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Old 12-25-2010, 10:32 AM   #31
pip_muenster OP
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Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
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Day 19

In the morning I got on the road again and looked for another nice spot for breakfast. With all the pillbox bunkers around, that was quite easy.



Sitting on top of that bunker, I had a nice view on the lake.




The next bit was a short trip through Macedonia. Near Debar I spotted this taxi waiting for customers.



Back in Albania, I wanted to ride from Peshkopi to Kukes. Without a map or GPS data, my only chance was to talk to the locals – which usually couldn’t understand me. Consequently I got lost. That was not much of a problem, just a huge laugh, when I passed someone for the 2nd
time who I just had asked for directions.

On a dike near Shumat, I had a lot of time to grab my tele lens for this photo …




The road to Kukes was all gravel and with great scenery. On a mountain top I met some boys who were visiting a memorial.

They spoke a little English, we joked about our rides and they took photos of themselves posing in turn on my bike.



We hit the road more or less together and I left them behind.




My pleasure was short-lived, as they thundered by me on the next straight downhill section, literally leaving me behind in their dust. I might have had the better bike, they had more experience riding these roads – and probably bigger balls …




Wait, something’s wrong here with the CGI … this one’s better.




For a gravel road, this one was mostly in really good condition - some of the gravel was actually fresh. And I mean really fresh.






I had been advised to take a ferry along the length of a gouge starting near Kukes. It had been an advise, rather than a recommendation, due to it’s must-see scenery.

Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn (again) and ended up on a four-lane divided highway with no possibility to turn around. The road was brand new and meeting these Italian guys should have been obvious hint enough to turn back immediately … I failed.




So instead of taking that unbelievable beautiful ferry trip it was an uneventful highway ride to Shkoder for me.




Albania had been one of the highlights of this trip so far and I definitely need to come back to take that ferry trip. Maybe I will not be overtaken by some boys riding a moped two-up next time
(but who cares?).

My last impression on Albania was this narrow bridge with a wooden deck. When I got to the other side and stopped for this photo, I was encountered by two begging and very unfriendly kids. After all that fun and friendliness in Albania, why was it necessary to leave the country with such bad memories just 10 minutes from the border?




As rain was coming up, the sun was about to set and I was pretty tired, I took a room in the next guesthouse. They gave me a nice suite with a great view from the balcony.



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Reports: Nordkapp - Mt. St. Helen - Black Sea - Iceland - Morocco - new: Balkan

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Old 12-25-2010, 11:19 AM   #32
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Schöner Bericht!

Nice report!
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:06 AM   #33
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Front page





How many days did you travel? KL
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:13 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KL__07 View Post


http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/8634/imgp0809.jpg

How many days did you travel? KL
Thanks, but there's no bike on that photo ...

All in all it was 3 1/2 weeks on the road.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:18 AM   #35
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This was a great report. Awesome photos and adventure. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:40 AM   #36
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Day 20

Back on the road I stopped to take a photo of some goats, but the guy with the horns had some issues with that.



Montenegro offered a stunning mixture of mountains and lakes.





I followed a small road connecting tiny villages and roughly heading to Cetinje. When I stopped to ask for directions, it ended in an hour-long chat and an invitation for lunch.



From Cetinje my way led me to Budva and then along the coast towards Croatia. The coastal towns were in terrible contrast to the beauty of what I had seen of Montenegro so far. Hotels everywhere, jachts and cruiseships in the harbor and a huge traffic jam on the road. This was the exact opposite of what I wanted to see on this trip.

This continued when I crossed the border to Croatia and then rode into the city of Dubrovnic, maybe the best known place along the coast. It definitely has its beauty with the old fortified harbor, but I didn't want to stay long with all the tourists - even in off-season.







Someone had recommended the Ston peninsula just north of the city, so I headed there to find a campsite. It was getting late and I had to chase the sun. Somewhere in a small village, the road was full of children wearing judo outfits which were on their way to their training in the front yard of one of the houses. It looked like every single kid in this village was doing judo.

