News and Announcements Tramprennen 2014

Tramprennen 2014… it’s hard to put into words!

We were standing in a desert beach at the Albanian Adriatic Coast a few hours ago. Although there were no cars at all, it took less than ten minutes to get a ride and get offered coffee once again. Five minutes after that, the driver interrupted a wedding reception so we could try some of the wedding cake.

So what now? We are sitting in an Internet Cafe in Shkoder (still Albania), looking at the fist Tramprennen-Videos, the pictures of those who are still on the road and reading the first updates of those who already returned to “normal life”. The crazy Tramprennen-Time has to end for all of us at some point, even if we hope to take as much as we can from this world where everything is possible.
After the blackout that just erased the text I had written here in Shkoder, it seems like time to say some final words about Tramprennen 2014, even if it’s difficult to punt into words!

It was more or less two weeks ago that we hitchhiked more than 2500 km with 130 people to Macedonia. We arrived a bit exhausted and thrilled to Ohrid, and imposed a state of emergency on this little town including campsite. Macedonia was definitely happy about our visit: the police tried to arrange rides for us, the people working at the border followed the race and convinced a bus driver for us to give us a ride… (still: No Borders! )

Everything started when 132 young people gathered in Wurzburg a couple of weeks ago. It was still unclear for many of us what we would be expecting. This year was a year of changes, since we had new rules, a big and chaotic joint start and it was the first time that some guys from the old school couldn’t take part in Tramprennen. There were many things that didn’t work as expected this year: the beamer at the campsite was only one of them. Registration start, donation tool, liveticker: many things that will hopefully improve in the future.

But still: Tramprennen 2014 was a great success! It was amazing to see that we were all together capable of collecting more than 9000 Euro for drinking water! Viva con Agua was also very pleased and sent a big thank you to all of you. The collected money will be invested by Viva con Agua in cooperation with Welthungerhilfe in WASH projects in India.
The WASH projects are one of the long-term impacts of Tramprennen, but not the only one. We hitchhiked from Wurzburg to Macedonia and on the way, we experienced so much hospitality and willingness to help, that it became impossible to think of any prejudice about foreign places, cultures and people. Drivers opened their doors to us more than a thousand times, they trusted us and so did we: and we were all enriched by these experiences.
What about the destinations? Twenty to thirty batik-shirt-wearing crazy hitchhikers left an impression wherever they went. House projects, abandoned houses and theatres were transformed into accommodation for us. Football tournaments took place, whole town parties were thrown for different routes of Tramprennen. Myriads of impressions and new acquaintances are the things we will remember for a very long time.

Listenting to all the different route dynamics and plenty of stories at the final destination in Ohrid was a great pleasure for everyone in the Organization Team. It showed us once again, that Tramprennen is only a platform where people create their own stories. And that everyone taking part of it: hitchhikers, drivers, hosts or donators contribute to the making and shaping of Tramprennen.

Simultaneously and unfortunately, Tramprennen 2014 reminded us that there are also risks when riding a car. One of the teams had an accident because of a storm this year. Fortunately, nothing terrible happened, but still, at this point a big HEY and greetings to Mia, who will have to spend the rest of the summer with a plaster cast. On top of that, we also had the (baptized by Tue as) “Dickschiss-Massacre of Kotor”, a gastro-intestinal infection that impeded some participants to make it to Ohrid. For them: we hope you heard the big applause you got at the award ceremony at the lake, and once again: we wish you all the best!

Before there’s an internet blackout again, I want to finish with these lines: Tramprennen wouldn’t be possible without an engaged Organization Team. Because we all want Tramprennen to remain being what it is, we would love to hear about all of your ideas, proposals, etc. However, most importantly: we need people who love hitchhiking an want to contribute to keep this hitchhiking project alive!
gro.nennerpmartnull@ofni is always happy about a full inbox ;)

See you soon on the road!


Whoop,whoop! That`s the final newsletter before the race starts on
Saturday. We can’t waiiiit!!!!!

While we are writing this newsletter to you, we are also washing
shirts and bags in the bathtub, drying them, doing silkscreen
printing, programming the website, distributing eddings, sim cards,
stickers, flyers and prepare a few other suprises. Long story short:
shitloads of work, but even more fun! Anticipation is huuuuuuuuuge. So
let`s get ready, here we go

Final topics

1. Passport
2. Start in Würzburg
3. Sim-Vards
5. Schengen-Routes

1. Do not forget your passport!!!

Most routes will go through countries where an international passport
is probably required! So PLEASE BRING YOUR PASSPORT (ID card might
also work, but we can not make any promises).

