We were standing in a desert beach at the Albanian Adriatic Coast a few hours ago. Although there were no cars at all, it took less than ten minutes to get a ride and get offered coffee once again. Five minutes after that, the driver interrupted a wedding reception so we could try some of the wedding cake.
So what now? We are sitting in an Internet Cafe in Shkoder (still Albania), looking at the fist Tramprennen-Videos, the pictures of those who are still on the road and reading the first updates of those who already returned to “normal life”. The crazy Tramprennen-Time has to end for all of us at some point, even if we hope to take as much as we can from this world where everything is possible.
After the blackout that just erased the text I had written here in Shkoder, it seems like time to say some final words about Tramprennen 2014, even if it’s difficult to punt into words!
It was more or less two weeks ago that we hitchhiked more than 2500 km with 130 people to Macedonia. We arrived a bit exhausted and thrilled to Ohrid, and imposed a state of emergency on this little town including campsite. Macedonia was definitely happy about our visit: the police tried to arrange rides for us, the people working at the border followed the race and convinced a bus driver for us to give us a ride… (still: No Borders! )
Everything started when 132 young people gathered in Wurzburg a couple of weeks ago. It was still unclear for many of us what we would be expecting. This year was a year of changes, since we had new rules, a big and chaotic joint start and it was the first time that some guys from the old school couldn’t take part in Tramprennen. There were many things that didn’t work as expected this year: the beamer at the campsite was only one of them. Registration start, donation tool, liveticker: many things that will hopefully improve in the future.
But still: Tramprennen 2014 was a great success! It was amazing to see that we were all together capable of collecting more than 9000 Euro for drinking water! Viva con Agua was also very pleased and sent a big thank you to all of you. The collected money will be invested by Viva con Agua in cooperation with Welthungerhilfe in WASH projects in India.
The WASH projects are one of the long-term impacts of Tramprennen, but not the only one. We hitchhiked from Wurzburg to Macedonia and on the way, we experienced so much hospitality and willingness to help, that it became impossible to think of any prejudice about foreign places, cultures and people. Drivers opened their doors to us more than a thousand times, they trusted us and so did we: and we were all enriched by these experiences.
What about the destinations? Twenty to thirty batik-shirt-wearing crazy hitchhikers left an impression wherever they went. House projects, abandoned houses and theatres were transformed into accommodation for us. Football tournaments took place, whole town parties were thrown for different routes of Tramprennen. Myriads of impressions and new acquaintances are the things we will remember for a very long time.
Listenting to all the different route dynamics and plenty of stories at the final destination in Ohrid was a great pleasure for everyone in the Organization Team. It showed us once again, that Tramprennen is only a platform where people create their own stories. And that everyone taking part of it: hitchhikers, drivers, hosts or donators contribute to the making and shaping of Tramprennen.
Simultaneously and unfortunately, Tramprennen 2014 reminded us that there are also risks when riding a car. One of the teams had an accident because of a storm this year. Fortunately, nothing terrible happened, but still, at this point a big HEY and greetings to Mia, who will have to spend the rest of the summer with a plaster cast. On top of that, we also had the (baptized by Tue as) “Dickschiss-Massacre of Kotor”, a gastro-intestinal infection that impeded some participants to make it to Ohrid. For them: we hope you heard the big applause you got at the award ceremony at the lake, and once again: we wish you all the best!
Before there’s an internet blackout again, I want to finish with these lines: Tramprennen wouldn’t be possible without an engaged Organization Team. Because we all want Tramprennen to remain being what it is, we would love to hear about all of your ideas, proposals, etc. However, most importantly: we need people who love hitchhiking an want to contribute to keep this hitchhiking project alive!
gro.nennerpmartnull@ofni is always happy about a full inbox ;)
See you soon on the road!