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Ancient guilds set rules of travel

Matthias Suter and Tilman Flechner are travelling around the world in the traditional way, according to the rules of their guilds.
Matthias Suter and Tilman Flechner are travelling around the world in the traditional way, according to the rules of their guilds. Max Fleet

THEIR unusual garb drew stares in Bundaberg yesterday, but European tourists Matthias Suter and Tilman Flechner are just following the ancient rules of their organisations.

Mr Suter is from Switzerland and Mr Flechner is German.

The two men are both members of craft guilds, which were first mentioned in writing in England in 1320.

Mr Suter belongs to the Freie Voigtlander Deutschlands and Mr Flechner to the Fremder Freiheitsschacht.

Among the rules of their guilds are that the two must be skilled in a building craft, and they are both carpenters.

Other professions open to them are stonemason, bricklayer and blacksmith.

There are also some interesting rules they must follow – they cannot carry mobile phones, and they must have no children, wife, credit cards or criminal records. They must also be under 30.

The two men, who are still journeymen, must travel for three years and one day without going home.

They also have to wear a gold earring in their left ears, so if they die the earring can be sold to pay for their funerals.

If they break the rules, the earrings are ripped out of their ears.

The two started their journey in Tasmania and are now hitchhiking north to Cairns.

They said they were open to offers of accommodation to make their trip easier.

“We'd be happy with bed and beer,” they said.


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