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    Archive for June, 2006

    Day 82 – Ankara

    Friday, June 30th, 2006

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    Day 81 – Ankara

    Thursday, June 29th, 2006

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    Diary updated

    Thursday, June 29th, 2006

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    Day 80 – Ankara

    Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

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    Day 79 – Ankara

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

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    Photo highlights!

    Monday, June 26th, 2006

    We have made a new features on our site..

    We know that we take a lot of photos and even if we sort in the stack there is still a lot of photos in each album. That’s why we now have made a bunch of much smaller albums with photo highlights from each country we have visited. Each of these albums will contain a max of 20 photos each so you can be sure of only watching the best ones!

    The first albums with highlights have been made – however they will probably be adjusted some when Nicolai gets the chance to look them though aswell ;-)

    Check them out here

    There is also a permanent link from our sidebar to the right.

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    Day 78

    Monday, June 26th, 2006

    Distance (km) : 38
    Time on bike : 2h 10m
    Average speed : 17.49 km/h
    Total (km) : 4179

    What is the Hospitality Club?

    Our aim is to bring people together – hosts and guests, travelers and locals. Thousands of Hospitality Club members around the world help each other when they are traveling – be it with a roof for the night or a guided tour through town. Joining is free, takes just a minute and everyone is welcome. Members can look at each other’s profiles, send messages and post comments about their experience on the website.

    The club is supported by volunteers who believe in one idea: by bringing travelers in touch with people in the place they visit, and by giving “locals” a chance to meet people from other cultures we can increase intercultural understanding and strengthen the peace on our planet.

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    Day 77 – Nallihan -> 30 km outside Ankara (wild camping)

    Sunday, June 25th, 2006

    Nallihan -> 30 km outside Ankara (wild camping)
    Distance (km) : 130
    Time on bike : 6h 57m
    Average speed : 18.68 km/h
    Total (km) : 4141

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    Day 76 – Sögüt -> Nallihan (wild camping)

    Saturday, June 24th, 2006

    Sögüt -> Nallihan (wild camping)
    Distance (km) : 147
    Time on bike : 8h 0m
    Average speed : 18.43 km/h
    Total (km) : 4012
    Max.speed: 68 km/h

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    Day 75 – Lake Iznik -> Sogut (wild camping)

    Friday, June 23rd, 2006

    Lake Iznik -> Sögüt (wild camping)
    Distance (km) : 101
    Time on bike : 5h 58m
    Average speed : 17.0 km/h
    Total (km) : 3864

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    Day 74 – Istanbul -> Güllüce, Lake Iznik (wild camping)

    Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

    Istanbul -> Güllüce, Lake Iznik (wild camping)
    Distance (km) : 64
    Time on bike : 3h 29m
    Average speed : 18.20 km/h
    Total (km) : 3763

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    English translation of Polish newspaper article about WT

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

    Our Polish friend Tomek Koska has been so kind to translate the Polish newspaper article about worldtravellers.dk into english! You can see the article on the media page (with link to translation) – direct link to translation is here

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    More translations!

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

    Luke Magee has yet again been so helpful to translate from Nicolai’s diary. This time it’s the days #44, #57 and #58 which got the tender treatment from Luke’s hands :-) We in the WT camp are eternal grateful.. Thanks a lot Luke!

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    Day 73 – Istanbul

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

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    Day 72 – Bomb in Istanbul

    Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

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    Day 71 – Istanbul

    Monday, June 19th, 2006

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    Day 70 – Istanbul

    Sunday, June 18th, 2006

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    New photos from Turkey!

    Sunday, June 18th, 2006

    A pile of new photos from Turkey (mainly from wonderful Istanbul) is now in the photoalbum (page 2)!

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    Day 69 – Bosporus boat ride

    Saturday, June 17th, 2006

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    Day 68 – Istanbul

    Friday, June 16th, 2006

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    Execise execise!

    Thursday, June 15th, 2006

    DSC01117

    My knee has improved much now and it means that a lot of my times goes with execising my knee to make it strong enough so I can meet up with Nicolai again in Turkey. I started out very slow with biking only 5-10 km per day and increasing that amount a little every day. Today I biked almost 30 km without feeling the least pain in my knee. That’s great! At the same time I’ve started to execise at the gym FitnessDK ABC on Frederiksberg. They have helped me a lot there esp. execise leders Anders Weicher who have made a special recovery execise program for me and he follows up on the program every week. Thanks a lot Anders and FitnessDK!