2. Start in Würzburg

The meeting point on Friday is at the campsite “Kalte Quelle” in

Here is a description on how to get there:

We will be there on Thursday already und will try to get some snacks
for friday! Please remember that is a bank holiday in Bavaria on
Friday, so no shops will be open in the area!

We will send you the latest updates about how to get there and where
you will find us on Thursday.

The drawing of the routes will start on Friday at 8 p.m. (sharp!!) So
please be there in time, because time is limited on Friday.

You will all get your hitchpackages on Friday, at least the ones who
paid in time. But we are very keen and eager to find a solution for
everyone, do not worry! Futhermore you still need to sign the waivers,
so the earlier you get to Wuerzbug on Friday, the better!

3. Sim Cards

Of course the legendary LIVETICKER will also be part of this years
race!!! And to make things easy and cheap for you, we (well actually
blau Mobilfunk) will provide with you with sim-cards, including credit! So
please feed the ticker!!
This year, we will even get some surfsticks, so you could even bring
your netbooks.
ATTENTION: Most of the Sim cards are normal (classic)SIM cards. Some
of same might not fit into your smartphone. So maybe you could bring a
phone that suits the classic sim card, or maybe you can even punch or
cut them in the size you need. We will find out….


Believe it or not: Pille is sitting right next to us, trying to fix
the donation tool and we all hope that it will be ready before the
race actually starts.

Nevermind: We are about the raise the first 2000€, whooooop whoooop!
Well done guys, concidering all the trouble we have and had with the
donation tool.

But that was just the beginning, let us all go crazy, one week of
madness for Viva con Agua and clean drinking water and sanitation
projects in North India!!

You can even raise donations during and after the race!!! DON`T STOP
US NOW!!!!
Sky is the limit…

5. Schengen

To those of you who are not residents of an European Union country
(e.g. USA, Brasil…): If you are only allowed to travel through
Schengen countries because of your Visa status, please get in touch
with us. We will sort out a solution.

Just 3 days until Würzburg, good luck for all your preperations!

The Tramprennen 2014-Crew!

Ps: This year`s LIVETICKER NUMBER is:  +49- (0)157 795 991 98
If you registered with your mobile number on our website, you can even
feed the newsticker from FRIDAY on with your own number, just send a
text message. The number is already attached to your team and
will appear automatically on the ticker.

WHERE ARE WE GOING 2014? #6 – Carpathian Mountains

The Carpathian Mountains – Home of bears, wolves and a lot of really nice people. And this year aswell the home of a few hitchhikers heading to Macedonia. From Austria in the west to Romania in the east, From Slovakia in the north down to Serbia in the south – the Carpathians cross many amazing countries of eastern Europe. From the Hight Tatras´ Peaks with 2000m of altitude to the harsh rocks and smooth hills of the western mountains in Romania we will put our thumbs into the wind. And the experiance of former Tramprennens shows: It´s easier to meet the nice people than the bears and wolves. So we can look forward to selv-made schnaps and some rides on horse carts!



Hey ho you crazy people

that are hitchhiking with us to Macedonia in two weeks! Here is our first Newsletter!

We are sorry for all the technical problems we have had, and the many delays. However, once we are in Würzburg the 15th this will be all-irrelevant

To keep you informed until then, here is the important info about…
1. Donations- we will collect money this year again for drinking projects through Viva con Agua

2. Joint Start- When, where and how?

3. Money and Hitchpackages

4. Press

5. Hitchmate – Exchange

And off we go!

1. Donations

This year again, these two weeks in August will not be only about hitchhiking. We will also try to draw attention to a problem that unfortunately affects too many in the world: access to drinking to water and sanitation. For the fifth consecutive time we will collect donations for Viva con Agua, so they can support together with the Welthungerhilfe a WASH-project (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in India.

We will collect donations through Betterplace this year. They are trustworthy, the system is very user-friendly and all the collected money will flow without charges directly to Viva con Agua.

Just click on the Betterplace-donation-link and support your favorite team with your desired amount. Unfortunately, donations will not appear on the team profiles yet. But we are working on it, so donators should just type in the name of your team in the Message-Box on and we will put it in the team profile as soon as possible! Teams can be bought from €100 onwards, and “Team Owners” are linked to the teams with a picture on the team’s profile.

Let’s rock the donation counter!

Here’s the link:

Who should I ask for a donation?

