SunWalk 2011 – Basel – St. Peterburg

The Swiss physician and author Martin Vosseler (62) arrived today in St. Peterburg, healthy and happy. He began his walk on May 9th, 2011 in Basel. Vosseler walked for 66 days, a distance of 2,600 km. Tonight he will be officially welcomed by the Swiss General Consul. A concert, with music by Arthur Lourié, a composer who lived in St. Peterburg, will be given in his honor. As a friend of Stefan Hulliger, the President of the Arthur Lourié Foundation, Vosseler carried a CD with Lourié music from Basel to St. Peterburg. 

Why St. Peterburg? St. Peterburg is not only the town of the “white nights”, the “Venice of the North”. It could also become a pioneer city for Earth-compatible energy. During the 1980’s, Vosseler met with several Russian doctors; this was part of the peace efforts of the IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War). He also wants to see his Russian friends again and improve his Russian language skills. Vosseler also intends to connect with Russian NGO(s) that already are working for clean energy and protection of the climate. 

Walking 2,600 km for an Earth-Compatible Life

During Vosseler’s walk, he encountered many hospitable- and generous people. He had many opportunities to exchange ideas about climate protection and clean energy with many people and in schools; he gave lectures and several interviews with media in seven countries (Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia). Vosseler enjoyed unforgettable experiences in nature. He was very lucky with the weather--approximately 12 hours of rain during the entire walk. There were humorous encounters as well; for example, one hotel keeper in Herblingen, used a die to decide the price of the room; or the custom official in Kaliningrad who didn’t allow Vosseler cross the Russian border on foot; thus he had to take a ride of 600 meters, in order to enter the Russian enclave legally! The most difficult challenges of this walk were the mosquitos, dust on unpaved roads, and the exhaust fumes from trucks.

Vosseler walked 30 to 70 km a day (average 40 km), except for the 600 m at the Kaliningrad border 100 % by foot. His equipment: A carrix device with his camping gear that he pulled with a harness, two pairs of MBT sandals.

His motivation for this SunWalk was a prayer with body and soul for an Earth compatible life, for 100 % renewable energy and energy efficiency, for global ethics of solidarity and responsibility, and for the promotion of walking as a simple and efficient way of becoming and staying healthy.