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Old 12-26-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
Travelling around Europe for a month

Hi co-travellers,
my name is Vagelis (Trikala-Greece) and i finally decided to share my little adventure took place around Europe last summer.

5-28 July 2010
14.000 klm
21 countries
Africa Twin
(I apologize for my English but i promise to do my best :) )

Having before me a mountain of images, scents, experiences and events that other larger and more vivid colors and other buried (perhaps not unfairly) that should catch the slight edge to see how singles will try to capture and as best I can describe my little adventure, which for me was a dream life that had begun as a simple conversation with a friend and as I was passing the days, months, years of growing up in my mind and ultimately took the form of avalanche.

On tour you will read below the dates, times, mileage and general terms the calculations for the trip is somehow indicative and enter a post and more days on the road the last thing that mattered was the main Therefore the date, what day and what time it is and how many kilometers traveled. The truth is that i have tried to accurately capture some of these items but in the process changed so much data that the journey itself forces you to spend more time on other things that previously did not give them the value that would .

In essence, the journey began around October of last year and now when I started to record tracks on the internet, countries would come off and general information that will voithagan during the trip. It was the first time you see that I was passing the border with my bike and I, at least in serious issues of preparation (travel documents) to be prepared.

The group for the trip did not take long to find one and through an entry that I posted the second or third message was of John and Dimitris, 2 guys from Corfu with a Suzuki VStrom and a Moto Guzzi Stelvio respectively. Mine bike a Honda Africa Twin.During the time remaining until the start date of the trip we met to know each other a little better and to discuss some things related to travel.

The days was passing and i was having a general plan that I start making every day add something more. Some say half the trip is the preparation and waiting time, which was perfectly in my case. As the time approached, at night before I fall asleep my mind as if on autopilot with a lead in the first kilometers of the route. Almost always, of course, arrived shortly before or shortly after the border where i felt asleep, having formed a smile on my face.

The personal items i and the bike needed was beginning to fill the floor of my children room (they were on vacations in a camp). A list of things, which had become something of a gospel that in recent days which included from second headset for my cell phone (the music was a great traveling companion) to the oil it would take the bike.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
The Preparation

2 days before the trip i loaded the bike with all the stuff and make a short journey to see the weight distribution and behavior of the motorcycle. The distribution of property had become the main basis because it wasn't easy to carry 3 bags, the tag-bag, and a bag in the room for the essentials. So apart from the top-case, on the side seperate my stuff so that each one has things that I would need for a 10 days time period.
Whether it ultimately helped me that's another story that will find it below. The top-case had put on clothes and equipment that it would be useful as we're on the move (raincoats, chain spray, gloves, gaiters). Everything else was in the bag which would come into place under the tent and substrates at the seat behind me.

B_B screwed with this post 12-26-2010 at 01:18 PM
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
1st Day (5 of July 2010 Trikala-Sofia)

The day had arrived. Tomorrow we start the journey .... Last coffees with friends and some time more dedicated to my wife who did not tell me but in the sorrow that will leave her for almost a month alone with the children she was unhappy. Last crosscheck on things before the lock bags, phones in the evening with friends and relaxing with a drink on the terrace of my house in time to be more than ideal. Light breeze, with few clouds and my thoughts to mix desserts with stars and crescent moon that I saw in the sky.

Too late when I decided that I should go lie down to rest I knew I would have been difficult to sleep. And so it happened to be at 04:00 in fell asleep and woke up in 5:00 when my cell phone rang. It was not the sound of alarm, but a dial tone. At the other end of the line friend changing his schedule traveled at night by car from Athens to be here while I was leaving. He had promised and finally did act.

In half an hour when I was ready now, came out of my house and having greeted my wife with the promise that i will watch out, and with my friend we started the way down the center where we drank our coffee. We sat about half an hour on the people next to us to turn from the exit of the night and watching them throw stealthy glances at the bike loaded. Of course my mind was in the first kilometers of travel.

The first stop would be in camp because of my children was on my way to Metsovo, where we had arranged to meet with Giannis and Dimitris. By then a slight detour from the route (approximately 80km) to Kakoplevri Kalambaka arrived in camp around 7:00 and left a letter with the names of girls from the outside in the hope that someone will see it and will give it. And so it was, after a little wet from the morning humidity,they opened it and than they told me reading it moved so much that they wanted to cry. Weaknesses are those that do.

Leaving dog ran to a nearby herd of some measures its territorial sovereignty and let me go my way. It will not be heard talking about dogs until almost set back into Greece. The Sheepdogs I have a weakness in something that is not mutual.

I arrived in Metsovo in the cafe located on the road first and got off the bike with some grandparents who sat in observe me. I sat outside and ordered coffee and looking at my motorcycle my soul was filled with a unique feeling of happiness. These are the moments that you hold tightly and store in a separate part that everyone has in his heart.

In a short time arrived and the guys with their bikes loaded and ready for our big trip and when they approached I noticed something similar in their faces. Coffee and breakfast for guys and little discussion on the first day of our trip.

Message from a friend in Sofia had come the previous night on my mobile for hospitality. The idea was very good and the guys agreed that the option of hosting Panagiotis saves us from time to search for hotels but also costs.

Metsovo, moments before we go

Dimitris (Stelvio), Me (Africa), Giannis (Vstrom)

So start at 10:00 and destination our first major stop of the Greek-Bulgarian border with dominant thinking and our three yje kilometers to the endless lines of the Via Egnatia to Thessaloniki. What I say now with .... With some 12,000 km measured in our original plan to trouble us the 300 Egnatia. Thoughts, but as we all know the brain is so complex and strange mechanism that processes always generates new thoughts in a split second.

After some hours of continuous driving at last seeing signs that we were driving to Sofia. Even in the Greek territory and somewhere near the border, the road narrows due to some projects and detours through leads to the agency borders. Flash before we process control instruments to the Greek side and stop a few minutes for some water and a few breaths.

