Lorber - Trip: Follow the Lorber family from Cape to Cape in 365 days

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Where are we??
GRAZ, AUSTRIAaustria

It feels strange not to drive around every day any more. However we are still busy with the Green Monster. We clean, dust, arrange, sort, throw and work almost every day with or in our Green Monster as we have to get her ready for the shipping to South Africa. Otherwise we enjoy Graz very much.....

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5th August 2010
austria
Gernot's parents prepared a nice welcome for us - The Big Trip is officially over welcome

05 aug 10

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24th July 2010
germany
On the Big Trip we stayed with our very good longtime family friends Manfred, Gisela and Philipp in Oldenburg - we will relieve them tomorrow buchmesser
After our tour through Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the Hanseatic towns along the Baltic Sea coast we are back in Germany. Precisely 11,400 km or 48 days after we left them in early June, we are visiting again our friends Manfred, Gisela and Philipp in Oldenburg in Lower Saxony and we get a good feeling of being at home (this is our reality within less than 2 weeks).  
8th July 2010
finland
Working Finish style: on a quiet lake in summer - what could possibly be nicer than that?lake
We zigzagged through Sweden and Finland to successfully avoid the famous Scandinavian mosquitoes and by doing so we discovered the wonderful Aland Islands that lie in between the 2 countries. In Sweden we focused in losing some degrees latitude so we have now some relaxing days in Finland to enjoy the country and its 1000 or so lakes.

27th June 2010
sweden
The Adventure Golf Lorber Family Cup was won by Lenka today but the revenge will come tomorrowumea
It must be just our impression, but after leaving the North Cape it feels that we drive downhill all the time. We still continued our journey in Norway eastwards all the way to the Russian border before we traversed Finland to reach the Laponian Area in Sweden. Then we headed to the coast to see what Sweden's beaches have to offer.

21st June 2010
norway
Look who is on board? Could it be? Yes - Gernot's parents on their surprise visit to Honningsvag in Norwayhurtigruten
The reason to travel to Honningsvag, which is the northernmost town in the world, is to see the North Cape. It is the town where all the cruise liners anchor and it is also a stop for the Norwegian Hurtigruten line that plies the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes. For us the Hurtigruten ship came with a great surprise: Gernot's parents visited us to witness our arrival at the North Cape!!
16th June 2010
norway
The typical Scandinavian cottage is made of wood - and gives you  proper protection when the weather is Norwegian (=rain) like today in Mo I Rana  mo i rana
This will be our last night south of the Arctic Circle before reaching the North Cape. It will also be our last night where the sun just sets for a small fraction of the day. From tomorrow onwards we will have sun 24 hours a day (when it decides to stop raining). Nevertheless when the sun will shine, it will be around the clock and we will have the whole day to enjoy beautiful Norway.
7th June 2010
denmark
Kronborg castle in Helsingoer controlled the Oeresund strait for centuries and was immortalised as Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare's Hamlet kronborg
Two days ago we entered Denmark. Lenka is one eighth Danish so we need to explore the whole country thoroughly. It worked fine yesterday - the sun was shining. Today it rains again and so we were concentrating on Danish history. We finally called it a day in the north-eastern corner of the island of Zealand. Sweden lies just 4km away; in between Denmark and Sweden lies the sea strait of Oeresund.

29th May 2010
netherlands
Oscar's godfather Martin and his wife Bianca are living in Njimegen in The Netherlands - today Martin slowly got Oscar ready for his first school day  martin
We are back from the British Isles, we toured England and even mangaged to peek into Scotland and Wales. We hopped onto a ferry in sunny Ramsgate and arrived in rainy Oostende in Belgium. Since then we followed the rain (or the rain followed us), but the weather managed to squeeze in some sunny hours for us in the Netherlands. Let's hope it's benevolant for the 3 remaining weeks till the North Cape.

15th May 2010
united kingdom
Half of South Africa is living in London so we used the opportunity 
to meet some friends from Port Elizabeth at the Canary Wharf in London 
london
London is the largest city we will visit on our trip. We left the Green Monster on the outskirts and are staying with our friend Anthony and getting around by public transport. From London we will head north until the Scottish border and will also make a quick peek into Wales before we leave the island to travel to Belgium and The Netherlands.

8th May 2010
france
Cheverny castle was made famous in the Tintin comic where it is featured as Captain Haddock's Marlinspike Hall  cheverny
At last we hit the castle route along the Loire River in France and are now totally absorbed by Europen history. On top of that we are greeted everywhere by pastures and fields full of flowers and blossoming trees. We will leave now for some harsher environments and will discover the Bretagne and the Normandie provinces on the French Atlantic coast.

