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AutoRek Walks the World
As we kick off 2021 who knows what is in store, but it looks like it is going to be another very different year! For almost a year now we have not been able to meet in person, like most companies, however a key focus for us has been to not lose our team spirit and to keep people motivated and active. We have run ‘keep active’ challenges, Friday afternoon socials and many ‘drop in & chat’ Zoom sessions.
With many global clients to see and visit, our employees are definitely not shy of a bit of international travel. Rumors are that some people within AutoRek have even missed those early morning flights! Unfortunately, travel looks like it will be suspended for the foreseeable future. So, to make up for it we have decided to virtually ‘walk the world’ as one team and reminisce of times spent in the cities as we pass through them.
We pleased to let everyone know that we are taking on this 45,000 plus mile challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Our virtual route around the world starts in Glasgow where we are headquartered, before travelling across to Edinburgh then down to London. We’ll then virtually travel across the Channel to Amsterdam and pass-through Germany, Switzerland and Italy. We will be jumping back in the water and travelling across the Ionian Sea to Greece to some sunshine before crossing the Aegean Sea. Once we arrive in Turkey we’ll make our way through Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Malaysia. Goggles and wet-suits back on for our journey across to Australia and New Zealand. Next up will be our biggest hike across a lot of water to Fiji before travelling through Hawaii, California, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and up through South Africa, Spain, France and Ireland. The final stretch will be a short trip across the water from Ireland back to Glasgow.
We began our journey just under a week ago and so far, we have crossed over to Edinburgh and traveled down south through York (one or two may have stayed at the Harry Potter shops too long!) and have now reached our fellow colleagues in London.
You can follow our journey on our blog and social media using #AutoRekwalkstheworld to see how we tackle some of the tough terrain. Whether we swim, kayak or row across those waters, you can be sure it will be cold. Still looking for brave volunteers to swim the channel!
We would be grateful if you would spare some change to sponsor our walk for Macmillan Cancer Support. You can access our JustGiving page here.
*Disclaimer. This is all virtual and AutoRek will not be breaking any travel restrictions to ‘walk the world’. Photos are from times when travel was allowed.
Journey Update 17th Feb 2021
We have just passed the 1,000 mile mark and have received our first postcard - from Amsterdam!
Groeten uit Amsterdam!
Lovely city, but if one more cyclist tries to run over these 'domme toeristen' (stupid tourists) one of us will end up in the canal and freeze to death - perhaps that is a reason to visit in the summer!
Sights we have seen: clogs, tulips, canals, art, many many bicycles.
Sights we thought best avoided: red light district, certain niche museums, brownie cafes...!
Onwards to … Germany
Journey Update 26th Feb 2021
We are now approaching mile 2,260 and have seen the beautiful sites of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. We have pictures to show and some stories to tell. Next stop, Italy!
Zurich! The stereotypes were true - the air was crystal-clear and calm There were snow-capped mountains and lakes for as far as the eye could see. I was there to work - at the other end of Lake Zurich from the city itself.
With fantastic views out over the lake to the not-so distant mountains, being in the office was not chore. An evening trip to Zurich was everything that I expected – hearty food and fantastic beer.
While on the journey home, I spent some time in the shops admiring the wares of some of the finest watchmakers in the world: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and so on. Sadly, the only watch that was anywhere near my budget was made by Lindt, and it wasn't terribly useful.
Journey Update 4th March 2021
With just over 3,130 miles in the bank, we have travelled down through long-legged Italy and we are a few miles off of sunny Corfu. We are looking forward to sipping on some cocktails as a well deserved break.
The scenery at Lake Garda was phenomenal! With the mountains on the horizon, it didn’t take long to get comfortable with the feet up. We ventured to the local theme park and water park for the days we fancied a bit more excitement!
During our visit in Milan, we had tickets to see Liam Gallagher. The wheels on our heavy suitcases had broken, so we dragged them through a roasting hot Milan for over an hour. More bad news came as we arrived at our digs… they double booked us! With 3% phone battery I rang booking.com to explain, they asked us to wait on a rep while givng vague directions on where to go.