First things first: we don’t expect huge amounts of money (not that they are not welcome!), but we are happy about every donated Euro. In the past, donators have always been close friends, relatives or acquaintances of the team’s members. So take some time and ask them, call them or write them an Email! People are usually keen on hearing crazy hitchhiking stories! You can also bet with friends or think of a new innovating idea to get some people amazed by the concept of Tramprennen! Our motto remains: No Borders!

But don’t put yourselves under pressure! We will not oblige you to get donations or be mad if you do not find any sponsors! Everyone should just try his or her best!

Another tip that will increase your chances of getting sponsors: pimp up your team’s profile! Fill in the blanks, upload a nice picture, and be creative! Everyone loves a nice profile in times of Facebook J

And don’t forget to mention! Usually also a nice extra for Tramprennen supporters: the whole race can be followed live through our Liveticker on!

Further information about donations can be found on the homepage (FAQ Donations) and if you still have questions just e-mail us to gro.nennerpmartnull@ofni!

2. Joint Start

About this year’s big innovation: the joint start in Würzburg! We are all hoping it will be a very nice event, a meeting point for old friends as well as an opportunity to get to know new hitchhiking faces J On top of that, the different routes will be assigned to the teams, so suspense is guaranteed for!

We booked a camping site for everyone to spend the night there on Friday, so it will be easy to get all participants together and meet at night and the following morning. This is the website of the place, in case you want to check it out or look up for directions on how to get there:

The owners of the place are really nice and the owner’s son will turn 18 on Friday night, so we won’t have to worry about being late and loud with our schedule J

The organizing team will arrive there on Thursday to finish some planning. Since Friday is a holiday in some parts of Bavaria, they will go shopping on Thursday, probably something to eat or snack and some drinks.

We would like all of you to arrive on Friday afternoon. Program will officially start at eight!

About the costs: We were able to save some money with the costs of the hitchpackages this year, so we decided to pay for the camping site in Würzburg from the money that was left. We hope you welcome our decision J

(if someone is from or is living in Würzburg or the surroundings, let us know! We could still use some help on the starting day)

And one last little detail: Würzburg is located in northern Bavaria, a place which is known to have very active policemen, especially in petrol stations J Therefore, take the necessary measures to keep your spirits high even if you are asked for your ID or even get searched by the police…

3. Hitchpackages and money..

All participants will get their hitchpackage in Würzburg. It contains a SIM-card with credit for the Liveticker, Eddings, the Participant Info Folder with all relevant phone numbers and meeting points, the TR-Shirt, Flyers and a little surprise!

For those who haven’t transferred the money yet, please do that until next Sunday. We will print the T-shirts on Sunday and we need to have an overview of the number of participants. Registrations are also open until Sunday!!

4. Press

We are all passionate hitchhikers and I think I speak for everyone when I say: there is no better way to travel! As Malte said in the NDR-documentary, “the world would be probably a better place if more people would hitchhike”. Unfortunately, reports about hitchhiking in the press are not always positive.

We think Tramprennen is a great opportunity to prove the opposite! That is why we ask you: if you have time and energy to do that, contact the local media in your surroundings! You can tell them about Tramprennen and ask them if they would like to report about it. Local newspapers are always keen on doing it, the same goes for many radio stations!

If you have questions about how to proceed, you can write to gro.nennerpmartnull@ocram

Information for the press itself can be found on

5. Hitchmate X Change

Hitchhiking in groups of three also works?

There are still very nice people looking for a partner/team to take part of this year’s Tramprennen! At the same time, we have many registered teams of two. Our long time experience has shown that teams of three get as many lifts as teams of two! The three-hitchhikers-curse is indeed an urban legend!

So if you want to help others who couldn’t find a mate and/or your motto is “the more the merrier”, take a look at the Hitchmate-Xchange Board!

This is it from our side for now. The next Newsletter will arrive in your inbox next week! If you still have questions, do not hesitate to ask!