    The good weather has returned to Denmark again and I enjoy it fully! Either in Frederiksberg garden or Islands brygge! Brilliant! I’m hanging out quite a bit with my Skater-punk-friend Mikkel (AKA. Beauty Box!) (See picture below!) otherwise most of my time is of course spend with my fantastic girlfriend Kimi (yes – so it’s not so bad to spend the summer here in Denmark ;-) )

    A preliminary plan is to meet up with Nicolai in Turkey one of the first weeks in Juli. It all depends on my knee of course and if it’s strong enough to follow Nicolai on his wild daytrips :-)

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    Day 67 – Istanbul

    Thursday, June 15th, 2006

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    Day 66 – Istanbul

    Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

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    More translations

    Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

    We have received more translations of Nicolai’s diary. This time the help has come from Luke Magee in addition to Birgitte. Once again a big thank you to the two heros! The days #42 to #51 are now translated into English!

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    Day 65 – Istanbul sightseeing

    Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

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    Day 64 – Istanbul

    Monday, June 12th, 2006

    The impressive Suleymaniye mosque, Istanbul

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    Day 63 – Istanbul

    Monday, June 12th, 2006

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    Day 62 – Corlu -> Istanbul

    Saturday, June 10th, 2006

    Day 62 – 10JUN06: Corlu -> Istanbul
    Distance (km) : 113
    Time on bike : 5h 20m
    Average speed : 21.11 km/h
    Total (km) : 3670

    Ahh, the Turkish beer last night made me very relaxed, and I managed to see the second football match to it’s end before the Sandman did his work on me.
    Have an uneasy feeling this morning because of the uncertainty about Istanbul, which I do not know all that much about. No guide book, no map, and my search for both in the very un-touristy Corlu does not pan out. At an internet cafe I read a little about Istanbul, it’s sites, scams, hotels, etc.
    Am a little claustrophobic in Corlu, which I just want to get away from now. The weather forecast is a little uncertain. I know that I have at least 100km ahead of me before I reach Istanbul, and the time is already past noon before I leave Corlu- whose main road is a Mud-Hell after the intense rainfall of the past few days.

    Cycling in to a metropolitan area with a population of 14 million, without a clue as the where to go, and how- and without a map- is not my idea of preparedness. Well-well, as soon as I am on the road again I feel better. “Left and 100km” are the directions I get from a man I ask on my way out of Corlu. The day’s course is set.

    Still, I had a pretty introverted day. I’m sure to get there today, so I knew it would be a long sore day in the saddle. Didn’t smile to many, and ignored all the otherwise friendly honks from car horns I meet constantly on my way.

    My spirits lifted as I saw this welcoming sign at the outskirts of Istanbul:

    Find the Sultanahmet part of town and check a few different hotels before I decide on New Backpackers Hostel for 15 Turkish Lira (1 Lira=3,80DKK). The area is full of travellers, restaurants, hotels showing the World Championships on large TV screens, and I feel great having arrived- and being here. Just what I needed. The street i stay on reminds me og Bankok’s Khao San Road.
    Saw The Blue Mosque during my evening stroll, accompanied by the full moon.
    Staying in a dormitory with 6+6 sex-seperated beds. Complimentary breakfast and internet.

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    Day 61 – Kirklareli -> Corlu

    Friday, June 9th, 2006

    June 9,2006 – Kirklareli -> Corlu
    Distance (km) : 116
    Time on bike : 5h 35m
    Average speed : 20.30 km/h
    Total (km) : 3557

    It rained and thundered all night. Rarely have I experienced anything so wild in nature. The rain stopped at 10 o’clock as I was getting breakfast ready in the tent, and had my thoughts on the program for the day.

    I put on my watertight socks, cycling shorts and rain jacket, packed the tent wet, and took off.

    To see the joy in cycling in such hard rain is a test for me- which I have to deal with now and again- which I have yet to pass.
    The rain stopped, my legs were warmed up. I tanked up the bottles with water from an anonymous petrol station, and otherwise splashed through water puddles like a little boy on the very fine Turkish asphalt.

