Von Sarah Orlos Fernandez
He went out to see the world. Gerd Wichora (75) visited 133 countries on all continents. And the pensioner’s travel bug from Reinkendorf is far from satisfied!
It all started in Wichora when he was a kid. His parents were the first in the neighborhood to own a car in the 1950s. “Even as a little kid, I traveled by car to Spain, Italy and France. I was always a card reader,” says Wichora.
At the age of twenty (1967) he began traveling alone and with friends. Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium are his first destinations. Then he goes on another first trip to Lanzarote. In the 1970s, he and his friends traveled to the borders of Sri Lanka in a Volkswagen bus.
In 1996, at the age of 49, he took early retirement and traveled to the rest of the world.
For Wichora, the most beautiful people live in New Zealand and Mauritania. On the other hand, he had bad experiences in Morocco. Been robbed here many times and don’t want to go back.
When it comes to food and the beach, the former mechanical engineer has an eye for Thailand. “My favorite foods are fish, shrimp and mussels. In Thailand, exotic fish dishes are the cheapest in the world.
The pensioner has always loved to travel for little money. His cheapest trip: 1975 for 100 marks for a week to Iceland. The most expensive trip he took five years ago was to South America. Six weeks across eight countries costs €8,000.
As long as his health lasts, Berlin wants it to continue. At the end of the year, we will go to Costa Rica and El Salvador to celebrate his birthday. “Then I visited all the countries of the American continent,” he says.
He has already achieved a record by visiting 133 countries. Spreradio declared him this week as “Berlin’s most visited country”.
By the way, living somewhere else has never been an option for backpackers: “Berlin is the best city in the world!” Wichora appreciates the many bars and restaurants in the capital and is enthusiastic about the many theatres. And: “Nowhere else in the world are there so many swimming pools!”