Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-25-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
The small detour: the Balkans

Hello all,
I am quite new here, but during the last several months I've enjoyed reading great stories from you. My first tour started three days ago from Piatra Neamt, Romania (the town where I was born) and will end in Augsburg, Germany (where I'm living since one year) at the end of next week.
I am riding my 2001 blue Transalp which came into my hands at the beginning of October last year. After 3000km made then, I let it sleep during the winter, but I've already started to think how I could bring it to Germany. The next thought was that I'll not ride straight on the highways (because it's boring and annoying for me), so I decided to go south to Greece (looking after nice warm weather) through Bulgaria and then to Germany through Albania, Montenegro, little part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Austria.

I'll come back with more details and pictures. Today I'll enter to Greece from Turkey!
Attached Images
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2014, 12:55 AM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: S W France my little bit of paradise
Oddometer: 1,187
PHILinFRANCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2014, 01:47 AM   #3
KTM 950S
Gnarly Adventurer
KTM 950S's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Greece....
Oddometer: 112
Ηello!!! i wish u the best about your trip.
If u pass by Xalkidiki in Greece and u need something feel free to contact with me.
KTM 950S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 03:48 PM   #4
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
Originally Posted by KTM 950S View Post
Ηello!!! i wish u the best about your trip.
If u pass by Xalkidiki in Greece and u need something feel free to contact with me.
Hello! Thank you very much! I saw your message the morning I left from Thessaloniki, a day after I passed by Xalkidiki. Anyway, you live in a wonderful place....if there is a heaven for riders, I think it looks like Xalkidiki.I really know that this is a place where I'll come back.
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
Hi all! my excuses for the lack of new posts regarding my tour. Now, being back home and still in the recovery period (getting use back to the daily routine of going to work..) I had more time to put everything together and having an overview of the entire trip I would like to start now with some conclusions: first, it was a good experience for me, but the time was to short; there were a lot of wonderful places where I wished I stayed more (and I hope I'll go back one day). Second, it was my first tour, riding my first bike, so it was 99.5% asphalt; even if I like a little bit more dirty roads, because of my lack of experience (and also some time pressure) I chose to stay on the asphalt, but taking secondary roads in some places. In the end I can say I really liked it and only made me to be hungrier for more km...

These being said, I can go back now to the beginning:

Day 1: Piatra Neamt-Brasov-Bucharest

First day in the morning I left on a nice weather from Piatra Neamt to Brasov (where the new tires were waiting). The day before was great; a lot of sun and blue sky and I was hoping that the day I leave will be the same. But it was not like this. Soon it became cloudy and after crossing the East Carpathians the rain started. I passed through Bicaz Canyon (Cheile Bicazului) and Tusnad Bays (Baile Tusnad), usually two meeting points for riders during the summer as they offer you nice roads and views.

Bicaz Canyon

Unfortunately for me, in Tusnad Bays I had the first contact with really hard rain....but this prepared me for what came next.

Tusnad Bays - I ride on wet for the first time

In Brasov I spend almost one hour waiting for the tires being changed, but that guy did a really good job, so I would recommend him to anyone who is in that area. The synchronization with the weather was incredible...a little time after I left the garage a real storm came with everything you know: lightnings, thunders, hail and a lot of water (filling the streets from one side to the other). It was a good moment to meet and have a talk with an old friend. The final destination for that day was Buchrarest. There are several possibilities to go and a great road is DN1A through Cheia and Valenii de Munte. Being afraid of the weather and the night that was close, I chose the classical DN1, which was not as busy as I expected.
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #6
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
Day 2: Bucharest-Calarasi-Varna

Second day in the morning I went to a motorcycle shop for some things that I thought would be good to have with me. I met a guy who was planning to go to North of Africa at the end of this month...good luck to him and to everyone who is on the road. Spending some time there and also for some final checks, I left Bucharest pretty late choosing the old road to Calarasi where I crossed the Danube by ferry.

Romanian shore seen from the middle of Danube

A lot of birds and free pigs close to Danube

My transalp wearing new shoes on the ferry between Romania and Bulgaria

The policemen at the customs in Bulgaria were very friendly...(anyway, all are very curios when they saw you with baggage on the motorcycle). I took the road to Varna and after this to Burgas. My planning was to go a little more south from Burgas on that day, but in Varna my GPS (by the way, not a proper one...I used my phone as a GPS device) was trying to make me go around the Lake Varna (because the option of using highways remained unselected). I realized this only when I saw that the next step was to take the ferry from Beloslav North to South....! it seemed crazy for me to take the second ferry that day when a couple of km behind there was a I took the way back, I passed again through Varna and I looked for some roads near the seaside, planning to have a bush camping somewhere...and I found the place....a very nice one close to the sea (I used the last half hour of day light to put my tent on the ground and all my stuffs inside, so I saw this better next morning).

Close to this road I found the place for that night

And my face near the transalp , just for you to know it
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
Day 3: Burgas-Sozopol-Tsarevo-Malko Tarnovo-Edirne

I slept well that night; for the first night spent in my tent after more than one year, it was good. I was only disturbed by the sound of an engine...from what I could imagine some guys were having fun on the beach with their 4x4; and also by some birds - I do not know why they did not sleep and were still singing late in the night. I took some time that morning to admire a little the place around and I spent quite much time to pack back everything.

