çay in front of the sheep shit powered oven, another cyclist appeared: Benedikt from Innsbruck. We will cycle together for the next days. Burhan's sister and mother served us a delicious dinner on the floor and afterwards they unrolled heavy, warm wool mattresses and blankets for the night. Thank you so much for your hospitality and for the little insight into real Kurdish culture!

27 October 2017

After a nice day off in Erzurum, we started climbing up the long way to the Iranian border. The landscape is so dramatic, that we almost forgot, how exhausting it was: Through deep canyons up to the highest pass so far. One morning we woke up, because some annoying kids threw sticks at our tent. Very funny... Fortunately, the rest of the day was much better! We finally had the opportunity to invite two shepherds for a çay; normally it's the other way round ;) We even met two other German travellers: Anja & Peter. But they have a little bit bigger vehicle than we ride: A huge 4x4 overlander truck! They are heading the same direction as we do, so hopefully we will meet again someday. We observed several very large, whitish raptors, we were not able to specify (see photo). If anyone of you has an idea what they are, let us know!

24 October 2017

If you want to laugh, here a video made by a Turkish TV about us: http://www.iha.com.tr/video-alman-biyolog-ciftten-bisikletle-dunya-turu-111268/ Cheers ;)

23 October 2017

Today we finally got our Iranian Visa! Yuppi! So now up to Iran! Here a overview of our planed Tour through Iran. From Teheran onwards we will cycle again with Silvio and Lena (bikefiction.co), hopefully! We are really excited about this new country and meeting with these great friends again! :*
This great artwork is made by Giulia Pratillo! Thank you so much for this wonderful present! <3 We already set it as our title picture on our website (follow-the-sunrise.webs.com)! ;) Thanks!!

21 October 2017

Bye bye Kapadokya! Thank you again Heval for the hospitality! And take care of your three young beauties (Birba and the other puppies)! After a last night in our favourite cave we packed our stuff and started late in direction Kayseri. Adam came with us the first km, but then we finally had to say goodbye for now. :( He will continue South towards the coast, while we are heading East to Iran now. It has been an extremely wonderful month cycling together with you and we are really looking forward to meet you again somewhere along the way!! (Follow Adam's future adventures on www.medium.com/@adamsultan or instagram: ridetheworld24) At the next day a friendly truckdriver picked us up and transported us and our bikes the last 40 km to Kayseri. There we are now waiting for the night bus to Erzurum, hoping to outrun the winter by skipping these 600 km.

18 October 2017

What an amazing birthday! Balloons woke us up very early and gave us another amazing show at sunrise. Then we hitchhiked/ took a bus to Derinkuyu underground city. 8 floors underground, connected by stairs and tunnels, with a perfect water and air circulation system and even a big church 50 m under the surface. It was discovered by chance in 1963, although the aboveground town Derinkuyu was already unconsciously using the old underground city wells. In the evening we looked again for a place to sleep and have a relaxing time. So we found THE PERFECT CAVE. Two warm rooms, a lot of shelves to put stuff, a great view and simply a perfect place to rest. End of the day: cooking bulgur with beans and tomatoes, a pudding cake as birthday cake and Lukas making a "Kalter Hund"/ "salame al cioccolato" for me for breakfast. Perfect birthday! Thank you Adam for the two jars of palmoil-free Torku Chocolate :) and thank you Lukas for the cake and for having this great adventure with me!

17 October 2017

Back to Çavuşin through the White Valley. It is very interesting, how in a pretty small area the structures around us change colour and shape. In this valley we found a lot of delicious apples and grapes and slept in a tunnel where we had a great evening around the fire. :)

16 October 2017

Walking around the Red and Rose Valleys towards Göreme, and from there through the Pigeon Valley to Uchisar. Just an amazing view from everywhere! We found some of the old churches, that where built by a christian minority during the 4th century, many caves of different eras and walked through these two very beautiful towns. (Wikipedia has a very accurate article about the history of this area! Very interesting.)

