Start of our journey in Stuttgart over the Alps to Venice. Then in Monfalcone on a cargo ship via Cypress to Israel. Or the question, why on earth do we have to go half around the world?
Rudyard Kilping said once: “There are two kinds of men and woman: Those who stay at home. Or the others.” The last couple of days before our departure we have asked ourselves very often: should we just have stayed at home? Is such a journey all the pressure, hard work and travel preparations really worthwhile? However just one week later we can only say, yes it is! We are getting the confirmation every day, every minute and by each new experience.
Looking back: We left Stuttgart to our first destination Italy on the 1st of October as planned. Fully packed we drove over the Alps to South Tirol, Italy. There we spent some wonderful days. We continued our journey to Venice on the 5th of October. In Venice we met the Swiss couple Tanja and Cederic. They are also on their way to Cape Town. www.sanduku.ch (in Germany only).
The two days in Venice could have been some kind of romantic and very beautiful. However the thousands and thousands of American, Asians and other tourists were a little bit disturbing.
On the 7th of October we drove to Monfalcone, which is about 130 km away from Venice, in order to catch our cargo ship. The day started with a freezing rain and the temperature dropped enormously. We drove in convoy with Tanja and Cederic and had to fight with heavy almost tropical rain. Monalfcone is very well known for their large shipyards. That might be the reason why we got frightening easily through the customs and directly on our cargo ship “Spees” (belongs to the Grimaldi Group).
Just a short additional note regarding travelling on cargo ships: Cargo ships should not be mixed up with ferries or cruise ships. In the earlier days it was possible to work on a cargo ship in order to discover the world easily and reasonably cheap. Nowadays this is almost impossible anymore because the crew has been reduced. Because of the satellite navigation and global data communication limited numbers of people are required. And instead of leaving the cabin’s empty, the cargo ships sell them to travellers. But the travellers cannot really be considered as guests, but as additional crew people on the boat without duties.
Apart from our two Toyota Landcruiser’s there are another 3300 brand new cars on the ship as well as other passengers. For example there are Tessa and Giora. She is originally from England and he from Israel and they have been married for 50 years. The couple is not on the boat in order to experience an exciting journey on a cargo ship. No, Tessa has decided when she was 25 years old that she will never enter a plane again. Therefore we got a lot of exciting and funny travel stories far away from airports and jetset. For example Tessa and Giora travelled ones from Hong Kong to San Francisco on a cargo ship for 3 weeks. It would have been a beautiful journey, but the ship was covered in fog all the way. They were not even able to see the railing on the boat. We really enjoyed the lunches and dinners because of the exciting and interesting conversations with them. We learned a lot about Israel, about their time at a Kibbuz, about political difficulties and about the change that continuously takes place.
Another passenger on board was Daniel. He is living in Bern, Switzerland, is Freelancer and a master of the art of living. He is travelling with his Mitsubishi including a trailer packed with motor bike parts. He developed the project “Rider 4 Africa” and is on his way to Kairo where he will put together the motor bikes. The bikes can be booked from Kairo to Swaziland by motorbike drivers and when they have reached Swaziland the bikes will be given to the “Red Cross” as a present.
We were on the boat altogether for six days. We were passing the Cyclades, Greece and were in Limassol, Cypress for a very short time before we went on the last 12 hours tour to Ashdod, Israel.
During our journey we had a lot of time to relax and recover because we were restricted to a radius of 150 m. That is not a lot of space for doing something. Also the ship was swaying us into drowsiness and it was difficult to break out of it.
Luckily we had a lot of Time. Time for thoughts, time for sound ideas as well as for long and interesting conversations. Far away from internet and mobile access you all of a sudden discover again things that usually get lost in a busy daily life. And maybe this is the purpose of such a journey – going into yourself and focus on your inner values. In addition, liberating yourself from daily worries and sorrows and having time again to tell and listen to stories and thoughts.
Tomorrow we have to go through the notorious customs in Israel and will report about it in our next blog.
- To travel as a passenger on a cargo ship.
- To be swayed into sleep on evenings and afternoons.
- To have wonderful meals three times a day.
- To have plenty of time for thoughts, sound ideas and good conversations.
- To deal easily without any access to mobile and internet.