Upon arriving, we had no phone and some expected frustration and arguing ensued… a woman (who we thought was a local Italian) had been wandering by, and eventually after 10 mins of pretending to not notice us said in a very clear American accent “are you guys ok?”. I dread to think what she thought about the things we had been calling each other, but ultimately, she rescued us!!
We spent our last 2 nights in Milan, skint, drinking whisky in an apartment we had never planned on booking while listening to Liam Gallagher on a speaker since we missed him live! Other than that, a great trip!
Journey Update 11th March 2021
We have banked just over 4,100 miles and have made it to sunny, sunny Greece! You can see what we got up to in Greece, but can't stop for too long, much more miles to get in.
After a long march towards the old capital Nafplion (the old capital of Greece), we reach the beautiful coastal town and are welcomed by the castle on a hill. The trek to the top was certainly worth the views. From Nafplion to Athens, the ancient theatre of Epidaurus was our first pit stop. There was no live performance that day, so some of us took the opportunity to take the centre stone altar to perform theatrics! The acoustics were fantastic, kudos to do the architects.
The days were beautiful and sunny in Greece. On route to Athens, we stumbled upon a lake - but taking a dive into water seemed risky as the water had completely dried up because of heat. On we went in hope to find Athens – and a place to swim.
At last, we reached Athens! The view of Acropolis greeted us from afar and did not disappoint. Unfortunately, we were let down as we got the news Acropolis was closed for construction. Still, there was so much other sites to see and things to do that it was hard drag ourselves back to the walk! Next stop, Turkey.
Journey Update 18th March 2021
It has beautiful week and much easier to get those miles in! We just under the 5,000 milestone and have seen lots of stunning sights so far. Here is our update from Ukraine.
After living and growing up in Ukraine, it is always nice to go back and visit. When we arrived, we took a trip to the Carpathian National Nature Park, which became the first state reserve in the country back in 1980. They have almost 50 walking routes – almost too much to choose from but all very beautiful.
The summertime can be nice and warm. A good break from the temperamental Scottish weather! We visited the cultural capital, Lviv – which has a charming and storied history. The weather gets warmer as you go south – so that’s where we headed next, to the city of Odessa and the Black Sea. The city of Odessa is a repository of picturesque beaches and world-class water sports activities well worth a visit!
Journey Update 23rd March 2021
It is been a while since we had an update, Russia is bigger than we thought! We have trailed through Russia, visited Kazakhstan and made a nice pit stop in Pakistan. We have just under 10,070 miles completed and are fast approaching New Dehli, India. Here is an update from our time in Pakistan.
We entered the land of pure - quite literally the meaning of Pakistan, through the mountain region at the start of great the Himalayas. The high terrain led us to the base camp of Malika Parbat (Queen of Mountains) standing at 5290m and Lake Saif ul Malook, where we decided to set up the camp for the night. 14Km away from the camp is Ansoo Lake, Ansoo meaning teardrop - one of the highest lakes in the world.
If Malika Parbat is Queen of the Mountains who is the King? Just 50km north of Malika is Nanga Parbat, standing at 8290m (the Naked Mountain) located north, just before the border to China.
We visited Lahore Fort - a citadel at the centre of city of Lahore, dating back to 15th Century. The large corridors and wide streets catch your eye immediately. They were originally used by Mughal emperor to enter the fort atop elephants. The fort also has Sheesh Mahal (The Palace of Mirrors) situated in north-west corner. This is elaborately decorated with a myriad of reflective mirrors - reserved for personal use of imperial family in the prime days of Mughal Empire.
Journey Update 14th May 2021
We have made it down past New Dehli, Nepal and Bangladesh and now fast approaching China an hitting the Great Wall! We have walked 13,233 miles so far and are trooping on. We managed to capture some of China's beauty...
Hello from China! We started our adventure in Shenyang, which is the capital and largest city of China’s northeast Liaoning Province. It’s a very industrial place but there are some interesting tourist attractions such as The Imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty and street food markets where we devoured some local cuisine.
We then trekked to Beijing, which is an incredible city and of course, the capital of China. We had four days but could have stayed much longer. Some of the highlights here included visiting the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and getting to walk part of the Great wall of China. Experiences I will never forget and I will definitely come back again one day! 😊