MAN Truck & Bus

DAY 10: FAREWELL IS A SHARP SWORD

We are on Irish soil. All together once more. Our destination for this stage is Limerick, where the “Bus Europe Test” is to be held from 9th to 12th May. But first, we have some 200 kilometres of driving left ahead of us in our 12-metre-long bus. Excitement is guaranteed. Here are the highlights!  

Many destinations Tourists get to see a lot in Ireland. The Rock of Cashel is a monument that should be seen. But maybe you’d rather orient yourself with the navigation app you trust and not with this signpost.

Changing sides Bus driver Heinrich Degenhart always keeps calm. In the most relaxed manner, he steers his large vehicle through traffic on the left-hand side of the road. 

07:45

Melancholy is spreading

Although he was born in Africa rather than Ireland, we’d like to quote singer-songwriter Roger Whittaker just before the end of this unique journey: “Farewell is a sharp sword.” Why? Because the closer we get to our destination in Limerick, the more melancholy we become. We have covered 2.448,8 kilometres, travelling through eight countries and meeting countless wonderful people on this road trip. However, the journey isn’t over yet, we still have a few Irish highlights in store, such as the Rock of Cashel or King’s Castle. Let’s go! Or rather “A ligean ar dul” as the Irish would say. 

Red right arrow

Stage 10 On the last day of the road trip, we head to Limerick with fully charged batteries.

08:30

Ireland at its best

Today, we’re treating ourselves to the full tourist experience, filling our own batteries once more with plenty of impressions that will soon become part of the history of this amazing trip. Sheep, gorse bushes, dry stone walls, lakes, rivers, green meadows, pubs, fortresses, castles, etc. are all on our itinerary. Our bus is fully charged, having been given the injection of kilowatts the battery pack needed by our reliable, professional partners at Walker Vehicle Rentals & Commercial Vehicles. We can cover the remaining 200 kilometres or so with ease. 

09:00

Bus travel appeals to young people

Our road trip has provided us with impressive experience of what is already possible when it comes to electric buses and of the extent to which MAN is technologically ready for it with the Lion’s city E. So let’s dare to take a look ahead. The personal urban and cross-country transport of the future will be networked, electric and individual. Experts agree that bus journeys are becoming more appealing, especially to younger people. The ‘chauffeur generation’ is growing up and they want to feel good and be entertained, the bus will serve as a ‘mobile room’, as a vessel to get them from A to B. Perhaps one day it will be a train of several vehicle units that can drive into residential areas individually on demand and then join up again. Everything electric, autonomous and silent. 

Monument In Ireland, castles and ruins are so ubiquitous that you quickly get used to seeing them. The Rock of Cashel, however, is something very special: it is considered an Irish landmark.

Splendid Just a little more water under the keel and this beautiful barge would be a good means of transport to sail towards the Atlantic. The river Shannon leads there from Limerick. 

Shoulder check It’s well known that there are many sheep in Ireland. About 33,000 sheep farmers make a living from farming the animals and there are almost 3 million breeding sheep. No matter how many there are: Ireland surely has enough grass for all of them.

10:45

Three stops until Limerick

We can already do the electric and silent parts. And so we whisper towards our destination, Limerick, taking in another three essential Irish sights on the way. The Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross is a tourist attraction in southeast Ireland. We paid a visit to the reproduction of the three-masted emigrant ship, dating from 1840. Modern zero emission transport meets recent history zero emission transport. 

The Rock of Cashel is regarded as an emblem of the Republic of Ireland. The 65-metre-tall tower is a unique monument. It has been revered as the home of faeries and ghosts since ancient times. It was the seat of the Kings of Munster from the 4th century, while St Patrick made it the heart of his bishopric in the 5th century.  

When we arrived in Limerick, we visited the final highlight of our incredible road trip: King John’s Castle. This imposing 13th century castle is built on the site of a Viking fortress dating from 922, which was then converted into a castle in 1200 by order of King John. At that time King John, nicknamed John Lackland, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Count of Anjou. What a mouthful! 

Goodbye It’s hard to say goodbye. Whoever said that you couldn’t develop warm feeling for a bus? The team has grown very fond of the Lion’s City E. Now their trip comes to an end. For the bus, however, there are still some exciting days ahead, as it will compete in the Bus Europe Test! 

Kind soul Bus driver Heinrich Degenhart made sure that the team and the Lion’s City E got from Munich to Limerick safely – and was always up for a good laugh. Now the time has come to part ways. 

Cheers, strong team! In the evening, the team raises their glasses one last time – to celebrate the adventures they’ve had on their trip with the Lion’s City E. Crossing Europe, fully electric – What’s next? We’re ready…

13:30

This is where it all gets serious – we’re off to the “Electric Bus Olympics”

Once we arrive in Limerick, we give our full focus to the International Bus Euro Test, to be held from 9th to 12th May in the city on the river Shannon. We received a warm and personal welcome from Irish jury member Sean Murtagh. This year, the event is all about electric buses between 10 and 18.75 metres long. The expert jury from 22 countries will be looking at aspects such as design, interior, range and general layout. The latest award for the NEOPLAN Cityliner means that MAN Truck & Bus has proudly lifted the trophy for its MAN and NEOPLAN bus marques a total of eleven times – six times for the “Coach of the Year” and five times for the “Bus of the Year”. Now it’s time for us to give it our all at this year’s competition – we want to show the jury just what our Lion’s City E is capable of. That’s why we’ve clocked up 2,500 kilometres to get here! 

15:00

Time to say goodbye

At exactly 15:00 Irish time, our time has come. After 2.448,8 kilometres, it’s time for us to take our leave from our MAN Lion’s City E and its driver, Heinrich Degenhart. See you later frugal Lion, goodbye gentle Heinrich. It was an honor for us. 

Text   Boris Pieritz
Photos   Lara Freiburger

##ElectrifyingEuropeTour#Electromobility#Bus#LionsCityE
Black arrow up