About 30 people driving 14 cars will embark on a two-month trek from Shanghai to Hamburg, Germany, in an effort to strengthen ties between the two cities, the Hamburg Liaison Office in Shanghai announced Monday.
The caravan will depart on May 27 and travel through 11 countries and regions before reaching Hamburg, said Pan Hua, the office's vice director.
The group will travel through central Asia and make stops in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before moving on to Europe, said Sun Weimin, vice secretary general of the Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association, which organized the event with the Hamburg liaison office and a travel agency based in Germany.
The trip was organized in response to an event in 2006, when more than 50 vehicles drove from Hamburg to Shanghai to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of friendly relations between the two cities, Sun said.
The event will also serve to broaden Shanghai's exposure around the world. "The participants will hand out booklets about Shanghai to people in different cities during the trip," Sun told the Global Times.
Each participant will pay more than 100,000 yuan ($16,030) to make the trek. The money will cover accommodation and fuel expenses.
Pan told the Global Times that a German expatriate, a retired Volkswagen engineer, will join the group to drive back to his hometown in a first-generation Volkswagen Santana.
After reaching Hamburg, the participants will fly back to China. Their vehicles will be shipped back to Shanghai by sea in July.
The group is now applying for their visas for the trip.