24th April 2010
portugal
Braga is just one of the many beautiful cities in Portugal - and spring greeted us in full force  braga
Portugal offered us a great welcome. It has an abundance of lush and colourful landscapes. We enjoy the scenic drives. It has brought back memories of our visits to Angola and Mozambique. The weather is still gloomy and rain greets us every day - much to the dismay of the local wine farmers. Nevertheless we managed to hit the main sights in a week and tomorrow we will head back to Spain to explore the north of the country.

12th April 2010
spain
After almost 50,000km on the Big Trip, the Green Monster crosses into the Western Hemisphere near Valencia in Spain meridian
Four days ago it was still deep winter on the mountain passes in the Pyrenees in Andorra. Then suddently we were transported back to 'summer' on the Costa Daurada in Catalonia/Spain. The water was too cold to attempt any form of swimming, but nevertheless it was great to be back on the beach (albeit only for 2 days). We then reached another milestone...one to celebrate: we crossed the Greenwich Meridian - Ola! Western Hemisphere.

30th March 2010
france
Tourrettes- sur-Loup is a typical small town set on a hill in the French region of Provence - the view stretches to the Mediterranean Sea tourrettes
Once we entered France (yesterday) we were only hitting famous names: Cote D'Azur, Monaco, Nice, Provence. After a short stint on the coast we plan to see the flowers and fragrances of the Provence before experiencing some culture around Avignon and Arles. The weather is not Provence-like at the moment, so we are trying to find comfortable accomodation to relax.

24th March 2010
italy
The beach of the Thyrrenian Sea at Massa with the famous Carrara mable quarries in the back massa
The Green Monster tackled the windy coastal roads and the medevial cities of Italy with ease. We by-passed the big cities like Naples, Rome and Florence, but concentrated on smaller towns and villages, amazing landscapes and astonishing sights. And we even managed to say a quick "buon giorno" to tiny San Marino on our way to beautiful Tuscany.

16th March 2010
italy
Matera - an UNESCO world heritage site built on to and into rocks in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata  matera
There were some hidden gems for us to explore in the mountainous regions of Macedonia and Albania. The weather improved and when we did descend to the Mediterranean shore we even had our sunshine back. Upon reaching Durres in Albania we spontaneous decided to hop on a ferry to Bari in Italia - and here we are enjoying pizza, pasta, vino and gelati.

9th March 2010
greece
It was time to celebrate the Green Monster's birthday. And indeed we celebrated  and she got 4 new tyres in Perea - Thessaloniki's beachy suburb tyre
Apparently Europe has the coldest winter since 20 years - it's definitely true for Greece. As we crossed the border from Turkey to Greece, the snowfall started. Therefore Greece did not show us it's most beautiful side - 2 hours of sunshine in 4 days - that was it. It gave us well needed time though to shop, organise, correspond and relax. 

1st March 2010
turkey
We came to Fethiye on the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea to visit it's most famous citizen - Spiderman fethiye
Well, in Turkey's interior - Anatolia - it's definitely winter, albeit a mild one this year. It rains a lot though, but we actually love the rainfall after passing through the dry regions in Africa and the Middle East. So we take it slow and enjoy the amazing Turkish hospitability. We visited natural wonders, historic sites and charming fishing villages on the Mediterranean Sea.

20th February 2010
turkey
Goreme lies in the heart of the  fascinating region of Cappadocia; here we stand on the pulpit of a 6th century
rock-hewn church
pulpit
We crossed Syria in 6 days, but thanks to wonderful weather we manged to visit all the highlights of the country. In Syria we reached another milestone - the Mediterranean Sea and crossed into Turkey close to it. Turkey is the country where we will cross into Europe and we are very excited. Nevertheless we will take our time to explore wonderful Turkey. We currently relaxing in the region of Cappadocia - an unreal landscape of fairy chimneys.

8th February 2010
jordan
Madaba is known as the "mosaic city" and 1500 year old mosaics can be found indeed throughout  the towns churches and houses mosaic
When we crossed the border into Jordan we knew that this will be the first day of the last part of our Big Trip. We were surprised by the cold weather - nevertheless we enjoy exploring the Jordanese sights and monuments. Petra was clearly a highlight, the desert and the Dead Sea were fascinating and Madaba is an excellent place to explore and to relax.

