The first 2,300 kilometers from Bielefeld (Germany) to the project partner school in Braga (Portugal) should be covered by travelling in an electric car (Mercedes-Benz EQV), having enough space to carry the two teachers and their school e-bikes. To go from Braga to Lisbon and then to Beja (another 500 kilometers), the train should be taken and finally from Beja to Loulé two of the electric bicycles from the Friedrich-v. Bodelschwingh Grammar School e-bike sharing scheme would be the final means of transport for the last 150 kilometers. The teachers linked the trip to the e-CROSS GERMANY mobility project which was started at Friedrich-v. Bodelschwingh Grammer School in 2010. With Three4Climate and e-CROSS GERMANY, the school participates in the programme “School of the Future” of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
From Bielefeld to Braga via electric car
On Friday, October 1st at 04.00 a.m., Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer started the electric road trip in Bielefeld. They needed to stick to a very strict plan of accessing the available hyper power charging stations on their way to reach Braga in Portugal in time on Sunday. Fortunately all the HPCs (hyper charging stations) in Germany, Belgium and France worked flawlessly and recharged the battery from 10% to 100% in 45 to 60 minutes. In Brussels, Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer, met with Katerina Fortun from the Climate Pact Secretary of the European Commission to hand over urgent demands of the Three4Climate students for more climate action by the European Union.
From Braga to Beja by train
On Sunday morning, October 3rd, the two teachers were welcomed from the partner school in Braga, and continued their journey by train to Porto and Lisbon, taking their e-bikes with them. On the comfortable train to Lisbon, they could also recharge their personal batteries after two days of travelling without much sleep.
From Beja to Loulé by e-bike
On the final day of the journey, Monday, October 4th, the teacher team took the train from Lisbon to Beja and cycled 50 kilometers from Beja to Aljustrel/Messejana to visit a large 13.9 MWp solar power plant (electricity for about 8,000 households) to show and communicate where our energy should come from and that our future is electric and emission free. From there it was another 100
kilometers by e-bike to Loulé at the Algarve coast. Due to the very hilly terrain at the Algarve and quite some luggage, the last part of the journey was rather exhausting despite the electric support of the bicycles. On top of that, 23 kilometers before the destination of Loulé, the first of the e-bike batteries went offline and 10 kilometers before Loulé, the second e-bike battery was empty.
Hungry and exhausted, but absolutely determined to reach their aim in the intended way by bicycle, the two teachers pushed their bikes with heavy luggage on the last 10 kilometers up the ascents of the Algarve hilly topography and arrived in Loulé at around 11 pm just before midnight.
Cooperation to continue beyond the Three4Climate project
Very happy with the successful emission free journey, Tobias Dewald and Jens Ohlemeyer were welcomed by the partner school in Loulé on Wednesday, October 6th, and worked together with the teachers from Braga on projects to reach climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. Vitor Aleixo, the mayor of Loulé/Salir, invited the mayor of Bielefeld, Pit Clausen, to Portugal to continue exchange
programs with young people from both countries and cities.
The project schools of Braga, Loulé and Bielefeld will also continue their school cooperation beyond the Three4Climate project with official school partnerships for future projects, as the Three4Climate project was a huge success. A lot of inspiring ideas for effective climate protection measures were created with the call for expanding education for a sustainable development in schools. Strengthening the bonds between the participating three countries Portugal, Slovenia and Germany was another very important aspect of the project since new friendships across Europe developed and thrived.
Copyrights for pictures above: Jens Ohlemeyer