We are very excited to hit the road with all of you in two weeks! Let us rock the donation counter until then, and enable people access to drinking water, something that taken for granted for us, but is unfortunately still a problem in many parts of the world!
We wish you all loads of fun and sun!

your Tramprennen 2014-Crew

WHERE ARE WE GOING 2014? #4 – Franconia

by Marleen

Already in 2011 the most beer-containing region of Germany – Oberfrangen! (Upper Franconia, pronounced in franconian dialect) – was one of the first stage destinations. In 2014 the starting point of the hitchhiking race will be Underfrangen (Under Franconia, p.i.f.d.). This part of Franconia already belongs to Wine-Franconia (also: Main-Franconia), because of its yummy grapes growing on green hills which are supposed to be filled up into characteristic, quite aesthetic bottles (called Bocksbeutel). The ones who follow these lines with attention already get it: Franconia consists of different parts: Upper-, Under-, Middle-Franconia, not to forget Heilbronn-Franconia and South-Thuringia. You don’t necessarily need to remember all these facts, but one thing you should definitely recognize: Franconia is not Bavaria. I guess, nobody wants to be thrown out of his lift. By the way: Middle-Franconia also belongs to Beer-Franconia (Like Upper-Franconia).

Well, the most important facts about geography and culinary stuff has already been illustrated. Now what about hitchhiking in Franconia? Back to the year 2011… The route from Hamburg to Bayreuth is not a Kaffeefahrt (promotional trip mostly for retired persons often organized to rip these off). The A 7 is manageable like a coasting slide, without doubt. But after, you need to conquer the A 70, one of the most ambitious highways in Germany – like an asphalt desert lacking in gas oases. Here, loads of hitchhikers already fell by the wayside. „Rhön is dead“, announces the live ticker this day several times. Franconian-experts we are, we already knew about this before. For this reason we already had chosen plan B, because good hitchhikers know: Being open for taking loop ways can bring you faster to your final destination. But despite our big expertise the route was a challenge for us as well. It happened, that we lost our mainway because of an unlucky coincidence. This meant for us in particular: Burger King-Gourmets, refueling mommies, gas station (but beside the highway). Despite our nonchalant behavior we can’t make it back to the highway, but anyway, country roads are more beautiful, aren’t they?Now the Franconian Switzerland. Being situated in the middle of the towns Bamberg, Bayreuth and Nürnberg it connects all the Uppers and Unders. The Franconian Switzerland is a very popular hiking-area which is stuffed with more than 100 small-breweries. Very fast hitchhikers have the possibility to stop for a bite to eat at one of the many franconian restaurants or wine-franconian Heckenwirtschaften (that’s a typical wine-franconian thing). You can get a zünftigs Weizn (weiss beer, p.i.f.d.) or a fruity Schobbn (quarter-liter wine, p.i.f.d.), maybe accompanied by a Grupften (aromatic, mashed camembert, p.i.f.d.) and a Brezln (pretzel, everybody knows that!). Or: If you need meat so badly, just take a Schäuferle (shoulder of a pig, typical franconian meat dish) or some of the crispy Nembercher Bradwürschd (bratwurst, pronounced in middle-franconian dialect). To digest, you should think about hiking the Fünf-Seidla-Steig (some hiking trail in the southern Franconian Switzerland), where you walk from small brewery to small brewery, enjoying the nice landscape and the fresh, cold beer. (Seidla = Half-liter beer).


Beer-franconian landscape

Country air in the nose, sunbeams on the thumb. Next station: Somewhere in the franconian middle of nowhere. Yellow rapeseed fields surrounding us, idyllic calmness. Crickets chirring. Beautiful here. No cars to see, neither to hear nor to feel. The boys start to climb some street signs, they are obviously bored. We are quite relaxed, as a Three-Dream-Team you don’t bow to competition feelings anyway and take your time to also know people and places on the road and rather consume some nice Italian espresso, but that’s a new story.

After a while Stefan from Hollfeld is arriving, together with his daughter and his little son. The glanne Buam (small boy, p.i.f.d.) is quite talkative and babbles all the time into the grown-up-conversations. „Ich hab fei zwei Hosen an!“ (By the way, I‘m wearing two trousers!) he suddenly gabbles very proud. Everybody is quiet, also Stefan is surprised. Today the little mischief was allowed to be dressed by himself. By the way, fei is one of the most beautiful filler and flavor words within the franconian dialect you can use. Authentic application and use is very difficult for strangers. Stop the linguistic excursus now… It goes further, after all the competition feeling catches us. A message gets into the car: Die Ekstase der Möwe (the gull’s ecstacy) is about arriving to Bayreuth. Also for us, it is not so far away anymore, excitement arises. Stefan gets infected by the competition atmosphere and we manage it to make him crazy about to really wanting us to bring some 24.7 km further to Bayreuth, directly to the final destination Glashaus. Shortly before the goal and honking with elegance, we are overtaking the Ekstase der Möwe, who were (unfortunately for them) by foot.