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Old 07-12-2014, 09:31 AM   #1
El Dudeness OP
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Wink How does the tea in Istanbul taste like?

This was the question a friend and I asked ourselves a couple of days ago and now we're already in the thick of planning what can only be one of the greatest rides in many years.

Between us we've been almost everywhere round Europe. Thomas was last year on his way to Russia when he had an accident and broke his arm and got sent home. I was supposed to do Russia this upcoming August but I had an accident a couple of weeks ago having fractures on my spine, ribs and collar bone so no Russian love for me either.

SO - screw Russia (for now)... Now we're heading from Denmark to Istanbul in Turkey i April 2015.

We're to Danes and an Englishman going from Denmark thru Germany over Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and back thru Germany on homeward bound.

AND here's where you guys fit in:
Does anybody have some does and don'ts on what to see or where to go, what to experience and so on and so forth??
We have 14 days so it's approximately going to be around 490-500ish km.s a day. The majority of the way will be on smaller country side roads but all paved. We're planning some highway mileage thru Germany both on the way out and back home from Austria so we can spend more quality time in the countries we haven't see before.

Any insiders on this little adventure will be much appreciated!

All the best guys and thanks in advance...

El Dudeness

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Old 07-13-2014, 06:19 AM   #2
Radzz
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As the aforementioned English chap that'll be joining El Dudeness and co. on this adventure I thought I'd chip in:-)....Any help as regards the best places for border crossings, expected visa problems , maybe even expected weather conditions on some of the more mountainous parts of the journey etc would be greatly appreciated aswell as of course ideas as to which bits we just shouldn't miss out seeing on the way.
The route on the map is just a very rough outline of the circular tour we're planning and is in its very early stages of planning right now. As El Dudeness points out we will expect to cover an average of about 500kms a day , some days more and some days less depending on the type of roads we're riding that day which for the main part will be asphalt but knowing the other two guys we'll probably end up on plenty of gravel tracks, the odd field or even beach now and again. There is just no way they'll be able to resist it;-)...looking forward to some hints:-)

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Old 07-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
sasho
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What kind of places are you interested in?

Your route through Bulgaria will go through some ethnographic villages in the Balkans. There are slightly different options that can take you through Veliko Turnovo, stop at Eatara, and the Shipka Monument. Doug's Motocamp is near Turnovo as well.

I like to take the road south of Bourgas along the Black Sea Coast. I also like to cross into Turkey at the Malko Turnovo station--the one on your map is always backed up by heavy traffic and many cargo trucks.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:06 AM   #4
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14 days eh, I'm not saying it can't be done but it seems a long trip to see very little as you'll be riding most of the time! What's the point of forking out around 200 on a Belarus visa just to pop in and pop out, is it just to say "you've been there"? Also, you say your going in April which seems early weather wise. Anyway, I'm sure you've got your reasons for this route and I'd be interested to see how you get on - good luck!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:39 AM   #5
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BB54..noted regarding Belerus. We are actually now considering entering Ukraine further south from Poland.
Sasho..thanks for the tips. We will take a fresh look at the route and the border crossing at Malko Turnovo Station looks like a good option. What is the road along the Black sea coast like. Is there heavy traffic there or is it so so?
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:42 AM   #6
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BB54..noted regarding Belerus. We are actually now considering entering Ukraine further south from Poland.
Sasho..thanks for the tips. We will take a fresh look at the route and the border crossing at Malko Turnovo Station looks like a good option. What is the road along the Black sea coast like. Is there heavy traffic there or is it so so?
Right now the traffic is probably pretty hectic. I have been there in the beginning (June) and end of summer (September), and traffic has been pretty calm.

In any case, fill up before you exit Bulgaria, because gas prices in Turkey are pretty stiff (most expensive in the world). South of Bourgas gas stations taking credit cards are difficult to find, so plan to use your cash (about 40 lev for my 26 liter tank).

At Kapitan Andreevo (the border crossing station you listed on your map) there is a gas station right before the border. I was able to use credit card there, but I waited a lot.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:18 PM   #7
istadniy
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What kind of places are you interested in seeing?

Ukraine-Poland border crossing webcams and waiting times (updated) here: http://www.granica.gov.pl/index_wait.php?p=u&v=en&k=w but unless the border guard is having a bad day they'll most likely just let you jump the car queue.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:41 AM   #8
catweasel67
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I'd urge you guys to add at least a week or maybe let the train take some of the strain - I'd look to train, if you can, as far down as Vienna and then, on the way back, from Warsaw.

Otherwise the route looks great (the Croatian coast road is awesome) but you're skipping Romania and its most famous of passes. I'd also suggest that, this time around, you skip southern Greece (save it for when you go island hopping) - there's plenty to see and do in the north including Meteora.

I'd also hold off doing Moldova until you've time to make a "proper" tour around the Caspian and, instead, head back through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary etc.


You're gonna need extra insurance for most of those countries as the standard green card won't cover you.