15 October 2017

Dear Friends, sorry for not uploading any new moments during the past days, but we were very busy in exploring Cappadocia! We arrived at Heval's café in Çavuşin and had a relaxing morning at his house :) He is a really great guy; thank you for hosting us and letting us leave our stuff at your Market for so long! We then went to the Info point to get a map of the area and in the afternoon started our hiking tour. We started late, so we could only visit the old Çavuşin cave town with its church and then looked for a place to sleep. A tourist guide suggested us to just sleep there in one of the old town caves, but it was too crowded for us, so we hiked up the mountain and found the perfect cave by sundown. The next morning we woke up because of some strange noise coming from all around us, we looked out and we where surrounded by hot air balloons. Some of them so near that we could have jumped in xD. What a crazy first experience!

13 October 2017

We really enjoyed our last days of cycling together with Adam and finally reached the famous Cappadocia! On the way we were only slowed down by a veery muddy lake and my constantly flattening tire. We already caught a little glimpse of the stunning landscape around us, while the sun set. So now we are sitting in our host's comfortable, warm café near Göreme and looking forward to the next cycle-less hiking days.

10 October 2017

After some days of nonstop cycling, we found a quite beautiful lake and decided to have a day off there. We spent two nights and a very relaxed day, which we used to fix my tire (again), work on our website and talk to the local shepherds, who supplied us with a lot of fresh food! :) We also finally had a campfire again after a long time. It was necessary, because the nights are already very cold.

7 October 2017

From the beautiful landscapes to the craziness of a capital city (Ankara) and from there out again. The past days were very productive, but a bit unlucky. First we went to a gas station to fill Lukas' tires, since one lost some air and there my back tire flattened :/ so fixing time. In Ankara we woke up very early in the morning to go to the embassy of Iran, but for nothing! You need a Reference Number before ahead which you only get from a travel agency (we applied online now, cross fingers that it works!! - key2persia.com). On the way out of the city it's Lukas' turn with the flat tire. And a really good one! (check photo) But still we survived the past days especially thanks to our great hosts in Ankara (Emrah and Kubra). Thank you very much for the spontaneous great hospitality! We also survived thanks to a wonderful time at the Hamam (which I recommend to everyone if you come to Turkey) and to the shopping we managed to do ;). Next stop Cappadocia!!

2 October 2017

Many people are saying that the central Anatolian highlands are boring. I don't know if they really have been here?!? The landscapes are AMAZING! A rainbow of colours covers the mountains. From yellow, to brown, red, green and blue! So beautiful, that we stopped every km to take a picture. Here a selection ;)

30 September 2017

We cycled up and down through beautiful little villages and followed a nice and calm road. In the evening we reached a petrol station, where we (as so often) got invited for a çay. One of the guys at the station called his friend, Ferid, who came on his motorcycle and guided us to his little farm, where we spent an unexpected, relaxed night. We also introduced him to the delicious world of Langoš and Gogoşi :D When we left in the morning, he surprised us with a spectacular firework!! Thank you very much for the spontaneous hospitality! :)

28 September 2017

Güle güle Europe! Here we come Asia!! We left Europe for good now by taking a ferry to Yalova. Thus we skipped the crazy roads of Istanbul :) With our new travel companion, Adam we are slowly riding towards Ankara. We already experienced a relaxing thermal bath, beautiful landscapes with olive and fruit trees and of course the great hospitality of the Turkish people!

25 September 2017

In a big city like Istanbul you have to be a tourist, at least for one day. And that's what we did! We visited the most famous mosques, the palace and the bazaars. For me (Elis) it was sometimes quite awkward, because it felt like people were looking at me in a strange way... so I covered myself completely (see photo in mosque) xD We liked Istanbul a lot, as it felt familiarly European on the one hand, but also Oriental on the other hand and somehow different to every city we saw before. Still there is a lot more to discover, which we leave for the next time! ;)

