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From the North Cape to Sicily: A professor hitchhikes across Europe

Johann Günther is a university professor and teaches at Wuhan University. This alone would be exciting but the world of Hinterbrühl in the Mödling region rode his bike from the far north to the far south of Europe. His travel adventures have now been published in book form. Spoilers beware — there was even a “bear” encounter.

Buck Brill. “I cycle everything – even when I have appointments in Vienna,” says Johann Gunther. Media World teaches at Jiang’an University in Wuhan / China and at Danube University Krems. He prefers to spend his vacations on adventure trips: he has crossed Tibet by train and has also cycled to an audience with the Pope. The last adventure took him from the northernmost point of Europe to the southernmost point. His adventures and experiences have been published in a book.

52,000 meters of altitude

Gunther covered a total of 7,800 km and 52,000 meters in altitude. He was on the road for 60 days – in several stages. The professor rode 100-150 kilometers a day.

“I’m not a superathlete, and I don’t drive according to plan. I drive as long as I’m happy,”

Confirms. On the way he was alone, except for Finland. “It also clears your mind,” he exclaims excitedly.

In Saint Peter's Square |  Photo: Johann Guenther

He completed the journey in several stages, always starting in Hinterbrühl. So he went first to Venice, from Venice to Rome and then south. Individual divisions have been divided over the past five years, with Günther leading the final division last July. He found the last 200 kilometers before the North Cape to be particularly beautiful. For inexperienced cyclists, the experienced cyclist recommends the Villach-Grado route: this leads along an abandoned railway through the Canal Valley, old railway stations converted into inns. Johann Gunther does not prepare himself for long trips – he drives 20 km a day anyway, even in winter. “You must be in good shape,” he says. The scientist, who is currently working on a book on “transhumanism” and is also developing moving parachutes in China, relies on road technology: his navigation system shows the way.

Photo: Johann Guenther

Face to face with a bear

Johan Gunther also had to deal with a difficult situation: in Norway, a bear suddenly crossed his path 20 meters in front of him. Mr. Betz sat across from him and watched the Austrian on the bike. “It’s not easy, it just makes your heart stop,” says Gunter. He was lucky, the bear did not recognize him as prey and continued on. Aside from three “slips”, the flight passed without major incident. His conclusion:

“You get to see a lot of scenery by bike and meet a lot of nice people!”

His experiences and adventures have now been published as a book: Crossing Europe by Bike: Sicily – North Cape. The iPad is Professor Gunter’s constant travel companion: “I write every day,” he says. The result is an exciting book that takes the reader on a tour through Europe. And who knows where the avid cyclist might take next?

Prague |  Photo: Johann Guenther

The way back is exciting

What is not shown in the book, but also interesting according to the author: the way back to Hinterbrühl. “The drive home is so adventurous,” he laughs. By bike, bus, train and ferry, we’re back from the North Cape to beautiful Lower Austria in just four days. It took him only four days to cover the distance from Catania to Hinterbrühl. He missed the train connecting in Venice, so improvisation is the order of the day. But that’s part of it – because: If someone goes on a trip, they can tell something.

Johann Gunther has now summarized his travel adventures in a book.  |  Photo: Johann Guenther

the book:

Crossing Europe by bike: Sicily – North Cape

Bike trip from the southern tip of Sicily to the northern cape. across Europe. Phased excursion:

• Vienna – Rome
• Rome – Pozzallo in Sicily.
• Vienna – Berlin
• Berlin – Copenhagen
• Copenhagen – Rovaniemi
• Rovaniemi – North Cape

The reader can take part in this journey on a fictional bike trailer.
The book is an “on demand” medium. The reader decides what he wants to read. Perhaps it is the entire book or sections of the route that interest you or have a special relevance to you.

European crossing by bicycle took place in stages. In smaller and larger sections. The starting point has always been Austria, home to the village of Hinterbrühl, south of Vienna. In today’s society, respect for distance has been lost because of planes and cars. As you slowly progress on the bike, you will see more of the landscape and its inhabitants. You experience the environment more consciously.

Hardcover edition:
Color print, 218 pages, € 29.30 ISBN: 9798378135295

ebook 8 euros

Paperback edition:
color print, 218 pages, €24 ISBN: 9798393304805
More than 400 illustrations

A former railway bridge as a bike path in Kanaltal |  Photo: Johann Guenther

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