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And so to the Ferry………………..

Posted in european trip, Greece, italy, motorcycles, travel, triumph tiger, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by Bev

I can’t remember a great deal about our journey from Athens to Patra from where we were getting the ferry to Italy.  Did we even stop………can’t seem to find any photos either.  If we didn’t stop I’ll bet I was hungry and thirsty!  (and I also would think I wouldn’t be very happy with Ian for not stopping!) I do remember this fabulous bridge tho’

I wanted to go over it but it didn’t go the way we were.

Out initial plan was to take the ferry to Brindisi but when we enquired about sailing times were told there was none till the next day, so instead booked for a sailing to Bari which was in about 2 hours time.  We were shocked also at the price of the ferry, I think they double it for 3 months of the year – why??  it doesn’t cost them any extra to sail in August than it does in April……….and the cabin prices are so ridiculously high – they add another 300 euros on the price!  (we didn’t get  a cabin!!)

I love boats, I would like to have a boat and sail all over in (on?) it.  Ferries are not boats.  They are floating “family hotel complexes”.  I HATE them (more than I hate camping!) People commandeer the “couches” as soon as they set foot on the ferry – they put their feet, luggage, clothes and whatever else they have all over them so nobody else can get on them.  Even tho’ we were pretty much one of the first vehicles on the ferry, we weren’t the first people.   Foot passengers – hundreds of them, and they had pretty much taken up every available “couch”!  The ones who really annoy me, are the ones who book cabins, take their luggage to them and then come and claim their “seating area”  – STAY IN YOUR CABIN  – YOU’VE PAID FOR IT!!!!  We managed to find a table and a couple of chairs near to the TV area – big mistake!  There were kids running around shouting and a group of around 5o Italian pensioners who completely took over.  Why do people speaking in a foreign language always sound louder than those speaking your language??  Anyway, we didn’t get any sleep and arrived in Bari the next morning very tired!

We couldn’t get off the ferry.  We were blocked in by a GS, which Ian stood admiring and I felt like kicking!  We were with all the trucks, it was very hot and the diesel fumes were choking.  It was almost empty when Mr GS arrived.  Ian and he spoke – I just scowled…..

Moaning post over!  😦

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A weeks R and R in Turkey…….

Posted in european trip, motorcycles, travel, triumph tiger, Turkey, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 9, 2009 by Bev

Well we finally made it to Linda and Dave’s.  They told us it was hot and it was – a weeks rest coming up then!  We didn’t plan on doing much riding while we were here – going to rest our bums! Boris the Bear was waiting at the apartment to welcome us.

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Linda took us to some great places………

The local supermarket

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to see Micks dogs…….

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and another supermarket..

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Tiger made friends with Montie and the Transalp..

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Ian changed Tigers oil and filter and gave him a good clean.  The back wheel was black from all the oil that the automatic chain luber had kicked out and was pretty hard to get off.  My front tooth (crown) had fallen out so I had to go to the dentist to get it put back in.  I got this done, my hair cut and a new zip sewn into my bike trousers (no, I’m not too fat for them – it was faulty!!!) all done in one morning, with no appointments and got change from 40 pounds!  In England it would have cost more than this for the dentist alone – and I would have to have made an appointment weeks in advance!

We had a few rides around Dalaman and went to Sarigerme, a small town and suprisingly quiet for the time of year.

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Last night out in Dalyan, with the Rock Tombs lit up behind us

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View from their balcony

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The week soon came to an end, and we realised they were getting bored with us when the laptop became more interesting than Ians converstion 😀

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So, we packed up Tiger with all our CLEAN clothes and tent and prepared to set off once again………..

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Bye bye you two and thanks for putting up with us!  See you next year…..

 

I finally figured how to put on clickable photos!!!!!!

Thru’ the Balkans……..Croatia/Montenegro

Posted in Balkans, european trip, motorcycles, travel, triumph tiger, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Bev

It was  quite a “flat” ride from Venice into Slovenia and I began to miss the mountains 😦

It was also very hot.  I haven’t mentioned Tiger  lately – he was still doing well, still comfortable and no problems (apart from Ian’s constant “messing about” with the chain!) We weren’t covering great distances in miles but some days were sat for long hours on the bike as we still weren’t using motorways.   Mr Garmin hadn’t got us lost and was proving invaluable, not only for directions but also for finding camp sites, fuel stations and other such points of interest.

We only briefly “touched” Slovenia.  We rode along the coast,but it was so busy that the only place we were able to stop was here

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Not the best view in the world!  So it was down into Croatia.

My first thoughts on entering Croatia were “yuck”!

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The first 15 minutes was industrialised and high rise buildings, but I soon changed my mind.  The scenery was fantastic and the sea so blue.

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Up until now I hadn’t had a problem with food (i’m a very fussy eater) and had been able to understand the menus fairly easily – I sort of thought I might have a problem in Croatia.  Anyway,the country  seemed to be full of pizzerias so that suited me fine 🙂

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We found a campsite, right next to the sea and went for a walk about.

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and found a bar

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I ordered a sandwich – cheese and tomato – and knowing the European penchant for mayonaise specifically said to the waitress “no mayo, ketchup or any other sauce”.  What came can only be described as “road kill lookalike” – a half baguette filled with cheese and possibly half a bottle of tomato ketchup!  The ketchup was everywhere.  I don’t like to complain,  so spent 10 minutes with a pile of serviettes wiping off the ketchup.  Of course, I got told off and when I went to take a photo of my “sandwich” was told “don’t dare show yourself up anymore by taking photos”!  I forced it down 😦

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We didn’t realise how big a country Croatia is and soon realised it was going to take about 3 days to get thru’

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There were no shortage of campsites, at very reasonable prices. The Croatian people are very friendly, they don’t all speak very good English but you can generally make youself understood.  We had heard of people being “ripped off” in Croatia but we went with open minds and, though we did get charged for a plate of extra  fries at one place we had no problems.  The roads are very good and the drivers quite courteous.