23 September 2017

With one of the cyclists, Adam, we met at the bicycle shop, we decided to visit the Prince Islands to relax a bit after the stressful ride into the city. We took the very cheep ferry and went to the biggest of the Islands. There we walked all around the island until we found the perfect spot to stay. We went for a swim in the crystal clear water and spent a calm night there :). The Islands are very touristic and full of bicycles and horses; no cars are permitted! So we were very lucky to find this little peace of heaven! ;)

22 September 2017

Bisiklet Gezgini - THE institution for every bicycle traveller in and around Istanbul. We came to this famous bike shop around noon and thought we would maybe stay an hour to replace some worn out parts of Elis' bike. But it is such a nice place to hang around, that we stayed a bit longer... :D We met three other touring cyclists and the owner of the shop also cycled around the world already. So we had a lot of stories to tell, a lot of plans to make and a lot of çayi to drink. We even ate lunch there all together :) Of course we could also borrow all the tools to fix Elis' bike. So we left happily and inspired after many hours, when it was already dark and the shop closed.

21 September 2017

We made it to Istanbul!! :D Even the worst rush hour traffic could not stop us (although we're happy to not do this again). Thank you Kaya for showing us a bikeable way and of course for the tea! :) The city is impressively huge and we had to cycle many km between skyscrapers before we reached the center. There we took the ferry over the Bosporus to the Asian side of Istanbul. The very first time for me (Lukas) to be out of Europe!! It was already dark when we finally reached our goal: The cozy flat of our fantastic host Coşkun!!

20 September 2017

First impressions of this beautiful country: Fresh fruits and veggies on the way... We got invited to drink çayi with the locals as soon as we entered the first village :)... And we got also food from the locals :)... And a man gave me a rose, but not directly; he gave it to Lukas and told him that it is for me (respect for the husband)... In every little village a Mosque and five time a day the muezzin call to pray... And funny little neighbours :)

18 September 2017

After this short glimpse of 10 days in Bulgaria, we already cycled uphill to the next border crossing in the Strandscha mountains between Bulgaria and Turkey. We had less trouble than we expected these days and the border police didn't even want to see our luggage. Now we are looking forward to what Turkey will be like: our first non-christian country with minarets pointing to the sky in every little village :)

16 September 2017

While cycling through Burgas we occasionally met Mitko, another cyclist. He invited us to come with him to his little village Fakiya, because there was going to be a festival on the next day. We decided to take the detour to not miss the chance of experiencing a bit of real Bulgarian culture! Mitko and his father were amazing hosts and we enjoyed the loads of fresh fruits and vegetables from their large garden :) In the evening we all strolled over to the nearby village center, where a live band was playing traditional, very Balkanish music. After some dancing lessons by Mitko we were able to join the party and hop along with the local people in front of the stage :D Thank you so much for this great experience!!

13 September 2017

After nearly 3 months in Romania, we finally reached our 8th country: Bulgaria! Some beautiful, peaceful cliffs and beaches expected us here, but also some very touristic spots. Goldstrand, a known party beach where we felt like being on "Malle" (Mallorca), so full of Germans and German bars (the fantastic Bierkönig)! Now we found a beautiful beach where we took one day off from cycling to relax! Let's see what Bulgaria will offer us more!? Ah and the sign saying that it is forbidden to cycle on the highway, it's not a real rule here, it's more like a suggestion ;) everyone is cycling on these streets, also because most of the time there is no alternative!

9 September 2017

We just wanted to spend a calm night on a cliff above the black sea, but early in the morning we woke up because of some men shouting and running around our tent! It was the border police, following a very crowded, Turkish refugee boat that floated along the coastline. Quickly other police boats arrived and after a while they started towing the refugee boat back towards Bulgaria. The people on the boat started to scream and shout and in the end the policeboat turned around and brought them to the closest harbour in Romania. The refugees cheered and seemed very happy in that moment! It is strange to directly experience these things, that we used to see in the news so often.. We hope all those people find a good, peaceful new home!!

8 September 2017

One beautiful relaxing day in Constanța with Iacob and his splendid family! Delicious breakfast, a super comfortable hanging bed and a new invention for shadow on the beach!