As for the time of year, yeah, you're gonna be OK on the more southern parts of the route - and by OK I mean a lot of rain but you can expect mountain passes etc to be closed. If you can postpone until late May, early June, I would.

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Old 07-20-2014, 11:48 AM   #9
Radzz
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Sasho, thanks for the tips about the petrol prices. As for credit Cards we will make sure that we have enough Cash for petrol for the 3 bikes just incase.
istadniy, thanks a lot for the border crossing link..very useful.
catweasel67, thanks for your hints aswell. We will be checking our route many times over before we are ready and will bear in mind what you suggest.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:11 PM   #10
istadniy
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Also what catweasel67 said about the weather. In April in Ukraine you could see some snow/frost (not very likely, but still) but otherwise it'd be spring mud time - little in the way of grass and leaves yet, just mud and water everywhere. Your route has potential for some scenic detours, but not in April.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:26 AM   #11
El Dudeness OP
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Originally Posted by beebeer54 View Post
14 days eh, I'm not saying it can't be done but it seems a long trip to see very little as you'll be riding most of the time! What's the point of forking out around 200 on a Belarus visa just to pop in and pop out, is it just to say "you've been there"? Also, you say your going in April which seems early weather wise. Anyway, I'm sure you've got your reasons for this route and I'd be interested to see how you get on - good luck!!
Like my mate said - we're reconsidering going more south and eventually letting go of the Belarus plan.

Having said that, we're still going for the 14 days. Averaging 500 km's per day isn't unusual to us. It's in fact a bit on the low side so when we cut Belarus and also perhaps the southern part of Greece out, it's going to be a cruise

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:27 AM   #12
El Dudeness OP
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Originally Posted by sasho View Post
Right now the traffic is probably pretty hectic. I have been there in the beginning (June) and end of summer (September), and traffic has been pretty calm.

In any case, fill up before you exit Bulgaria, because gas prices in Turkey are pretty stiff (most expensive in the world). South of Bourgas gas stations taking credit cards are difficult to find, so plan to use your cash (about 40 lev for my 26 liter tank).

At Kapitan Andreevo (the border crossing station you listed on your map) there is a gas station right before the border. I was able to use credit card there, but I waited a lot.
Thanks Sasho - excellent pieces of advice.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:44 AM   #13
El Dudeness OP
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Originally Posted by sasho View Post
What kind of places are you interested in?

Your route through Bulgaria will go through some ethnographic villages in the Balkans. There are slightly different options that can take you through Veliko Turnovo, stop at Eatara, and the Shipka Monument. Doug's Motocamp is near Turnovo as well.

I like to take the road south of Bourgas along the Black Sea Coast. I also like to cross into Turkey at the Malko Turnovo station--the one on your map is always backed up by heavy traffic and many cargo trucks.
Once again - excellent info. Thanks!

Well - I guess we're pretty much interested in what ever comes along. As long as it's authentic and not toooooooo touristy...

We'll have a look at the places you've suggested and see how they can be plotted in the route.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:47 AM   #14
El Dudeness OP
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Originally Posted by istadniy View Post
What kind of places are you interested in seeing?

Ukraine-Poland border crossing webcams and waiting times (updated) here: http://www.granica.gov.pl/index_wait.php?p=u&v=en&k=w but unless the border guard is having a bad day they'll most likely just let you jump the car queue.
Cool! Thanks for the advice and the link.
So it's normally regarded as ok to cruise on up in front when you're on the two wheels?
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:58 AM   #15
El Dudeness OP
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Originally Posted by catweasel67 View Post
I'd urge you guys to add at least a week or maybe let the train take some of the strain - I'd look to train, if you can, as far down as Vienna and then, on the way back, from Warsaw.

Otherwise the route looks great (the Croatian coast road is awesome) but you're skipping Romania and its most famous of passes. I'd also suggest that, this time around, you skip southern Greece (save it for when you go island hopping) - there's plenty to see and do in the north including Meteora.

I'd also hold off doing Moldova until you've time to make a "proper" tour around the Caspian and, instead, head back through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary etc.


You're gonna need extra insurance for most of those countries as the standard green card won't cover you.

As for the time of year, yeah, you're gonna be OK on the more southern parts of the route - and by OK I mean a lot of rain but you can expect mountain passes etc to be closed. If you can postpone until late May, early June, I would.
Very interesting points there Mr. Catweasel. Everything is duly noted.

We have a backup plan of taking the train from Austria or Munich to Hamburg on the way home if our hands are dragging the pavement (but it's sooooo damn expensive) at the time but like stated I before the first 1000 or so k's on the way down is going to be pure transportation. Likewise will be the matter when we hit Germany coming from the south.

We have been thru Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Romania before so we really don't have the urge to go these places this time around.

Time of year - yeeees...well we have our reasons of doing it in this window of opportunity and we're pretty cool with the chance of the weather being a bit crappy. We're use to it from where we ride on a daily basis.

Which mountain passes do you reckon will be closed in start April? Are you thinking the Alpes? Or...??
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