The Europa Orient Rally is moving a considerable step closer, as we became aware during the team presentation. Unfortunately we did not manage to compete there with all of our cars and team members, but friends and family were there and our Volvo 850 once again proved its reliability and brought us from Erfurt to Brussels and back, all in all solid 1300km.
But let’s start at the beginning: While we were on our way to Brussels, we also wanted to see a little bit of the city, which is why we decided to arrive relatively early on Friday. Logistically perhaps questionably planned, Marvin, Michi and Tobias set off for Erfurt to collect Christian & Sophie and our vehicle in order to start together to Brussels. Surprisingly, the Volvo offers more than enough space for 5 people and luggage, so the ride was really relaxed, some would even say “better than by train”. Due to the limited vehicle accommodation only our ‘toughest and manliest'(?) team mates (Jakob and Marvin) slept in the car, as it befits in front of the Swedish embassy of course!
In the evening we slowly opened ourselves to the Belgian culture and got familiar with the first local beers in Delirium Village, absolutely recommendable for all culture lovers of beer, absinthe and tequila! Afterwards we went to La Reserve, a bar with a safe style mix of rustic and crazy furnishings and a very nice bartender who helped us a lot with the crown cork task, again big thanks at this point!
The next morning we started with a delicious waffle breakfast and sightseeing across Brussels from Manneken Piss over the Palace of Justice to Atomium (Funfact: the name is a combination of atom and aluminium – the original cladding of the building, nowadays the shell is made of stainless steel, but Atomeel probably doesn’t sound so cool). After a short lunch break we finally went to the Turkish embassy for the team presentation!
Finally there was the possibility to chat with other teams, make first contacts and to see in general what kind of crazy people are still out there – some are really very crazy, probably the first and only carnival appearance took place in a Turkish embassy that evening, in fact we did not find any sources for similar events…. After the first get-together there were various speeches of the organising committee, as well as rally partners from Turkey, Israel and Jordan, we do not want to bore you with the contents at this point. Afterwards there was a break with small but fine culinary tasting, containing all kinds of Turkish specialities and (also a novum in the Turkish embassy) plenty of wine and beer! We continued with the actual occasion of the event; the presentation of the teams. Each team had 3.3 minutes to present themselves, which was used in different ways #carnivalparade.
The next morning we had to say goodbye from Brussels to drive back, but somehow on the way back we got to see a Volvo V70, which somehow became our third rally car, but more about that in the next blog post