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Strong stories

Journey to the west.

Taka Koike, from Japan, traveled in his G-Class Gena from Vladivostok to Senegal. Then from Siberia past Lake Baikal, to Finland and the North Cape. Then on to Germany, Morocco, and through the Sahara in Mauretania.

Trans-Siberian Express.

Taka Koike is a photographer, and he took his G-Class on a westward tour from the eastern tip of Russia. The tour had begun as a straightforward journey to the west, but with increasing travel fever and inspired by the capabilities of his Gena, he gradually extended it into a unique adventure on three continents. And without making any extensive plans. 'My friends told me I was completely mad,' says Taka Koike with a grin, 'they said I would be robbed three times and murdered twice.' Well, he is still alive to report on his amazing experiences by Lake Baikal, in the Altai region and in Kizhi Pogost.

From the North Cape to southern Europe.

Taka Koike and Gena made it to Scandinavia without being robbed or murdered. They travelled to the North Cape, where they were enchanted by the magical Northern Lights, then turned south and drove right through Europe to Portugal. On the Iberian peninsula they had a memorable encounter with Gunter Holtorf, the grand-daddy of all G-Class adventurers with his G-Class named Otto.

'Especially in the desert, I was again and again amazed at the ease with which Gena coped with the difficult terrain.'

Taka Koike

Across the desert.

Anybody who gives his car a name probably has a special relationship with it. And Gena certainly performed outstandingly on this journey. 'Especially in the desert, I was again and again amazed at the ease with which Gena coped with the difficult terrain,' says Taka Koike.

The photographer was able to bless the ruggedness of the G-Class on one frightening occasion when a truck drove into the front of the parked vehicle. Yet Gena remained unscathed 'except for a few dents in the radiator grille'. The journey could continue.

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