7 September 2017

After we gave away all the 200 business cards we printed before we started our journey, it was time to print new ones. As you can see with an all new, colourful design by our old friend Jurek Thorenz! Thank you very very much!! :)

6 September 2017

On our way to Constanța we saw many signs of archeological sites, so we stopped by to see one of them: The ruins of Histria. Since the 7th century BC it was first a Greek and later a Roman settlement. It was abandoned around 700 AD. We were impressed by the Romanian style of excavation: They looked just like a family working in the field.

5 September 2017

The Delta's vast swamps, lakes, channels and gravel roads finally came to an end after one amazing week. We cycled for three days along the coast towards Constanța. In between we met Iacob while searching for a place to sleep. He offered us to pitch our tent in his garden and in the morning he served a delicious breakfast! Mulțumesc mult! :)

2 September 2017

In the northeastern corner of the Danube Delta there is an old, strictly protected forest called "Pădurea Letea". Paradoxically this is the driest place in Romania, although it is surrounded by all this water. Usually tourists go there by boat and 4x4 vehicle, but we thought: "It can't be too hard to cycle up there!" In the end it was too hard and after 20 km of very bad gravel road and pushing through uncyclable sand roads, we decided to leave the bikes behind and walk the last 5 km. That was also not the best idea because there was no shadow at all and we quickly ran out of water. We felt like in the desert. A bit dehydrated we reached one of the entrances into the forest and saw that it is full of spectacular sand dunes! Luckily we managed to hitchhike back to our bikes with a tourist transporter. Then (after buying some very necessary water and ice cream) we cycled around the forest to another entrance, where we saw some ancient trees with real lianas.

1 September 2017

The Black Sea!! After around 4000 km we reached this big milestone of our journey. It is the end of the Danube cycle highway and the beginning of less beaten paths for cyclists: Along the coastline towards Istanbul!

31 August 2017

During our stay at the Delta we observed a lot of different and rare birds (mainly from the canoe). First of all hundreds of pelicans, but also rollers, orioles, bee-eaters, hoopoes, king fishers, night herons, a black stork, an osprey and a white tailed eagle. And we saw a raccoon dog, an interesting mammal, which looks like (as the name suggests) a mix between raccoon and dog.
In Crișan we rented a canoe for two days and started paddling directly into the sunset :) You MUST visit the Danube delta by canoe to have the possibility to experience all its beauty and richness of fauna and flora!! We paddled for 44.4 km trough channels, jungle, and floating-plants-lakes (consistence similar to a soup filled with vegetables xD). If we'll ever come here again (what I hope) I would rent the canoe for an entire week, although it is very exhausting, it is worth it!!!

30 August 2017

Sorin took us out on a boat trip to get some fish for lunch. It was a beautiful experience, the first time in the channels of the Danube delta, the first time fishing (for me -Elis-) and with a wonderful local person!! Worth the vegetarian exception ;)

29 August 2017

The Danube Delta is definitely not made for cycling! Here we found the worst roads of our tour so far with holes larger than our bikes. The locals transported us over a channel with a veery small and wobbly boat. It was all fun to ride, until the road we wanted to take just disappeared 13 km before our goal :P We missed the daily ferry by 5 minutes, so we'll stay here until tomorrow. Sorin invited us into his guestroom for the night and is now cooking something for us that smells very deliciously :) We also met yet another cute little dog today, who ran for several km alongside our bikes. We called her "Klette" because of all the nasty sticky seeds in her fur. We dissected out some of the worst ones.

27 August 2017

Yesterday we found a very beautiful wild camp site directly at the Danube shore. There we crashed the campfire of Tina and Flo, two other travellers who speak German by coincidence. :P Sadly our speeds were too different (bike vs. car/speedboat), so we did not manage to meet again in the Delta for another night.

26 August 2017

After three days of a very busy road with too many trucks and no side stripe, under August's burning sun, we finally made it back to our good old Danube river. And we enjoyed a bath in relatively clean water. :)

24 August 2017

The mud volcanoes of Berca are a very impressive natural phenomenon. They appeared because gas bubbles rise from 3000 m depth and carry water and mud to the surface. The colour depends on the minerals they contain. Although they look perfect for a mud bath, you should not touch the liquid, because it contains radioactive radon! So no barefoot walking here. :( Anyway it was worth the 10 km uphill to see this lunar landscape (and also because of the puppies.. We hope they are fine! <3).