The temperature was high enough for the season but the problem that faced me and Dimitris.Giannis pulling wis jacket was as if there had never worn. A drop of sweat. Lucky and I think I make my own and seeing my shirt was as if I had just gone ride in the rain without an umbrella.

Log in Bulgaria for the control and the two sides is almost non-existent and the only thing we did was to draw the helmet and show passports. Greetings with the Bulgarian customs and go.

Greek-Bulgarian borders

Review I made was the huge billboards on the right and left of the road for many kilometres that advertise all sorts of products. Landscapes green areas that passed the Strimonas River and the road leads to a left and right river. Vast areas of uncultivated caught my attention and made me wonder if the remnants of the communist regime in Bulgaria.

Stop for coffee about 100km from Sofia, Panagiotis message about where we are and reply that they expect us with George and his girlfriend somewhere in the city center.

El Paraiso, u can feel the moment right?

George and Marietta, Panagiotis friends whom he had met in to be met first , which will be hosted (like us) and who did a tour of the Balkans with an initial plan of 15 days .

After a few hours drive of beautiful landscapes of Bulgaria Sofia to enter the city and call to Panagiotis to see ahead. Paved roads most of Sofia and i see the GPS to leave the place and disappear !!!!!.

Right flash, stop and question to the guys who come back if they saw my device to black flies.
- No, Giannis tells me.
- I did not see anything.
- Me neither, I says Dimitris.

What the f@ck I think that went. I look behind from where we stopped the motorcycle, nothing. I begin by looking under the steering wheel between the cables and maybe get stuck there and see it hanging from the cable that I connect to charge. Lucky, I think, and put back in place.

A little less attitude and right again to question passersby about where the church told us Panagiotis that awaited us was. Grandfather offered to help us spoke so fast that the Bulgarian curse if we understood nothing. Poll of the second and tells us and move forward.

Further down we see the church told us Panagiotis and George in front of the Marietta and KTM loaded nice and neat (it appeared that it had intervened female hand). Greetings and acquaintance with the guys some souvenir photos and leave for home, Panayiotis.

The paving was still plagues us as well as many traffic lights in combination with the hot weather made the moment seem to be endless.

Giorgos-Marieta (KTM), Panagiotis (Sofia-Bulgaria)

We arrive at the house of Panagiotis and remove the motorcycles in the basement garage where it managed to make yourself comfortable and close the door. Suitcases in hand and we go home. Beautiful and modern with simple lines Panagiotis as host to make you feel very comfortable from the first moment of our presence there. In our room with 2 beds. hmmmm, we were 3. Problem; Of course not since Giannis volunteered to sleep in a rounded bottom substrates were prepared Panagiotis.

Dimitris In the meantime tormented tendinitis in his left (if not wrong) leg and the pain was so much thought that went through his mind to return even in Greece !!!!!. Along the way complained for horrible pain especially when he had to press the left to climb on a motorcycle. Eventually, and it turned towards the great pain due to the bandage that was tied low, which pushed the foot and cause pain. In turned out not to re-use and minimized the problem (Dimitri I hope you have overcome).

Dressing in a hurry and since it was late, it was time for lunch. We arrive at a restaurant choice of Mary (Panagiotis girlfriend) and Panayiotis.

Can u imagine a better end of a 550+ klm day?

From the first minute we thought that something good is served here. Tide over a large table and the waiter comes. From that moment I saw the waiter for more time than I saw in the other group. The reason? Panagiotis cared to order that was edible in the refrigerator of the restaurant. Unfortunately I do not remember everything that was on the table but what I remember is that I was looking for space to touch the glass of beer. Finishing dinner and had some desserts (there was no way my stomach to fit something else) and when it was time for the account just never came together with a piece of paper from a waiter and Panagiotis and Mary had made sure of this.

Cool guys and really excited and happy to meet you.

Back home and after some discussion in the lounge it was time for bed.

Giannis bothered by the snoring of Dimitris (guys were friends have lived and other such moments).When we woke up in the morning Giannis could not believe that there was another one worse in decibel snoring.

B_B screwed with this post 12-26-2010 at 01:18 PM
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
2nd Day (6 of July 2010 Sofia-Novi Sad)

Coffee made by Panagiotis for me, preparation of events and downloads in the underground garage to get the bikes. George at the time we left the apartment slept yet.

(Panagiotis thank u and promise to return the hospitality).Some photos of the three and George had woken up and went to greet us. (Panagiotis and George really enjoyed to met you and hope that you live your dreams with all the intensity of your soul.)

So to start our next destination was Serbia. In our original plan had changed little since the beginning. Joined say to go to Beograde for the night but Panagiotis offered us as a destination in Novi Sad. We had no reason not to listen to the advice of and arguments were quite convincing (nice and quiet town, cheap life with beautiful people) and of course we did not have a hotel check-in to the target of Belgrade, so nexr destination the town of Novi Sad.

After we had traveled many miles a stop at a restaurant for breakfast coffee and omelets cared for guys.

Review villages that passed me the fact that in every house there was a large garden where you could see a palette of colors created from a variety of products cultivated by the people who lived there. I guess not for commercial use but to feed themselves and their families.

Sweet nostalgia and memories in my mind (we said before about this complex mechanism) and a number of years spent the summers in my village and the similarities with what I saw, many.............

Tip of a friend was in these cases (since we were 3) to left one with motorcycles and the rest looking on foot for hotel.

That is what we leave Dimitri with motorcycles at a central point of the city (his leg still was not at his best). After a few rides we were below the Panorama Hotel hotel goes up (if I remember well in the 4th floor) and having talked with the receptionist (85 € in triple room + breakfast) we decided to do a little fun to Dimitri and to say that the only available hotel we found it cost 150 €.

