The VW Bus connects
A breakdown, in the middle of the Bulgarian outback. The gears refuse to shift and there is nothing they can do about it. At 30 km/h, the T3 rolls along the motorway towards the capital Sofia. Fortunately, a Bulgarian travelling acquaintance has organised an appointment with a local mechanic within just fifteen minutes. Diagnosis: damaged gearbox. The very scenario that Regina and Thomas had always feared. “Then the mechanic used Google Translate to ask whether he should install a new gearbox there and then? He had a few used ones that would fit lying around in his spare parts store,” Regina recalls. “We were stunned, and asked tentatively what it would cost. €230 including labour, a special price for fellow VW T3 lovers.” Three hours later, the trio was back on tour. Things have a way of working out when you are on the road in a VW Bus.
Dreams become true
Our three protagonists are all in their mid-thirties and a well-rehearsed team: Regina, Thomas and “Edelweiss”, their T3 Bus from 1988. It has been home to the two Austrians for one and a half years, because that is how long they have been travelling the world. Since then, the trio has covered roughly 21,500 kilometres together. “Edelweiss” has proven to be a reliable vehicle, as a home with a panoramic terrace and as a mobile workplace. Or, as Thomas puts it: “It is more than just a car – it is a family member and travel companion.”
The fact that Regina and he are currently travelling the world in an old Bus is of course no coincidence. Thomas, who was already "infected" by camping holidays in a VW bus as a child, has owned the T3 since 2010. Since then, he has spent almost every free minute in nature with his Edelweiss camper. Soon the next dream was born - a trip to India. And when Thomas met Regina in 2016, one of the first questions he asked her was: Could you imagine going on a world tour in a camper van? Regina, with no previous camping experience, was soon won over by Thomas and “Edelweiss”.
For the big adventure, the two completely gutted the Edelweiss, overhauled it, repainted it and fitted it out according to their own ideas. Regina and Thomas did most of the work themselves - on-board electrics, solar system, water filter and interior fittings, all of which they did themselves. Regina in particular rediscovered her manual skills during this time and also got deeply involved in car mechanics. She now knows every corner of Edelweiss. Only the paintwork and the engine were not done by Regina and Thomas themselves. It took a year and a half until their T3 Bus was fit for world travel and the recreational vehicle had become a permanent home. At 33 years old and with 209,000 kilometres on the clock, Edelweiss was able to embark on by far its longest journey.