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-   -   Cyprus - Greece - Bulgaria 5000km (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=472317)

Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:10 AM

Cyprus - Greece - Bulgaria 5000km
 
I know i am a bit late since this trip was done last August but its still in my memory ... so here it goes.

General plan was a single bike (BMW F650GS 2005) my wife on the back and thats how it went from Cyprus to Greece and then to Bulgaria and back with around 5000km riding.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2446.JPG

The green line is more or less the plan but after making wrong turns in Greece but ... i enjoyed it even more.
http://i50.servimg.com/u/f50/11/90/47/75/image210.jpg

08/08/08 the bike is at the port to be loaded for its journey to Greece.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2449.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:16 AM

Spend a day in Greece visiting some friends from a BMW forum in Greece, until the bike arrives and we can start our journey.

Some photos from Greece.

Coffee time and someone said hi. :1drink
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Some food is always needed.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2466.JPG

... under Acropolis by night.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2469.JPG

Platia Syntagmatos
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2477.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:27 AM

At last 11/08/08, we can get our bike and start our trip.
After completing some papers and paying some fees at the port we got the mechanism running and we got our bike.

We left the port of Keratsini, passed above Athens and made a turning left on our way to Meteora that i promised my self that if i didnt go there i would not go anywhere, and so we did and did not regret it what so ever. :clap

Passing by Thermopyles (a lot of us have seen the movie 300)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2500.JPG

Meteora in the depth.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2503.JPG

Another refill and off we go, what a spectacular view and anything you see depending on the angle is different. We went up a monastery running I must say as it closes at 5pm and reaching the top we needed water, not cold but it was what we needed.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2506.JPG

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Me
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2545.JPG



Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:30 AM

a few more photos ...

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Kastraki, we stayed overnight and it was lovely!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2567.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:44 AM

viewing the Meteora was a sight for sour eyes but the time is over and we need to reach Thessaloniki and so we leave around 9am. We continue the route through the beautiful country side of Grevena with its twisty roads and through the trees. The twists become more offen and I continue playing with them gracefully. Crossing over a bridge with water under it I stop to take a photo.
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Around 12pm we reached Thessaloniki (Salonika) and had our coffee.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2588.JPG

A few more photos from this lovely city.
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My wife and i under Lefkos Pyrgos.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2592.JPG

On our way to the next destination it seems that I should of turned somewhere and ended up in Amphipolis :huh where during gas refill an old man told us how to get at Promahonas (Greece - Bulgarian borders). We arrived there at 8pm, found a room that was from the worse I ever saw, but since it was for a night we managed.

Photo opposite our room a small church.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2599.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:51 AM

Entering Bulgaria.

A map with more or less the places we went to .... will go back in 2012, the moto GP will be held there :clap

http://i30.servimg.com/u/f30/11/90/47/75/bulg10.jpg

Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:53 AM

Wednesday and around 8:30 we leave from Promahonas and entered the borders in about 5 minutes, with a simple check of passports from both sides we continue straight to Rila.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2600.JPG

Stopped at a local petrol station for gas, a coffee and a snack (Mpanitsa) and 7km up the road we turn right and go through a beautiful road and we find a store that had old items starting from stones, cars, bikes, coaches and even canons. :norton


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Vrakas 06-07-2009 03:56 AM

We enter a village with 40km/h sing on the side so I go according to that and it was a good thing since, in the next 4 villages we found radar in each of them. :eek1
Exit the village and the twists start under the shadow of the trees that created natural tunnels and some times hard to see with the sun glasses on, at some points apart the nice cool feeling we felt cold since we are in forests and a river is just on the side of the road. Finally after all the twists and turns there was in front of us the Monastery of Rila that is worth visiting.

Rila Monastery.
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Vrakas 06-07-2009 04:03 AM

Time to move on, I have already chosen the route to follow, on the bike we are again and we go back towards Greece and find the turning towards Simitli, as usual we lost our way :rofl but asked and a guy there with a car showed us the way with his car and us following him, there was the road to Parzatzik.
Now this is a real road for bikes, twists, turns, uphills, downhills, braking, overtaking on a narrow road that on the one side is the river flowing and on the other is the train tracks and finding trucks and trailers, this is where you find the greatness of a motorbike, twist the throttle and you overtook. In the tunnels I had a real problem as there are no lights and even the Xenon lights had no effect, I could only follow the cars rear red lights in front and my heart pumping really fast since this was the only measure unit I had to where I was going. :yikes