It is understood that once the hearing has been prepared for the next country, but catch him telling the truth.

Parking of motorcycles in the basement of the hotel and parking on the shoulder required.

Nice room with all amenities and 3 beds. It is understood that in the second place reminded bombed landscape. The reason, all kinds of motorcycle equipment and not thrown in here and there. In the window hung jacket and pants and boots and had a prominent position.

Dimitris and I were sitting in a cafe where a cute girl served us (which later became the favorite of Giannis) and John did a short stroll to town. 3 coffes and 3 mineral waters Account 5 €

The dinner time was approaching and our choice proved to be the best. Very nice restaurant (which was recommended by our receptionist) with very nice people (many women) and what we ordered was just perfect.

The final bill for 2 chicken ala crem, 1 medium pizza, 2 salads ceasars, 1 salad Babariba (so called, and the shop), 2 coces, 1 mineral water 3495 dinars, or about 33 €. After eating, a little walk in beautiful Novi Sad and return to the hotel.

In today's day than the terrible wind encountered on the way highway with endless lines and only slightly break the monotony of the plain was the artificial mounds were built to create the nodes. Gasoline and Serbia fairly inexpensive 110-115 dinars per liter that is somewhere in the 1,10-1,15 €.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
3nd Day (7 of July Novi Sad-Budapest)

By Giannis have begun to get used to noises during the night waking up the next morning and leave the city with the best impressions. Travel to Budapest today.

While still in Serb Pattaya streets everywhere saw to be paving projects and the wind continues to be the whipping. Stages with many interruptions, slow and quite expensive tolls.

Worth mentioning on the way to the border of Serbia and Hungary are huge hares you see occasionally in the fields.

At the Hungarian border became the first and last check in our bikes where customs-wife called the three of us to open a suitcase and asked if we carry drinks or cigarettes. I was happy when she told me to open the tag-bag because if she said to open side suitcase with straps I had tied it we were still there.

So a quick check passport and just across the border to stop foreign and Viegnete, instead of paying tolls. The guys paid 5 € for 4 days Viegnete time and I know without paid 2 €, but mine was for one day (ending at 12 the same evening). I realized later when I risked by the police.

Quick km motorways in Hungary and arrived in Budapest, where else, search the hotel (on camp had not yet been discussed).

The truth is that it took us some time to find a hotel and is very expensive, most without any parking which must pay separately to a building farther away from the hotel.

Our final pick in the Alta Moda Hotel from which we had passed over again at the beginning, we ask but we were uneasy about the price (105 € triple 25 € and for a parking space in the basement garage of the hotel). The whole area of the hotel reception in predisposing fun but all the rest of us spoiled.

Held by Visa Yiannis 300 € as guarantee against damage probably, had no breakfast, small room, narrow and generally dealing with the hotel staff was not to be had.

We climb in the room, known, throwing of things, showers and out for a walk in beautiful Budapest.

Wonderful though the Danube and the water very cloudy. The buildings are turned back and many of them stare in awe of the majesty and grandeur that exude.

At lunch we stood there a bit unlucky because we sit initially I did not like me and we went to a restaurant against which our waiter welcomes us at the door. Food tasteless, portions too small and servis of the worst we encountered. Cue of Giannis and I agreed with Dimitri is "Do not ever going to shop the waiter is out and waiting for the client or fishes."

We pay 55 € for 3 servings of roast chicken, a salad and 3 coca cola and do it gently around town. Just down the corner convenience store that had everything and people were queuing up to the sidewalk. So visit there for the necessary complement to the dinner and we thought that the 55 € we paied at the restaurant all purchased in convenience stores.

Let is suffering subjects.

As the ride took us to Budapest impressed us the full equipment of people who lead bikes. Invariably wore a helmet and wearing too many guards for the knees and elbows. Developed the idea of cycling but friendly and the city to bike everywhere because there were bicycle lanes and traffic lights specifically for bicycles. Cars, bicycles, trams, buses, pedestrians use the roads in perfect harmony. The city is relatively quiet and did not face any difficulty rider machine with drivers of cars to be very careful.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
4th Day (Budapest-Oswiecim)

For today our destination was Poland. There was not a particular city as a destination but we decided just as we was passing the border elapse and we passed from Slovakia. Quick exit from Budapest thanks to the GPS which is a short detour took us by the Buddha over the Chain Bridge and then through the tunnel that passes under the new neighborhoods.

Hungary and Slovakia have broken down the borders and the only witness that was once controls at this point some old buildings that were not soul.

Impressed by the natural beauty of Slovakia rested km through country roads (no motorways from where we chose to go) and of course there were no tolls.

Stop for a relaxing break in a village in Slovakia and order it just before we heard a girl talking Greek here to help us with the order, speaking fluent Greek. Not Greek, but I think a relationship with her studies was to Greece. Thank her for her help and having volunteered to photograph us enjoyed the coffee and other delicacies.

Continuing our way to the border with Poland, the magical scenery of the road to pass over the mountains with incredible lakes and rivers to fill the whole scene.

Check the Slovak - Polish border and the image can see is the same as the border in Hungary - Slovakia. No check and enter Poland.

Desire and three our visit to Auschwitz, so after a few kilometers from the national jump and turn left through which the roads would lead to Auschwitz.

Whatever you write about the province of Poland will be a while. Beautiful villages with houses next to each other along the road. Street not very good with several patches and road projects that mobile traffic lights puzzling in a stream to pass vehicles from the opposite direction. The truth is that you should have enough patience and last a long time.

Impressive and here there is everywhere cleanliness as well as how they have cared for their homes and their yards Poles.

After several miles, which was tedious arrival at Auschwitz and the main entrance. Because we had arrived relatively late had to hurry because the area was closed to visitors at 21:00. Park their bikes next to the entrance to a special room and walk a few steps to the entrance of a building is like a lounge. We strive to see that pay more to go in and see that there is no fee to get inside.

