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Day 42+22 weeks: Braunschweig - Freiburg

Here comes the real finishing photo for my Beijing to Freiburg roadtrip! End of May, I had to use a rented GTI as a stand-in for the C-Trek, but today I could finally get the original car to its original destination on a beautiful autumn day — 196 days after leaving Beijing on a similarly beautiful spring day.

On my 1200 km weekend ride trough Germany I caught everything from confused looks to big smiles when people saw my here unknown car with its Chinese numberplate. An excited group of young Chinese tourists almost forgot to steer their rental car through the motorway traffic when they saw the probably first car from their home country here in Germany…

However, before closing this roadtrip story, I first had to obtain my customs release for the car and unload all the luggage we had to leave behind in Kashgar. Plus, I spent a bit of time and work on getting rid of the dust the car had collected over its journey… Especially the inside hadn’t seen a vacuum cleaner for most of the journey, and especially the super fine desert sand of the Taklamakan is really good at sticking really everywhere.

This second finishing photo is also somehow the end of this roadtrip slightly more than half a year after its start — and it has been a wonderful experience. And also, since two weeks work has got me back at being busy…

从北京到弗赖堡 / cóng běi jīng dào fú lài bǎo / from Beijing to Freiburg / von Peking nach Freiburg

Jan Martin
Day 42+21 weeks: Hamburg - Braunschweig

Alright, we are almost there! 145 days after leaving behind my C-Trek in Kashgar I was allowed to drive it again, even if only for a short time. So it is here in Braunschweig since today, after 4.800 km on trucks through China and around 11.000 miles as container freight around the world. Still, the engine started like nothing had happened. Even unloading from the container worked fine — but I have to admit that reversing out of a narrow 20 foot container onto the flatbed of a towing truck is a slightly scary feeling…

Now everything is about receiving the customs release later this week before I can drive it off the freight yard. Even my car insurance is ready so that I’m allowed to drive around still with the Chinese numberplate so I can finally take the real finishing photo during a visit in Freiburg. Next challenge, later this year: Getting an individual technical approval for the car so that I can register it actually with a Germany numberplate…

Thank you so much to everyone who helped making this possible — there were enough points in time where I didn’t believe this actually could work out…

Jan Martin
Day 42+19 weeks: Port Said - Hamburg

We have reached the Mediterranean Sea! Container ship MSC Rifaya carrying my container has left Port Said a few hours ago after it had passed Suez Canal in the past days. If everything goes as planned now, the vessel should reach the port of Hamburg later next week. And that could mean that my car could go through German customs in around two weeks… Keep your fingers crossed!

Jan Martin
Day 42+15 weeks: Shanghai - Tanjung Pelepas - Hamburg

Things are moving! The container with my car reached the port of Shanghai yesterday. Cruising down Yangtze River took longer as planned due to heavy traffic and even heavier rain. After being loaded on a larger container ship, it is now bound for Malaysia. From there the long journey to Europe really starts, planned arrival in Hamburg is now September 25th.

Jan Martin
Day 42+13 weeks: Nanjing - Hamburg

Alright, we have progress! After 5.000 km across China, some haggling with the truck driver and a towing company my car made it to Nanjing last week. Since then, it has gone through the customs procedures and loading into the sea freight container. So, if everything goes well now said container should be in Hamburg around September 18th!

Jan Martin