One month

Hi all,

Nathan is now more than one month old and is growing like cabbage. A few weeks ago his grandparents form the Netherlands visited us and we had a great time together. The pictures can be found here.

He is now skipping one meal and pamper during the night so we finally have a little more rest :) During the day he is now very busy with either crying or looking\fooling around so he certainly keeps us busy.
One of the few moments of rest is in the evening as at 19:00, BATH TIME. He likes it very much and after his bath and a bottle of milk he sleeps like a rose. I have put some pictures online.

We are now arranging his baptism (it will be at the second day of Easter) and his passport which is not as easy as we expected. You get one baby of 3.5 kg and 10 kg of paper work for free :-p
The coming period we will thus be very busy but I am sure that we will update the website soon so stay tuned!

All the best,
Marc, Magda and Nathan

One week message

Nathan is now a little over a week old and we three slowly get used to each other. Magda is recovering good and tomorrow we will go outside with Nathan for the first time. Our small boy drinks milk and tea like crazy and if he does not get what he wants he starts to “practise his lungs”.

Four days ago he opened his eyes, and, after leaving an important message to the wolrld, closed them again. Luckily papa was able to record Nathan’s opinion about Life, the Universe and Everything:

Furthermore I took some more pictures which can be found in Nathan’s Corner.
I am sure more pictures will be added regularly so don’t forget to check now and then :)

Cycle the world, Marc, Magda and Nathan

A baby, hooray!!

Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of updates (once again). The last months were very hectic with both work and arranging things for the baby.

We just got the nappies the day before yesterday and yesterday we had a biiiig surprise:
Our baby Nathan decided that it was time for him to be born!! We had expected him two weeks later but I think he was getting bored and wanted to see something of the world, just like his parents.

So on February 3r, 2011 at 14:30 Nathan set foot on earth :-) He is a healthy boy and weights a little more than 3.5Kg. All bits are attached and hearing the amount of noise he can make his lungs are strong, too. Perfect for cycling ;-)
I created a special place for him on this website. It is called Nathan’s Corner and you can find all his pictures there.

Magda is currently with Nathan in the hospital where she is recovering.
I expect them both home within a few days. Then it will be the “nappy-weeks” for us so it will be a hectic but also a beautiful time.

The first month we will take it easy but w are already planning to buy a baby-trailer for behind the bicycle so we can go for short tours when Nathan is older. Currently we are thinking of buying a Chariot or a Burley D’Lite.

I am sure we will have lot’s of adventures together on our coming journeys over the world and through life so stay tuned!

Marc and Magda

Pretty pics

Hi all,

It took some time but we had to sort more than 600 (!) wedding pictures but we did it :-)
We finally made a selection and put the pictures of the wedding online.
You can find them here.

Have FUN!

As promised here is the BIG NEWS: Magda is pregnant! :-D Magda already can feel that the baby is practising its legs so we are sure the baby will  love to cycle :-)

We will know in one or two weeks if it will be a boy or a girl so stay tuned…

All the best,
Marc and Magda

Marc + Magda = Married

Dear all,

As of 28.08.2010 Magda and me are man and wife! :-D
We made a reservation for the church and restaurant November last year (you really need to do this waaay in advance in Poland) and at 28.08.2010 we married in the small cozy church just around the corner. We had guest coming from the Netherlands, Germany, England and Poland so we had lots of things to organise during the last months and weeks (bus, hotel etc etc) but all went fine.

The day before the wedding, according to polish tradition, our friends and neighbours were so friendly to throw all their old cups and plates in front of our door and we had to clean them. The braking of the plates and the cleaning of them symbolises the end of our old life and the start of our new life together. All very nice but couldn’t it be a little less loud and messy please? ;-) .

The next morning I wanted to leave with the wedding car to pickup Magda at her parent’s place (she was staying there because of make-up, hairdresser and other girrrrly stuff) but according to tradition our neighbours had blocked the street.
I could not go out with the car as they wanted wodka first to celebrate our wedding a little as well. I did not have wodka with me (hey, I’m Dutch :-p ) but after some haggling I could buy myself free with some Zloties :-)
Then I went to pickup Magda at her parents place where were blessed by both her parents. This is one of the more important ceremonies as at this moment Magda is given away by here parents and from then on she is together with me.