The area has been preserved so well by the Poles to think that with some magically transported to that era. They have virtually nothing to intervene, and the associations of the mind inevitably lead to time in this place hundreds of thousands of souls lived one of the worst nightmares ever seen the humanity.

Hate, anger, indignation springs spontaneously from within you as you enter the premises to which each individual is a museum of memory and remembrance of what the animal instincts of man is able to lead him to do. Photos of victims, personal belongings, living conditions, the gas chambers ... ...

(Will allow me not to upload any photos from this place)

Back in the room had left the motorcycle and has paid nearly 2 € each for parking opposite the entrance to a hotel for our good fortune had a triple room with breakfast. Lunch in a restaurant near the hotel and back into the room without too many words and everyone have sunk to their own thoughts.

Already the nights had begun to shrink and after my awakening about 04:00 in opening the thick curtains of the room I saw out that night was just dusk.

After a 1.30 hours woke up and Dimitris and decided to go for a walk in the park outside the camp but in fact just one side, and he spent stuck in some buildings. Absolute silence with moisture and occasionally a car passes through the adjacent street and reminds you of the time in which you are.

Experience I will never forget ... ..
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:19 PM   #7
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
5th Day (9 of July 2010 Oswiecim-Bialystok)

We went down early on for breakfast and what I left was that I tried 3 kinds of coffee and no one liked. One cup does not contain anything like our own Greek imagine why just have it put in hot water to drink without having to boil.

Great place to crossing Poland and our next destination Warsaw. The route the GPS is not too late for us to draw a completely rural road. At some point we got lost one and did not follow the GPS showed us that direction in ways that only tractors could get.

Judgement of the moment and eventually will head to Warsaw, but in Bialystok. Output from the roads of Poland and enter the motorway. Excellent paved but ... ... NOWHERE interchanges. The street are so many that almost every 200 meters around and a car entering the highway from nowhere. Pedestrian crossings and traffic lights where a simple touch of a button, the pedestrian who wanted to cross the road cut off the circulation of the motorway. Very dangerous and requires great care.

Also, the road is one too many cameras, which fortunately for motorcycles photographed from the front. Police blockades also done.

In our passage from Warsaw that will be remembered is that necessarily must lead an aggressive and although the drivers of cars friendly motorcycles leaving your room to pass between or from the side but change direction in no time Turn off when our eyes 14 to get out of the ring that will lead us to our final day for her destination.

Stop for a few breaths on where we went on the road to Bialystok and departure for the last kilometers.

Arriving in the city discovered that the option to change destination was not at all a bad idea.

City quiet, small, hotel (Crystal Hotel) immediately found somewhere in the middle at a very affordable price and breakfast (70 €). Coming out for a stroll in the center was an event (like a film festival) which was concentrated a lot of people.

We sit down for a while but we could not afford the traditional Polish song and so we ended up eating Lody (imaginary ice cream) in the (also fictional) city park. The evening found us in a busy city street to eat and drink our beers.

My lunch, mexican pizza (I got fire) and Dimitri to tell us how close the shop in Corfu come to live here. Without exaggeration wonderful city with relaxed pace of life.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:39 PM   #8
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
6th Day (10 of July Bialystok-Siauliai)

Check out the next morning from Bialystok to the border to Lithuania now close and we were ready for Kaunas. Or maybe not;

Non-existent and the border station in Poland - Lithuania and we stop at a money exchange where Giannis & Dimitris exchanged their money, while the Polish money (Zloty) in the currency in Lithuania (Litas) but the transaction after removal from the fund Dimitri discovers that it is 20 € net.

Knowingly or not that little damage was done, but now I'm rethinking Dimitris must have loved the girl with a deep neckline and admittedly felt obliged to leave a small tip.

The GPS continued to explore new areas and after several kilometers we get lost again on country roads in Lithuania now. Sometime we reached to village (Sakie) and stop for coffee and lunch. Beautiful village, quiet and is tagged to indicate Kaunas 62 km

After discussing the change of direction and decides to overtake the capital of Lithuania and go up north. A stop should definitely be on the hill of crosses (Hill of crosses) who, while not 100% sure I'm close to the city of Siauliai.

After several questions and searching we found the hill of crosses in which nothing remotely to prepare us for what they will encounter. Approaching close to see an incredible sight. Hundreds of thousands of crosses of various sizes, shapes, colors, material is placed scattered across the hill.

Entering into and going on wooden lanes have seen that throughout the region were crosses with names and dates on them. Special show that I do not think there is elsewhere in the world.

At the entrance of the hill stands a huge metal cross with the inscription underneath says "Thanks People of Lithuania is hill of crosses, which shows the other nations of Europe and the whole world the faith of Lithuania dated 7.9.1993 construction .

Leaving impressed by the spectacle (which urged us to go Panagiotis from previous visit there) we go back on the road with the most hours have passed and we think that the way to find accommodation to become our first choice. Street with long straights and indifferent view.

Most roads dirt and Lithuania meant that he separated the tarmac for several miles until we passed in front of something like a hotel. Stop a few yards away and decide that it is a good choice to spend our night.

We arriveed at the yard who was part of a huge theme park that housed farm equipment past decades and some military vehicles from the First World War.

First lady and am going to enter with my broken English says there is room to sit and climb from an external wooden staircase leads inside the top floor of a building built only of wood. Entering into the atmosphere felt so suffocating that I had decided that and we stayed here I had no way to stay in this room was like a sauna in full operation. In the other room with nice decor that tied the whole environment.

Ask for the price and whether it is possible to eat something in the restaurant was just down. 50 € he said, and so have time to order something to 21:30, which would close.

