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Στουτγάρδη-Αθήνα Με Ποδήλατο

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Αχ Ελλάδα σ’ αγαπώ και γι’ αυτό ποδηλατώ!

Πρώτα από όλα, θα ήθελα να ζητήσω συγνώμη από όλους τους ελληνόφωνους φίλους μας, διότι τα ελληνικά κείμενα στην ιστοσελίδα μας δεν είναι τόσα όσα θα θέλαμε. Όμως, ζητούμε την κατανόηση όλων, διότι ο χρόνος είναι πολύ περιορισμένος και η λίστα με τις υποχρεώσεις μας απλώς ατελείωτη.

Όπως και να έχει πάντως, φίλες και φίλοι μας, εδώ μπορείτε να διαβάσετε τα βασικά στοιχεία σχετικά με την ποδηλατική μας περιοδεία: Θα ξεκινήσουμε από τη Στουτγάρδη της Γερμανίας, θα ανέβουμε τις Αυστριακές Άλπεις και αφού τις διασχίσουμε (το «εάν τις διασχίσουμε» δεν υπάρχει ως ενδεχόμενο, στο βουνό θα μιλήσει η ελληνική ψυχή), θα περάσουμε μέσω Ιταλίας στη χώρα του τελικού μας προορισμού, την αγαπημένη μας Ελλάδα. Η ημερομηνία έναρξης της περιοδείας μας είναι η 7η Ιουλίου 2012.

Γιατί το κάνουμε; Μήπως είμαστε μαζοχιστές ή κυνηγάμε ανεμόμυλους; Όχι. Η αλήθεια είναι πως, όχι μόνο ο Ελληνισμός της Ελλάδας, άλλα και εμείς οι Έλληνες που ζούμε στη Γερμανία, τον τελευταίο καιρό περνάμε δύσκολες στιγμές. Δεχόμαστε ένα κύμα δυσαρέσκειας για το υποτιθέμενο «χάος» που επικρατεί στην Ελλάδα και την Ευρώπη. Νιώθουμε ότι είμαστε κατηγορούμενοι, ότι απαιτούν από εμάς να απολογηθούμε, λες και διαπράξαμε κάποιο αδίκημα -για το οποίο όμως δεν έχουμε την παραμικρή ιδέα.

Ο Βασίλης Κιρτζάκης και εγώ, ο Νίκος Ράδης, είμαστε δύο ομογενείς Έλληνες. Γεννηθήκαμε στη Γερμανία όπου και ζούμε μόνιμα εδώ και περισσότερα από 30 χρόνια. Νομίζω ότι είμαστε πλήρως ενσωματωμένοι στη γερμανική κοινωνία, άνθρωποι της μεσαίας τάξης, επαγγελματικά ικανοποιημένοι, αλλά από αθλητικής πλευράς, θα έλεγα αρκετά «ανικανοποίητοι». Έχουν περάσει μόλις λίγα χρόνια από την εποχή που παίζαμε ποδόσφαιρο σε ομάδες μεγάλων κατηγοριών της Βάδης-Βιτεμβέργης. Όμως, οι επαγγελματικές και οικογενειακές υποχρεώσεις που προέκυψαν, στην ουσία μας οδήγησαν μακριά από την αφοσίωση σε μια αθλητική καριέρα επαγγελματικού επιπέδου. Φαίνεται όμως πως έφτασε ο καιρός για μια νέα, πραγματικά μεγάλη αθλητική -και όχι μόνο- πρόκληση.

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Δείτε περίπου την κούρσα μας με το ποδήλατο στο Google-Maps!

Τα προηγούμενα χρόνια έχουμε συμμετάσχει σε ήμι-μαραθώνιους και μαραθώνιους δρόμους αντοχής, δοκιμάσαμε το τρίαθλο και κάναμε αρκετές μεγάλες διαδρομές με ποδήλατο. Τίποτα από αυτά όμως δεν μας ικανοποιούσε απόλυτα, πάντα θέλαμε κάτι μεγαλύτερο. Ώσπου, ξαφνικά, κάποια ημέρα συλλάβαμε την ιδέα που ψάχναμε: Να πάμε με το ποδήλατο στην Ελλάδα. Αυτό έγινε αμέσως ο σκοπός μας. Κάπως έτσι εγένετο Cycle to Greece!

