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Old 11-03-2012, 08:28 AM   #46
mdw403 OP
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Day 16 Alexandrouopolis to Belgrade, Serbia

Felt a bit down today. The realisation that the trip was coming to an end, it was hammering down with rain and the roads were slippy as hell.




The roads in Greece were completely empty. We headed along a main motorway heading West and the only cars we saw were Mercedes and BMW. It was as if everyone with a normal car could not afford the petrol to drive it and only the super rich were able to get around by this mode of transport.

We stopped at a garage around Komotini for fuel only to be told they can't take cards as they can't afford the charges from the bank for the line to use the card. Luckily we just had enough in Euros to pay. It seems to me Greece is not in a happy place at the minute, just like me.




However something must change soon and it did. As soon as we crossed the border into Bulgaria the roads changed to the tarmac we enjoy and take so much for granted in the UK.






It was still raining but that did not matter as we now had grip. We made quick progress and soon made the Serbian border.



Another easy crossing and another toilet stop for Al.



He was not feeling any better so I suggested we head for Belgrade and find a hotel. A single room each and a little bit of comfort. He was more than happy with that so off we went to the Best Western in the suburbs of a city that has been in the news so much in the last 10 - 15 years.



There is no way I was coming to Belgrade, paying 90 Euros for a room and not getting out and seeing some of the city, so I ordered a taxi, bundled Al in and headed into town.



We had a wander around the centre admiring all the pretty women… I mean sights, and came across a pub with English football on. We found a seat outside the pub right next to the busy walk way, I had a beer whilst Al stuck to the coke and we chilled, just watching the world go by. As my riding partner was feeling a bit better we decided to find some food but as he was still recovering we opted for a good restaurant rather than a street vendor.

We did get chatting to a guy who told us Red Star were playing that night and that the prodigy were playing in town early hours of the morning, I desperately wanted to go, but Al just was not playing.

Fully satisfied we retired to the hotel for a well earned nights rest.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:03 AM   #47
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Cappadocia is fascinating area... Specially Turkey has very mixed culture. Every city has different culture, religion...

And you tasted Istanbul Traffic... I'm livin' it in everyday... damn
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:01 AM   #48
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D-rat

your not wrong your city/country has everything to offer and should be a must place for people to visit at least once.

As to Istanbul traffic you have my sympathy, but you can keep it I never want that pleasure again, well until next time.

Shad keep it up nearly there, then you can relax. next time we will have to hire a reporter to tag along for the story telling.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:56 AM   #49
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Excellent write-up... makes me want to return!
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:43 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by lost@sea View Post
D-rat

your not wrong your city/country has everything to offer and should be a must place for people to visit at least once.

As to Istanbul traffic you have my sympathy, but you can keep it I never want that pleasure again, well until next time.

Shad keep it up nearly there, then you can relax. next time we will have to hire a reporter to tag along for the story telling.
Nearly there Al, Im going to do the last few days tonight
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:52 AM   #51
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Day 17 Belgrade to Munich, Germany

We were both in full flight home mode now. We decided we could make the train at Calais by 2am early hours in the morning on the day after tomorrow, so we booked the train tickets online in the hotel and contemplated the 1200 miles we had to cover in 36 hours. We both enjoy spending hours on the bike with our own thought so it won't be a problem.

Once we had loaded the bikes up, Al tried moving his bike away from mine but realized all too late that he had no room and dropped the KTM a second time on the trip. I had to laugh that, meant his bike had been on its side twice as much as mine this trip, which is unheard of.



My sat nav was working well this morning, it took us the long way out of Belgrade adding about 50 miles on to the distance we had to cover but eventually we made it onto the E70 and headed towards Zagreb and Ljubljana.



We cruised along most of the morning on a toll road. However when we got to the border and stopped at the pay booth the guy would not let me through and said I had been speeding.



I had to go to the end of the line of booths where a policeman would come and deal with me. I backed out of the line went to where he had indicated and waited around 15 minutes for someone to come before deciding to make a break for the border through a gap in the barrier. I sped off not realising that the border was only a mile up the road. When we got to the checkpoint there was a long queue of cars, but there was no way I was waiting, so I skirted down the side and nipped into the line 3 or 4 cars back. Obviously I was getting beeped at but come on I was in Serbia for gods' sake. I was panicked that a big hairy copper with guns and batons hanging off him was going to speed up in his car and throw me in jail for the next 6 months.

Luck was with me and we made the crossing into Croatia with no problems. Croatia and Slovenia went quickly. They both looked like they would be good fun to ride through but we were now on a mission to get home.