I as I said earlier there was no way to stay in that room, so in consultation with the receptionist and the keeper of the park decided to set up my tent in the park that was fenced. The danger, however, was from the outside or the inside of?

We ordered our food and to be prepared by the guardian of the few English tries to convince us of the importance of his work there and then reassures us about the place where we stayed overnight on motorcycles.

At the rear of the hotel enclosure with a dog in the neighborhood and the watchful eye of the press to have nothing to fear. Arranging things for kids in the room, setting up the stage for me somewhere near the Motel and ready to eat.

at 22:30, the restaurant had closed the guard had been withdrawn in the little room upstairs next to the room and I had started the battle with mosquitoes. Snake out of the tent, mosquito everywhere and at bedtime.

Time 01:00, even could see the last desperate effort to beat the sun at night. Somewhere close my eyes and feel the humidity, leaning on the walls of the stage. Not interested in anything else at that time just to be able to sleep for a rest.

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Old 12-27-2010, 06:29 AM   #9
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
7th Day (11 of July 2010 Siauliai-Riga)

John and Dimitris had been awakened earlier than me and had done a walk in the park. They came to the scene when I started to wake up too.

-Did you walk in the park? John asks me.
-No, I said, i will gather things and i'll go for a quick walk.
-Okay, he said. Go and we will wait outside near the motorbikes.

After quickly assembling the tent and other accessories to start my walk. Other paths I was passing through the wooden structures, several scattered farm machinery, green everywhere and in small deep pond.

Well I say, walk by the pond and back to leave. Approaching lakeside note that there was a small hill surrounded by tall thick bars. Approaching closer to, what I see ... ..

Inside the enclosure was 3 Bears (1 large and 2 small). The large lot near the fence to move her head up and down the obviously nervous and the other 2 smaller strolling out on the hill. Something had whispered to John this morning about whether I saw the bears, but I thought it spoke for woodwork (there were scattered in space with human or animal).

Quick thinking that I slept in the tent at 200 yards from the bears, some photos and return to the motorbike. The other 2 were waiting to see the expression and I just got solved by laughing.

On the road again and our destination Latvia and Riga. Endless lines again which was starting to be tired and there was a slide show and driving in 5th 120klm/h.

Customs stations and here we go nowhere and Latvia, where at some point on the route I have gone ahead. Sometime I look in the mirror to see if the guys was following, nothing. Decelerate, wait, nowhere Giannis and Dimitris. Stop by the roadside, and after 5-minute waiting began to surround the snakes that something was wrong and I reversed

In view of 1-2 km off the road machinery of guys stunted and things down. Approaching and when I asked what happened he replied Giannis (Dimitri is not spoken) that the rear tire from Stelvio had lost all the air.

Park and we begin to rescue the European. With the knowledge of guys (my own limited to taking pictures) the problem was solved within an hour when Giannis loaded the rear wheel and went in search of gas station air.

Eventually the problem had to do with a broken radius of the rear wheel where the engineer Dimitri had forgotten to put the safety. For our good luck breaking the beam fell in the rubber and so there was still the basis of which got back to the rim and with a little glue inside the damage was repaired.

Of course, Dimitris was inconsolable, but what to do, travel is the unexpected can happen to anyone.

Negative impressed us the attitude of passing motorcycles who were greeting without stopping to ask whether we need something.

Anyway, the Japanese saved the European as Dimitris and John and continued to Riga. Latvia's currency more expensive than the Euro which struck us as a country and generally did not say cheap.

In Riga 3 coffees and 3 bottle of water 18 €. Photos of the monument of freedom and leave Riga not even asking for a hotel.

Next destination was Parnu (Letonia) and after we found the hotel and arranged, the guys went for a walk in town and I sat down to see the World Cup final in a language i did not understand anything
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:44 AM   #10
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
8th Day (12 of July Riga-Lahti)

Leaving behind the Parnu and Latvia had a series of Estonia and the Tallinn from where you pass the boat in Helsinki. The landscape remained the same all the way until we reached the capital of Estonia.

Getting in trouble with the signs on city streets or so we thought at least. We arrive in port early enough, almost 1 pm and immediately at the offices of Viking Line to close the opposite of our tickets. Waiting in the queue and when it came our turn to counter the girl tells us that the route would be leaving soon there were no seats for our bikes.

Ok, we say to the next. Nor is there telling us nor the last. We need to make a booking with any of the services the next day. Package think and leave. Go to another gate of the port from one street to vehicular traffic was banned but we saw some lorries. The distance of less than 1 km and enter the building through the second liner where the counter does not expect any. Strange I think, sink their ships and do not prefer?

We go ahead and a kind employee tells us that there are vacancies on the ship leaves at 17:00. Close positions, pay (40 € each) and get out the party had left their motorcycles and Dimitri to the next.

The hours until 16:30 was so many had to find a way to move.

Having sat in cafe where the waiter stood up and did not come looking we found a spot on the edge of the harbor where they will not bother and we will not bother anyone.
The gypsies tent then in full form with me to put out the laundry of the previous days had not had time to dry, the guys are lied on the canvas and of course the necessary lunch which consisted of giant beans and wonderfully delicious nuts.

Many hours and compulsory rest under the shade of the trees that we hosted.

By the time we come close to getting us gather and begin the search portal from where we were getting to go on board. We found it fairly quickly and waited in the queue which arrived some time in some Italians (2 GS, 1 Strom) which we found in Finland and later at the campsite we stayed. The type of the layer being inventive opened umbrella to keep cool in the hot sun (the temperature touches 40 degrees, which is unusual for its time as we learned later).

Outside the ship and wait longer to get the first pair of cars which a couple of Finns gave us some advice on what to watch at home but where to go if we wanted to see some beautiful scenery without having to bother boring highways .

Many passengers, most Finns young who learned it from a discussion with young men who sat with us in one of the corridors of the ship, go to Tallinn for supplies drinks and bought 3 times cheaper than that in Finland.

