Stage 1: Freezing Europe Winter
– 6th Largest Continent
– 2% of the earths surface covering 9,938,000 sq km
– 47 Countries
– Kilometers intended to cycle: 8 210 km
– Days: 165 days
– Min Temperatures: -20° C; -4 ºF
– Max Temperatures: 30°C; 86 ºF
– Mountains being crossed: Alps, Balkan Mountains, Carpathian Mountains, Caucasus Mountains, Great Hungarian Plain , Ural Mountains
– Europe countries completed: 5.5 (Ireland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Netherland)
– Countries ahead (Germany; Poland; Czech Republic; Slovakia; Hungary; Austria; Slovenia; Croatia; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Serbia; Kosovo; Macedonia; Montenegro; Albania; Bulgaria; Turkey)
We started our second continent in November 2013 and are currently in Haarlem, Netherlands.
So… we’ve been dodging this question for a while “Why are we doing Europe in the winter?” Both of us had some cycling experience before we decided jump on bicycles and cycle through the world, but not one of us have any experience in cycling in snowy, icy, cold and wet conditions. O… and just a reminder… We are doing wild camping through all the seasons. We then decided that Europe would be the first of many training grounds towards the Antarctica expedition.
The big change in our planning came when we decided to cycle Antarctica. Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and driest continents on earth. Being fully prepared for this is going to take lots of hours on the bicycle, cover rough environments and endure some of the most extreme weather conditions. The challenges quickly became enormous and most of the planning was beginning to change because we need to have the icy continent in mind.
Routes – We had months of discussion, considerations and changes about the Around 7 Continents routes before the adventure. Decisions were made on the basis of weather, seasons, country political situations, scenery, visa time periods, challenges and most importantly Antarctica. Pushing ourselves to new limits was always something we wanted and to make the challenge interesting for people that follow the journey.
The first part of Europe is passing through some of the better-known tourist locations, countries and cities. Through our planning the snow had to start from England, but we are still waiting. One reason is that we are a month ahead of schedule but it is also warm for this time of the year. We might get the first snow within the next 14 days.
From Netherlands we will continue east and will start a southerly cycle when we reach Poland. Neither of us had been to east-Europe, so this might possibly be the part of the continent we are looking most forward to.
Get ready to be amazed on what the rest of Europe has to offer!!