By Max Long

I’m Max. I’m 17. I like running. An cycling. And music. And poetry. And history. I also like art, skiing, writing and a whole load of other stuff. But more to the point. This summer I’m cycling 1,800km along the Iron Curtain Trail.

What is the Iron Curtain Trail?

The Iron Curtain Trail is an EU initiative, set in motion by German Green MEP Michael Cramer. It consists of a cycle track which runs all along the former European division which severed  Europe for almost half a decade. The trail is almost 7,000km long, and reaches from the Barents Sea in the north of Finland/Russia down to Turkey.

The  idea of the Iron Curtain Trail is to provide a culturally enriching form of eco-tourism which involves the tourist in its historical context while economically benefitting the areas it passes through.

I’m not so sure they expected some crazy 17-year old to set out and do a large chunk of it though…

You can read more about the initiative here


Why am I doing the Iron Curtain Trail?

I have always loved long trails. Last summer I walked 800km  of the Camino de  Santiago alone. It was a great experience.

I have a particular interest in history, and when I heard that there was  an extremely long cycle track packed with historical interest I simply couldn’t stop myself. The Cold War is a period which particularly interests me, and there is no  better way to understanding than going somewhere and living it by yourself.

During the trail I will also  be  collecting historical research for my A Level Extended Essay, which  I am going to base on the Iron Curtain and my experiences along it.


More about my journey on my blog:

  • I will be setting out  on the 11th of July, by flying with my bike to Berlin, and then travelling on the 13th of July to Lübeck, where I will begin cycling. For more information on  my itinerary, visit the  itinerary section, here
  • Since  I’m encouraging sustainable travelling methods by riding my bike, I’m raising money for Friends of the Earth. You can sponsor me here
  • I will also be posting regularly on twitter and  facebook
  • I also present a Radio program on Radio Utopia 102.4 fm in the north of Madrid. Visit my mixcloud page.
  • I’m also the editor of a small magazine, Counterpoint, published by Opinion Society Publishing…