On foot from Lake Constance to Rome or by motorbike from Mahlesbourne to Morocco. What seem like photo-worthy adventures have already been taken by Heiko Schliek of Mahlfühlen in the valley. “I’m almost a travel fanatic and really love being on the go,” he says with a laugh. When he was 15 years old, he was already traveling in Europe with an Interrail ticket. “My family had a hostel, and I still remember as a child fascinated by stories of journeys and our guests’ tales of faraway lands and past adventures,” he says.
No wonder he was drawn to the hotel industry as a profession. The trained chef and hotel clerk, who learned his trade in his hometown of Stockac, is now a hotel manager on a cruise ship and therefore also travels a lot professionally. “The bad thing is: the more I travel on ships, the longer my dream list of travel destinations gets, because we won’t be staying in one place for long,” Heiko Schleick reports.
During the epidemic, his plan is an idea
But he did not forget his village. This is still the starting point for his adventures, and this is where he feels right at home. “As beautiful as it is to travel, the Lake Constance region is one of the most livable in the world,” he explains in an interview with SÜDKURIER. When the coronavirus pandemic made his favorite pastime impossible, he and his girlfriend Catherine Ortlep came up with the idea of a travel-focused festival.
Now is the time: themed Basecamp Bodensee, the festival in its first edition will begin on Wednesday, May 25th. On several thousand square meters on the outskirts of Mahlspühren in the direction of Pfullendorf, on Friedensstraße 3, the festival area including a 15 x 25 meter marquee awaits visitors.
Also a culinary trip around the world
A diverse program of different travel lectures must be offered. Schleick announced that award-winning photographers and adventurers will show festival visitors other regions of the world in visually stunning presentations. “There will also be a street food market so that visitors can also embark on a culinary journey.” The festival will conclude with a performance by English comedian Johnny Armstrong. In addition, musical entertainment must also be provided.
Heiko Schlick and Catherine Ortleb organized almost everything on their own. The cruise ship’s communications were a huge help, Schleick reports. He also organized some things from the ship. Concrete preparations have been in progress since April 2021. “But I learned a few things for life from the organisation,” he adds. For example, every city or municipality has different requirements for attaching an advertisement poster.
Organizing the festival was not easy
It was also a particular challenge to get eight food truck owners to stand on the site of a festival in Mahlspuren for five days. Because the event has never happened before. But some speakers were instantly addicted to the concept.
On the Saturday before the festival began, preparations began at the site. Schliek managed to enlist about 15 helpers from his circle of friends to build on the site. As far as the financial aspect is concerned, the festival is associated with many question marks. “Because this is the first time we’ve done something like this, I have no idea how many people will come,” Schleick says. He hopes to receive about 1,000 visitors on Father’s Day. “Maybe there will be more this weekend,” he adds.
At best, it will be a light blue eye financially
Schliek paid an advance to fund the festival from his own savings. “We are going to do this now. First of all, she was hoping to do something. At best, I would walk away financially with light blue eyes.” However, his dream is for the festival to become an annual event.
“Of course, feeling malaise in the valley is not the center of the world, but like travel: the main thing is to meet interesting people,” says Heiko Schlick, laughing again. In the end, that’s also the goal: to show the world to people from the area. “Most people find such adventures fascinating, but very few would drive their Vespa from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego or walk 1,200 kilometers,” Schleick says.
By the way, there is a campground on the festival grounds for anyone wishing to stay in Mahlfühlen for several days and experience the entire program. Schliek announced that there will also be some interesting global travel vehicles on display there.
There was nothing like it in Stockash
Corinna Bruegayer, head of the cultural office at Stockach, found the idea of the festival exciting, she confirmed when asked by Sudkkerer. “I think it’s a great idea and I will definitely check out the festival. It’s definitely something we haven’t seen at Stockach before.” She is particularly looking forward to speaking to the organisers. “I’m also very curious about the response to the festival,” she says.