Desert Mongolia

Roadtrip 2018

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myRoute Brisbane Frankfurt 2018. From Australia to Germany by car. Across 14 countries. 25,547 km. I will write about my experiences on this trip in my blog. So here is only a rough overview of the countries I crossed on my trip. From June to December 2018. If you miss sights in the list, then there is a reason. I was not there for sightseeing, but to drive my son’s car safely from Australia to Germany.

Of course I enjoyed looking at what was on the way. But I refrained from taking a detour hundreds of kilometers for some monument.

Notes to the map

This map is not a video like the 2016 and 2017 maps of Australia. It is the real-time data recorded by my tracker at that time. Click on a data point and you will see the date, time, location coordinates, altitude, direction and my speed. What you need and how it works, I will tell you about that in my blog soon.

If you want to see more data points on the map, just click on AU-DE Roadtrip ➡ Adjustments. Here you can increase the number of displayed data points from the present 1% up to 100%. After clicking on ‘Update Map’ you should be able to see the details. But be careful: The more data points are displayed, the longer it takes to load the map. And the GPS tracker recorded a data point every 5 minutes, that’s 12 per hour, i.e. around 120 in one day and more than 28.000 in 234 days…

Don’t get confused if you set a different percentage of data points. OpenStreetMap then says that I have exceeded the International Date Line. I have not. Yes, while the car was being shipped from Brisbane to Vladivostok, I was flying to some Pacific islands. But all the islands that I visited there were not beyond the International Date Line. It runs in the Pacific and when the 9th of July is 10:00 am in Hawaii, the 10th of July is 8:00 am in Auckland. If you fly around there and book hotels, you should be careful with your booking details on the internet 😉 Otherwise, depending on the direction, you may hear at check-in ‘Oh sorry, we expect you tomorrow’ or ‘Oh, we expected you already yesterday’… Because the hotel portals only ask for the day of arrival. But they do not give any information about the International Date Line.

I also noticed this change of time zones on my road trip. But of course only gradually. I crossed 8 time zones from Vladivostok to Europe. When I crossed one again and asked for the time in the hotel in the evening, I was told that it was not yet 7pm but only 6pm. I drove from east to west…

My 2018 route from Vladivostok to Frankfurt

Russia (Siberia): From Vladivostok to Ulan Ude. And then south to the Mongolian border. Always along the Chinese border. 3,900 km. Khabarovsk was the only major city behind Vladivostok. Here I bought a warning triangle and a first aid kit for the car. These parts are not mandatory in Australia. But finding a shop there and makeing it clear to the owner what I wanted was already an experience because of my lack of Russian language skills. At that time I did’nt have a translation app because many people in Vladivostok understood English.

Mongolia: From the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar I took the southern route to the Russian border in the Altay mountains. 2.500 km across Mongolia. Via Arwaicheer, Delger, Altai and Chowd. There are also two routes that go further north. But at that time they were not passable in some places due to flooding. This was what motorcyclists from England, who had just come from there, had told me about in Ulan Ude.

Russia (Altay): During the very early planning of my trip it was not clear to me that I had to drive through Russia a second time. Because if you look at the world map on Google Maps and don’t enlarge the scale, it looks as if Mongolia has a common border with Kazakhstan. But it doesn’t, you have to go through the beautiful mountains of the Russian Altay Mountains. Quite far north to the city of Barnaul. And then again southwest to the Kazakh border. There are no more direct east-west connections because of the mountains there. So I came to 1,100 km in this part of Russia.

Kazakhstan (eastern part): Astana (now Nur-Sultan), the Kazakh capital, Lake Balqash, Almaty (the former capital of Kazakhstan) and the Charyn Canyon were my main destinations in eastern Kazakhstan. All in all 2.400 km to the Kyrgyz border. By the way, I was there the same way or even further south than I was in Mongolia.

Kyrgyzstan: There are several names in German for this small, beautiful mountain country with its friendly people. Besides Kyrgyzstan also Kyrgysysztan, Kyrgyzsia and Kyrgyz Republic. According to the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin the country is called Kyrgysysztan. According to the Kyrgyz embassy in Berlin, the country is called the Kyrgyz Republic. I’m staying with Kyrgyzstan. It’s shorter, sounds better and also fits the other ‘-stans’. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, … In addition to high mountains, there are two large lakes in Kyrgyzstan, the Issyk Kul and the Song Kul. I visited both. Plus an ancient caravanserai on the Silk Road in Tash-Rabat almost on the Chinese border. I traveled a total of 1,500 km in this small country, mostly at an altitude between 2,000 and 3,500 metres.

Kazakhstan (western part): I would have loved to drive through Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. That was almost on the way. Furthermore the distance to a ferry port on the Caspian Sea would have been much shorter than the distance to Aqtau in northern Kazakhstan. Unfortunately drones are strictly forbidden in these countries. And I didn’t want to risk having my drone taken from me and destroyed. That’s what travelers from these countries told me. So in western Kazakhstan from the Kyrgyz border I went northwest to Aqtöbe. Past Baikonur, the Russian spaceport. And from Aqtöbe again a bit southwest to Aqtau. The Kazakh port city on the Caspian Sea. A total of 3,500 km. And almost exclusively through steppe. The word steppe is also a Kazakh word…

Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia were the next destinations on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. All three scenically different. But also very attractive. Mud volcanoes and a burning mountain in Azerbaijan. The Tusheti National Park, Caucasian pass roads, the cave town of Uplistsikhe and the seaside resort of Batumi on the Black Sea in Georgia. Yerevan, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and Lake Sevan in Armenia. Especially through the tours in Armenia and through the mountains of the Greater Caucasus in Georgia, it was a total of 3,500 km when I finally arrived in Batumi on the Black Sea.

Europe: I had reached the European Union in Burgas / Bulgaria. And did not want to get out after a successful entry by car. For this reason, I chose the countries of the southeastern part of Europe for my onward journey. And not the Western Balkans. So I drove through Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria to Munich. And then the last little piece to Frankfurt am Main. I don’t want to write anything more about the European countries here. Because most of you will know them from your own experience. But since I was in Greece for the first time, I drove around there extensively. This made it a total of 6,300 km in the EU.

So and who has now counted tells me: But that is only 24.700 km. Where did the remaining 1,000 go? Quite simple, I drove them in and around Brisbane during the first weeks of my stay in Australia 😉

And because you kept reading until here (or just scrolled down 😉 ) there is an encore here. Three podcasts about my trip from Australia to Germany. But – unfortunately – in German laguage only! Maybe I could have posted it on the gallery page. Or on the info page. But it’s nice when you can find something unexpected on a page…

Podcast from SBS Australia (6m18s)

SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) is an Australian multimedia platform that provides TV programs and digital content. And broadcasts radio programs in 64 languages, for immigrants in Australia from all countries. The podcast was recorded in October 2019.

Podcast from workandtravel20.de – Part 1 (28m18s)

workandtravel20.de – The World Travel Podcast is a German website and web shop by Michael Blömeke. He offers travel equipment and produces and sells eBooks, books and video seminars on GPS navigation, and also does a world trip podcast. Check it out! He conducted the interview with me in September 2019.

Podcast from workandtravel20.de – Part 2 (29m8s)

Part 2 of the podcast with Michael.

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