Ξεκινώντας από τη Στουτγάρδη, σκοπεύουμε να διασχίσουμε τις Άλπεις έως την λίμνη Garda και να συνεχίσουμε για Βενετία. Από εκεί θα πάρουμε το πλοίο για Ηγουμενίτσα, θα ανέβουμε στα Ιωάννινα και από εκεί θα πάρουμε το δρόμο για την Πάτρα. Ακολουθώντας στο μεγαλύτερο τμήμα της διαδρομής την παραλία, θα φύγουμε από την Πάτρα για την Αθήνα όπου και θα τερματίσουμε. Εάν πάνε όλα καλά, υπολογίζουμε πως μετά απο 14 ημέρες και 1.300 χιλιόμετρα, με αρκετά από αυτά στις ατελείωτες ανηφόρες των Άλπεων, να φτάσουμε κάτω από τον Ιερό Βράχο της Ακρόπολης.

Μιλήσαμε για το εγχείρημά μας σε Γερμανούς συναδέλφους και φίλους μας. Όλοι τους έμειναν έκπληκτοι για την απόφαση μας κι αυτό ακριβώς είναι που μας γεμίζει με θέληση, μας δίνει ένα τρομακτικά ισχυρό κίνητρο για το Cycle2Greece. Οι Έλληνες γνωστοί μας, στην πλειονότητά τους δυστυχώς, έδειξαν σοκαρισμένοι. Μεταξύ άλλων μας είπαν «γιατί δεν πηγαίνετε με αυτοκίνητο;». «Είσαστε τρελοί. Γιατί δεν παίρνετε το αεροπλάνο;». «Πού πάτε βρε; Τι θα κερδίσετε από όλη αυτή την περιπέτεια;» κ.λπ Μήπως ο Βασίλης και εγώ είμαστε μια ελληνική εξαίρεση; Δε νομίζω. Απλά πιστεύω ότι έχουμε λίγο «ανοιχτό μυαλό» και μεγάλη όρεξη για περιπέτεια.

Δίνοντας το καλό παράδειγμα

Άραγε, εμείς οι Έλληνες είμαστε πραγματικά τεμπέληδες όπως μας χαρακτηρίζουν διάφοροι; Σίγουρα όχι! Επειδή εμείς οι ομογενείς γνωρίζουμε καλά και τις δύο νοοτροπίες, τόσο την ελληνική όσο και τη «δυτική», είμαστε σε θέση να συγκρίνουμε πιο εύκολα τις καταστάσεις και να επιβεβαιώσουμε πως οι Έλληνες γενικά ξεπερνούν καθημερινά μεγάλα εμπόδια με την προσπάθεια και το μόχθο τους. Πιστεύω ότι αυτές οι «δύσκολες καταστάσεις» δικαιολογούν ακόμη και την απελπισία. Όμως την ίδια στιγμή γνωρίζουμε καλά το τι μπορεί να καταφέρει ο Έλληνας -αρκεί να του δοθεί μια ευκαιρία!

Με την ποδηλατική μας περιπέτεια, το Cycle2Greece, αυτό που θέλουμε περισσότερο από οτιδήποτε άλλο, είναι να μεταδώσουμε ένα μήνυμα σε όλο τον κόσμο, να γίνουμε ένα καλό παράδειγμα. Αντιμετωπίζουμε το ταξίδι μας σαν μια εξαιρετική ευκαιρία για να δώσουμε συμβολικά κουράγιο σε κάθε Έλληνα και να υπενθυμίσουμε ότι ο καθένας μπορεί να εκπληρώσει ακόμη και τον πιο μακρινό ή ασυνήθιστο στόχο. Ταυτόχρονα θέλουμε να δώσουμε ένα σήμα φιλίας και αλληλεγγύης μεταξύ των Ελλήνων και των Γερμανών. Γιατί και οι δύο χώρες, όπως και οι αντίστοιχες νοοτροπίες τους, έχουν βαθιές ρίζες στην ψυχή και τη ζωή μας.