The border area of Slovenia and Austria is incredible. There is a series of tunnels that are cut through the mountains taking you through some of the most scenic areas I have ever ridden. The first one was Karawanken tunnel which is nearly 8km long and cuts through the Karawanken alpine mountain range and connects the Austrian A11 and the Slovenian A2.

The whole day was spent riding towards Munich until after about 600 miles for the day we pulled up into the woods for what we hoped would be our last night on the road.





It was army boil in the bag rations for us both tonight as it was Sunday and there were no shops open anywhere. So Chicken sausage and beans for me and the oh so delicious chicken and dumplings for Al.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #52
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Day 18 Munich to Bury St Edmunds, UK

Well today was the last day of the trip. About 650 miles left to push.

It was motorway all the way, pushing through the ninth new country for me, Luxembourg.

We did stop somewhere in Germany for another Currywurst and chips but could not find an imbiss so Pizza it was.



We arrived at Calais at around 9pm with my tank flashing 0 miles til empty tank.



I was sure there was a shell garage right next to the check in desk. Unfortunately there wasn’t so about turn and try and find some fuel. I just ran out of fuel as I rolled down the ramp at Citi Garage. The tank took 16.83 litres to brimming and would be the last fuel I needed before I got home.

When we got back to the terminal they told us we had to pay £40 each as we were a day early! "You are having a laugh mate, we are only a few hours early" I said. "Sorry sir, those are the rules". Tired and saddle sore we just paid up rather than wait til midnight or argue the toss with the faceless lady on the end of the tanoy.



On the train there was an interesting bloke on a 1300cc Yamaha Midnight Star who owned a few houses down by Paris and was amazed by how far we had travelled in such a short time. I was amazed anyone would want to ride his bike for pleasure but I did not say that to him:)

I got home around midnight, with exactly 6000 miles on the trip odometer.

Now we have been back a while and I have had time to think about the trip I realize how lucky I am. I can afford to do amazing trips like this, I have no ties and I have a good mate to share it with. Trips like this are not for everyone, and I am sure there are guys reading this that would baulk at pushing these distances for fun without really stopping to enjoy the countries you pass through. But that is the way me and Al prefer things. The one thing that made the trip for me was the people in Turkey, in particular in Istanbul. They are the friendliest people I have ever met. Usually when you travel through a country you come across lots of people that will talk to you but only to try and extract money from your wallet. Well we never once had that (other than the police), if anything we were given far more than we gave in terms of a friendly smile and the obligatory cup of Turkish Tea.

We will go riding again next year, but the location has not been decided. I would like to go back to Morocco but Al wants to try Scandinavia or Russia. Maybe we will make a decision when we meet up at my workplace on the 1st September 2013 all packed with no place to go. I also think we would both welcome some different stories so if what we do interests you then get in touch especially if you already have an idea for a trip.

People always ask me how much the trips cost so this is the breakdown:

Fuel £827
Food & Drink £315
Train £120
Accommodation £170
Total £1432

This does not take into account the cost of the bike, camping kit and servicing and tyres on our return.

The End
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:45 AM   #53
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awesome read and great pics!
thanks again for sharing
about the plans for the next year: actually I have an idea involving both destinations desired by Al (Scandinavia+Russia)
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #54
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All the countries we visited pictorialy

ENGLAND









































And then England.

The End.... Til Next time.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:51 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by bigboyxl View Post
awesome read and great pics!
thanks again for sharing
about the plans for the next year: actually I have an idea involving both destinations desired by Al (Scandinavia+Russia)
Thanks bigboy, it was good to have you along, ill let you know what the plans end up being for next year, but as ill be living closish to you next year maybe we can meet up for a ride before.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by mdw403 View Post
Thanks bigboy, it was good to have you along, ill let you know what the plans end up being for next year, but as ill be living closish to you next year maybe we can meet up for a ride before.
sure thing!
btw, my uncle lives in Berlin, so from time to time I'm coming over there for few days and we could meet up and share our ideas
we'll keep in touch
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #57
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Great ride report & Pics.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:59 PM   #58
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spot route

After all Shads hard work, I feel that I have to make a small contribution, in the form of a link.

Whilst on are travels I always carry a spot tracker. I may forget to turn it on some mornings but it has done a great job of logging are route and campsites.

http://www.findmespot.com/spotadvent...?tripid=315309
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:33 AM   #59
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Superb report - you've given me some ideas for my next trip. Thanks & well done.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #60
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Superb report - you've given me some ideas for my next trip. Thanks & well done.
No problem, I'm glad you enjoyed it
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