​From Amsterdam to the Alps, 2000 kilometer on foot

Categories Walking back to the Balkans

The 24th of March I left Amsterdam to hike for a while. “Walking back to the Balkans”. Why? Because I can, because I like hiking. Because it’s slow, because it’s a perfect way to really see a country. To feel and experience. Because I feel good, being “on the road”. And because I thought it would be a good idea to (re)discover my own country, before heading off to the Balkans.

First I was aiming for Zagreb, (from Amsterdam to Zagreb sounded good), but in the mean time I decided to go on to Sarajevo. There’s my bike waiting me (long story). With my bike I hope to explore the Via Dinarica Green Trail in BiH. But that’s still far far away…

Let me tell you what I’ve done the past 3 1/2 months:

In NL I followed the Pilgrim’s route. I camped at farms, in fields, forests, picknickareas and gardens instead of the usual campsites. “A Lowbudget Pilgrimage”, I called it, but actually it was more of a “no budget pilgrimage”. Without spending money on accommodation or transportation, I found new, refreshing ways and strategies to trek around. Wildcamping, in The Netherlands ;-). I met amazing people and learned that my little country isn’t as “cold” as I expected. There is plenty of space, many people love to share, are curious, friendly and way more hospitable then I could ever dream of.

In Belgium I hiked the GR57, or the Sentier de L’Ourthe, through the heart of the Ardennes. It was cold, green, rocky and much tougher than NL. An real outdoor paradise. In Luxembourg I combined several trails like the Sentier du Nord, Mullerthaltrail and the GR5 until I reach Germany.

Germany is big. Really really big. There was not one trail, but thousends. I had a hard time deciding where to go, what to follow. I followed rivers (the Saar mainly), crossed forests (Pfalz and Schwarzwald) and reached after more than 800K (just Germany) the Bodensee. A real milestone.

From there there was only one thing on my mind. MOUNTAINS! Although I enjoyed the rivers, hills, lakes, forests, heathlands and all other landscapes a lot, mountains are the best. Being in the mountains is, well, what shall I say, overwhelming. Those giants, they put everything in perspective. I simply love being there. Here. And I don’t know if I ever want to leave. That’s why I’m on the Via Alpina, a trail that crosses the entire Alps.

Yesterday I hit the 2000K. Here is a selection of photos and video’s of this journey so far.

Some video’s

Some photo’s

Pilgrim’s route in Amsterdam
Belgium cows
Beaufort, Luxembourg
Jakobsweg in Saarland, Germany
Westweg, the Schwarzwälder Höhenweg
Austrian cow
Mountains all around

Storyteller // Adventurer // coffee, mountains, barefoot & Balkanlover

Leave a Reply