Europe + Central Asia 2019

Barcelona, 15.05.2019

2.220 days since Eurasia2013 started, 6 years and 1 month to the day, I got back on the road! Below you’ll find links to the posts from the road.

In between chapters in life and work, I used some spare weeks to hit the road. There was no grand plan or project this time, just a lot of pins on a Google map that had accumulated over the past years. My Fernweh, the curiosity to discover unknown places, and wanting to revisit some places with more time, were the driving forces in this journey.

In 2018 I read Paolo Rumiz‘ “Trans Europa Express“, a book that put a lot of pins on my map. It reminded me of the common culture and history of so many countries and peoples between the Rhine and the Urals, the Barents and the Black Seas. From Eurasia2013 I also brought back a great admiration for how the Russians took a lot of European and Slavic heritage far east and deep south, to Central Asia, and brought back influences from there. During the trip several people suggested books to read, that made me visit more places that laid ahead of me. And as I met people on the road, the recommendations kept coming.

I toured in my 2006 Mini, hoping the diesel engine would keep delivering steady performance at any altitude or road and fuel quality. The car wasn’t made for off-road driving, limiting the more adventurous spots to discover by forcing me to stay on the main roads. Also, I could carry just so much stuff with me. When I left Barcelona the car was pretty packed, during the trip I started to reduce weight, shed stuff. In hindsight I could have done without a lot of things.

As I drove through places, I used Wikipedia a lot to get context. I’ve linked in the posts to a lot of Wiki pages, hoping that this gives context to the places I described.


News from the road:

Prep

Triple B

Down memory lane

Slesia

Auschwitz

Through Warsaw

Masuria

Belarus for beginners

ElectroMinsk

Baltica

Finnish Karelia, Laponia

Murmansk

The island of priests and prisoners

Russian Karelia

Romance at night

To Moscow

Summertime

The Golden Ring

Russia day

Tatarstan

Surprise encounter

Gulag

Searching for Varikino – part one

Off limits

Searching for Varikino – part two

In Asia

Through the steppe

Tian Shan

Testing the mountains

The Silk Road

Flying parts

The tunnel of death

A very nice try

Too hot

Get out

Over the Caspian Sea

Baku break

The Caucasus

Wining and dining

Borderlands

Mediterranean

Crossing the Bosphorus

Hellas

The Peloponnese

Angry land

Travel

Traveling has been a great passion of mine ever since my parents took our family for  month-long trips to different parts of Europe in our summer holidays: England-Scotland (1990), Scandinavia (1991), Czechoslovakia-Hungary-Poland (1992), France (1993). We traveled with a VW Bus, slept in B&Bs or tents, and saw a lot of places I found terribly adventurous at the time. These trips infected me with an insatiable curiosity to discover lands I hadn’t seen, and to hit the road whenever and wherever possible.

I signed up for driving school a few weeks before my 18th birthday and as soon as I passed my last exam went on a trip around Southern Italy in an old VW Golf. Since then I toured pretty much all of Central, Western and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Greece, but also Morocco (2005-2006, 2014) and South Africa (2011-2012). In 2012-2013 I blogged for the first time on a trip through Thailand. I began to write to keep friends and family posted, then started to actually like it. I tend to write at the end of a day on the road, when the impressions of the day are still fresh. Sometimes orthography and style are imperfect. I write in simple english, so that everybody can more or less understand me, although it’s not my native language.

2013 was the year of Eurasia2013. This journey took me from Madrid to Vladivostok and back, with an encore to Cabo da Roca in Portugal. Life has not been the same since that trip.

The desire to get back to the road has stayed strong ever since I came back. During Easter 2014 I did a quick raid to Morocco. Oman was another wonderful discovery in 2014-15. And a trip to Dakar was in preparation for some time, but ultimately didn’t happen. Same for a few other destinations. More recently I spent time in Indonesia, not on 4 wheels though.

Right now I’m on the road again, through (Eastern) Europe and beyond. Updates will be posted here in the coming days.

Music

Since my childhood I got addicted to electronic dance music, in various forms. I DJ’ed in Rome while still at school and kept going during my student time in Berlin. Music genres varied from straightforward Techno, to harder and faster stuff I stopped liking at some point, to breakbeat, Jungle and Drum and Bass, and finally Electro. With time, my music slowed down, got more electronic, and broadened it’s palette of styles. Business stole most of the time I used to dedicate to music, that’s why a lot of my stuff dates back to earlier days. The advent of podcasts and streaming changed my consumption from active vinyl buying and mixing to more passive listening – unfortunately.

I enjoy Mendeleev Radio Show (a souvenir from nights clubbing in Moscow), De:Bug, DJ Broadcast. You can listen to some of my mixes on Mixcloud. Enjoy!