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 Oblerland. 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 hikers have 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.
My plan is hiking the first half of Scandinavia during summer 2020 and the second half the following year before
resuming my hike in Denmark in 2022. You see, it's a long time project and plans can and possibly will change. Even if I cannot cross Scandinavia by the end of next summer, it will not be an
issue. I'm not in a hurry.
Like during my last hikes, my Spot tracker will record me progress here. Feel free to have look and virtually join my hike!