Next we went of to the church and had the wedding ceremony. Like on most weddings in Poland we walked together to the altar. I was married for the state in the church (I am not religious) and Magda (she is Catholic) was married for the church and the state. During the ceremony one of our best friends read Corinthians 13 to us in English. The wedding was mostly in Polish but the marriage vow was both in Polish and English. So it was all really nice for us and the guest.

After the church we headed for the restaurant and were welcomed with the traditional salt and bread (bweeeech). The bread represents the parents hope that we will never experience hunger or need, the salt reminds us that our life may be difficult at times and that we must learn together to cope with life’s struggles. After this the BIIIG party started with LOTS of food and dancing until deep in the night with many polish traditions like thanking the parents, polish wedding games etc etc.
Funny detail: we had bought beer for the Dutch and German guest and wodka for the Polish guest but….
The Polish guest drank the beer and the Dutch and Germans drank ALL the wodka :-) Our friends were soooo drunk in the end :-p Thanks to the Polish wedding food (basically a  sophisticated diet to enable people to drink as much wodka as possible with the least hangover the following day) they were surprisingly fit the next day because….

On Sunday we celebrated again with our friends and parents at our home! Most polish wedding last 2 days, probably because of the huuuge amount of leftovers :-)
The next days, despite the bad weather, we and our friends visited Krakow and next day went for a relaxing day in the swimming pool while the rest of our family travelled around Poland.

So a BIG THANK YOU!! to all who attended our wedding. You made this into an unforgettable day for us!
We hope you had a great time as well  :-)

If you want to know more about all the traditions concerning Polish wedding have a look at this website.

We put the first pictures online. They are far from complete as we did not receive the pictures of the photographer yet but you already can have a look at some pictures made by me and the guest here.

More pictures and BIG news will follow soon so stay tuned!

Cycle the world,
Marc and Magda Steigenga

Zakynthos Holiday

Hi all,

As promised here is the update regarding our one week holiday on sunny Zakynthos, Greece between 7-14 May.

Zakynthos is the southernmost and third largest in both size and population of the Ionian Islands.
The climate is mild mediterranean with heavy rainfall during the winter and very sunny summers.  Due to this the island has a lush vegitaion and because of this the island has been nicknamed Fior de Levante (flower of the east ) by the Venetians. Next to this the island is  famous for its nesting beaches for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and its rich flora and fauna.  A great place for biologist!
Not only the nature is of interest but also the varied culture of the island. Because of its stategic location it was the crossroads for numerous nations and cultures, ranging from the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, French, England and now Greece. This resulted in very rich culture which is still visible today.

We staid in the Captains Hotel overlooking Argassi. We had an all inclusive package so we could enjoy the greek food all day long. Because we agreed to bring some things for the local travel agent we also got a room with sea view. Not bad :) I made a panorama from our view:

Panorama of view from hotel

The first day we took it easy and only visited Argassi and went for a walk along the sea. Argassi is a tourist town and mainly consists out of small supermarkets, souvenir shops and restaurants. The surrounding hills and the beach and the sea are full of life so we had big fun searching for fish, hermit crabs, anemones etc etc. And everywhere we went we were surrounded by the smell of flowers, hmmmm.
The second day we visited Zakynthos city. It is a nice little relaxed town with a small harbour and some small squares and shopping streets. People are living outside most of the time so there was a lot to be seen.

The third day we did a cruise around the island as we wanted to get a better idea about the island itself and we hoped to see some dolphins.  The weather was beautiful but very windy so we could not go around the island and could not visit all the nice caves they have. However, on the way back we were very lucky as the boat was followed by some dolphins and a few times we could see them very well.

