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From Austria to Oman on a motorbike

Biking across Oman

AFTAB H. KOLA, etn  May 28, 2010

MUSCAT, Oman - For Franz Terzer, an Austrian biker, zooming into uncharted territories is a child’s play. Covering 9,000 kms on a Honda motorcycle all alone over a six-week period in Oman, Franz still looks fresh. The intrepid started from his native place called Pottenstein in lower Austria, and in the first two weeks covered Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece before entering Turkey. From Turkey, Franz entered Iran, UAE, and finally Oman.

Showering praises on the latter part of his bike journey, Franz said: "It was really a different experience in itself, as the culture and religion make this region unique. I had a first-hand experience at the universal fact that Arabs are famous for gracious hospitality. Going around on a motorcycle, I learn about cultures and try to meet lots of people who welcome me with a smile."

Bowled over by the mystique of Iran he added: "Places in Iran are amazing. Isfahan boasts some of the finest monuments and structures. Shiraz is another culturally-lovely place. These pretty cities transport you to past {a} era."

Sharing some experiences Franz noted: "Iranians are not only hospitable, they reach out to you, in spite of the language barriers. Seeing me driving in the heavy rains, one restaurant owner offered me a place to stay. This is in sharp contrast to what people in the West would do, as they think [an] individual’s problems have to be taken of by themselves."

He had to get into a boat to reach Sharjah from Bander Abbas in Iran. Franz entered Musandum in Oman and drove back to the UAE again and then entered Oman. He says that he was amazed at the mountainous topography of Oman and driving though the terrain is a delightful and adventurous experience. He said that he had a wonderful time traversing through Wadi Bani Awf. Franz said: "Whooshing down a steep slope on a 600cc motorbike is one of the great thrills. Once my motorbike tripped, but fortunately [I] did not sustain major injuries, but a few bruises on my arm."

While on top a mountain in Oman, he was struggling to find a place to sleep, as Franz does not ride at night. He remembered: "Some Bangladeshi families were kind enough to take me to their shanty and offered me a place to stay and food to eat. Amazing people in this part of the world, as such kind of instances [are] rare in the West."

Franz rode about 650 kms at a stretch and slept during the nightly hours. He has already taken many such tours before, like the one he last rode to Morocco.

His original plan was to ride back through the same route, but now with the baking heat rising every day, he has dropped the idea on friends’ advice and will fly to Austria in a day or two.

Biking across Oman
Photo from Aftab H. Kola

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