    With only a day and a half to Istanbul, the expedition’s warm up phase is nealry over, and the bigger challenges can begin.

    I haven’t had a bath in 330km and am feeling rather sticky- even after being doused by rain this morning.

    Folks here in Turkey drop their jaws when they hear I have cycled from Denmark. It makes me feel a bit like Baron Von Munchausen. Maybe I should change my tactics; and just say I am on my way to the capitol, Istanbul, or am on a charter vacation- something more reasonable…

    Relatively uninteressting on the road today. I just put my head down and pushed the pedals. Arrived at the city of Corlu, where I found a little expensive hotel (75 DKK), but I was tired, dirty, the town was poor with hotels and the World Soccer Championship was about to kick off in Munich. When I saw the TV in the hotel room I was quick to decide to stay- despite the horrible value-for-money…

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    English translation of diary

    Friday, June 9th, 2006

    Birgitte Hvedhaven has been so kind to translate some entries of Nicolai’s diary from Danish to Engelsh. Find entries from day #45-47 to read it. It’s a huge help for us and I’m 100% sure that our international visitors are very happy for the effort!

    Thanks a lot, Birgitte!

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    Day 60 – Tsarevo (Bulgaria) -> Kirklareli (Turkey)

    Thursday, June 8th, 2006

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Day 59 – Nesebar -> Tsarevo (wild camping)

    Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

    Not so much to write about today. A long cycling day where I basically kept my mind on pushing the pedals. Lunch in Sozopol, which – much like Nesebar- is a cozy and popular old town, placed on the end of a peninsula. Had too much energy to stop in Sozopol, so I kept on cycling South.
    When the sun was relatively low on the horizon, I turned off the main road and found a nice spot to make camp – with a view over the Black Sea. The reward for the day’s efforts came sneaking up on me after dinner. I feel butterflies in my stomach, as I enjoy the spot I found for camp, and I realize tomorrow I will cross the border into Turkey, “inshallah!”

    A stone’s throw away, a flock of sheep are being herded about- but otherwise there isn’t a soul to be seen. Grass fields and abandoned buildings to one side, and steep cliffs dipping to the Black Sea- on the other.
    I feel a sort of tired that I recognize after these long cycling days. My mind is at peace. My only thoughts are for my basic needs; food and rest. No room for worry, as one might think there would be-camping in the rough.

    Tune of the Day: PHOEBE – The Crash (aka Da Kwasj). Good old Fins.

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    New photos from Romania and Bulgaria!

    Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

    See the fresh photos here!

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    Newsletter #3 is here

    Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

    Slightly delayed our newsletter #3 is added to the site. Read it here!

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    Day 58 – Nesebar

    Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

    Argh! Jonathan Livingston Seagull – my ass!
    Was awakened at 4am by screaming seagulls perched on the tiled roof right outside the apartment. The sun is coming up in the east. I am nearly comatose from tiredness. My body is screaming too- to go back to bed and sleep more, but now that I am awake, I get up and discover a little sound file on Archos Hard Drive of maritime mammal sounds.

    Relax in the sun on the superb terrace – way into the afternoon. Fantastic. I write my article for METRO while listening to a ton of music.

    Why is every other song about love?
    Is it because music is love’s most important channel of communication? Or is love the prerequisite of music?

    Tune of the Day: Tunnels – Arcade Fire (this tune gives me a boost of energy- better than any sort of vitamin pill!)

    Nesebar is full of day trippers from the surrounding beach resorts. Although a bit too massive for my taste, Nesebar Peninsula is quite nice- and absolutely well worth a visit.

    I cruise around in the afternoon sun. Lovely day.

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    Day 57 – Varna -> Nesebar

    Monday, June 5th, 2006

    Rather unexpectedly this morning, Stefan announced he had a need to ride on his own – at least until he gets to Istanbul. The reasons are many: he needs to focus on his own journey, and find his own rythmn- instead of feeling like he is following me. Needs to clear his thoughts and rediscover himself in the transitory everyday. He reassured me many times that I mustn’t take it personally. He said he didn’t even know if it was the right decision, but felt he had no choice- but to do this.
    I was surprised, but could certainly understand him and his situation. When I got back on the road again, and reset my inner compass, it felt pretty good.