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σχόλιο:όσοι ξέρουν και γερμανικά ακόμη καλύτερα!!

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"I would never have imagined that a girl from little ol’ Midland, Ont. would be where I am today.So always dream big…you can make it happen!"(Sarah Burke)

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καθόλου ευκολο το εγχείρημά τους. ενα μεγαλο μπραβο στα παιδια!


"...the monarch of mountains: they crowned him long time ago οn a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds, with a diadem of snow''

(Lord Byron about Mont Blanc)

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07/07/12

Stuttgart-Biberach

 

Sorry, where is the way to Athens?

Stuttgart TV Tower, 11 o’clock – After months of strenuous training and preparation the Cycle2Greece-Tour from Stuttgart to Athens finally started today. Family, friends and colleagues came to encourage their dear friends Niko and Vassili. “The fact that so many have come, has meant a lot to us and incredibly motivated us !”, said Niko when they arrived in Biberach an der Riss, where the first IDEAL bike-stage ended. With 114 kilometers the spaetzle-meets-gyros tour started with the longest stage with about 1,500 high-meters. “The passages of the Swabian Alb had it up in itself,” says Niko. “But we were rewarded with fabulous scenery and the most beautiful views down the Alb.”

The highlights of the stage: Betty, dear friend of Nico, received the two cyclists in her hometown Bempflingen with a moving buffet: She “fed” them by driving car with pretzels and sweets. Later, another friend of Niko waited with his son to cheer them up.

Nikos conclusion after the first day: “Everything went really great! Only the navigation system misled us sometimes. But people were always very helpful when we asked: Sorry, where is the next way to Athens? ”

 

08/07/12

BIBERACH – OBERSTDORF

 

… the bottom begins to pain

After a restful night in Biberach the Tour went on this morning. The weather- god Zeus was sympathetic to the boys – a clear blue sky. The Militzer and Muench-stage took the two along the river Iller in Bavaria. The landscape was so beautiful.

Vasili and Niko weren’t in hurry: they stopped often, captured their impressions and enjoyed the spectacular scenery. Vasili: “We are always happy to come together with people we meet along the way – all of them are excited of what we do. That gives us really a lot of strength. ”

Today, even the navigation system worked better. “It takes us only on bike paths to our goal, that is great, the roads are usually in a beautiful landscape, often in the woods. It’s really fun, “said Niko this evening in Oberstdorf.

“Today, everything went great,” was the conclusion of the guys. “Well, almost everything,” laughs, Niko. “Our butts do really hurt like hell J …!” Tomorrow we start to climb the Alps!!!

Here are all the images…

 

09/07/12

OBERSTDORF – St. ANTON

 

It’s getting tough and the air is getting thinner…

Today, the first Alpine stage was waiting for the cycle 2 greece Duo – “only” 50 miles long, they were really pretty rough. They had to deal with Almost 1800 Highmeters on their way to St. Anton in Austria – certainly nothing for wimps. After the boys had reached the Black Lodge on about 1200 Meters, it was down to business: up the Schrofen-Pass (german.austrian border), via Lech, then the Flexen-Pass and finally over the Arlberg Pass to St. Anton, the aim of ANEK Lines stage. About two miles and several hundred High-Meters the route wasn’t passable by bike – a reversal impossible. So the two took their bikes on the back and climbed the narrow path along the edge of their powers and on the edge of the abyss. “A false step – and we were plunged into the depths,” said Vassili. „I have never experienced something like that!“ Niko agrees: “It was incredibly stressful, just brutal.”

But the two were always rewarded with unique views of the Alps. “Never before have we felt so connected to nature”, they said. The highlight of the stage: At the beginning of the stage they just met two mountain bikers who – quite by accident – came from Stuttgart, and Niko and Vassili unceremoniously joined. Who knows for how long. After all, tomorrow is waiting a no less strenuous mountain stage for Vassili and Niko: From St. Anton it goes steeply up over the Heilbronner-Hütte to Ischgl. We’re looking forward to!

