iglidur arrives in Portugal

iglidur crossed the “25th of April Bridge” which is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge due to its design, whilst on the way to Lisbon.

Crossing the Tagus River

Looks quite similar to the Golden Gate Bridge

On the other side, we stopped at the statue of “Christ the King”. It is based on the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro which the iglidur®-car has seen during its stay in Brazil 2014.

Cristo Rei

After the short stay, we continued our tour and stopped at the Vasco da Gama Tower for another photo. The tower is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who arrived in India in 1498 as the first European by sail.

The Vasco da Gama Tower

Before lunch, we visited one UNESCO World Heritage Site which was the Jerónimos Monastery.

The Jerónimos Monastery with an impressive detailed facade

After lunch, we went to a famous pastry shop in Lisbon where we ate more than one Pastel de nata. Together with an espresso, it is perfect.

One of the best desserts!

On the bank of the Tagus River, one can find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos which is a monument to celebrate the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time, many ships departed from Lisbon to explore and trade with Inda and the Orient.

The iglidur®-car is an adventurer as well

The final stop of the day was the western side of Europe – Cabo da Roca.

The cross symbolizes the westernmost extent of Europe

Three iglidur on tour team

With sunburn and a lot of impressions, we went back to the hotel to get some sleep to be prepared for the upcoming week in Portugal.

iglidur on tour goes to Venice

Our first stop whilst in Italy was Venice. Unfortunately, we had to park our iglidur®-car in the main car park as Venice is not accessible by vehicles. We had some sites on our to-do-list and started with the canal as well as the Rialto Bridge: the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal.

Discovering Venice


At the Rialto Bridge overlooking the Grand Canal

The next stop was the Piazza San Marco. It is the main square and social center of Venice. Whilst we were there it was possible to feed the pigeons with seeds.

Feeding the pigeons

However, the main point is the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica). The design is impressive and in particular the golden mosaics inside the Basilica, although was not able to take photos inside.

The Saint Mark’s Basilica

Close to the Basilica and all over Venice, one will find typical Gondolas.

No Gondola service during the rain

Due to the rain, they were covered and not used. Therefore, we decided to discover Venice’s’  narrow alleys by foot. Everywhere is something to discover…

… like this hidden backyard or …

… monuments like this of Carlo Goldoni.

We spent the whole day in Venice and arrived at the Campo Santa Margherita after sunset. It is said to be the place where young people meet at the local bars.

The dry-tech®-box on its own on the Campo Santa Margherita 

The last stop in Venice was on the opposite side of the Grand Canal in respect to the Piazza San Marco – Punta della Dogana di Mare, where there is a great view over the Grand Canal.

The Grand Canal by night

Finally, we called it a day because we were tired and went back to the hotel.

Bye bye, Venice!


Today, we visited two automotive customers and everybody was very interested in our iglidur®-car. Nevertheless, we still had some time left to see an impressive monument in Shumen. As the sun was going down, we arrived at the monument of 1300 years of Bulgaria. Due to the fact that it was built on a platform in 450 m height, it can be seen from up to 30 km away.

Unfortunately, our iglidur®-car was unable to have a look inside but …

… we had a look around with our colleagues: Ventsislav, Ivo and Marius

We then went on to have dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant and spent the last night of our tour through Bulgaria in Shumen. Tomorrow, we are going to drive to Turkey.

Video of the Week – ‘iglidur on tour’ car completes UK leg


iglidur visits British landmarks before completing the UK tour

Polymer bearing specialist igus rounded off 2014 with a celebration of their 50th birthday and also 30 years of their self-lubricating bearing material, iglidur. To mark both milestones and demonstrate the robust and durable nature of the material in extreme environments, igus retrofitted a small car with iglidur bearings and sent it on a round the world trip. The iglidur car has now completed the UK leg of its tour, which began in November, having visited famous landmarks around the country, such as the Stonehenge, Angel of The North, EdinburghCastle and BuckinghamPalace.

A key part of the tour is the donation of the equivalent of €1 per mile travelled to charities in communities through which the iglidur car passes. In the UK, igus held a small charity event at the Northampton Guildhall, near to its UK headquarters, where the company donated £2,500 to the neonatal Gosset Ward at Northampton GeneralHospital.

The iglidur car left the UK at the end of November to continue with the rest of its European leg, moving on to France.


Iglidur on tour visited a customer who develops electric motorcycles using iglidur®-bearings. Afterwards, we drove to Monaco …

Driving through Monaco

We drove to the harbor of Monaco and took a photo of our iglidur®-car.

The iglidur®-car with Monaco in the back

It was rainy and windy. Nevertheless, in the afternoon the rain stopped and we discovered the city together with the dry-tech®-box

The dry-tech®-box has a look at the harbor.

After a long day, we left the South of France, heading north towards our hotel in Gap and arrived after 2 1/2 h.

Our iglidur®-car made it to the final spot for today.

Let’s call it a day..

The iglidur®-car

Let me re-cap on exactly what iglidur is:

This is our iglidur®-car in front of the Ars Electronica Center – Linz. 

Our iglidur®-car is a normal compact vehicle yet modified by us. First of all, we painted it in orange and gave it the official igus® style. With the outside ready to shine, we focused on the inner aspects. The Univerity of Applied Science of Cologne in cooperation with igus® employees and the German Technical Inspection Association (TÜV), had a closer look and dismantled the iglidur®-car. Based on the general question “How can they be replaced best?”, a total of 56 igus® bearings were exchanged in the following areas:

  • Seat adjustment
  • Brake pedal
  • Gearshift
  • Hand brake
  • Window lifter
  • Convertible roof pivot points
  • Windscreen wiper mechanics
  • Throttle valves
  • Alternator

Transformation of the iglidur®-car (Arrow indicates bearing): Top left – Window lifter, Top right – Alternator, Bottom left – Hand brake, Bottom right – Gear selector

All in all, the car has travelled more than 50.000 km from Cologne around the world: India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, Alaska and USA.

The iglidur®-car has seen quite a bit. 

Now it’s time to conquer Europe starting in Austria!

Let’s see what happens,



Introducing the team for Europe


While we are on the road to visit some customers, I would like to introduce my team mates:

The crew of iglidur® on tour from left to right: Sandor, myself and Nils

Nils is 19 years old, has a vocational diploma in media design and loves music and photography. Therefore, I have chosen him to assist me by taking photos. Furthermore, he has experience in filming and thus, will have control about GoPro and camera.

Sandor is 19 years old as well, loves to travel and to discover foreign countries. With his license in the pocket he is responsible for our iglidur®-car and ready to take us around Europe safely.

Now it is clear who we are but where do we go?

Find out next time,


Visit the igus website here for more iglidur information: http://bit.ly/1kOWYZ4