    Beautiful sunny day with plenty of small mountains and one killer one (20min. hard ride)- and much more scarcely populated, thanI had imagined the Black Sea coast to be.
    Hold a short break for lunch- but otherwise ride straight through the day. Lots of sweat on my sunglasses.

    Get hit by rain just before Nesebar, making me take cover at a petrol station. The streets become small rivers, and the traffic is slowed by the waters. The girl behind the counter informs me there is no camping spot nearby. Hmm…cross the tip of the peninsula- from the new part of the city- to the old town in Nesebar, and look about for some decent place to stay the night. I might be taking these places for granted, but I soon find a great fifth floor apartment with a 180 degree panorama balcony view of the Black Sea, private bath, TV and a soft bed. My Israeli father has influenced me in a few areas of life(;)). I put the owner in a cognitive vice and quickly had him on his knees. The apartment is mine for 95DKK instead of his usual rate of 150DKK – my night’s sleep is assured! It’s a bit over budget, but tomorrow is my MetroXpress article writing day, so I allow myself a little (more) luxury, and pay happily for the piece of mind.

    The French Open is on tv- a childhood favourite- and after a nice evening stroll i the cozy streets of Nesebar, I crawl into the soft bed…

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    Day 56 – Day 56 – Human or walrus?

    Sunday, June 4th, 2006

    Take a quiet day at the beach by myself today. Stefan doesn’t like the life at the beach very much and is fixing his bike instead. On my way I see an antique Turkish bath in the middle of a residential area in Varna. Saw today at the beach a man who’s enormous, fat body looked like a walrus. He was so fat that he had to operate with four different lying positions to get tanned all over the huge body. Not just at the back and the belly as us, dare I say, corporeal, but also on both sides. The sight of the day!

    Tone of the day: Er det nu? – Marie Key Band (Danısh band)

    I am comfortable alone in the apartment while Stefan is at net café. Buy a little at the vegetable market round the corner and cook a nice potato meal. A tub with soap bubbles is belonging to this life in a whirl of pleasures, so I won’t miss that…

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    Day 55 – Day 55 – Sun and music – the favourite elixir

    Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

    I have to get used to this fully equipped apartment with electricity and hot water as you like, TV, chef knives, water kettle, refrigerator, freezer, oven, balconies etc. The morning goes slowly with breakfast at the little, sunny terrace, VH1 sounds from the television, holyday mood in the apartment and sporadic tries to mentally understand that all this luxury is mine the next days. A huge tiger jump from the simple earth-under-the-nails-existence which so far has been most of the expedition. Feel that the travel – this invaluable jewel – has got a new polishing on an already richly faceted and rich-rich gem.

    The day is spent at the nice beach at the green sea and I am nursed by abundant amounts of my favourite elixir, sun and music. It is not only the batteries in my iPod that are completely recharged. The bath water is nice and I romp about and fight against the waves but have to give up the fight.

    Tone of the day: Twist of love – Sidsel Ben Semane. Fantastic energy in the young singer making her début in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song suits the day on the beach well, but it got pressed hard by Weezers Undone (The Sweater Song) from a completely different genre.

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    News from Martin

    Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

    See opdate from Martin here

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    Knee update

    Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

    x-ray knee #2

    It’s been a really long time since I made an update on my knee situation and my further plans with the WT expedition. One of the reasons is simply the I haven’t myself been aware of how serious the injury was and how the forecasts could look like.

    A short summary: Already a week into the expedition I got pain in my knee and it just got worse and worse. No watter what I did including resting, execise or countless of adjustments to the bike. I decided to go back to Denmark to get some proper treatment. That was approx. a month ago now. Time flies.

    It was a incredible wierd feeling to be back in Denmark again but of corse it was great to see a lot of the people that I had said goodbye to and not expected to see again for a loong time. I’ve had a lot of focus on my knee and have had pain most of the days. It has been almost impossible to bike – just 15 min. on the bike and the pain begins.

    To make a long story (kind of) short. I had several treatments both phycial and medicine and been in contact with different doctors. The latest doctor is with Team Denmark and an export with sports medicine.

    x-ray knee #1

    The good news is that there is nothing physical wrong with the knee cap itself – it basically over-exertion. Meaning that I started out biking too much compares to the traning I did from home. It’s a real pity – but not much I can do about now. In addition I have a crack in the bone marrow onderneith the knee cap from a former injury and have just made the whole thing worse. The starting point has been a bit bad.