Here are all the images…

 

10/07/12

St. ANTON – ISCHGL

 

Actually, it’s like a dream… If only … the butt would not hurt so much! This was Nikos statement, when they arrived today in Ischgl, the famous ski resort, which is in the summer died out; nothing but ” two Greeks on the road for miles around,” laughs Vassili.

The “C4 Cafe-Bar”-stage took our boys and their faithful companion Dave and Patrick – we remember the two bikers from Stuttgart yesterday – steeply to the Heilbronner Hütte on about 2300 meters. This was so far up that they even passed on a field of snow – and of course, they could not resist throwing some snowballs around, in the middle of July, just insane.

In moments when they thought, it’s too hard and almost gave up, they just reminded their planWE WANT TO REACH ATHENS. Also the positive feedback is very helpful to them.”

“When we load a photo on our Facebook page, in very short time, we have many comments and likes – that really builds up again and again,” says Niko.

Dangerous today: On the descent, they came in a bad storm – but they made it in time to the hotel.

Tomorrow, the hardest stage „AKTOR Facility Management“ is laying in front of our boys: 62 km and over 2000 High-Meters they have to deal with on their tour to Nauders lower village. So, to all who cheer on Niko and Vassili: fingers crossed!

 

Here are all the images…

 

11/07/12

ISCHGL – NAUDERS

 

Hardest stage: done!

Today the biggest challenge of the entire tour was waiting for our two German Greeks, the stage of all stages: They had to pass the “Idjoch” on about 2700 meters. “It was just brutal”, both agreed. The Alpine trail again demanded the highest concentration, but they did it. And it was worth it: They took not only the biggest hurdle on their way to Athens, but were allowed to view the fascinating panorama of the Alps when they reached the top. “If we were not already out of breath … we surely would have been…at this sight,” said Vassili. Then it went downhill and again it became dangerous. The way for bikers wasn’t longer clearly visible and Vasily and Niko had to continue on a normal road. Abyss and trucks included. No fun. Back in the mountains, they met a true original Schwyzer, an Alm-Uncle, as we know from the Heidi-tales. “A real veteran,” said Niko.

The subsequent departure was serious stuff. “We were really, really fast….” admits Vassili. And in the valley they nearly crashed into a school group – which, as it turned out, actually came from Feuerbach. The class teacher even remembered to have taught Nikos wife. What is there left to say than: The Swabians are just everywhere

Finally arrived in Nauders, the aim of AKTOR facility management stage, the two were very warmly received by the owners of the hotel Bergfrieden. “We have been everywhere received with open arms. This is really fantastic, “said Niko – shortly before Vassili and he – slain by the efforts and experiences of the day – fell tired into bed.

 

12/07/12

NAUDERS – MERAN

 

Bella Italia, the Greeks are coming…!

Always nice downhill – today the way to Meran (one of the most beautiful places in South Tyrol) was really easy-going. The 2500 meters of altitude were still heavy in the bones of Vassili and Niko, when they started this morning to discover “Bella Italia”. Especially the knees ached after the strenuous mountain stage the day before.

“With 92 kilometers, the MonsterMerch-stage was quite long, but with only some small hills. “Most of the time the way went downhill, “says Niko.

The bike path to Merano is very popular with families. Because summer holidays already have begun in Germany, there were quite a lot of families on the road. And sociable as the Greeks are the two guys came together with a lot of people. All of them were so enthusiastic about their cycling-project. A couple gave them a tipp, to drink a beer in the famous Forst-Brewery outside of Merano. So they go there and drink one together…

Arrived in Merano, Niko and Vassili splurged of course a real Italian espresso – and cultivated in the evening the beautiful “dolce far niente “. It was granted to them after yesterday. That they met a guy coming from Stuttgart, don’t need to be mentioned – it was almost already clear…

Tomorrow the Communication Consultants stage leads Vassili and Niko to Bolzano, over a big mountain. Guys, we’ll keep our fingers crossed!