Previously we were told it was still cheaper, but since Estonia joined the EU prices rose. 90% of passengers had special carts that were filled with beer and other drinks you can imagine.

In many ship passengers are drunk and hitting 2.5 hours in Helsinki.

Quick exit from the city to Lahti without a stop anywhere and we wanted to prevent a campsite open before closing.
7 km from Lahti region Muttulo and beautiful area where we were camping. Have time to do great hair to check in with summarily (8 € motorbike and tent), but as we informed the guy at the entrance there was nothing in the refrigerator to drink after the previous day had been a party and drink until the deionized water. Indifferent the whole thing since all we were interested to set up our tents and relax.

Select from the setup of the scene could not be better. Beside the lake with ducks to ride and the sun is still high. Food was not so that everyone had eaten into the vessel and thus summarily closed the zipper of the tent.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:52 AM   #11
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 152
9th Day (13 of July Lahti-Kuopio)

Early morning waking next to the lake with ducks and other birds to huge success. Picking and loading bikes and greetings with the Italians as we were leaving.

Provincial road speed limits and Finland 100. Many cameras on the streets and the limit drops to 70 when they pass by villages. Good pace without getting tired. The road passes through endless forests and pass near or over lakes.

Some gaps in memory does not allow me to have a comprehensive view of the present day (Alzheimer's begins at 36 and said rings?)

Pioneers Finns reward recycling and give you 0,40 € if you recycle bottle of 1.5 liter and 0,20 € for bottles of 500ml.

Check near Halolantie again and camping near a lake with 12 € bike and tent. The great weather with temperatures near 30 degrees and so far we had waterproof unnecessary. Short walk to the campsite and the lake and return to the scene for the evening of my super market where I bought quite edible for only 10 €

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Old 12-27-2010, 07:09 AM   #12
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Oddometer: 152
10th Day (14 of July Kuopio-Ivalo)

The previous day if nothing else was interesting in many ways. The wake lakeside ideal. At such moments you want to fix for everything either as image or as a subtle shade on the back of your mind when something pulls downward to stir up and smile.

It did not dawn yet well when I woke up and opened the zipper of the tent the spectacle before me was unique. The calm waters of the lake, the birds that had set up their own dance to the other side, since the area was classified as something of a wetland where they lived and played in two species of birds (do not remember the name unfortunately).

Morning walk to the lake and some deep breaths so that I can taste with all my senses to the beauty of the moment.

Back on stage and picking things. Although many days have passed since we started packing and picking things is still a puzzle. Eventually i got more stuff than I needed. In the end will take stock of what really needed.

Our destination today, if all went well, was the largest city Ivalo in North Finland before we go to the border with Norway and in fact our last stop before we take 92 and then the E06 where we waited for the road that leads to NordKapp ( E69).

Almost all our route east of Finland to get out of the border we followed the 5.

Shortly before the Kuusamo guys continued in the same way until Ivalo while I went to the Rovaniemi which i wanted to visit first in order to see up close the village of St. Claus and secondly, to send a card at my children.

Arriving there the first thing you encounter are huge billboards on where you go and what you can see in the area.No thoughts To enter the village of Santa Claus. I knew that in such exhibits are bitter price. If I was the kids with me will definitely go but now there was no reason.

Photos on the metal triangle known now on the road reminds you that you enter the Arctic Circle on the part of Finland. Visit the wooden houses that are there now in one step could be located by the side of the Arctic.

Send card to kinds (which arrived after 1 week) a few more photos and return to the bike for the remaining 300km to my left until Ivalo.

Easy to think the time has gone 17:00. With a 100-110 km / Time in 3 hours I would beat the hotel.

When I arose on the road before me, the sky was jet black. It was exactly the point I was going. While i was mooving both thickens and clouds was no longer any hope to avoid the rain.

Standing on the edge of the road where the necessary equipment and see that the zipper of the upper waterproof has surrendered spirit. You say you are bored, just to chrats. The shit of the moment was not I wore gaiters. So I start in a few miles starts falling drops of rain which felt like knocking my helmet like hail. A few at first, then more until some minutes I get on well in the eye of this very strong storm. 80-90km to the Ivalo and I thought that even with the heavy rain will arrive fairly quickly.

Stop at gas station to wear but futile effort. Soaked my feet cold and only had to do was to get the earliest of the hotel (they had already reached the guys and I had sent message). 5 minutes took my stand at the gas station years is enough to raise hundreds of mosquitoes, which bite suicide when found.

Getting back on the road at 20:00 and arrived at the hotel (Ivalo Hotel, just before the town). Good hotel with 105 € in triple room with breakfast and sauna + pool could use for free.

Just before sleep I covered suitcases of the bike and a tarpaulin had begun to drizzle.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:35 AM   #13
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11th Day (15 of July 2010 Ivalo - Nordkapp - Alta)

The big day had already dawn. For psychological reasons, mainly NordKapp a first destination on this trip. Regardless of whether the course was just one more stop to all that were before us and we waited.

Relatively quick departure from the hotel and after some kilometers on the roads to the Finnish border with Norway in the street with incredible ups and downs, but to understand enter Norway with a small sign that says Norge to remind you that now stands on Norwegian soil .

After a few kilometers of the course and understand what they go with you. The landscape begins and wilder and 350 km longer than NordKapp anxiety and awe about what is going to encounter begins and grows. All the senses are no longer working in that direction.

Approaching reach a junction that seemed to Alta. Our direction straight to the E69 which is the road that leads to NordKapp. 129 km of incredible wildness. The rocky landscape with the only vegetation that you can see bushes and weeds. Right in every cove with small fishing villages 5-6 houses.

The road leads you like a snake and a beach through the rocky mountains. The air is so loud and lashes and from every direction.