    Fortunately the pain is almost gone now (it took a month!) and I can start execising again. It’s not something that’s going to be fast – but I’m optimistic and hope that it will not take too long before I can join Nicolai again on the bike. To be realistic; it will probably take at least one month.

    That’s the situation as it is now.

    I spend the time here enjoying the short Danish summer (was it 7 or 8 days?) in Frederiksberg have, drink a lot of coffee, reading, concerts, cinema, party a little, being with friends and family, going on a trip to Budapest (and forgetting to bring my camera, can you imagine??) and in general just trying to enjoy to be free from work and major responsabilites for the first time in 10 years. fun.

    Thanks for the support and the emails I’ve gotten about my knee.

    - Martin

    x-ray knee #3

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    Day 54 – Day 54 – Luxury in Varna… Hmm!

    Friday, June 2nd, 2006

    I have now got so far south and away from home that the squat toilet (the hole in the floor) gains ground. I haven’t tried it since my trip to Morocco in November/December 2005.

    This cycling life is simply too crazy and unpredictable! At the net-café I get an e-mail from Linda from Vacations-Abroad and another from Antonio, who owns apartments here in Varna. A couple of mails backwards and forwards and at 18 o’clock by the Opera house I meet Antonio’s mother Stefka and his little nephew Serge and walk hand in hand to the apartment Linda has booked for me the next three days. It is difficult to understand completely. The mother doesn’t speak English at all, but she shows me around in the apartment, which is pure luxury to me: 2 rooms, toilet with bath tub, kitchen + living room with washing machine, water kettle, TV (cable), 2 balconies, furnished and everything completely new-repaired and shining.

    A review of the apartment, which is the “fee” for living here, will probably soon be available the homepage for Vacation-Abroad. See by the way the link Around The World at their homepage).

    The mother soon comes with a bottle of Bulgarian red wine as a gift of welcome and I am very overwhelmed. Then I talk in cell phone with the owner Antonio, who is at Santorini, Greece, just to get some details about the apartment. Get the keys and pick up Stefan at the internet café. We take the bus back to our tents in Galata and are quickly packing our stuff, say goodbye to camping mummy and the favourite dogs and cycle happily towards Varna in the evening light. Look forward to welcome Stefan to this temporary luxury. The mood is euphoric, exalted, we are “high-5-ing” as teenagers and do not understand that the apartment is ours the next tree days. Red wine has seldom tasted as good as this bottle. It is indescribably nice to be here, and the music from the VH1 TV canal (the best in the world!) gives together with the red droplets and the German company in unaccustomed luxury the Worldtravellers expedition an unexpected turning. The culmination of the day is a city tour where we end at the bar Copacabana at the promenade which is full of life and holyday mood… La Vie Douce!

    Tone of the day: You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Kim Wilde

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    Day 53 – Day 53 – The Rockets of Varna have arrived at the Black Sea

    Thursday, June 1st, 2006

    Have just found out that I really don’t like snails – and not at all those who are naughty enough to climb on to my tent during the night. There are rather many naughty snails here 70 km west of Varna.

    The chat is going on between Stefan and I while we are cruising towards the Black Sea – are very exited to see this enormous sea, which is tying Europe and Asia together. We make use of no one hearing our self-glorifying phrases and name our self The Rockets of Varna (alternatively The Kings of Varna). Reach in the afternoon Varna (310.000 inhabitants), nose a little about and cross the 3-4 km long bridge over a mouth of the river just south of the city in the suburb Galata. Here we find a comfortable little place for camping with smoke from the chimney, barking but nice dogs, hot water from the single beam of the shower, squat toilets and nice owners. View from the tent to Varna and the Black Sea. Wuhu!

    Take the city bus back to Varna. I get via e-mail and chat hold of Linda, our contact person in Georgia, USA, from Vacations-Abroad who we have a sponsor arrangement with (see Sponsors in the menu for more details). She will try to find an overnight accommodation for me (and in the absent of Pablo for Stefan too).

    Chilli Con Carne is on the menu. Peep around in Varna which seems to be a lovely, summer-like city. Lots of tourists (Bulgarian as well as foreign). Get some Bulgarian beer and have a lovely evening in spite of the physical tiredness in the body.

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