The Glo-Bus

Auto News

This year, the VW Bulli 70. Why did the Bus have the Status of a freedom symbol? Dieter Kreutzkamp know the answer: The story of a trip around the world with 34 HP.


Dieter Kreutzkamp

An Interview by Christoph Stockburger

Christoph Stockburger

    More articles by Christoph Stockburger

    Tuesday, 06.06.2017
    11:35 PM

    • Print
    • Rights of use
    • Feedback
    • Comment

    In a two-hour Interview with Dieter Kreutzkamp you get many detailed answers. But, you are left with a question: What do I do here?

    Kreutzkamp, 71, will be touring for about 40 years, almost continuously around the globe. He has found his personal formula to be happy. “You need the right partner and the right Bus.” Both of these he had found with his mid-twenties: his wife Juliana and a VW T1.

    The Bulli from Volkswagen is celebrating this year the 70th anniversary. The love story of the Kreutz Kamps explains why the minibus was a myth.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Kreutzkamp, you are across the world. How did it come about?

    Dieter Kreutzkamp: My parents have every year in Berchtesgaden holiday. Is also nice – but I wanted to conquer the world. A key figure of the travel writer Heinz Helfgen, who drove the beginning of the fifty years with the bike around the world and wrote a book was for me. After I read the article, I said to my mom: “I want to do.”

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And mom?

    Kreutzkamp: The thought of the fuses.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: was Wrong?

    Kreutzkamp: although I have my parents for the sake of a traditional career path embarked upon and am a civil servant. But in me, a new departure was the mood. I’m losgereist, as Helfgen. Just a little more contemporary: not with the wheel, but with a VW Bulli T1.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: do you Remember, where you take the Bus?

    Kreutzkamp: At a VW dealer in the vicinity of Hanover. The car was already ten years old, but it had cabinets, a Westfalia interior with 80-litre water tank and installation. The Bus was cheap and reliable – exactly the right Instrument, in order to realize my dreams.

    Photo gallery

    World travel in a VW Bus:
    “As the Bulli was the way we felt without a home”

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where did you get your first big trip?

    Kreutzkamp: My wife and I have two test journeys made to the North Cape and in the Northern Sahara. In 1972, we went to India, on the so-called Hippie Trail, so about Afghanistan and Nepal. The Name Hippie Trail was invented only later, back then the Route called no one. But there’s a lot of hash were-Freaks on the go.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How did your parents react when you them of the plans told?

    Kreutzkamp: mother was understanding, but sad. Father was angry.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And your wife?

    Kreutzkamp: had this drive is not so in as I.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: you had to so persuade.

    Kreutzkamp: no, you took my crazy ideas and supports. She always remained at my side, and where I have later been insufficient time compensated for by its strength and earthiness. She always says I was the accelerator and the brake. And as in the case of a vehicle, it needs both, big plans for the future work.

    Photo gallery

    Picture book about the VW Bus:
    A friend on wheels

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Today, you will find on the Internet a page of travel tips. As it was the beginning of the Seventies, without directions to India?

    Kreutzkamp: In Globetrotter circles there was for three marks of photo copies of the routes. Added: Today I use Google Earth on my Smartphone. But at the time, the creativity and the courage were required in order to move forward.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How many miles did you on your first big trip?

    Kreutzkamp: About 33,000.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How to put the Camper this long distance path?

    Kreutzkamp: On the way he has absolutely no Bitches. After around 25,000 miles the V-belt pulley shredded. Unfortunately, in the midst of a hilly landscape in Anatolia.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How have they helped?

    Kreutzkamp: The hump is high we have the Bus pushed. At the top we jumped in and let it roll.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: that Sounds exhausting.

    Kreutzkamp: The Bulli, was not so difficult. After 15 kilometers, we reached a petrol station with a workshop. Overall, the Test was passed by the trip to India.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: what do you mean by that?

    Kreutzkamp: the Trip wanted to, my wife and I find out, whether we long to travel together, master and whether our Bus as a part of. What can I say, it all went well. So we plunged in 1975, to the next big adventure.


    Kreutzkamp: A world tour with the Bulli. Were planned three years, resulting in eight were.

    To The Person

      Dieter Kreutzkamp, Born in 1946, touring with his wife Juliana for more than 40 years around the world. On the trips he has published several books. Among other things, “the-world-trip – 4300 days on the road on five continents”.

    MIRROR ONLINE: The turn: How have you funded?

    Kreutzkamp: My wife was a kindergarten Director, and I worked in a government office. We had saved up before the trip, adamant, and both resigned our Jobs.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And why were three years, eight?

    Kreutzkamp: Because we, the Saved, fortunately, is longer than planned. We lived most of the time either in our Bus, or under the open sky.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where did you travel?

    Kreutzkamp: We wanted to with the Bus from Germany to South Africa, and from there by boat to Australia and then on to North America, up to Alaska.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Was your travel plan?

    Kreutzkamp: of Course not. Already on the border to Algeria, we were faced with the first Problem: You do not let us in. We decided to take a detour through the Western Sahara. A Madness Exercise. The Camper only had 34 HP and was fully loaded. We have, nevertheless, ventured and lost the Bus almost.


    Kreutzkamp: In Mauritania, we had strong sand drifts to fight. As we drove over railway tracks, was digging through the car. My wife looked out the side window in the Distance, and cried suddenly: “The train!”

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: that Sounds dramatic.

    Kreutzkamp: The starter was a dud! So I crawled under the car and tried to make it short-circuit. At the last Moment it worked, and we came of the rails. Shortly thereafter, a long freight passing thundered behind us.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: that Was the most adventurous action, the Bus experienced?

