Go green Germans take bus
Jun 26,2010 | by Jia Feishang
A GROUP of German tourists who set out two months ago from their city of Freiburg paid a visit to the World Expo site yesterday, the last stop in a 73-day bus trip.
The tour, starting on April 15, crossed nine countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Iran, before entering China and driving along the Silk Road to reach Shanghai. A total 25 people participated, and most of them are elderly.
Trip organizer Hans-Peter Christoph said Freiburg is a green city and the tourists wanted to encourage a green way of travelling ? the carbon dioxide emitted by bus being far less than a plane.
The bus consumed about 30 liters of oil every 100 kilometers while the group would use 75 liters of oil if flying the same distance, he said.
And each member of the group only spent 1 euro (US$1.22) on average per kilometer.
As well as being eco-friendly, the bus trip enabled the tourists to have close contact with locals and better understand the life and culture of each place they visited, Christoph said.
He got the idea of travelling to Shanghai by bus two years ago when he learnt that Freiburg would exhibit at the Expo. He is a veteran of such tours, having travelled from the German city to Beijing by bus to watch the Olympic Games.
He is planning another bus trip to Beijing next year and to Singapore in 2012.
Inge Stagnett, a 67-year-old member of the group, said she was excited to finish the trip and was amazed by the beautiful scenery along the 18,000-kilometer trek.
Freiburg displays its green technologies -- wind power, solar energy, water recycling and waste utilization -- as applied in its internationally recognized sustainable project District Vauban at the Urban Best Practices Area.
Visitors can also see a timeline of the progress of its ecological development from 1970 to today's so-called "passive" and "energy-plus" houses, as well as plans for a carbon free city.