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Germany by Scooter

2473 Kilometers in 80 Days - Euromaxx Reporter Michael Wigge's Blog

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The Great Final!

Hey everyone,
I have reached the south of Germany and finally I had to climb Germany’s southernmost tip, the Haldenwanger Eck. This mountain in the Alps has an altitude of almost 2000 meters.

 

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)

Date

June 24, 2013

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The heatwave hit me hard!

I just arrived in the alpine upland! And I am soooo thirsty…

Date

June 18, 2013

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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!

Date

June 14, 2013

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Last ten days and Beard Club!

Hi everyone,

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.
Yours, Wigge

Date

June 14, 2013

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Offroad in the Black Forest!

Only eight days left! And it is so damn hilly here that scootering is just impossible! The only solution: carrying the scooter!

Date

June 12, 2013

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Day 72 of 80…

…and I am so tired…

Date

June 11, 2013

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It is going to be a tough one…

Only ten days left for over 400 kilometers… Will I do it? At least I am fighting!!!

Date

June 10, 2013

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New Scooting Records and an Alien Test!

Hi everyone,

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!

Yours, Wigge

Date

June 5, 2013

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Only 27 Days Left!

Hi everyone,

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!

Always smiling

Wigge

Date

May 24, 2013

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Present for day 40!

Hey there!

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!

Date

May 17, 2013

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From the smallest house to the center of Germany!

Hey everyone,

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

Yours, Wigge

Date

May 7, 2013

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Wigge Spotter Number 5

Jan Kempa and Aldo Amore spotted me! Who will find me in Wernigerode?

Date

April 29, 2013

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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!

Date

April 27, 2013

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240 kilometers straight to the poodle parlour!

Hi everyone,

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…

Wow! Wow!

Yours, Wigge

Date

April 25, 2013

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Wigge Spotter Number Two!

Steffen Thamm and Dietke Stiedemund came all the way from Hamburg to find me!

 

Date

April 25, 2013

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500 Kilometers!

Me celebrating the first 500 kilometers at the Eulenspiegel fountain in Mölln.

Date

April 25, 2013

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Wigge Spotter Number One!

Hi everyone!

Henrik Seliger is the first one who searched for me and finally found me. We had a great time! So everyone is invited…

Date

April 25, 2013

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From the smallest village to Brazil!

Hi everyone,

After a slow start, my scooter challenge has pretty much taken off.

Two old farm houses on a small villageI first reached a small village on a tiny island in the North Sea after walking with my scooter through the Wadden Sea. This small village with eight inhabitants is said to be Germany’s smallest village! I was intrigued to learn about the life on this tiny island also known as a “Hallig”.

Sabine Kolk who has been living there with her husband for eight years told me that she loves this secluded place so far from cities, because having a lack of choice can be rather relaxing. She tells me that she has little choice in the forms of entertainment or the people to hang out with. But she is happy with what she has and would feel stressed with the many choices on the mainland.

I also talked to a grandmother, an island dweller of 49 years now, who misses the nature and the quietness after being on the mainland for too long.

But would Germany’s tiniest village be suitable for me? I tested it out and did a scooter race around the village. Everything less than a minute of riding the scooter would seriously be too small for me! The result: 51.4 sec for one full circle around it!

It was time to go and to cross the federal state of Schleswig Holstein with my scooter. After three and a half days, 173 kilometers on the scooter and with lots of aching muscles, I have reached a town at the Baltic sea called BRASILIEN, which means Brazil!

Did I take a wrong turn and end up in a foreign country? I didn’t!

Brasilien is a part of the town of Schömberg. Next to Brasilien, there is even a part called “Kalifornien” (Geman for California) and a bit further you can find a part of town called “Sibirien” (Siberia). Rumors exist about the origin of these names, but nobody really knows the reason for sure.

So I tested the exotic  factors of Brasilien:

First I jumped into the sea with its water of six degrees Celsius: DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME! And than the inhabitants of Brasilien had to dance Samba on the beach and they did it well!

Someone living in Brasilien even bragged about the many sunny days in Brasilien, but I didn’t notice that at all, especially since I was freezing cold having been in the water just before.

But good news for all lovers of amusing town names: Germany has hundreds of these exotic sounding places, check it out!

Yours, Wigge

Date

April 18, 2013

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TV premiere for the scooter challenge

Hey everybody,

some days ago my scooter and me were featured in Euromaxx on DW – have fun!

 

Date

April 11, 2013

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Stuck in Sand!

Hey everybody,

Michael Wigge in front of a sign saying "START" in the northernmost tip of Germany, the so-called "Ellbow" on the island of SyltI started the scooter challenge at the northernmost tip of Germany some days ago. Unfortunately I began at a large beach area, so for the first hour of this challenge I was more or less busy with unsuccessful attempts to push my scooter through the deep sand. How am I going to manage 2473 kilometers in just 80 days after a start like that?

Michael Wigge is riding his scooter on the island of SyltI am not really sure, but the following hours riding across the 99 km² island of Sylt were beautiful. The sun was shining, and I covered 15 kilometers an hour. I passed by the luxury houses in the rich-and-famous town of Kampen. Property there runs up to 35 000 Euro per square meter – way too much for me.

Michael Wigge on his Scooter in his RV during the train ride from the island Sylt to the coastAfter 24 kilometers I finally reached the train to the mainland. Here I had the idea of sticking by the rules of always riding the scooter when travelling. So I put several books underneath the scooter and a roller skate on my foot and rode it without moving.

Anyway day two along the coast of the North Sea was beautiful as well, but I caught a cold, so after 19 kilometers I had to stop. I then discovered a small island at the horizon. People here call it “Groede”, and it’s supposedly the smallest village in Germany. Let’s see and find out more!Two old farm houses on a small village

Yours Wigge

Date

April 6, 2013

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