Participation in DW talk show Talking Germany
some days ago I was invited to participate in DW’s talk show Talking Germany and gave insight into my tour through Germany on a scooter and my dreams of travelling to outer space. Click here for the full show!
DateNovember 11, 2013
The Great Final!
Climbing this mountain with a scooter on your back is a real torture, but after several hours I have made it! It was great to have reached my final destination after 2505 kilometers of scooting.
Believe, although the tour was amazing, NO MORE SCOOTER for me!
Besides all the ups and downs on this tour, I have explored Germany with most of its cultural aspects.
I just remember the leaning tower in Thüringen which actually leans steeper than the leaning tower of Pisa. I also remember the rainy and cold town called “Brasilien – Brasil”. And I remember many encounters with extraordinary people like the lady in Seligenstadt who collects 130,000 pieces of sugar.
Yes, Germany is really diverse and I love it.
Now the final question: Have I actually made it to Germany’s southernmost tip within my time frame of 80 days? Actually I can’t tell you now unfortunately but can you see it as a TV program and read many details in the book .
From August 4th Deutsche Welle Euromaxx will broadcast all 30 episodes worldwide each day of the month besides Saturdays. And you can watch all episodes on www.dw.de/scooter. You can see it afterwards in Germany on Einsfestival or read the book in October.
Thanks for following and keep in touch
MICHAEL WIGGE (sleeping)
DateJune 24, 2013
The heatwave hit me hard!
DateJune 18, 2013
Leaving the black forest!
I am leaving the black forest and even here in this hilly part of Germany I reached an average speed of 18 kilometers per hour!
DateJune 14, 2013
Last ten days and Beard Club!
After 2144 kilometers and 72 days, I am on the final stage of my challenge now. Cross your fingers please, that I’ll make it to Germany’s most southerly point in the next ten days! On my way, I have met another very German cultural aspect: Beards!
Yes, the Germans love beards and especially the inhabitants of Schömberg. There’s even a Beard and Moustache Club. Five members hold the title of beard world champion! There are seventeen categories at the world championship level: Among them, the Kaiser beard, the Verdi or the Naturale category. Markus Bross, who holds several world championship titles, explained that they even have groupies at the world championship, but most of them are well over fifty.
Here’s the real star, Franz Pill: He holds three World championship titles, seven Euro titles and he is six times winner at the German championships!
Anyway, I had to see for myself whether wearing different beards might help have have a little success with the ladies. I tried on a blond curly beard, a moustache and a grey and long beard. Unfortunately, approaching the ladies of Schömberg with a long beard and mustache, I was rejected by the. But I was successful wearing ablond and curly beard. The nice lady accepted my rose and even went for a coffee with me.
DateJune 14, 2013
Offroad in the Black Forest!
DateJune 12, 2013
It is going to be a tough one…
DateJune 10, 2013
New Scooting Records and an Alien Test!
Good news! Only one more day on my scooter and I’ll reach 2000 kilometers. I have also scored new daily records. Yesterday I “scootered” 83 kilometers, today I managed 82 kilometers. I am absolutely exhausted. But my tight time schedule forces me to do this. I have only 15 days left for the last 500 kilometers to my final destination – Germany’s most southern point!
On my way I stopped in Mannheim and visited the so called UFO Reporting Office. It’s no surprise that this unusual office exists, because 40% of the Germans believe in extraterrestrial life!
Werner Walter who runs the office told me that many people call him because they believe to have seen a UFO in the sky. He explains them that these sightings often have very earthly reasons: operations of the Air Force, lasers from discotheques or candle-powered balloons.
So I conducted a street test. I asked people on the street, dressed as an alien. Germans do believe in aliens, but would they also take one home, if the alien tells them that his space ship had an accident over Mannheim? The result was disappointing. Only 33% of the people agreed to accommodate an alien. Germans do believe in them but are very cautious when it comes to take one home.
Germans, please be more hospitable towards aliens!
DateJune 5, 2013
Only 27 Days Left!
The last third of my challenge has just begun. I am in Mainz right now, a small city close to Frankfurt. It’s day 53 and I have already made 1623 kilometers. So I have about 850 kilometers left for the last 27 days. That will be tough!
Anyway, I have just been to a so-called humor museum. In my opinion humor and museums don’t really have much in common. But this is Germany! Michael Berger owns the museum and showed me different rooms where everything is upside down or rooms with funny plastic ears stuck to the walls. The museum is interesting but I am a little puzzled. Is it maybe because we Germans are known for not being that funny? A new survey says that Germans are considered to be the least funny people on earth.
Michael says that gloating is much common in Germany than self-irony. So I did the test: I put a banana on the side walk and slipped on it three times: Two pedestrians laughed, one was worried. Ok, we are more into gloating.
Then came test number two. I provided pedestrians with funny glasses and a carrot nose to wear. They had to look at themselves in my camera viewfinder. Two people laughed, only one stayed serious. Yes, you can also find self-irony in Germany. I am glad!
DateMay 24, 2013
Across Thuringia to the Fairy Tale Caves!