The forth day we did a touristy bus tour as this was for us the only way to travel around the island. The island is big and especially the north east part is very mountainous so a car or scooter is necessary. We could have used the bicycle but then we would have had to camp somewhere :) During the bus tour we visited the most beautiful parts on the island. The first stop was on a hill above Zakynthos city offering a splendid view over the city and the harbour:

Panorama of Zakynthos city

Then we went up to the north. The north and north west are very mountainous and dry and here only specialised plants can survive. The only thing that can be cultivated there are olive trees. After a visit to a ship wreck, a monastry and after a small boat tour from Porto Vromi we headed south. The south and South East of the island is flat and humid with lots of farm fields, lemon trees and wine yards. And what is a visit to Greece without tasting the wine? So we also “had to” taste the local wines and we were very happy that we did not have to cycle back to the hotel :-p

The fifth day it was time to be a little more sportive so we made a bicycle tour along the south east coast of the island. The rented bikes were not that good, the weather was hot and the road more steep then we had expected so we cycled to a closer beach than planned. This proved to be  good decision as we were the only ones on the beach. We made ourselves comfortable in a small hut on the beach and had a great time walking on the beach and in the warm sea searching for all kinds of plants and fish. And when not we were relaxing and listening to the music on the Greek radio :)   

The sixth day we wanted to cycle to the sea turtle reservate at the south end of the island. Following a quiet road through the lush south part of the island we reached the Kalamaki beach without any problems. We went into the shallow sea hoping to see some sea turtles as in May and June they lay there eggs at this beach. And we were veeeery lucky as we saw on adult Loggerhead swimming closely past us :)

The seventh day we visited Zakynthos city once again for some tourist shopping and also to enjoy the greek coffee specialities like Freddoccino or Frappé, hmmmm.
We hope to be able to visit this island again one day as 7 days is to short for visiting this beautiful place. Like always, one picture says more than a thousand words so don’t forget to have a look at the pictures. You can find them here.

In two weeks we will attend a wedding in Germany i we will make many pictures for sure so stay tuned!
All the best, Magda and Marc

Four weddings and a bicycle

Hi All,

Sorry, sorry and even more sorry for the complete lack of updated the last year but it was a very hectic roller coaster ride.

So time for a short summary:
After my promotion I started to look for a Job in Poland as I wanted to live together with Magda , my girlfriend (yes yes, she is the one who was writing comments all the time during my world journey). Finally I found a job as  Incident handler at Capgemini in Katowice. However, to get the job I had to move to Poland within two weeks which was A LOT of work. But thanks to the help of all our friends all went fine and we are now living together in Tychy with our cat, Panthera.

My new job takes up most of my time and when not we are both busy in the appartment and the garden as there is still a lot to be done.
Next to this we spend a lot of our time on something bigger: WE ARE GETTING MARRIED ON 28.08.10 :-D
So now we are running around doing reservations, paperwork (how they looove stamps in Poland), logistics etc etc. Great fun but we don’t have that much time for cycling and other things at the moment.

Cycling? Yes :-) Magda didn’t get the traditional ring for our engagement but a great bicycle put together by Stephan. Thanks a lot!
So from now on we will cycle together aaaand not only in Poland but also abroad. One month ago we went for a great holiday on Zakynthos, Greece. It is a beautiful small island, famous for its flora and fauna and we did do many trips, by boat, on foot and on the bicycle.

The rest of our free time we wil use for attending the weddings of our German friends; there must be something in the air this year :-) Nonetheless I am sure we will make many nice trips in Poland and also in Germany this year.
I promise that the update with Zakynthos will come veeeery soon so in the meantime don’t forget to enjoy the pictures of one year living in beautiful Poland! You can find them here.

All the best,
Marc and Magda

Doctor Who!? Me!

Hi all!

Sorry for the looong silence but it took a long time to get a new router (more than 2 months) and by then I was either learning for my PhD-defence or visiting Poland (more below).

Anyway, a lot has happened so let’s start.

