Easter Race in Osterode!

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Hey folks,

The anticipation for the easter race is rising and you can’t wait to get more details?

Here is our plan of action:

 

- Friday (March 30): Arrival -

Harz is calling! We are going to meet up at Campingplatz Eulenburg (adress: Scheerenberger Straße 100, 37520 Osterode am Harz). So we all have enough time to arrive and hang out together before the madness starts next day.

Please don’t forget to bring your sleeping bags (matresses are already there) and money for the shelter (Fee: 10 Euros per night)!

- Saturday (March 31): Race -

The game is on! This year’s chosen one: Ping Pong!

The rules are quite simple:

- The race will officially start at 9am and end at 6pm.

-Try to hitchhike between Osterode and the village called Elend back and forth as often as possible. It’s your choice which roads you take.

- Of course we need evidence! So you will have to post pictures everytime you get to one of the particular locations. (We will create a Whatsapp group for that the day before.)

In case you reach Osterode just take a picture of it’s place-name sign.

If you reach Elend on the other hand, you have to take a picture of the memorial stone placed at the roundabound right in the middle of the village.

- In the evening we all are going to meet at our camping site, count the pictures of each team and celebrate the great winners afterwards.

Ín case of a tie, the team that first came back to the camping site will win. So write down your final arrival time.

If you’re still on the road at 6pm, you will be disqualified.

- Sunday (April 1): Departure 

Write us via gro.nennerpmartnull@ofni if you want to participate, so you can get further contact information.

We’re looking forward to see you!

Easter-Race and the Destination Country 2018! Whooop

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The temperatures rise, and it is time to hitchhike without gloves again! YEAH! In about 5 months we will hit the road again to start the hitchhiking-madness and race across Europe! You already know when (17.8.-1.9.) but not where… Today we will announce the final region we will race to in the Summer 2018.

After a year in the beautiful but rather cold Baltics, we will hitchhike on the warm and sunny roads of the good old Balkan! Yiiipiiieeh! Country roads and stunning landscapes, rusty cars and friendly people. We are excited to get back to a region that was always a perfect destination for the Tramprennen.

This year we will pay another beautiful country in the heart of the Balkan a visit:

BOSNIA!

Be excited for known countries but new and exciting places on the routes to our final destination.

Of course, we all are eager to get back on the road and measure our hitchhiking skills. And as every year you can do that on our Easter-Race! Yeah, you’ve heard right. Once again, some crazy hitchhiking stuff on the day of bunnies and eggs. Save the date: Arrival on Friday March 30th and hitchhiking Saturday April 1st (no April-fools????)!

More info about location and the exact game will follow soon, but you can be sure: the game will be fun and the location somewhere central in Germany. Easy to reach for most of you.

If you plan on participating please contact us via gro.nennerpmartnull@ofni , so we can estimate the number of participants.

Stay tuned!

Tramprennen 2017 – A Short Review

Do you remember Mindunai? The bus stop and the small shop? Do you remember the sun tickling your face and all the happy people dancing, singing and playing guitar? Every few minutes more or less irritated drivers brought more people to this small bus stop in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Lithuania. The joy, when old and new friends exited the cars was overwhelming and added to the irritation of the drivers. And just like that the phenomenal Tramprennen 2017 came to an end. For two weeks over 120 crazy people were standing on the roadsides of Europe and hitchhiked to the bet. Now, as Christmas and winter have caught up, we want to look back on our journey from Erfurt and Lüneburg to Mindunai in Lithuania.

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After years, in which the Tramprennen aimed to stay in warmer areas, some of us already got the chills by just looking on the northern part of the map. But the Kaltikum (sorry but there is just no proper translation for this bad pun) demanded our appearance and as we are always looking for a challenge we bravely packed the warm sleeping bag and fitted next to all the juggling stuff and a large variety of guitarish instruments more than one warm sweater in the already overflowing bagpacks. To get to the Baltics, we had to crisscross through Poland. This was not a problem, as Poland is still one of the hitchhiking friendliest countries in Europe. So, all the teams spent at least 2 stages between Piwo, Autostrada and Pirogi, before crossing the just 100 km wide border to Lithuania. And even if we traveled this year far away from the known refugee routes, each border crossing comes with an uncomfortable feeling. For too many people, that were not so lucky to own a European passport, these lines on maps are too often obstacles, that seem to be impossible to overcome. We want to emphasize: No one is illegal!

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Once we arrived in Lithuania, we were greeted by a warming sun instead of the arctic winds, that some of us had expected. The lifts were super friendly and the landscape breathtaking. Again, everything done right! The last evenings were spent together with the route, the past days were elaborated, and everyone took a close look at the ranking. “It’s still a race! “ even if the first team already claimed the overall victory long before. For one or another team there was still the first place on the route possible or they wanted to get in front of another team. To make it short: ambitions were high on the last stage. And so it happened, that on the short last stage a few overly motivated teams already arrived in Mindunai at noon.

