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Old 11-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #16
SpecialAgentNancy OP
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Ferries

Found this great website.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Ferries_in_the_Mediterranean#b

Ferry from Genoa to Barcelona (could save us a lot of time avoiding southern France) if were are behind schedule.

Dubrovnik to Basi could save us overland coastal Croatia which is beautiful but very twisty and known for being extremely dangerous. Also can get to Basi from Montenegro coast.

There is a short ferry from Slovenia to Venice.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #17
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Those pesky jobs we have to deal with. Sheesh! I can do 3 weeks so it's not a deal breaker. I just think it's smart to give ourselves 4, 5 is excess. 4 is actually pretty hard for me because I'm a CPA and one of those weeks is close!

Meeting in Sofia as a starting point would be awesome. Luke is an excellent host, we can have a great meal and head out together. Sofia airport is small and easy to navigate although it's not cheap to fly there.
So here are some ideas.....I missed southern Serbia a few years back, its mountainous. Would love to see Croatian coast and going through Trieste would be another 007 photo opportunity! I have a home stay in Milan and just outside of Milan (if we want to avoid big cities) and one in Corsica. I will work on more over the coming months. Probably spend a couple days scouring ADV for locals.

Ferries....well if were to go through Montenegro then a ferry from there to Italy. If we were to stick with Greece, ferry to Brindisi Italy. Ferry from Italy to Sardinia (the Istanbul rider wants to see that) if he does not come, I say skip it but go to Corsica instead then ferry to southern France, preferably somewhere glamorous. I'll be ready for a little glamour by then.

I will warn you that if Luke does join us he will stay in hotels a lot more than we want, but we could still camp and meet up every morning...I'm OK with sharing to keep the cost down but it's such a hassle that I would rather camp until I have to start turning my underwear inside out.
Lord if someone told this high heels, lipstick, champagne drinking girl I would rather one day camp than stay in a hotel I would have committed them to an asylum.

alrighty then, now your talking. ...two to three weeks and hotels are more my speed at my advanced age. Well that and I do like hot showers and the ability to t do a small laundry once a week or so. I probably missed it but, have you guys settled on when? I do not like Europe in August. Everybody and their brother-in-law travel then.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SpecialAgentNancy View Post
Found this great website.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Ferries_in_the_Mediterranean#b

Ferry from Genoa to Barcelona (could save us a lot of time avoiding southern France) if were are behind schedule.

Dubrovnik to Basi could save us overland coastal Croatia which is beautiful but very twisty and known for being extremely dangerous. Also can get to Basi from Montenegro coast.

There is a short ferry from Slovenia to Venice.
Just a couple of hours ride from Slovenia to Venice.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:58 AM   #19
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Let's do a skype call sometime around the Christmas holidays so we can start discussing dates, of which I am totally flexible. .
ah so....
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:10 PM   #20
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We did hammer out some dates, right now we are aiming for August but both of us are open to September still, so we could change it. It won't be nearly as hot, even a chance for some cooler nights. Let's see if TitaniumJedi is OK with the possible change of dates.

Luke is the hotel hound, I have a feeling TitaniumJedi and myself will camp while you and LukeKTM soak in jacuzzi tubs each night. (I'll give you my dirty laundry to take care of )

Actually 3 weeks for 8000km is pretty aggressive, we are looking more for 4 weeks but may push it into 3. Still negotiating that too. Like TJ said, ferries can help us make time but if we miss a ferry it can seriously delay us too. Coordinating ferry schedules will be a challenge.

There is always an option of you and LukeKTM doing a shorter version and keeping it to 2 weeks. He has professional and family obligations that don't allow as much time off and flexibility.

Et all

How about a skype call on Dec 22 at say 8am PST. That would be 6pm in Sofia.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #21
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We did hammer out some dates, right now we are aiming for August but both of us are open to September still, so we could change it. It won't be nearly as hot, even a chance for some cooler nights. Let's see if TitaniumJedi is OK with the possible change of dates.

Luke is the hotel hound, I have a feeling TitaniumJedi and myself will camp while you and LukeKTM soak in jacuzzi tubs each night. (I'll give you my dirty laundry to take care of )

Actually 3 weeks for 8000km is pretty aggressive, we are looking more for 4 weeks but may push it into 3. Still negotiating that too. Like TJ said, ferries can help us make time but if we miss a ferry it can seriously delay us too. Coordinating ferry schedules will be a challenge.

There is always an option of you and LukeKTM doing a shorter version and keeping it to 2 weeks. He has professional and family obligations that don't allow as much time off and flexibility.