30th January 2010
saudi arabia
In Saudi Arabia again - here is Lenka in her full Saudi Sunday's best dress
We were stuck more than a week in Qatar to wait for Lenka's visa for the Emirates. Then we had some more relaxing days  with our friends in Dubai and now we are on another 3 day transit through Saudi Arabia and arrived in Riyadh this afternoon. From here we will go straight to Jordan and we expect to arrive in 2 days (due to our short transit visa we actually have to arrive in Jordan in 2 days) from today.

15th January 2010
qatar
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha - the largest collection of islamic art in the world museum
On January 14th we took an Air Arabia plane from the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Doha in Qatar. We left the Green Monster again in Dubai - this time for 2 days only. Here we took a nice hotel in the city center and we are exloring Doha town BY FOOT - a novelty for us.....

10th January 2010
uae
With our generous hosts Alberto, Gloria and Anna (from left to right) we are
enjoying a genuine
South African braai
in Dubai
braai
Since our return to Dubai on December 30th 2009 we are sort of stationary as we are trying to sort out another transit visa for Saudi Arabia. We managed though to see all 7 Emirates of the United Arab Emirates and even did a short peek into Oman. In Dubai we are very fortunate to stay with a Spanish/Australian/Greek/Mexican family, who make us feel like at home.

29th December 2009
austria
Nothing  nicer than to break the Big Trip with Christmas in Austria
graz
On 20th December we said Merry Christmas to the Green Monster already as we left by plane from Dubai to Graz/Austria for a well deserved Christmas break. We did re-unite with Oscar, who traveled from Addis Ababa to Graz on November 15th with Gernot's parents. On the evening of December 29th all 3 of us are leaving Graz again to fly to Dubai to celebrate New Year's eve with the Green Monster.

16th December 2009
uae
The brand new Formula 1 race course on Yas Island near Abu Dhabi (the Green Monster did not qualify.....)
yas
After 9 months driving through Africa we experienced a slight culture shock when we arrived in the United Arab Emirates 4 days ago; however we overcame it without big problems and immersed ourselves immediately in shopping.

4th December 2009
sudan
The Burjj Inter-
national Hotel - the new landmark on the Blue Nile  in Khartoum
burjj
We visited the archeological sites in Northern Sudan and returned to Khartoum to organise our visa for Saudi-Arabia. This takes time as Khartoum is only slowly starting to roll after the holidays. Friday and Saturday is weekend here in Sudan - so nothing goes and we keep on waiting.

25th November 2009
sudan
Khartoum - the Green Monster decided that she wants a new battery and we promptly obliged
battery
We left Ethiopia eastwards into the still wild and unexlored Republic of Somaliland. After this adventure we left for the beach in Djibouti and relaxed whilst snorkelling with whale sharks. Strengthened we made a tour the force and drove in 3 days all the way from Djibouti City through Ethiopia until we reached Khartoum in Sudan. The city is busy preparing for the Feast of Sacrifice or the Eid al-Adha which coincides with the annual Pilgrimage to Mekka.

12th November 2009
ethiopia
Priests are proud to display the treasures of the rock-hewn churches of  Lalibela - here an antique cross
cross
With Gernot's parents we explored the amazing Northern Historical Circuit of Ethiopia. Castles, churches, mountains, valleys and the people left an everlasting impression on all of us. We are now all on our way back to Addis Ababa - us in the Green Monster - Gernot's parents by plane, because they will have to catch their flight back to Austria.

1st November 2009
ethiopia
Jugol - the old city of Harar (an UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a maze of 360 tiny alleys
harar
Gernot's parents arrived on October 23rd. Together we explored Addis Ababa and went South to the Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes. There we split (the parents went to discover the tribes of the Omo Valley) and we went to the beautiful Bale Mountains to see the Ethiopian Wolf at 4000m altitude. Then we continued to fascinating Harar. Via Addis Ababa we will now continue to Gondar in the North-Western region of Ethiopia where we will meet Gernot's parents again.

23rd October 2009
ethiopia
Gernot's parents arrive at the airport in Addis Ababa - the welcome commitee is ready
parents
Addis Ababa is reached and we picked up Gernot's parents at the airport. They had a much easier way to reach Addis then us!! We crossed the desert in Northern Kenya and followed the remote Lake Turkana to reach Ethiopia where Turkana's main tributary, the Omo river, enters the lake.

11th October 2009
kenya
"I had a farm in Africa..." Karen Blixen's farmhouse in Nairobi;  made famous by the "Out Of Africa" book/movie
karen
We traveled through Uganda at a very slow pace eventually making it across the border into Kenya. Here we crossed the equator again to go south to replenish in Nairobi before the great trek north into Ethiopia.