What happened the next 48 hours is hard to describe. So much of this adventure will be remembered by the people that stood next to European roads this year. Again over 120 people showed that hitchhiking works and that it is not just an extraordinary way to move across a continent but that it makes a dialogue possible, despite all language, economical, social and cultural barriers.

Next to all the wonderful experiences our participants made, which make the Tramprennen something truly special, there are all those amazing people that contributed to this years Tramprennen as team-sponsors and team-owners. Through your support, we are able to donate over 10.000 Euro to Viva con Agua and Pro Asyl! Thank you so much! You are the best!

But there are more people we need to thank. All those that supported the organization and planning of this years Tramprennen. At the premeetings or the final ceremony, designing and layouting, printing t-shirts or packing the hitchpackages, without your voluntary work organizing the Tramprennen would not be possible. If you want to support us next year and contribute your own ideas to the world of Tramprennen contact us at gro.nennerpmartnull@ofni and stay tuned.

At the very end: Thank you! Děkuji! Dziękuję! Ačiū! Paldies! To all the drivers, that shared short or long distances of their journey with us.

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Interview Käpt’n Karacho & seine Crew

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Germany lost to Spain in the European football championship and Karl Marx would have celebrated his 190th birthday. There was one or another surprise in 2008. In Lithuania, there were 9 children born per 1000 inhabitants and the Finnish javelin thrower Tero Järvenpää made the unlucky 4th place in the summer Olympics. On the 3rd place was his namesake and fellow countryman Tero Pitkämäki. So, while the world was going crazy, around 12 young people hitchhiked to the bet to the world exhibition in Saragossa. On the way, they wanted to raise awareness for the work of Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli e.V.

Today the team “Käpt’n Karacho & seine Crew” will answer some questions about hitchhiking and, of course, the Tramprennen itself.

Ahoy, please tell us. How did you get to participate at the very first Tramprennen?

Janina: At one of our first VcA-meetings in Kiel, Hauke came with the idea and had already prepared a poster. At first, it just sounded crazy to me. I remembered the pictures of my childhood, when we passed hitchhikers but never took one, because they could have robbed us. I thought a little about it, but I had no plans for the summer anyway and decided to join. I randomly met Franzi on the street and so we had our crew.

Have you had any hitchhiking experience before?

Janina: Not really. I got lost in Sweden once and used the thumb as a last way out.

What kind of crazy experiences did you make during the first Tramprennen?

Janina: I was impressed, that we slept almost every night at hosts place we met just that day somewhere on the way. This spontaneous hospitality to take some strange hitchhikers into your home was a really great experience. The rest of the nights we slept on playgrounds until the police woke us up. In most cases it was time to get up anyway.

Do you still hitchhike now? Why?/Why not?

Janina: Still sometimes. Every now and then, when I need a small adventure and/or save money. Also, to get out of your own bubble and listen to the stories of other people. I get a lot of inspiration out of this, but not as often.

Do you have a favorite car to hitchhike?

Janina: It was really nice in Romania to ride in open cars and to feel the wind blowing around your head. In trucks, I really enjoyed riding as well. Truck drivers tell the best stories. They are the sailors of the road. Even, when they are too slow for a race…

Are you coming with us to Lithuania this year?

Janina: Unfortunately not, I have to finish cutting a film and also, I have the feeling that it is alright, to let the following generations live the race.

What do you say about 10 years of Tramprennen?

Janina: Goosebumps! In the first year, we were able to cook noodles for all of us in just one pot. Today you would need a huge kitchen. When I think about how this journey changed me – I expanded my horizon, I learned what you can achieve as a group; how to get so incredibly close to people, you found unlikeable at first, in a short time just by being in this microcosm car; Hitchhiker became friends and friends became hitchhikers… – then I just hope for as many people as possible that they experience the same! Oh and I’m fascinated, that there are, despite all the warnings, just really few incidents in all this 10 years. This shows that world is not that bad at all. On top of that all the donations that the World Hunger Aid could use for their projects. Chapeau and to the next 10 years!

What do your mothers say?

Janina: I think, she is more open minded towards hitchhiking now. She was always happy, that I had such an amazing time. But secretly she is also happy, that I don’t spend most of my summers hitchhiking anymore…

For Hitchhiking: Thumb or sign?

Janina: Heart and soul ????.

Do you have any hints or tricks for people that hitchhike for the first time?

Janina: Turn on your gut feelings to lead you the way and try to strengthen it on the journey. The one trick, that works always at gas-stations: Ask, with a map in your hands, if they drive to … and when they start explaining you the way, just ask if you can ride with them. You are happy to take bagpacks and groceries on your lap. And the baby on the backseat can play with you as well….