Et all

How about a skype call on Dec 22 at say 8am PST. That would be 6pm in Sofia.

August is pretty much a deal killer for me. I do like Europe in the fall though. G-Wife is going to start some serious house hunting south of the border starting the first of the year. What she might find and where might affect my travel window this year. skype call is a good idea and 8000 Km is a piece of cake for me. I'll see what I can work out.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:39 AM   #22
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Dubrovnik to Basi could save us overland coastal Croatia which is beautiful but very twisty and known for being extremely dangerous. Also can get to Basi from Montenegro coast.
Just out of curiosity, why do you think croatian coast is extremely dangerous?
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:29 PM   #23
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I was told by someone from Croatia and a second person from Southern Serbia that the coastal road is very twisty with steep drop offs and mainly driven by tourists paying attention to the scenery and maps more than the road.

As for whether the road itself is dangerous I don't know but then I don't really care since I rode through Eastern Turkey, near the Syrian, Iranian and Armenian borders, in the middle of the worst heat of the year, during Ramadan and as a female! Either really stupid or fearless or a little of both.

In fact that reminds me, in Turkey when I told Turkish drivers that I was riding the coast to Anamur, ever single one was very upset and said absolutely not, very dangerous, blah blah blah....well it ended up being a bit treacherous with a fair amount of road construction but not nearly in my mind as bad as everyone said it would be. In fact, it was probably the best bit of road we did on the trip.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #24
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In fact that reminds me, in Turkey when I told Turkish drivers that I was riding the coast to Anamur, ever single one was very upset and said absolutely not, very dangerous, blah blah blah....well it ended up being a bit treacherous with a fair amount of road construction but not nearly in my mind as bad as everyone said it would be. In fact, it was probably the best bit of road we did on the trip.
Same exact thing when everyone told me I would freeze to death crossing Grimsel pass in the alps. In reality I drank water from the glacier at the top and took off my jacket because i was hot. I once again ignored warnings that i would freeze to death by taking Envalira pass in Andorra and skipping the tunnel, it was there that i took what is probably the best photo of my life.

Oberalp had no guardrails on hairpins so i'm ok with that type of ride in Croatia or where ever... The photos of Dubrovnik look awesome! I think that exact coast is on the cover of one of my books or maps. The ferry list sure opens up some options, here is a cool list of passes that i found...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...oads_in_Europe

I'll be ready for skype and alexandra has got some remote access to her office computer in the works. September is fine with me, less sweat = less laundry.

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Old 11-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #25
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Great it's official then. A call on skype on Dec 22 8am PST can someone set that up, I'm not very skype savvy.

Dubrovnik is definitively on the list, and a ferry from there to Italy probably. I'll put together a rough trip plan with dates and routes in time for the call and post it here at least a week or two ahead. I found this helped a lot in what was realistic in terms of dates so we'll know if 3 weeks will work or is suicide.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:58 AM   #26
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skype call

Need both your skype contact details. Figured out how to set up a conf call.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:15 AM   #27
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Trip plan

OK here it is. The ROUGH trip plan.

This is the general route. Open to discussion on Dec 22 call and of course changes during the ride next year.

Day 1 Leave Sofia and head to southern Serbia. First stop lake near Surdulica. 120KM. Gorgeous ride around lake. Next stop Djavolja Varos (west from Leskovac) valley similar to cappadocia in Turkey. 80KM. Last ride of day to Novi Pazar surrounded by gorgeous monastery in southern mountains of Serbia, Crna Reka a cave monastary south of the town. 158KM

Day 2 Leave Novi Pazar to Niksic in Montenegro. Turkish monastery and the lakes. 260KM then a short ride to Kotor and the St Ivan fortress and the gorgeous coastal town of Sveti Stefan 140KM.

Day 3 Ride North along coast to Croatia to Dubrovnik for the ferry crossing to Italy (Bari). 120KM (short day, after 2 long ones) and coordination of ferry times....may take an overnight ferry but we'll get there early enough to take an afternoon one too.

Day 4 Ferry crossing
Day 5 arrive Italy. Take road west to Amalfi/Salerno (S145/S163) and Ravello via Melfi – Castle and Matera – Cave homes Lagopesole – Castle 150KM. South via Potenza and then west to Amalfi coast. 180KM.

