Swiss roamer roams the world in his ‘Land Roamer’

TEHRAN, Mar. 06 (MNA) – A Swiss tourist, who is travelling around the world using his own truck, parked his truck outside Tehran Times office in the last week and one of the Tehran Times journalists made friends with him.

As a Tehran Times correspondent, I was about to enter the office late last week when I bumped into an imposing camper-truck parked across from the bureau. It was plastered with phrases and vivid sets of drawings and pictures.

Suddenly, an idea popped into my head, “I must talk to the driver.”

Our workplace is situated adjacent to Hally Hotel, in downtown Tehran. Asking the hotel staff, I managed to find the owner of the vehicle, and consequently set a time to meet the driver, Bernard Salzmann, in the hotel lobby the very next day.

I learned that he commenced his globetrotting in the 1980s when he made it from Tanzania to Switzerland along a route of 17,645 kilometers. From then on he was hooked and globetrotting has been a significant part of his life. 

My first question was about his stay in the hotel. I wanted to know if he was faced with any problems in terms of services, amenities or anything else at the hotel. I wanted to deepen my insight through Salzmann’s eyes.

In fact, I didn’t expect to hear good and pleasing comments about Iran, but only to get his personal point of view.

“I didn’t notice anything wrong with the hotel, everything is great, staff are welcoming … as you see it’s well-furnished, warm and cozy,” Bernard said.

Speaking about the global image of the country, Bernard said that what he has witnessed over the past few days in Iran has been “different” from what the Western media depict.

A day before, Bernard had toured the city of Tehran via taxies and the subway. He specifically asked me to highlight that the Tehran subway was even “nicer and cleaner” than the one in Paris. He also commented about the hospitality of Iranians, saying, “Those I met in Iran were very welcoming, and in some cases they offered me free drinks or meals.”

Soaked in long, rich history, Iran has much to offer to visitors in terms of embracing countless historical monuments, picturesque vistas, centuries-old traditions, and of course, cuisine.

My next question addressed his military-like truck, and the creative idea behind it, a “portable home”, he called, “Land Roamer”.

He responded, “You know of Land Rovers and of Land Cruisers, but who has heard of a Land Roamer, Having had both a Land Rover and a Land Cruiser, I decided that I would call my camper truck a “Land Roamer.”

Bernard then led me to his vehicle for a closer look.

Wow! It was like a well-made miniature home equipped with almost everything including a bed, a dining table, two chairs, an electric stove, sets of closets, cabinets, a fridge, a toilet, a sink, a safe, electronic equipment and other amenities!

While inside, Bernard explained to me all the items he had designed, constructed and installed were geared towards making it a roaming “home”.

“When you step inside the 4x4 camper truck, you are sheltered from the rain, wind, and cold. You have all the water you require simply by opening the tap for the miniature kitchen and bathroom. There were solar panels to charge the camper batteries,” he explained.

“Look! My bed, with my own familiar sheets and pillow are here. Inside the truck I can find the necessary rest and refuge whether in Alaska or in Zanzibar,” Bernard added.

“Outside the truck you may wake up and have breakfast in the middle of the Sahara Desert on this folding table and canopy, and some months later you it could be savoring breakfast in the tropical forest of Brazil, or a late dinner staring mesmerized at the stars and the Southern Cross.”

Talking about his itinerary, he said he left his home village St. Cergue on February 13, 2018. “I arrived in Iran from the Gurbulak-Bazargan border, and I am planning to visit a range of southern Iranian cities before leaving the country from the port city of Bandar Abbas to visit Oman and UAE.”

“Then, I will land in Iran once again to head to several countries in the South Caucasus region.”

Meeting Bernard will be etched into my mind forever, and one of his comments stood out against the rest, “Less is more!  Without the ‘necessities’ of the modern life, you are free to slow down and savor life.”

MNA/ TT

News Code 132654

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