23 August 2017

Some impressions of our way to the mud volcanoes.
Dear friends, today we saw a lot of stray dogs on the street and we were thinking: people in Germany, Italy or wherever else should stop buying dogs, but come to Romania and take one from the street. There are so many, and a lot of them are still puppies and need a warm place and much love! So please, our dearest friends, if you are thinking of getting a dog: Don't buy it, go to Romania and save one from the street!! And tell all your friends too! This two beauties we found today a few km from where we are sleeping now, and tomorrow we have to go back the same way. I hope someone took them until then, because I am sure that I will not be able to leave them there!! Does anyone of you want to have this beautiful two girls? Hope to see them in good hands. I do not know if a bicycle would be a good home to them...

20 August 2017

Peștera Liliecilor - Fledermaushöle - Bat Cave We waited until all the people where gone, to be alone in the cave. We entered the cave and turned on our torches. In the first room it was hard to see a bat, probably because of the many people entering there. But when we climbed further in we found a beautiful big hole where many bats are living. This was the first time for me to see resting bats in their natural habitat. Very interesting!

19 August 2017

We left our bikes in Brașov and hitchhiked together with Zahra and Lutz to the Piatra Craiului National Park. There we spent two days of hiking all the way up and along the crest. It was much more exhausting than we all expected but actually a very beautiful experience. Down in the valley we had to say goodbye to Zahra and Lutz, who went back to Germany after these 5 days. Thank you so much for your visit, we really enjoyed this little breeze of home you brought. ;)

17 August 2017

After a long and very busy road we finally arrived in Brașov city. There we welcomed my brother Lutz and Zahra who came from Germany to visit us. We had a relaxed day strolling through the old town and searching for gogoși. :) Thank you Oana for your cozy little house!

15 August 2017

While cycling through Transylvania, we saw a lot of German cars and learned that there was the first "Siebenbürgener Sachsentreffen". 800 years ago, German settlers came to Transylvania. They lived and farmed there for a long time and built a lot of completely German villages. In the 80s and 90s they were discriminated by the Ceaușescu regime and most of them moved away from Romania. Now they met again and celebrated many parties in their former home-villages. We dropped into one of these by chance in Holzmengen (Hosman) and met a lot of very nice people with interesting stories. On our further way we passed by some beautiful medieval fortified churches and also saw one of them from inside. In a little village we bumped into a big herd of cows and buffalos. The animals spread out into the streets and found their individual homes by themselves. Very clever!

14 August 2017

Taking Langoš to the next level: Yesterday when we pushed our bikes through Sibiu city, we saw many people with interesting, deliciously smelling things in their hands. We tracked them down to the source and found a Romanian speciality: "Gogoși" are very similar to Langoš, but stuffed with cheese or sweet things! Of course we had to try to make them ourselves. So we fired up our deep-fryer again and oh yess, it works xD

13 August 2017

Today we saved a little cat on the street! We were cycling calmly through a thunderstorm when suddenly we heard "miau miau" from behind us and saw this little kitty running after us! So, as fast as possible we turned back and took the kitten from the street, shortly before a car came. Then I put her under my jacket and held her to warm her. Luckily there was a house near by and the owner had a lot of dogs and another cat, so we could leave our new friend with him! I hope she is good now! Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture. We were so into saving her that we didn't take the time to take a pic. But we'll remember her! :D Go Bobby xD

10 August 2017

I hope you all remember, what Langoš is: These typical Hungarian, super delicious, super fatty deep-fried breads with sour cream, cheese and a whole lot of garlic; The perfect meal for cyclists! A few days ago we had the idea to try to make them ourselves, so we bought the ingredients and set up our improvised Camping-Deep-Fryer. It worked much better than we hoped and the result was even more delicious than the langoš you can buy. This was definitely not the last time we made this and so arose the idea to become Langoš-Embassadors and build up a little street food shop along the road during our journey. :D