Hump day on my 80 days scooter challenge from Germany’s most northern to most southern point! I am in Behrungen right now, a town at the former inner German border. This is an interesting place since I have the chance to see the infamous former border strip with its watch towers and border posts for myself. Here are the half time facts: I have “scootered” 1374 kilometers out of the total 2573 kilometers in 40 days.. So I have managed to keep up my pace and hopefully will reach Germany’s most southern point after 80 days.
At the beginning of my challenge I accomplished a distance of 30 to 40 kilometers a day. Now I can already manage to scooter 70-80 kilometers. I became so much more fit lately!
Anyway, my last stop in Thüringen was also very interesting. I visited the so-called Fairy Tale Cave. This cave actually has a serious historical past. Men worked hard to dig out this 65,000 square meter cave by hand in the 19th century in order to produce sand for wealthy land owners.
Standing inside the cave I had this weird feeling of how unbelievably hard their work must have been. Inside the cave I could watch an exhibition of figures and paintings of those hard working men from the old days.
But ironically the owner of the cave splits the tour in half. First he presents the serious and historical images inside the cave. Then you see figures and images from fairy stories like Hansel & Gretel. I think this mixture can confuse children who are visiting this place. What is fact and what is fiction?
DateMay 22, 2013
Present for day 40!
My collegues at Deutsche Welle Euromaxx made me a belated present for day 40 of my 80 day challenge! The opening for the series is already finished. It will be the start for every episode of the series, beginning at August 04th, daily in Euromaxx!
DateMay 17, 2013
Invitation for dinner by a spotter!
DateMay 16, 2013
Short break on a tough day!
DateMay 7, 2013
From the smallest house to the center of Germany!
last week was exciting. I have covered 236 kilometers on my scooter and seen two exciting German superlatives.
First I visited the smallest house in Germany. 2.95 metres x 4.2 metres in size. This house looks like a miniature version of a typical historical German house, but it is way smaller. I did the test: How long does it take to run through the entire house from the entrance door to the end of the room in the first floor? Incredible 3,4 seconds – although I once hit my head under the ceiling by running up the stairs.
I spent a few hours in the tiny house and got more results: I hit my head underneath the low ceiling of 1,70 metres seven more times! But I also figured out that the house was built more than 300 years ago, owned by a mail man and his family of nine and one tenant. Yes, eleven people. Just incredible how low living standards were in the past.
Three days later I reached the center of Germany in the state of Thüringen. This center is quiet funny since it has five other competitors. A total of five other towns say that they are based in the middle of our country, all calculated on other systems.
So I had to figure out, if this is the real center: I gave pedestrians a yoga mat, a white yoga dress and a yoga headband. Three people took them, sat down in front of the memorial center stone of Germany and searched with different meditation techniques after their own center.
And they all found their personal center! This is the proof that I was at the right center of Germany! J
DateMay 7, 2013
Wigge Spotter Number 5
DateApril 29, 2013
Aging in seconds!
Thanks to Professor Gänsicke and Julian Francisco Sandiano from Ostfalia I had the chance to wear an aging suite that transformed me into a 70 year old man in seconds. On the scooter I could not do more than a kilometer with this!
DateApril 27, 2013
Next Wigge Spotter!
DateApril 26, 2013
DW editor visiting me in Wolfsburg
Euromaxx editor Axel Primavesi from Deutsche Welle visited me in Wolfsburg. And brought me a bunch of bananas, energy drinks and other helpful stuff! I will probably need it when it is getting rangy, the latest!
DateApril 25, 2013
240 kilometers straight to the poodle parlour!
The last week was a tough scooter week. I had to ride 240 kilometers on my scooter in just four days. Here the daily results: 66 (daily record so far), 58, 57 and 60 kilometers. I made it, but my legs felt rather like hot rubber or some sort of jelly.
Then another problem: My GPS has led me again along main highways, which is just too dangerous riding a scooter. It has to be reprogrammed now to lead me along bicycle paths. But this will mean that I might have to ride 3000 instead of 2473 kilometers to finish my 80 days challenge. Oh no!!
After a short stop over at the historical Eulenspiegel fountain in the town of Mölln, I finally reached my destination Uelzen. There I visited the “Sonnenfell” salon which specializes in making dogs feel good: Massages, haircut, happiness treatments, etc. Your dog can feel like a human here (if it actually wants that!).
Anyway Cornelia Sievers, the owner, explained to me, that the modern dog cannot refresh and regenerate itself like its ancestors so her salon comes in as a great help. I asked if the dogs might not find this exaggerated, but she referred to Japan, where dogs even get dressed as puppies sometimes. Oh no!
Anyway I tried out the treatment with the Tibetan mountain dog Manni: I massaged it, combed it and also gave it as much happiness as possible. But Manni remained unimpressed, even after I put it into a 250 Euro jacket. One of his doggy friends actually looked as least unimpressed as Manni, when it was carried by a doggy buggy over to a dog photo shooting in the same salon…
DateApril 25, 2013