A 6,660 Kilometer Long Bicycle Trip



By: OMER SHACHNAI  
Published: January 11th 2011
in News » World

Bike Tour Israel

This is no ordinary story: 45-year-old Stephan Shoster from Germany found a really unique- and one would say extremely hard- way to travel to Israel and visit his relatives there. Riding on his own, with nothing but his backpack, he pedalled all the way from Munich, via Austria, Slovakia, the Balkan states, Turkey and he even made a stop in Damascus (the capital of Syria, Israel's arch-nemesis) all the way to his final destination, Haifa, Israel.

 

"But I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more, Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles, to fall down at your door..." those are probably the lyrics that Shoster had in mind when he made his decision back in September to go on this crazy journey. He packed only the vital stuff that he would need for his trip, including one tent, a sleeping-bag, a first-aid kit and more. He then embarked on his journey, heading out on his way along the Danube river (Europe's second largest river) towards the Black Sea.

 

During the course of adventure, he rode his bicycle for four straight months and over 6,600 kilometer. Shoster passed through Germany's countryside, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and eventually Israel. On Monday, he finally reached Israel and celebrated his achievement. Unfortunately, he will not be staying in Israel for long and is expected to return to his home in Munich today or tomorrow.

 

"It is amazing," Shoster summarized his trip, "I am happy that I have managed to complete the challenge which I set out to fulfill," he added. Michal, his relative, who is living in Haifa, said: "he claims that it is all my fault: a year ago I visited him in Germany and pressured him to come visit in Israel and he told me that he took it seriously".

 

Shoster's last visit to Israel was in 1992 and he has been dreaming of returning ever since. "For a long time, I have been wanting to return to Israel and in addition for many years I have planned to go on a long bicycle trip stretching over a couple on months. Finally, I have thought why won't I go visit Michal with my bike?

 

"It's not easy travelling alone and there were times when I was sorry there was no one else with me, but on the side I would have never experienced all the local cultures the way I did if I was travelling with someone," he explained. Moreover, he said his biggest fear upon embarking his journey was visiting Syria and Turkey, but eventually he enjoyed their hospitality. "The roads there are amazing and there are many pleasant and beautiful areas to see," he said. "The Islamic culture and the hospitality was very surprising and very nice".

 

Finally, Shoster calls on all his friends to do the same. He is also regretful that he cannot do the way back home on a bike "as far as I am concerned, if there were no work problems, I would have returned the same way that I came. I do not know when I will go on a trip again, but I hope that it is soon".



Related articles: (Stephan Shoster, Germany, Bike, Israel)
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