The English section was started in December 2014. Prior blogs are avilable in German language only.
All blogs we have published so far can be found in the Archive section, sorted by calendar year.
We leave the new federal states of Germany and come to Schleswig-Holstein. There we visit the old Hanseatic city of Lübeck which was founded in 1143.
It is regarded as the "Queen" and "Mother of the Hanseatic League", a trade association which from the 12th century until modern times has ensured great prosperity in Lübeck and other member cities through free trade and peaceful cooperation. We stroll through the picturesque old town, which with over a thousand preserved cultural monuments has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1987. Worth seeing is also the Hanseatic Museum where you can learn a lot about 400 years of Hanseatic history.
After a long ship journey our MOMO finally arrives at the end of April. Unfortunately not in Bremerhaven as planned, but in Seebrugge in Belgium. Because of Corona there was not enough freight left to justify the trip to Bremerhaven and so MOMO was unloaded in Seebrugge and the problem was uploaded at our place. As Corona Lock Down is still Europe-wide at this time, we have to overcome some challenges to pick up the vehicle. In the end we take a train that takes us to Seebrugge in 10 hours with several changes. The only remaining problem is to find a hotel. Almost all of them are closed and only accept guests with an exceptional reason. In Seebrugge only the Ibis Hotel is open for dockworkers and after a detailed written statement to the hotel management about the purpose of the stay we actually get a room. The next morning the harbour agent picked us up and after almost 2 hours of paperwork we could pick up MOMO unharmed. After all, the freight was on the road for almost 2 months, circumnavigated all of Africa and made several stops in different African ports. So we are very happy to have the car back in our hands without a scratch. Over mostly empty motorways we drive via Luxembourg to Germany and stay with our friend Reinhard in Saarlouis with whom we spent 2 months curving through UAE and Oman. His car is still waiting to be picked up in India. Shortly afterwards we are back in Istein and continue our corona quarantine.
At this point, our first Africa Blog should actually be here. Unfortunately it comes completely different than expected.
What were the times when Corona was only known as a Mexican beer. The worldwide pandemic has now changed everything and at a speed that nobody thought possible.
While our MOMO is shipped from Dubai to Durban we use the time for a little home leave and fly to Germany on 27 Feb Corona is just a footnote in the news at this time and something that primarily concerns the Chinese. After the situation gets even worse in the first half of March we decide to fly to South Africa earlier than planned and wait for our car there. On 11 March we fly to Durban and there we rent a nice Airbnb. The first days we spend at 25 degrees and bright sunshine on the beach and enjoy the good African cuisine. At the same time we observe the corona development with increasing concern and decide to break off on 16 March. At this time there are only 7 cases in South Africa, but we fear that when the virus reaches the townships it will end in a desaster.
Salalah is the southernmost city in Oman and a popular destination for Omanis during the summer months, when everything is lushly green and blooming after the monsoon rains. Due to its location at the foot of the mountains, intensive farming is possible on the plains. Now, at the beginning of the new year, it is pleasantly warm and the locals are largely among themselves.
We have a beautiful parking lot directly on the beach under palm trees, almost like in the Caribbean. Others probably know it too, because at times we are there with almost ten overlanders. Every evening from 17:00 on, there is an endless queue of cars. Obviously, it is a traditional pleasure of the locals to drive up and down here and to get stuck in the sand from time to time. But after a few hours the nightly haunting is over and peace returns.
Entering Oman at the Hatta border crossing is not easy. The computer system doesn't work and at the counters people pile up in long queues.
We watch the whole thing for a good two hours and then decide to set up camp in the parking lot and spend the waiting time there. Only after nightfall we start to move forward again and the queues are slowly being worked off. Around 8pm the waiting time is zero and we get our entry stamp. Now it is too late to continue and so we camp with four big trucks on the parking lot of the border police.