A lot of traffic on the street where you can see people go to the "edge of Europe" by any means.

The tunnel quite terrifying, culminating in the largest (7 km) which connects the mainland part of the island that lies NordKapp. 3 km descent to the dark and damp tunnels for water rocks vomit dripping from the roof of the tunnel and the road is wet. Then 2 km straight until you start to climb until you go back to the surface.

After a while we found the entrance to the place, which is the metal globe. We paid 35 € each and the agony we have to beat the red left our bikes in the parking lot where there were hundreds of other vehicles.

Descending from the bike my eye falls on black jeep with Greek letters on the side.

I think not, I think, Greeks, and some even see walking 3 bikes with Greek figures.

Entering the main entrance to the large building and watching to the side of the cafe I saw a group of 5. I can tell, they are. Average close and the rest came from themselves. The most impressive was that 2 out of 5 parts came from my (Agrielia village, 20 klm from my town Trikala!!!!). The site of the guys here

Once greeted and wished a good journey, a series had the photos on the globe over time should not spoil us a favor and under heavy rain have not even dropped the spray.

Seen in the expensive boutiques and a few gifts for our loved ones. Thought for coffee in the cafeteria but ultimately was not made with coffee costs 12 €. Some rides still in place and lit the cigar I carried from Greece.

In no time the whole cloud darkened room and more visibility to 0. Then began to fall the first drops and after once again felt the luck on our side riding motorcycles on the way home and our destination for the night Alta.

The guy of photography from the time his retirement has risen 12 times in NordKapp the tool you see (Danish)

The scene itself and return the air to continue with the same intensity. A few kilometers after NordKapp is camping with wooden houses, but we continued to descend lower.

Stop for petrol just before reaching the intersection with Alta and the trip to the city's fantastic. We followed the E6 for several kilometers (E6 crosses the whole reaches Norway and Sweden). Our arrival in Alta and randomly find room (ie regular house) with 69 €.

1 large pizza for the guys and 1.5 liter coca cola 25 €. I settled for the canned me. Hot water and hot café for me and a few moments of relaxation before I close my eyes and bring back to mind all those pictures on that day had passed in front of stunned me.

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Old 12-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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Oddometer: 152
12th Day (16 of July Alta-Narvik)

Alta - Narvik today's route by which I do not hold the slightest note. So I apologize and will only upload photos of the route

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Old 12-27-2010, 12:28 PM   #15
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13th, 14th Day(17-18 of July 2010 Narvik - Oslo - Malmo)

From Narvik and less things change a bit on the trip and a conversation I had with guys, coming from Norway I want to go further west and going to Holland and Giannis and Dimitris having professional obligations that they had decided to leave behind Germany and descend from there Czech Republic, Austria, etc.

On the same day and, I like to make some mileage to more relaxed pace, so after we greeted and wished them continued return everyone in his way.

(Here I would like to wish the guys to always have good trips and just unblock all of our obligations we will be on to talk and close).

What to write about is my experience ....

Right now I am sitting in the canteen at Goteborg eat frankfurter and fries and drink coca cola in the canteen Turkish immigrant. Still could not find the hotel. In two of the one I entered told me that it is Full and the other that wants 120 € for single occupancy.

I asked a taxi driver who has just introduced me to a cheap but I think that is what rang the bell and I did not opened. I'll try again.

Since yesterday morning I slept a total of 2 hours. 1 waiting for the ferry to Molde and 1 just before the Oslo Accords.

Everything started fine and in good weather from Narvik. The aim was to approach the Trodhaim.

The classic route stops for rest and photos. Proceed with E6 and the view from where I spent magnificent. Traffic was not much but wanted attention. The dusk had come and the phenomenon of the midnight sun "unfolded before me.

I also had to live it. To drive at night in Norway. In my headphones playing music liked by my faithful old to dance to the rhythms of E6 which is now home to little cars.

I did not know what time it is when I walked in Trodhaim. City and I was particularly impressed with many people on the streets drunk and shouting.

It even looked for a hotel and I still continue to drive. About 900klm until that time and my destination now Molde where I go from there to a nearby fiord.

From Trodhaim should follow the E39. This I did but for my bad luck, the E39 is a road that leads to Molde but mountains and valleys. Once I realized that I had trouble psychology I dropped one and had to do 220km on a rural road in Norway in the sky ready to open and the time to show something after midnight.

Few cars on the road, the one I honk and passengers saluted. Average speed 50-60 km / hour and the miles came with a dropper.

The positive in the whole affair is that I have seen many foxes, rabbits 2-3 and several deer. During the 4 hours of the morning I get to the point where we can get boats to pass across.

The only car that was waiting with a Lithuanian who we met earlier. Beside bus stop bench instruments. Well, I think in the fall to begin the route of "slipper".

Do not have time to finish my thoughts and the first drops of rain. Take away the tag-bag from the bike and enter the shed attitude. It starts to rain a lot and I'm starting to reconsider my thoughts about visiting the Fiords.

During my rest arrived 3-4 other cars with the slipper to open the door and enter inside. 20 minutes the path and 7 euro fee.

It was the time I wore a raincoat, gaiters and gloves and I prepared my bike for the rain for the next 70km until Molde. Escaping from the rain slipper was very strong but what bothered me most was the cold temperature is not more than 6-7 degrees.

Before we reached 10km from the moment I came out of the slipper in front of me I see a bridge connecting the street opposite. Well, I think here not ship. Arriving but see that toll has to cost 6 €. My Bottom Rail came after excluding the cost should come out and a mountain of clothes to find my wallet. With much efford find it and spreading thick employee's hand to get money from one currency falls down. She was so rude not making a try out of the shell to get it and try to park my bike to go down I see that is not because the left side suitcase "find" on the wall so I went ahead, download side stand took the coin and I gave it to her.

