‘I laugh saying “elektrik!” and ride two small rounds’ – more publications

Here you go, 9 more publications about the #elektrogirl journey to choose from, in English, Nederlands, Français, Deutsch and Italiano, each featuring a PDF-link below to the full article. Enjoy!

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1. Overland Magazine (UK / international) – December 2015 – (spread)

’… behind the lens…
Trui Hanoulle is freelance photographer, designer, travelling student and motorbiker. Combining a Belgian sense of the uncommon, a potion of nerve, and a keen eye for beauty, she constantly realises her passport is sheer luck. Bikes have taken her to a variety of places over the last 20 years – Iran, Pakistan and Yemen some of her favourites. We’ll be exposing more of her work soon, following her electric long distance return journey to Istanbul on a Zero DS. #elektrogirl is now her middle name.’

  • Text and photographs: Trui Hanoulle // download the pdf here.

Overland Magazine (UK / international) – December 2015 – (spread)

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‘Traveling is all about unwinding.’ – the first publications

Here is a journey on a motorcycle that offers, or maybe I should say obliges just that: to unwind.
And isn’t that what we all look for on our journeys and holidays?

On top op that, Xena, ‘my’ Zero DS, and I proved one of the main prejudices of electric riding to be wrong, even that of the manufacturer: YES you can ride long distances on a stock standard electric motorcycle. Though this is of course not what most people will do with it, the Zero is a powerful, maintenance free and silent motorcycle, for any journey, SHORT or LONG. It’s all about an open mind, an appetite for adventure, and curiosity. Though power supply will be tricky in these regions, I can’t wait to take an electric motorbike to Pakistan and Tajikistan. Really.

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You thought #elektrogirl had fallen asleep, off her motorbike, or just plainly off the globe?
Nothing further from the truth.
I arrived home safely —by total surprise welcomed by a good bunch of friends and family (banners and drums included!)— and plunged into writing articles, giving interviews and meeting some extremely interesting people at the heart of the electric motorbike development.

Here are two of the results; more to come.
[these are in Dutch only, but I’m preparing articles in English, en Français, und auf Deutsch as well. Published in spring 2016]

I can write forever and a day, but my advice is: just go and TESTRIDE these bikes. And get back to me afterwards. I’d be happy to learn from you too and to talk.

Entering Albania via the back door, the valley of Han i Hotit

Entering Albania via the back door, the valley of Han i Hotit


Buzludzha / Бузлуджа, the most mesmerizing building I ever experienced, period.

In 2014, writer Gaea Schoeters, my über-ex and still travel buddy par excellence, set one specific goal on our Balkan journey: seeing and climbing into Buzludzha. And thus it happened. The images I had found on the internet were mesmerizing enough already, but this place must be experienced, for words and images don’t come near to this fascinating, dilapidated communist monument.

On this journey, I revisited it with friend Paul Webble living nearby, and I will revisit time and again whenever I pass. Riding my electric motorcycle up to its front entrance (welded shut of course) was a bit of a challenge and I’m no brave heart for steep off-road, let alone rutted, hill climbing or descending, but I made it. There she was, Xena ‘my’ truly beloved Zero DS, a tiny dot in front of the concrete UFO.

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Witnessing the very sad condition it’s in, I give it another 5-10 years to fall to bits. The roof being perforated, weather has a free play destroying the entire structure below, including its stunning mosaics which are being stolen and vandalized to make matters worse. Truly heartbreaking.

Extract from the former http://www.buzludzha.com-website (now offline) :
State of the monument
‘Ever since the superseding of Bulgarian president Todor Givkovand and the political changes that occurred in Bulgaria from 1989, the state of the monument has been worsening. Portraits of Ludmila and Todor Givkov have been voluntarily destroyed. The copper adornments have been stolen. The building is slowly disintegrating; marauders are consistently breaking windows and stealing mosaics and ornaments. Nowadays, the monument is abandoned and no public institution seems to be concerned by the conservation of renovation of the building. The Bulgarian socialist party itself is not taking any action towards the maintenance of its most important symbol.’

BUT hope for the future is here : The Buzludzha Monument 
Funding has been found, at least for a solid start of the preservation. Restoration of the mosaics are being done and protection from the harsh winter elements have been installed for them. I’m thrilled to see this happen for many reasons.
A glimpse of the works in progress on RFE : Saving Buzludzha​, Bulgaria’s Mountaintop Communist Monument

Older links, still good for insight :
Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria : great images and text by Valentin Rüst, February 2014
fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouzloudja : the French wiki about the site is the most elaborate.
Inside Buzludja, Bulgaria
: this video gives a pretty good idea about the whole site. Made by a certain Andrew, July 2012. He added: ‘video is shaky as fuck because i was shaking too damn much from excitement’.

de niet-aanval en de niet-foto

We zouden nog even gaan wandelen. Dat was tenminste wat Nurgül en Mariana, mijn vriendinnen in Istanbul, me zeiden. Halfweg de namiddag was er ook ineens een bericht uit de lucht gevallen: een vrouwen-voor-vrede-actiegroep zou een sit-in houden in het midden van de belangrijkste winkelstraat, İstiklal.
Ik had eerder die week al riot police in full force een kleine machtsontplooiing zien ontwikkelen, precies daar. Geen betoger of anderssoortige groep te zien toen maar wel een volledig bataljon met traangasgeweren, schilden, helmen en maskers in de aanslag zoals ik ze had gezien tijdens de opstand in Gezi Park twee jaar geleden. Zelfs zo’n imposant waterkanon torende bovende shoppende menigte uit. Ja, er waren die aanslagen geweest. Zelfs aan de grens hadden de douaniers zich bijzonder pesterig gedragen. Maar die dag zag ik geen enkele aanleiding en ik heb er ook niet op gewacht. Mijn naïeve ervaring met Turks traangas stond me nog bijzonder helder voor de geest. Nee dank u.

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