I however had taken a wrong turn, ended up in a dead end and arrived at the campsite long after sunset.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:36 AM   #37
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fantastic trip report, thanks for taking the time to post.

Dave.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:47 AM   #38
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Day 21

In the morning I discovered that the campsite location was actually pretty nice in a valley with a white beach facing south. Only that the sun hadn’t reached that valley yet, so it was still cold. I decided to see a little more of the peninsula and left to find an open bakery and get some bread for breakfast.

Later I sat on the quay in the harbor of Trpani and chewed on my bread while watching a car ferry being loaded. It left about the time when I had ended my meal and got my map out. Just when I recognized that this ferry could have been both a nice change and a shortcut it passed right in front of my place on the head of the quay.

On my route back to the mainland I came through the village Ston which has one of the longest city walls. Its walls actually cross the whole peninsula here.



It’s also known for their mussel farms and sea salt plants.



For the rest of the day I was following the Croatian coast. Several small bays offered opportunities to get a refreshing bath in the warm Adriatic Sea. Other than in Greece, there were not quiet spots here near the highly frequented road. You could take a promising dirt road down to the coast, only to be greeted by someone asking for a parking fee.



And something else had changed. The campsite I chose for the night was as expensive as usual for western Europe. I had reached ‘civilization’.
It got worse when I headed for the next restaurant for dinner and couldn’t find anything nice on the menu. I settled for ‘Schnitzel & Pommes’ – something you can find on each corner at home.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:21 AM   #39
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Day 22

Again, I got up with the first sun light. The fishing boats on the calm sea were a great sight.





Somewhere along the way the weather changed suddenly. You could actually see a line on the water where the wind zone started. Strong winds were blowing down the valleys, blowing me almost into the oncoming lane.

The wind produced a lot spray above the waves, breaking the sun rays and producing little rainbows.



From Croatia I passed Slovenia and got stuck in traffic in Trieste. The day ended on a campsite near Trento where I had dinner with a group of other German bikers who were going up an down every pass on the Alps they could find.


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Old 12-27-2010, 04:32 AM   #40
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Day 23

Another early start and I enjoyed the morning mist on the wine fields. It was harvest time and the small tractors pulling loads of wine or apples became a road hazard, as every now and then an oncoming car pulled out in my lane, hoping to pass a tractor before crashing into me. I played their game and - with highest attention - started to pass tractors and cars, too.



All that was left was to conquer the Alps.



And the Passo del Stelvio was my route of choice – now with the Transfaragasan pass on first place, only the 2nd best driving road in the world according to Top Gear.



A little bit more Alpine roads through Italy, Switzerland and Austria and I was back on the German autobahn, where I flew the last kilometers to my sister's house, just in time for her party.





Thanks for your patience, following me on my trip. All the best for 2011!


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Old 12-27-2010, 05:27 AM   #41
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Thanks for letting us share your journey. Beautiful country.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:59 AM   #42
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top stuff, thank you sir
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:24 PM   #43
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Nice pics! Makes me want to get stationed in Germany again.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:39 AM   #44
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croatia coastline

Somewhere along the way the weather changed suddenly. You could actually see a line on the water where the wind zone started. Strong winds were blowing down the valleys, blowing me almost into the oncoming lane.




I had this weather in summer 09 - 2 up on a 12 ADV. definitely scary . Coast road was officially blocked for trailers, caravans and bikes. I didnt care, police let us go but really it was a "sense of achievement"




Again @ PIP: Danke schoen!
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:01 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KL__07 View Post
Somewhere along the way the weather changed suddenly. You could actually see a line on the water where the wind zone started. Strong winds were blowing down the valleys, blowing me almost into the oncoming lane.




I had this weather in summer 09 - 2 up on a 12 ADV. definitely scary . Coast road was officially blocked for trailers, caravans and bikes. I didnt care, police let us go but really it was a "sense of achievement"




Again @ PIP: Danke schoen!
Yep......the Bora (Bura in Croat) Winds. They can reach 220/kpH !
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