First of all I want to announce that I survived 5 years of PhD-work and my PhD-defence with magna cum laude. Not bad. So I am a Doctor now, hoooray!! :)
A big thanks to all my friends and family who supported me through all these years! I am sorry that I could not give you the attention you all deserved and the mess I made in the office at times. My colleagues build me a nice doctor cart (a German tradition) and I had a BIG celebration with my friends afterwards. You can find the pictures here. They are mostly unsharp as I had forgotten to tell the Polish photographer to use the flash ;)

As you all know I like to travel so even during my preparations for my defence I travelled to the alps with my friends Mark and Jeroen to do some ‘’light” mountaineering. The weather was great, the mountains were steep and we did some great hiking near Kruen in the south of Bavaria. We visited the Wettersteingebirge and Karwendelgebirge and because of the loose rocks climbing was at times very tricky. But the views were as always unbelievable. The hardest trip was to the Meiler-Huette as we chose the difficult ascend and it was true. We had to climb almost 800 meters without a track, so it was real rockclimbing. The rocks were slippery and unstable so it was quite tricky at some places and the drop was looong. But we made it to the pass and were rewarded with a beautiful panorama. After we crossed the remains of an old glacier we could enjoy some good Bavarian food and beer in the Meiler Huette at (2374m). You can find the pictures here. More will follow soon…

Afterwards I had a short brake before traveling east, all the way to Tychy in Poland. Magda (my biggest blog fan and more) invited me for the wedding of her brother and I never say no to an invition, especially not to a polish wedding. The marriage was in the Catholic church (a big thanks to Magda for telling me when to stand and sit) and afterwards there was a great party with LOT’s of wodka, delicious food (kloesti, sausages etc, hmmm), wodka, dancing, wodka, funny games and mooore wodka. I had a great time with Magda and her family and I was second in the “carry a lady” contest. It was not that difficult as I had carried a heavy backpack in the mountains a few weeks before. Lady or backpack, what’s the difference ;)

Then Magda and I went to Zakopane in the Tatra mountains in the far south of Poland and had a beautiful but cold time down there. I wanted to do some mountaineering but things turned out different as most passes etc were already closed because of snow. Nevertheless we managed to do some nice hikes and although the pictures are not the best (I need a new camera) they still show the beauty of the Tatra Mountains and the typical buildings from that area. More pictures can be found here. I will go back there for sure :) If they only had heating in the hotel…

Next week I will visit Magda again and hang around in Tychy so who knows I will make some more pictures. In the mean time enjoy the pictures and the panorama’s I created using Clevr.

So stay tuned!

Router problems

Hi all,

Sorry for the looong silence but I don’t have internet at the moment as my router has died. As soon as this is fixed there will be a BIG update with pictures of my hiking holiday in southern Bavaria near Mittenwald and pictures of a Polish wedding I will attend next week thanks to Magdalena :)
So don’t despair and see you soon!


Roadbook is finished!

Hi All!

A short post but the content was A LOT OF WORK. Because….
The roadbook is finally ready! Hoooray!
So what is in there:

All the gps data of the places I staid for the night including recommendations for hotels
All the gps data and altitude of the passes I had to cycle
Information on where to find shops, water etc
Information on the roadconditions (2007)
Information on the Kora around Kailash (Tibet)
And MUCH more!

Feel free to use it if you are planning your next tour or want to read the details of my journey but please give a little credit (a link) to this site as it was A LOT OF WORK to gather the data. Here we go:

10 countries (I count Tibet as a country)
9 months
10.234 km
3807 km extremely bad bumpy offroad (37.2%)
Avarage speed 14,4 km/h
Cycled 29 higher passes, 14 between 4000 and 5000m and 6 of 5000m and more (Mont Blanc: 4811m)
Lowest temperature: -25C (Tong La, Tibet), highest temperature: +50C (Karakum desert, Turkmenistan)
Lowest altitude: -31m (Caspian see, Iran), highest altitude: +5660m, Droma La (Tibet)
41% of the time I camped

And last but not least I had to fix 3 punctures, endured 4 days of foodpoisoning and 6 months of stomach problems :-)

My final google earth file is almost ready so stay tuned for the next update!


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