Crossing the bridge and i stopped to a gas station. Throughout the course of all this was happening matured idea to go to Oslo and generally leave Norway. Expensive country for my financial data, very bad weather.

So stop in a closed gas station and after a while comes a car and some guy goes down. Had any sacrifice to find a short road to Oslo, but do not have to pay a small fortune in the ferry and bridges.

The Azil was a Somali who lived 10 years in Norway. After we talked for some time for the beauty of Norway and the accuracy of showed me the nearest way to the data set and I left. I put petrol (by Visa) are prepared, and again on the road with less rain at the time.

I had to find 62 who at some time near a village (Oppdal or something and from that had said Azil meets E6 descending from North). After a little loss to find 666!! and follow (the street).

The 666 turns out to 62 and continue to meet with E6. Meanwhile the rain had already begun to strengthen and now the second pair of gloves had been soaked. The clouds had descended so low that you think they will embrace. The only consolation was that I was riveted by the thought that I would do as much patience needed to get out of Norway.

When Azil told me about this route had indicated that it would take to pass a tall mountain. "From tounels?» i asked, No, he tells me, above mountains and make the move that would go over. Mileage as I said earlier in these circumstances is very difficult coming out but now the situation had become dangerous and since many campers were moving on the road and control of my bike was becoming increasingly difficult.

I drive a motorcycle for 7 years I have not ever been in such intensity and duration of rain in the street. Fortunately, moderate (financially) the equipment took his money and gaiters proved beneficial.

With many got on top of the mountain and started to slowly go downhill. The rain stopped as I descended and the temperature returned to normal levels.

The path from here down to Oslo (400km) indifferent and just wanted to get out the miles.

Somewhere before Oslo (150km) stopped at a river quite outside the main artery and slept for about 1 hour. I was awakened by the sun burning my face and my clothes.

80km before Oslo, the road becomes motorway but my joy did not last long since it was in large pieces and works in lead plates from side streets. And because the Norwegians exploit everything (well they do) these little pieces of highway is not to use them without paying tolls.

There is a system (aytopass it called) where when the car passes the data record from something like headlights. At the end of the journey comes the bill.33kr in each pass of the autopass, and from that figured 5 autopassX33kr = 165kr that some 25 €. Retreat, however, because motorcycles do not pay tolls. So output from Norway and photo just before the bridge on the road and drive in Sweden.

Approximately 200km to the Goteburg is the next destination on the time approaching 19:00. Getting to Sweden immediately change the landscape and no longer leads to shuttles but on smoother ground level (as in Finland, approximately).

Also find differences in values of a and Sweden are 30-40% cheaper than in Norway.

By 3000klm the last 3 days in the mountain Norway did not want anything other than a flat with straight highway which would not have to do anything. This is exactly the E6 from Oslo to the Goteburg. Endless relaxing klm which at that time was an oasis for my body.

I arrive at 23:00 in Goteburg and the tiredness I felt looking hotel. All of the center and all expensive. I asked at 2, 120 € 110 € one another. After wandering for some time I decided to go to Malmo, and where I would find it puzzling the road for 2-3 hours.

With the signs to lead you exactly where you want immediately got back on E6 with the clock showing 01:00 and something.

Second night on the road, tired and sleepless. I knew there was no case or 50km to do about this in the first parking lot I went right, stopped, and lay stretched substrates.

I woke up to 03:00 in the cold and damp. Sleepy and my body did not follow in my dazed mind anyway but had to go. On the way everything was closed so thought there was Motel. 200km by Malmo that does not need to describe how I went.

Speed near 100chlm/ora and fortunately my driving was not specific about apaitiseis.20 km before the Malmo something like hallucinations, numbness, so something like attitude in the face of water and then can track through the helmet.

I arrived in Malmo at about 06:30. On the way I think that the first hotel that I would find it cost and if I did Check in.

This I did, but just told me 110 € "ok, I'll think about it" I said and left. Expensive that I would leave and check in at 14:00. Below 3stars hotel and tells me 65 € and now many do check out. Once we cleanit it's yours.Ok said, maybe I'll stay 2 nights ".

So the hours are 09:00 am now in Malmo, I left yesterday from Narvik, I've put at least 12 times gasoline, dirty from top to bottom, my hands are knots the wheel, I see the face of television current affairs program in Swedish, not I understand purse than they say, and I drink French coffee 'stolen' from breakfast the other occupants of the hotel.

8:00 am to 6:30 July 17 July 19 last part of my trip. Approximately 2,400 km from Narvik to Malmo.

Stupidity? Recklessness? Tell it what you want but it was those moments that logic had no place and dominating other emotions.

Yesterday I arrived in Malmo at about 06:30. I looked immediately to the hotel and when I found a budget 65 € closed room. People hopefully understand what situation I was and just check out cleaned the room and told me to climb. I threw my things where I found a quick shower and lay in a regular bed to rest my body. I forgot to mention that the receptionist suggested I eat breakfast but I refused politely drinking 2-3 cups of coffee.

I woke up at 18:00 and immediately prepared for a walk in the city. What impressed me was (once again) the bike paths, the huge park in the city center but very wide street with little traffic.

It was not as clean as other city in the northern states. Saw many immigrants from everywhere. The Greeks could not be an exception. Walk downtown and coffee in the central square for 4 €. Eating at Mc Donalds and after several walked back to the hotel to regroup things.

Mobile memory cards and camera emptied my hard disc kind Carl at the reception. (It has kept records of many videos throughout the journey. Somewhere in Norway I broke the screen of the laptop computer and thereafter seek to empty the memory cards external hard I have with me).

Meaning the bike from theft issue so far not had any country (the lock I have not yet used, and do not hear a word "who would steal Africa etc) . Sleep and tomorrow we go down to Denmark, the Netherlands and see ... ..
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