The Friendship Tour team with friends after the Formula-1 race in Monza, Italy Picture Gallery

BAHRAIN'S Friendship Tour has completed the final lap of a 25,000-km journey that took it through 20 countries in the Middle East and Europe.

The tour ended on a high note, receiving its chequered flag in Monza, Italy, where the 2004 Italian Grand Prix was taking place. publisher Ali Mushaima and German adventurer and journalist Petra Beuchert were greeted and congratulated on completing the trip by Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) general manager Martin Whitaker and BIC marketing manager Eddy Rizk.

Ali began the 20-country journey in a four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Pajero from the BIC on June 22. The aim of the trip was to promote Bahrain as a tourist destination and the BIC as one of the latest attractions in the country.

The tour-on-wheels adventure took the Friendship team through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Venice, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and finally Italy.

Over the nearly three months of the tour, the team met with ambassadors, Gulf Air officials, media representatives and the general public to talk about Bahrain and its various attractions.

During the final days of the trip, Ali met members of the Press at a dinner hosted by Gulf Air in Frankfurt, Germany and visited former US Ambassador to Bahrain Johnny Young in Slovenia, where he is now ambassador.

"I'm very happy I did this trip, it is only the start but we made good contacts in all the places we visited and Bahrain had good publicity," said Ali.

He said that he was looking forward to coming back to Bahrain where he would be working on his annual publication - Visitor's Complete Guide to Bahrain.

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