Here are all the images…

 

13/07/12

MERAN – BOZEN

 

Day 7: Ooh man, that was hard ..!

Today’s “Communications Consultants” stage went from Merano to Bolzano. Nothing really special, because you can ride in the beautiful valley. But the two dont lik valleys. They love the mountains. From Merano we ride into the

beautiful vineyards and it went steadily up. Then comes the point, where the trail was to difficult and too steep. And this over 4 km uphill. The air and the mood was exhausted after just 1000 higmeters and they still had 1000 meters ahead. The time ran as well …

“But the landscape was a dream,” said Vassili. “Some times I’ve been thinking, what am I doing here,” said Niko. “But this is also normal in an adventure” added Vassili.

The crazy duo arrived almost about 17 clock on “Auener Joch” (2200 highmeters) and the only thing they want, is to ride downhill. The weather dont look good at these moment. Dark clouds came on.

Over dreamful mountain bike trails and wonderful alpine footpaths, they went quickly down to Bolzano. Once they arrived the main road, they race with 80 km/h trough Bolzano.

“The only thing we want, is to checkin in in a hotel and take a shower”, sais Niko. Tomorrow we expect the “Briefe- und Pakete” stage, where it goes from Bolzano to Trento. But not over the mountains!

 

14/07/12

BOZEN – TRENTO

 

Αfter a very hard stage yesterday, today, a “normal” stage was on the program. The stage “Briefe- und Pakete” began in Bolzano and led through the beautiful wine route in Kaltern, trough Kaltern See, and then over the famous trail “Via Claudia”, to Triento. The “team c2g” was very happy when they look in there Tourbook. No mountains for this stage.

No mountains, but extreme headwind. “Sometimes we stay in the place and nothing goes forward,” said Vassili. “And I’ve wondered why so many bikers coming towards us, and very few went in our direction,” said Niko. Locals know their place just better.

15 km before Triento they drinking bottles gone empty. So the guys decided to detour a little bit and to get supplies at a supermarket. At the supermarket parking place they just want to have a small break and they unexpectedly fall asleep . In Italy a siesta is normal.”We have just fallen asleep,” said Vassili. The sum of the stages just “drags” the body.

Tomorrow it’s the “Werner Sobek” stage, on to the popular mountain biking lake, Riva del Garda. How? Like every day. With pain, but a passion and your support.

 

15/07/12

TRENTO – RIVA del GARDA

 

Day 9: Niko and Vassili are feeling (and loving) the southern climate

“The climate is significantly warmer, day by day”, say the two Southerners happily.“Tomorrow we want to drive a longer distance than we originally thought, so that we might reach the ferry to Venice a bit earlier on Tuesday,” said Vassili. To save power for the longer distance tomorrow, they drove the “Belgian Rondell”.

In the afternoon, a call from the German homeland: The radio station SWR 3, turned the two bikers in their live show. “This incredible interest that people have on our tour, gives us new strength every day,” said Vassili. SWR 3 will be back when the two have arrived at the Acropolis.In the early evening, the two could enjoy a breathtaking view on Lake Garda. At the Hotel „Albergo Garni al Caminetto“ (www.hotel-caminetto.it) they were very warmly received by the hotel team – and as a sign of their support, the hosts gave them the night for free. “This is not just a tour, to overcome boundaries and mountains, but also prejudices and distrust,” said Niko and Vassili.

In the evening another highlight was waiting for the two athletes: On the market square in Riva was just Bayern Munich arriving when the two got there. “Just great”, said Niko.

Tomorrow they’re cycling to Dueville – they’re getting closer to their Greek homeland day by day. And they’re getting just more and more excited day by day.

Here are all the images…

 

 

φωτογραφίες και στιγμιότυπα στη σελιδα facebook cycle2greece


"I would never have imagined that a girl from little ol’ Midland, Ont. would be where I am today.So always dream big…you can make it happen!"(Sarah Burke)

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