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We ventured into Split – but not for long, too busy, too many cars!

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It was in Croatia that I decided I didn’t like camping!  It was too hot in the tent and I couldn’t sleep.  One night, even tho’ it was blowing like a typhoon, and we wondered whether the tent would take off, it was just not blowing into the tent and it felt like a sauna.  I had to keep the door unziped and risk “creatures” coming in!

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Ian never had a “sleep” problem tho’

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Croatia was probably more expensive than we expected, but all in all we enjoyed it and were looking forward to the other Balkan countries.

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One of the “not so good” roads

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Dubrovnik

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Montengro is very similair to Croatia – just smaller and cheaper!  We weren’t sure of their currency, so when Ian went to buy some drinks with only Euros in his pocket, we didn’t know if we were going to get any.  He came back with 4 bottles telling me “he had all these and change from 2 euros” and that Montenegro had used the Euro for years. We had decided to stay in a hotel today as I was getting fed up camping!  We only actually passed 2 campsites and these were both on the lake side and looked fab!

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We stopped at the town of Budva and found a lovely hotel.

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and even treated ourselves to a meal in a resraurant

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End of 2nd week – total miles 2268

Budva is the type of town where you would take a weeks package holiday – full of hotels and shops, and alongside the beach lots of restaurants, bars and market stalls.  It was “nice” but one night was probably enough for us!

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The next morning Ian went down with the luggage and I thought he was taking a long time so went to see where he was. I was greeted with “that’s it, we’re not going to Albania”.  He had been talking to a biker who had previously been there and had been fined hundreds of euros at the border and had also been fined by the police numerous times during “spot checks”  He had told Ian we could either  get a ferry from Bar in Montenegro to Igoumenista in Greece or to ride thru Serbia and  Macedonia and into Greece that way.  I didn’t really want to go the Serbia route (this also involved Kosova).   A Romanian guy had overheard and told us we would have no problems in Albania but there was no way he would go thru Serbia???? What to do??  The ferry seemed the best option.  By the way the biker was Serbian!

So, off to Bar then.

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We arrived at Bar and found the ferry booking offices

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I went in to enquire about ferries to Greece and was told ” no, ony ferries to Italy”!  This was not good – I knew Ian wouldn’t get a ferry to Italy and then another one from Italy to Greece and there was “no way” he was riding thru’ Albania so I had a brainwave!  When I told him about the ferry his reply was “that’ s it then, end of the journey – looks like we’re going to Italy”  So my brainwave was put into operation – I SULKED…….. and also told him he had to phone Linda and tell her we wouldn’t be coming to Turkey………

The hılls are alıve……….

Posted in Uncategorized on August 20, 2009 by Bev

It’s hard to photograph the Austrıan Alps – you can’t capture the sıze of them – I thınk thıs ıs our favourıte country so far, for the scenery.

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We decıded that we would stay at a hotel (I wanted to stay at a chalet wıth flowers on the balconıes) there was no shortage of accomodatıon and we found thıs one

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We had great vıews – front and back –

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We had a lovely meal cooked by the owners wıfe, and although ıt ate ınto our ”money pot” was worth the expense for a good nıghts sleep! (back to the tent tomorrow 😦 )

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The next day was more of the same, on the way to Italy.

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We would have lıked to have seen more of Austrıa ……….maybe one day.

Tunnellıng thru Belgıum…………

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 by Bev

I thınk Ian must have been dreamıng about the ”Luggage” sıtuatıon as the next mornıng he came up wıth a new ıdea of where to put the sleepıng bags

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Hurrah!!! I could now get on and off easıly.

We had booked to go thru the Euro tunnel at 7.20 but when we arrıved were told ıt was full so had to catch the next one at 7.50

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We parked up and waıted……………..

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and waıted, untıl fınally they let us on at 8.20

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Half an hour later we were ın France.  It’s so easy when you come thru the tunnel, you’re pretty much straıght out and onto the motorway at the other sıde – I don’t thınk Ian could quıte belıeve how easy ıt was.  Our fırst stop was Brugges whıch ıs only just over an hours  rıde away. Now, just because I dıd a rough route of our trıp doesn ‘t  mean I know  my  way around every European cıty, but Ian seemed to thınk I should as he kept askıng me ”whıch way”? – hmmmm, maybe we should just head for the centre, whıch we dıd.  The ”centrum” sıgnposts led us thru a large tunnel and then – nothıng!  We went round agaın for another look, stıll nothıng.  After the thırd attempt I saıd maybe ıt means ”centrum” car park, lets try goıng ın there – so we dıd.  A large Belgıum guy then chased us around the car park and told us that bıkes weren’t allowed ın the car park and we had to go back thru’ the tunnel and take the slıp road off on the other sıde – success! A bıke park.  We parked up secured the helmets to the bıke and went for a look around

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Then ıt started to absolutely pour down……….

We we about half an hours walk away from the bıke so we grabbed a couple of sandwıches, found shelter and ate them.  Ian then remembered that when he had put the helmets on the bıke, he had fastened mıne upwards so, ıt was basıcally a fısh bowl!  He remınded me of thıs about every 3 mınutes as we made our way back – sure enough my helmet was fılled wıth about 3 ınches of water!  Not very nıce to have to put back on your head!  We decıded to head out of Brugges to try and fınd a campsıte so, wıth wet head, off we went.  I have never camped before so thıs campıng thıng was goıng to be a whole new experıence.  We found a sıte quıte near to Brussels and set up for the nıght

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He assured me he dıd know what he was doıng………..

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