Day 6 Pompeii. North inland along A1 E45 to Montecassino Abbey 165KM then along mountainside then on to the villages inside of walls built by the Cyclops; Anagni, Alatari,Arpino. 80KM. Finally to Civitavecchia for the ferry to Porto Vecchio Corsica. 140KM Only one a week

Day 7 Ferry Arrive by ferry Porto Vecchio and stay at camping on beach (Palombaggia or Rondinara Bay)

Day 8 South to Bonifacio cliffs and Neolithic Corsican culture in Filitosa then North on D368 t D268 Col De Bavella Mtns. 50 KM. Then West to Capital of Corte highest point in Corsica 120KM

Day 9 West to Porta on D84 then North to Scandola Nature Reserve 80KM South to Golfe D’Ajaccio D81- 80KM then Ferry to Monaco if we are running behind schedule

Day 9 North to Bastia to catch the ferry to Livorno Italy if we are on time. Ride along coast Pisa. TRY and squeeze in Umbria (Trevi is a hilltop town) and a castle in Bracciano. Then Cinque Terre Area along coast. 150KM. Northwest to Portofino Peninsula. 90KM. on to Genoa (Il Bigo mast sculpture, Plazza De Ferrari, Casella Train 55 mins book 010 837 321 www.ferroviagenovacasella.it . 90KM

Day 10 west to San Remo, north valley tour Armea & Crosia, end up in Dolceacqua (midevil village of narrow alleys & tall houses and a river) 150 KM twisty road by water. Then a ride through the mountains above San Remo (another 90KM)

Day 11 Monaco Beach MalaPlage/Cap D’Ail 50KM North to Grand Canyon Du Verdon 100KM and follow D71 towards Lac Ste Croix. Corniche Sublime. Stay in Castellane 40KM then Sisteron Citadel then SW to Abbaye Notre Dame de Senanque 90KM

Day 12 Avignon (Chateauneuf Du Pape) 140KM Les Baux-de-Provence for the magnificent Chateau Des Baux. 30KM
South back to coast Camargue (Manade Farm) 40KM. Back to Marseille and a ferry to Barcelona. 110KM

Day 13 Barcelona
Day 14 West
Day 15 West

I really could not find anything special or interesting to see through the somewhat northern part of Spain. If someone could take over here I would be much appreciative. I loved Spain more than any other country but by God I just could not be excited about places or things in the guide books I got.

Day 16 Lisbon

Day 17 North to Sintra,tour area using the N247, N375, N247-3. (60KM). North to Obidos (walled town)100KM. East to Tomar, knights templar Convento De Cristo. 100KM. North Bucaco Monastery in National Forest 160KM. North Vila Real also knows as the birthplace of Port 160KM (ride along river)

Day 18 choice (if behind schedule) Braganca, if on time, Parque Nacional de Peneda-Geres. 120KM. Nossa Senhora de Peneda town in parque. North to Santiago de Compostela (Spain) 200KM

Day 19 Spain back towards France 500km
Day 20 Spain back towards France 500km

Day 21 Toulouse/Carcassone France famous walled city. Lyon 550KM

Day 22 Geneva 150KM

Day 23 Matterhorn Frederic a fellow rider offered to ride a few days with us and get us back to Northern Italy
Day 24 SwissAlps

Day 25 Lake Como

Day 26 Venice 350KM

Day 27 Croatia via Trieste. 170KM. Piran Slovenia. Colorful port town. Pula Croatia for a Roman amphitheater100KM. Ferry to Mali Losinj island. ride north to Merag 70km. Ferry to Valbiska. KRK for a coastal red tiles roofed city.

Day 28 race to get back to Sofia 1000km

Didn't plan for sickness, bad weather or breakdowns. Also some days seems short in KM but due to the twisty 2 lane roads, will take twice as long. We can make up time on some days but should expect to lose it on others.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:50 AM   #28
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OK here it is. The ROUGH trip plan.


Day 2 Leave Novi Pazar to Niksic in Montenegro. Turkish monastery and the lakes. 260KM then a short ride to Kotor and the St Ivan fortress and the gorgeous coastal town of Sveti Stefan 140KM.


Day 28 race to get back to Sofia 1000km

.
I would take a longer ride and visit Lovčen (and skip St Stefan).
From Krk to Sofia in one day? Good luck.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:22 PM   #29
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Yeah suicide

OK small change of plans. A night in Opovo at a friends parents house where we will eat like kings, sleep like queens and drink enough homemade raki to make the rest of the journey incredibly psychedelic. Read my post on my trip 3 years ago through Eastern Europe and you'll see who these wonderful people are.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:07 PM   #30
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The plan sounds fantastic, very well thought out! I have the ability now to take any amount of time off work that i need, alexandra will no longer be coming as my 2up, which means the time constraints for me are finito! I'm working on setting up skype tonight.
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