Like numerous other trails I hiked, E1 has been on my radar for quite a while. Actually, since I learned it more or less passes through the region I grew up - Zürich Oberland. And this revelation happened just three years ago, in 2017, shortly after returning from New Zealand. During summer 2019, my intentions of hiking E1 are getting more and more specific and later that summer I decide to hike E1 - a European long-distance trail leading from the North Cape all the way down to Italy. The trail in Italy isn't completely marked yet but I hope by the time I arrive down there, the Italians will have finished their siesta and have marked the trail.
Unlike Te Araroa, I will hike E1 in sections instead of finishing it in one go, keeping my current job rather than quitting it. Several reasons led me to this decision. One is its whopping distance of 8000km, which makes it hard to thru-hike. Not impossible as other hikers have apparently achieved it but chances are high I'd hit snow at one point (most probably in the Swiss and Italian Alps), not to speak of unpleasant wet winter weather in Germany. Not exactly, what I am looking for ;)
Another reason: After hiking Te Araroa in one go, I had a hard time finding my way back into normal life. Hiking in sections will make the temporary return into normal life easier (hopefully), especially because with the next section already awaiting me, I will have something to looking forward to.
I can stay away from work for a maximum of 90 days in a row in order to stay current in my job as AFISO. Thanks to my flexible employer, I was able to work out an 80 percent contract, which allows me to take 3 months off during summer, while working 100 percent the remaining year. This gives me the opportunity to hike roughly two to three months every summer for the coming years.
So far I hiked roundabout 6500 kilometers in a bit more than 180 days or three summers - from Nordkapp to Smygehuk the southernmost point of Sweden and across Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. From the wild, remote north to the flat, more civilized Denmark and Germany to my home contry Switzerland and onwards to Italy. In 2023, work and motivation permitting, I intend to make my way to Sicily.
Like during my last hikes, my Spot tracker will record me progress here. Feel free to have look and virtually join my hike!