9 August 2017

RETEZAT NATIONAL PARK! What a beautiful place for hiking! We cycled up the mountain in the late afternoon and reached this beautiful Cabana where we finally met Gesa and Bente from Vienna again! We spent a great time with them, climbing up the mountain for 20 km, drinking Radler Beer and talking about the past months' experiences :) We are very happy that it worked out to meet in Romania! We do not have a future meeting place by now, but for sure we will see Bente and Gesa again somewhere on our journey ;) It was a great time you two! See you soon :* And for everyone else reading this, if you are looking for a nice place to hike, go to Retezat National Park. It is very well organized, quite clean and the landscape is amazing!

7 August 2017

On the street up into the National Park we met some great people from Switzerland and France! We spent the evening together at the Lacul Prisaca with music, good food and laughs! The next morning a fireman-helicopter woke us up! He filled its water just in front of us! What a terrible noise in the silence of the nature! We had a great breakfast with Thomas and Hannah in front of their beautiful LT and cycled on! We went up the road with 41 °C and 40 km to go up the mountain. And then down for other 40 km and out of the beautiful Domoglet National Park. The last night before reaching the Retezat National Park we slept near a cool cave where a river flows through. Again very beautiful :)

4 August 2017

Today was time to say goodbye to all our dear friends in Feneș. Mulțumesc mult for this amazing time, for all the shared stories and laughs, for all the things we learned and for the delicious food!! We leave with one laughing and one crying eye, because we really fell in love with this place and all the people who became like family for us; but we are at the same time super excited to hit the road again and see more of this vast planet. We used the train for the 43 km to Baile Herculane, to skip the exhausting highway that we already cycled once. Romanian trains are an adventure themselves, especially with our bulky bikes, for which they are definitely not designed. We got nearly overran by the train in the other direction while we tried heaving the bikes up the steep stairs into the wagon. But the other passengers were very helpful. From Baile we started rolling uphill into the beautiful Domogled National Park.

3 August 2017

It is hard to believe, but this was already our last day at the Bison Hillock. We went up to the bison enclosure together with Ele and the (Power)rangers to say goodbye to the three bisons we saw. In the evening we had a glorious goodbye-party with nearly all the beautiful people we got to know during our time in Feneș. We had delicious food, barbecue, music and a lot of creative drinks. Ai yukayuuu! :P

31 July 2017

29 July 2017

Part2: On our third day of hiking we reached the top of the mountain Țarcu! While going up, the view was beautiful. but when we reached the top, it was hard to see one meter away from us xD so we had to be very careful to not be surprised by the shepherds' dogs. Luckily the dogs up there are very friendly and the shepherds have only one or two dogs, not like on the mountain we are usually, where they have up to 8 dogs!!! So after a quick photo from the peak and a small snack at the weather station we walked down and found a beautiful spot to rest. On the last day, the sun came back again and we walked the 24 km back to Feneș. Now our legs are hurting but its ok! We had a beautiful time on the silent mountains!

27 July 2017

Part 1: 4 days of hiking in the wonderful area around Fenes. Starting near Fenes we walked all way up to Țarcu mountain :) It was arduous but the weather was perfect. We found some bear feces, very fresh ones, that we thought a bear could appear out of the bushes at any time xD and we saw some roe deer and red deer. One of the roe deer came quite near because he could not identify what we were ;). Very beautiful experience.

