This Reinickendorfer is the world number 1 in Berlin

This Reinickendorfer is the world number 1 in Berlin

By 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.

Cyprus 1982: In a liquor store tasting ouzo Photo: Parfitts

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 as far as Sri Lanka in a Volkswagen bus.

India 1978: Wichura traveled to India with his girlfriend in a VW bus.  Here he brings coffee water from the well

India 1978: Wichura traveled to India with his girlfriend in a VW bus. Here he brings coffee water from the well Photo: Parfitts

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.

1994 on his journey through South Africa.  From Namibia he went on a sailing trip

1994 on his journey through South Africa. From Namibia he went on a sailing trip Photo: Parfitts

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.

Wichora with villagers in the northern Philippines.  Here he visited one of the largest rice fields in the world

Wichora with villagers in the northern Philippines. Here he visited one of the largest rice fields in the world Photo: Parfitts

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.

Beer can be collected in his apartment.

Beer can be collected in his apartment. “I have the most exotic ones from Vietnam, Aruba, Azerbaijan and Georgia.” Photo: Parfitts

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!”

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