On August 31st, 2021 I started my journey to Switzerland to start my graduate degree in Zurich. I started cycling from my parent’s home in Espoo, Finland to the Helsinki Cargo Terminal to take the next cargo ship to Germany. The first leg of the journey was only 40km.
I took a cargo ship across the Baltic Sea to Travemunde. I slept the first night of my journey on the floor of the passenger seating area.
I arrived in Germany at midnight, so I had to sleep somewhere nearby. I found a quiet spot near the sea on a rocky beach and woke up to an old lady walking their dog early in the morning. I started my first real day of cycling shortly after. My destination was just to move south towards Hanover. It took me around 2.5 days to get there where I took my first rest day.
I headed towards Frankfurt for the next three days. I slept in the forest and in quiet fields away from any houses or people. I mostly ate pasta, bread, and protein bars along the way. I cooked pasta in a small portable spirit fuel cooker and slept in my dad’s old teepee tent.
I took a lot of rests along the way, sometimes just eating in a quiet spot or going for a swim in the river.
I took another rest day in Frankfurt and explored the area, but I found it to be a bit too busy for me.
The next part of my journey was the most beautiful and difficult. It was already day 7 of my journey and I was around halfway to my goal. I wanted to see the Rhine river, a major river that starts flowing from the Alps in Switzerland and ends in the North Sea, and I aimed to go deep into the Black Forest. I cycled 145 km, 149 km, and 140 km the next three days respectively. I encountered my first mountains and the so called “hitting the wall” where your energy levels go low during a long endurance attempt.
After some intense climbs, I made it to Basel where the borders of three countries meet: France, Germany, and Switzerland.
After cycling in the Black Forest and seeing Swizerland for the first time, I was full of ambition and decided that I wanted to see the Alps. I took a detour towards Lucerne with a few big hills along the way and saw the Alps for the first time in my life.
At this point, it was day 13 and I was nearing my limits. I cycled from Lucerne around lake Zug and finally to Zurich where I saw my upcoming university, ETH Zurich, for the first time. This marked the end of my journey and I soon got busy with life and work again.