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2623.JPG

We reach the city of Velingrad and order something to eat, ....
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2630.JPG

found a petrol station and off we go again, this time we need to reach Parzatchik through the narrow and twisty roads but on the side women where selling fruit from the forest.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2763.JPG

We finally found Plovdiv (Philippoupolis) but as usual :lol3we made a wrong turn and ended up going through the town where all the traffic of a city waiting, a good thing mywife knew that city and we were out of it in 15 minutes and in the next half hour we reached her home town of Hisar.
Unload the bike and am sure it was relieved from all that weight as I do remember the rear spring using all the limitation and hitting the end. :eek1
Next .....we will start the trips in Bulgaria! :clap

How is it so far?

Vrakas 06-07-2009 07:09 AM

Thursday, wash the bike and get rid off the bugs and oil we collected from the road and yes, it was like new again.
Time to go to Sobot at a place called Shambjala, this is where extreme sports with bikes, paraglide etc take place.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2635.JPG

There is a teleferic that takes you on a ride for 22 minutes and so we did and reached the top viewing around and watching the paraglide fly from there.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2636.JPG

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Walked around in this marvelous nature taking pictures, where I found a squirrel taking a peek at me so I took a photo, so nice of him to say hello.
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Crossing over the trees.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2668.JPG

at the top
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2667.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 07:13 AM

Patchovski Monastery - Hisar
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2674.JPG

the view from there was excellent, on the one side you could see the town and in all other directions you can see the Rodopi mountains which I will go through them later.
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http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2681.JPG

I spotted an old oak tree and could not resist to take a photo of this huge tree.
The bike is under it :wink:
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2684.JPG

I still have some time so i go a bit in the town and have a look around to see the town of Hisar where it is know for the mineral water and baths.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2691.JPG

and another friend taking a snack.
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2695.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 07:25 AM

Stara Planina - Troian - Lovech
I start todays trip going over Stara Planina mountains and arriving in Lovech but before that I refill the bike with petrol from a station with a guy that didn’t have much to say but more or less showing me the pumps of 95 or 98 octane, I showed the 98 but he then sais niama, I thought, why does he ask if there isn’t any? Filled with gas I go straight for the mountains. From a nice main road I pass through some villages and then turn right and off I go in the uphill and twisty roads, ....

Here is a video with some part of this road ... in some cases i drop down to 1st gear to turn!

Reached the top of the mountain and took a photo but ....
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2700.JPG

i spot a monument that i wish to see at close up ...
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2712.JPG
so lets hit the off road part. :clap
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2716.JPG

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Time to find the asphalt road and to continue the trip, that’s a huge downhill I thought but managed to descent ....

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2720.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2721.JPG

....without coming off the bike and continued the twisty road all the way down passing on my way Troian that I had visited on another trip to Bulgaria ....
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2723.JPG

... and continue to Lovech.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2725.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2726.JPG

After the rest, time to go back, unstop this time (apart from three occasions, asking if I was on the correct course :lol3 ), over the mountain again. On my way in to the town I saw a river near by so I thought this is where I am coming tomorrow for some fun, sweet water never harmed me or the bike. :wink:
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Vrakas 06-07-2009 07:31 AM

Kalofer - Piala Rika
I did mention I wanted to go to the river so with some friends that gathered there, we decided to go to Piala Rika near Kalofer and off we go towards the mountains through the usual twisty roads.


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After the asphalt roads we followed a gravel road for a while going up and down and we finally reach a park.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2740.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2746.JPG

Time to test the water by walking in it and the same time it was a breath catching experience but I did manage to get in up to my neck but only for a minute, it was too cold for me but everyone else was enjoying themselves.
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y8mr9M6tJME/Si...2/IMG_2749.JPG

Vrakas 06-07-2009 07:34 AM

Etera - Veliko Turnovo - Shipka - Buzludja
Monday and we all get ready to go to Veliko Ternovo. Away we go for the Stara Planina mountain under the tunnels created from trees and as you already know, the twisty turns that are a bikers delight but I only saw a group of three bikes coming the other way.

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Vrakas 06-07-2009 07:36 AM

First stop, Etera, a lovely village that has been preserved over the years and everything there works with the water power, mills, cloth making bakery making lovely sweets and pies using the original recipes with preservatives and old coaches and sledges from old nostalgic times.
This is one of the times that whatever I say is not enough and the time needed is beyond a simple text, you must see this place in order to appreciate it.

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We leave this lovely place and off we go to Velico Turnovo ....


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