22 July 2017

Dear friends, the past weeks has been very colourful :) we have been tracking animals, watching films like in a cinema and celebrating Simona's birthday (our great cook!) :) we experienced some beautiful sunsets and found some great animals like this snake: coronella austriaca (smooth snake). Time flies so fast!! We are very thankful to all our great friends here for this wonderful experience! ;)

17 July 2017

8 July 2017

A wonderful time with our teem at the Gărâna Jazz Festival! Jazz and Food, what else do you need! Thanks a lot Waldo, Astarte, Georg, Matei, Oana and Ciubi! :D

6 July 2017

The things surrounding us here at the Bison Hillock: wild strawberries, foxes, sheep and dogs, people (new friends ;) ), insects and bisons :)

2 July 2017

A new Bison was born!! And We named it ROBIN! It fits both for male and female (you can only find out when it's young from how it pees xD) We wish him a healthy and beautiful life in the Bison Hillock-Feneș :)

30 June 2017

Kids playing soccer together! Age does not meter! This is also part of our project here: interact with the locals, learn the language and learn to play properly soccer ;)

25 June 2017

Bison tracking! Check!

21 June 2017

A nice time with wonderful people. My brother and my dad are here for one entire week and I am very happy about it :) With them and Duncan we took the car and went to Baile Herculane, a famous place for climbing and for it's thermal water! And who did we meet there? Paul and Julian!! Yuhuuu! After a month apart we had the great pleasure to spend another wonderful day together. This time not riding our bicycles but hiking up a mountain :) Lukas and I also hitchhiked again after so long, but only for 15 km :) It was funny because we were taken by the same people in both directions. Of course Langos couldn't miss! See you soon Julian and Paul (here their blog: www.bike2climb.wordpress.com). Today we went looking for bisons. We found some tracks from 2 days ago but couldn't find the real bisons. Still we had a wonderful sunny day and I am happy to show my dad and brother what we are doing here! :)

17 June 2017

Dear friends and followers, as some of you already know, we started a little fundraising for our project. So should anyone of you want to chip in a few monetas to support our journey or our engagement in voluntary work like the one we just joined, follow the link underneath. You will also find some information about us and our motivation on this page. https://www.leetchi.com/c/follow-the-sunrise Thank you so much for your donations! They will keep us rolling a little longer.

16 June 2017

Dear Friends, we reached our first longer stop at the Bison Hillock in Feneș. We are participating as volunteers at the Rewinding Europe/ WWF project here. They have the purpose to protect the largest wilderness stronghold in the Romanian Carpathians and establish ecotourism around the rewilding areas. Yesterday we already got our first lesson on animal tracking by Georg and Duncan. We now recognize fox, deer, red deer, wolf, wild boar, hedgehog, badger, hare, bison, bear, wildcat, shrew, sheep and chainsaw (xD) based on their footprints and/or feces. We spent the night in the mountains under tarps and alternating nightwatch. It was exciting! During the next weeks, this blog will likely be a little bit more quiet, because we stay in this place. But don't worry, we'll let you know when we continue! ;)

14 June 2017

What an amazing coincidence! Yesterday at lunchtime we rolled through a village searching for a food store. The first one we saw had a little terrace with a fully packed travel bike in front of it. At one of the tables sat Alberto, who came from Spain and wants to cycle (roughly) to Tibet. We shared our selfmade jam and our stories for about an hour. Then suddenly another bike traveler came around the corner: Markus, who sold everything he had in Germany and is now on his way to somewhere, maybe Iran, maybe further. Shortly later two other cyclers joined our sit in: Emilie and Noën from France who follow the Danube to the Black Sea and who are also Biologists. We talked a lot and continued together for the next 5 km to Orsova, where Elis and me sadly had to say goodbye and turned away from the river and up into the mountains. But who knows, maybe we will see some of you again at the coast of the Black Sea!? We wish you all safe and sweet travels!

13 June 2017

We had a great time cycling through the Iron Gates National Park. The landscape is just breathtaking with the steep mountains, deep canyons and the Danube river squeezing in between. We spent one night directly on the riverbank and watched a beautiful sunset. The small Romanian villages were a little bit spooky with a lot of empty buildings and crumbling towers. But the people are very nice and helpful, only their dogs are really annoying, when they run after us, loudly barking. Elvira's whistle does a good job scaring them away. After a very steep passage up the mountain, we spent the second night in a beautiful little valley with a bubbling creek, many frogs and some cows. We cooked jam from berries that we collected during the day. Yummy!

11 June 2017