Friday, 16 June 2017

A hike through Eastern Europa

Last year around the same time I had already announced a hike through Eastern Europe - but then things turned out very differently. Instead of starting my hike at the German-Czech border I ended up in the emergency room of a hospital. And this unplanned hospital stay cut last year's hiking short.

But now I will give it another try and hopefully complete my West-East European traverse. So this is the plan:

I will start at Zinnwald where I have already started in 2012 when I hiked westwards to Santiago de Compostella. Now I will head eastward towards the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria. Due to political reasons I have given up the idea of heading towards Istanbul.

Basically I will follow the European long-distance trail E3. Through Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia the E3 coincides with the International Mountain Trail of Friendship from Eisenach to Budapest. But once I hit the Hungarian border I will continue on the E3 trough Eastern Hungary on the Aföldi Kektura. Then I will be one of the first hikers ever to hike the new route of the E3 through Romania! For decades the E 3 has been interupted between Hungary and Bulgaria but luckily now the Siebenbürgischer Karpatenverein, a Romanian hiking organisation has planned a new route and provided me with the relevant tracks and Information. Although the route is not yet marked on the ground I hope to be able to follow it.

I have not been that lucky in Serbia. Although I have heard that the Serbian hiking association is working on a connecting trail as well my emails and calls were never answered. In the end I have created my own route now through Serbia which is mainly roadwalking.

In Bulgaria the E3 coincides with the KomEmine trail, one of Europe's longest, uninterrupted mountain trails.

Altogether my planned route is about 3,000 kilometers long. I am awfully out of shape and I want to do a lot of sightseeing on tour - and therefore I am thinking that it will take me around 4 months to hike.

The first part of this year has been rather turbulent for me and I have worked hard on my second book. Therefore I am really looking forward to be outside and hiking again. I just do hope that this time no health issues will turn up ...