    Kreutzkamp: no, that was just the beginning. In the former Zaire, we got no permission for you to travel – it was the rain time, because the roads were completely covered in mud. We just drove, without permission, in a small convoy, which also included other German with two Unimogs and a Hanomag-Henschel. We bought as much Fuel as possible, because we knew that The next 2000 kilometers is probably not a gas station. The whole Methuselah was full canisters with Gasoline.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Methuselah?

    Kreutzkamp: So we called our Camper – because he was so old.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How well were you in the mud?

    Kreutzkamp: We needed ten hours for 30 kilometers.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: you Had to constantly stop?

    Kreutzkamp: No. It was under the floor of the Bulli is closed, the compensated look at the shell of a turtle. We moved on to snow chains, the tyres had Grip, and slides, so to speak, on the floor of the vehicle through the mud.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: On snow chains, through Central Africa.

    Kreutzkamp: We came through.

    Dieter Kreutzkamp

    Mud battle in Central Africa: With a floor of the Camper is secured from falling over

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How was the trip?

    Kreutzkamp: We came to Cape town, from there we wanted to with the ship to Australia. But I changed my mind: The fascination of Africa had me gripped. I wanted to go through the continent and then on to India and Southeast Asia.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What did your wife say?

    Kreutzkamp: ‘go ahead.’

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How big was the detour, then?

    Kreutzkamp: About 80,000 Kilometers. But that was no Problem, because we had made us free from time constraints. Travel meant for us to live.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And the Camper?

    Kreutzkamp: Overall, we had the engine three times to take apart, for example, to new pistons.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Are you a wrench?

    Kreutzkamp: no, not at all.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How have you managed?

    Kreutzkamp: I had some tools, a VW-guide and the right woman at my side. She has marked each motor screw with a number and noted where you should be later.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: That worked?

    Kreutzkamp: Two screws were left, but the engine was running.

    In the Video: repair work on the Methuselah


    Dieter Kreutzkamp

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Has the Bus for the entire eight-year trip around the world?

    Kreutzkamp: no, in Nepal, we have him to inch away.


    Kreutzkamp: The shipping Container was too expensive for us. Sell, we could not him, that was not allowed.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What was the feeling of the Bus separated?

    Kreutzkamp inhales deeply: I’m still sad when I think about it. As the Bulli was the way we felt without a home. My wife and I stood in front of the customs office in Kathmandu, and took us in the arms. And we vowed to each other: at the Latest if we are to reach North America, we buy a Bus again.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How are you then through South East Asia and Australia traveled?

    Kreutzkamp: In Australia we were 12,000 kilometers on bicycles on the road. Through Southeast Asia and Japan, we drove with the motorbike. That was great, but something was missing.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What exactly?

    Kreutzkamp: The absolute freedom to turn left or right to be able and to know: we always have a roof over your head. This feeling of independence offered us a Bus.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where did you then re-enter a vehicle?

    Kreutzkamp: In San Francisco. There, we joined in the search for a dealer on a German emigrants from Braunschweig, Germany: Peter & Wolf Car Company. Wolf had had a blue T2-Bulli in stock, with the two Swiss previously the Panamericana rally made. The we bought.

    Dieter Kreutzkamp

    This Bulli T2 bought the Kreutz Kamps in San Francisco

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: he Received a name, such as Methuselah?

    Kreutzkamp: Stanislaus – following a National Forest in California, we drove. The T2 was then for a few years in our new home. In 1983, we arrived at the destination, the we 1975 had made: Alaska. I would have liked to have stayed there in a log cabin drawn. The nature is just gorgeous, and you can drive anywhere in a canoe.


    Kreutzkamp: We have Stanislaus sold and are flown home.


    Kreutzkamp: For me, I wish my wife would follow – you had me before that, so long supported. And their desire now was to bring in Germany as a child to the world.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How did you feel on your return home?

    Kreutzkamp: let’s put it this way: I was pleased that my wife was happy.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: did you have fears of existence?

    Kreutzkamp: About money we Worry about that. Alone to travel through Africa, I have patched about tires 60 times the car an honest Tradesman, I would have found in any case. But in fact, we returned quickly back to the civil and in our old professions. By the way, I gave presentations about our trip. In the mid-Eighties, we left again – this Time with a child, our daughter Bettina was born.

    Dieter Kreutzkamp

    Juliana and Bettina Kreutzkamp in the Bulli T3

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where to move it?

    Kreutzkamp: Alaska. Bettina was six months old and a Bulli T3 Syncro was tube of their baby. In 1988, the next world tour then followed, and in the meantime, we were able to make a good living of orders for travel books. We were up to us, later on, a T4 and a T5. Finally, we have travelled through Africa, and soon we leave for South America.


    Kreutzkamp: no, we’ve been traveling for a few years, mainly in a developed 710er-Mercedes, built in 1967.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why are you on this Truck moved?

    Kreutzkamp: For this I can offer no sensible reason to call. We have the car since 1990, which was a vehicle of the civil protection, with only 13,000 kilometres on the odometer. He is reliable, and we like him….


    Kreutzkamp: But most of all depends on our heart to Methuselah. Simply out of nostalgia, because our first major trips were with him so influential. Our next trip takes us to South America. There we will hang a large plate on the Mercedes.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is it?

    Kreutzkamp: “Search” Bulli “T1”

    The NDR shows on Wednesday, 7. June 21 at the documentation, “came As the Bulli in the North” – with the Kreutz Kamps, of course.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.