29th September 2009
uganda
The Kasubi Tombs in Kampala are the burial ground of the Buganda Kings    
kasubi
Coming from Burundi we continued exploring the hills and lakes of the Albertine Rift Valley around Rwanda and western Uganda and crossed there the Equator just north of Queen Elizabeth National Park. We continued to drive north in this beautiful part of the world and admired the Rwenzori Mountains and the Kibale Forest before we turned east into Uganda's busy capital city Kampala.
 11th September 2009
burundi
Bujumbura lies tugged between Burundi's hills and Lake Tanganyika
bujumbura
In Western Tanzania we took the beautiful northbound road less travelled and discovered amazing places such as Kipili and Katavi before we reached Kigoma. From there we crossed into Burundi being the first car to use this border crossing since 3 weeks! There we proceeded to the capital Bujumbura along an amazing road following the shore of Lake Tanganyika.

2nd September 2009
tanzania
Coffee beans are lying on drying racks at Utengule Coffee Estate in Mbeya
coffee
We successfully serviced the Green Monster in Lilongwe and then took the inland route straight North where we explored the beautiful Nyika plateau that lies at 2300m asl. From there we decended the escarpment down to Lake Malawi which lies at 500m asl. We left Malawi on its Northernmost border and entered Tanzania where we climbed again up into the Highlands before descending another time down to lower territory and into the Ruaha National Park. Then we backtracked to Mbeya,the main town in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.

18th August 2009
malawi
Lilongwe - we are servicing the Green Monster. Luckily Oscar found an alternative at our guesthouse.
wheelbarrow
Leaving Lusaka we took the Great North Road and stopped at 2 absolutely gorgeous places: Mutinondo Wilderness, where Oscar got his first horseback ride, and Kaphishya Hot Springs. Then we descended the Rift Valley Escarpment into the Luangwas valley via a breathtaking road. In Luangwa Valley we visited Luambe National Park as well as South Luangwa National Park before we proceeded to Malawi's capital city Lilongwe.

5th August 2009
zambia
Cairo Road in Lusaka - a typical African capital citylusaka
In Western Zambia we visited the remote Liuwa Plains National Park reachable only along one of the world's worst roads and the more centrally located Kafue National Park before arriving in the Zambian capital Lusaka. Here we restocked our supplies, organized some visas and are getting ready for Lenka's big birthday tomorrow!!!!

29th July 2009
zambia
We are crossing the Zambezi by pontoon at Kalangola on our way to Monguzambpont
We left Livingstone fully stocked and headed to remote Western Zambia following the Zambezi river upstream. There we discovered one of the most fascinating waterfalls and river courses to be seen in Africa before we continued to the Zambezi floodplains that just started to dry up.

25th July 2009
zambia
Oscar and Lenka are challenged by the misty Victoria Falls at LivingstonemosiLo
That was quite a long time without an update. We enjoyed the beach in Mozambique for some more days and crossed then into Zimbabwe where we spent a wonderful week in the beautiful Eastern Highlands as well as on the Zambesi. At Kariba we crossed the dam and entered Zambia. Then we proceeded to Livingstone, the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. Here is the meeting point of the Little and the Big Trip.

9th July 2009
mozambique
After four days of rain in the dry season(!) the sun is back on Tofo Beachtofo
After an enjoyable time in the highland and the lowland of Swaziland, we crossed the border into Mozambique. Here we searched for a quiet, relaxing beach spot despite the South African school holidays - and found it in Tofo near Inhambane.

30th June 2009
swaziland
We are enjoying the Swazi history at the King Sobhuza II Memorial in Mbabanembabane
After our stay in Vereeniging we decided that we froze enough and we left the Highveld towards Swaziland. Although slightly warmer, it's still no summer though......

27th June 2009
southafrica
We visit the McDermid family (2nd cousins to Lenka) in Vereeniging. Photo was shortly before the Springbok rugby victory against the British and Irish Lionsvereeniging
From Port Elizabeth we headed straight north and crossed the Orange River at Aliwal North from Eastern Cape into the Free State Province. Then we travelled through the Eastern Free State following the Lesotho border and briefly crossing into Northern Lesotho before driving further north to cross the Vaal River into Gauteng Province at Vereeniging. Here we are visiting Lenka's relatives.
22nd June 2009
southafrica
The  newly completed multi-purpose stadium  in Port Elizabeth is ready for the soccer worldcup 2010pe
After the start on June 21st at Cape Agulhas we drove along the coast to reach Port Elizabeth. Here we visited our nephew Duncan born on June 20th 2009.
                                  
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