We cut across northern Greece, on our way to Turkey.
Our route took us over some high mountains, including the Katara Pass, and we encountered some fierce sheep dogs but what we’ll always remember Greece for is our first flat tire of the trip!.
The food compensated for our disappointment at finally getting a flat. We feasted on cheese-filled pastries and iced coffees, which helped fuel us on climbs to hilltop monasteries. Greece was also memorable because it was one of the few countries where we failed to master even the basics of the language.
We hauled ourselves out of bed before the first light hit the skies and by 7am we were speeding down the hills of Le Marche towards the town of Pedaso, where we caught a train to Ancona and then boarded our ferry for Greece. We briefly considered retracing our steps to Ancona by bicycle but
You know what they say about the best laid plans….. our firm idea had been to stop in Igoumenitsa at a campground, rest up and tackle a few little tasks like getting a Greek road map before setting off into the northern hills. Instead, we ended up with a bit of a “baptism by fire”
We woke up t’ t’ news this mornin’ that it was international “talk like a pirate day” so it was with a yo-ho-ho and a quick scrub under some cold sprin’ water (no rum in our coffee, unfortunately) that we set course for t’ next set o’ hills. We practiced our pirate greetin’s from peak
Cycle touring is often as much about the people you meet on the road as the sights you see. On our bikes, we seem to form an instant bond with others in a way we rarely, if ever, experience travelling in the confines of a car or train and find ourselves making friends with complete
We crossed the 16,000km threshold on our bicycle trip today as we cruised from our resting spot in Metsovo over the Katara Pass and down to the monastery town of Meteora. Before we even got to the Katara Pass, however, we had to say goodbye to our friends Dimitri and Polikot, who were rushing to
When we first approached Meteora, coming down the Katara pass, both of us thought “that doesn’t look so impressive”. We wondered if we’d been conned into cycling into this town of hilltop monasteries for a landscape that wasn’t quite as good as it looked in the tourist brochures. But as soon as we boarded the
Our day was a fairly ordinary one until early in the afternoon when a red pickup truck ground to a halt beside us, as we were walking up a large hill. First a stream of Greek came from the driver, a short, dark-haired man in his 40s, followed by a smattering of German. The usual
Well today was, as always, with its own special challenges. First off, waking up on the dance floor of the bar makes for a good story but in comfort terms it wasn’t all that much different than any other wild camping site except for the loos nearby. The real bonus though came when the owner
Well, after our “firsts” from yesterday – two flat tyres – we continued with the trend today by fighting off our first sheepdogs and hitting the motorway. The sheepdogs were an early wakeup call, not far down the road after we rolled out of our tent at the base of Mount Olympus. The pack of
What is it about cities that makes them so hard to get out of on a bike? Urban planners in Thessaloniki obviously never considered that anyone would want to leave their fair city by the sea with anything that doesn’t have a motor. Our pedal-powered flight from Thessaloniki started with busy and bumpy roads, covered
The wonderful thing about this little trip of ours is that every day is different. Earlier this week we were in the chaotic city of Thessaloniki and just a short distance down the road we arrived at a relaxing beach house – in a totally different world. The beach house was owned by our new
Today was a beach day. We woke up by the water in our campsite and finished there as well with supper on the sand as we watched fisherman wade out into the waves. They had lines and hooks but also a long rod which they plunged through the water and into the sand. Maybe trying
Our last full day in Greece ended up being a bit like our first day in the country. Difficult! Several times we really had to ask ourselves why we were going around the world on bicycles??? It truly seemed crazy as we fought on many different fronts. The wind blew strongly all day in our
A few days ago we met Greece’s nicest bar owner and today our paths were lucky enough to cross with what we are sure is the country’s best bike shop. It was pure chance that we happened to stop at a sports store – looking for bike gloves for Andrew – where the owner knew
Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn we’ll be on our way again, on the 7am ferry across the Marmara Sea to Bandirma. Goodbye Istanbul, a city we’ve slowly come to feel at home in and know pretty well now that we’ve trekked to many of its corners, trying to hunt down those elusive visas