Nice place for my first bushcamping

The small track between my tent and the sea

Unfortunately I did not try it

The weather was not proper for a bath and the water was really cold

What I was telling you about 4x4s!

Around my tent

Finally I left, enthusiast for what was next, but what I was afraid of, it happened .... there was not much, a stripe of sand of about 50 m; what I did wrong, or better, what I haven't done right it's not hard to tell now; but then, in the last 5 m I was down.

Eat sand ma' friend!!!

Nervous, I threw my gloves and my helmet, removed all by baggage which I had just finished to put onto my bike and I started to push and pull it - I know that there is a technique, to push it with your back, but did not work in my case.

And my small victory came sooner than I expected;

it was not the first time when I fell with my transalp (each time at null or low speed), but it was the first time I could handle the situation alone and put my bike on two wheels without any extra help; so I left that place quite happy heading south to Burgas on the no. 9 road.

Close to Burgas

A Thracian Tomb: I saw a sign and I stopped because it was 100m on the right side

Nobody there and everything locked

Getting closer to Burgas - the nice weather was waiting for me

Being realistic that I was not able to go further than Edirne that day, I stopped in Burgas for an ice cream and half hour of internet to book a hotel for that night. From Burgas I took the 99 road, which carries you near the seaside and through some beautiful towns: Chernomorets, Sozopol, Primorsko....I randomly chose to stop and visit only Sozopol.

The port in Sozopol

Old military facility

Small square near the port - and the proof that I am in Bulgaria

Sozopol's ancient fortifications

And a piece of traditional wooden architecture

The town is a major seaside resort in Bulgaria

On the way back to road 99

During my searches on the internet I saw a lot of places in that part of Bulgaria that worth to be visited for scenery or archeological sites. Not having time for all these, I continued my 99 road from Tsarevo to Malko Tarnovo and I can say to you that in about 55 km I met only 4 cars from the opposite direction and none on my way. It is a great road through the woods with a lot of curves and hills; the only issue was that almost half of it (till the crossing street with road 907) is full of holes.

The road between Tsarevo and Malko Tarnovo - a beautiful road which starts like this

but half of it is like this

In the end not a really big issue for my transalp

The night caught me at the Turkey border where I lost more than one hour for all the checks and controls. The guys there were moving fast, but there were a lot of people, so I had to wait at three offices to have all my documents checked. In the mean time outside a thick fog was installed. I only had 100 more km but in the night and with that fog I reduced the speed enough the first 20-30 km. Going down from the mountains to Kirklareli I guess that road is very nice to do it during the day. Suddenly the fog was gone, but then I could see that in my direction were a lot of lightings and, I supposed, rain. I said to myself that a rain would be perfect to end my day. And it was so - getting closer to Edirne the rain started; a heavy one.

First stop in Turkey - close to Kirklareli

Then I saw that the road is wet
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 02:02 AM   #8
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: S W France my little bit of paradise
Oddometer: 1,187
PHILinFRANCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 09:40 AM   #9
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: piatra neamt, Romania
Oddometer: 1
good job man!!!!

keep on rollin'!
dragunov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 10:05 AM   #10
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
I'm in!

It's good you posted some pics of Romania...thought, everything beside Bukarest was tarmack-less holehell.

Never would have thought it is SO pretty.

Well, having been falling several times as a beginner myself - be careful, man. Do not start with the "shoot pictures during riding" stuff until you have more experiance.

And become more relaxed. I have ridden enough fuck-wheather myself due to pushing on when I should have settled down.
So far I was lucky, but more than once very closely. Don't push it.
Better stop while you still can - without falling.

As for falling in the sand...where you tight on the handlebars? Did you close the throttle?
Olorin_the_13th is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 07:44 AM   #11
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2012
Oddometer: 1,160
Excellent start! Following!
Blader54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 03:10 PM   #12
Viking from Denmark
Joined: May 2011
Location: Denmark, Randers
Oddometer: 20
Great Pictures :-) Enjoy your ride
Viking from Denmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 04:15 PM   #13
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
Thank you all of you!

Well, I had few pictures from Romania. Because of the limited time was not in my plans to spend to much time there, so I just crossed it. There are some wonderful roads for riding and also dirt roads, but is better if you have someone who know them (I think this is available everywhere). I hope one day I'll spent several weeks on all the roads I have in my mind in Romania.

Regarding the fall in the sand, the fun is that a day before, when I arrived in the evening, I've just passed that section w/o thinking to much. I guess next morning I was a little more nervous when I saw it, I haven't controlled the throttle properly...and.. . But the best lessons you learn from your own mistakes (the idea is not to be too big).
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 05:36 PM   #14
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22

Day 4: Edirne-Alexandroupolis-Kavala

Because I was with more than 100km behind compared with my initial plan, I woke up the 4th morning with the thought of reorganizing a little my plans for the next two days. I decided to sleep that evening in a camping in Kavala and the following night in Thessaloniki, so I spent some time to search for some campings and to book a hotel. Having this plan in my mind I haven't left on the shortest way from Edirne, but I made a small tour in the city to smell a little the air and to have an image of how it looks like - of course, a very small one. And I enjoyed it (anyway Turkey only was on a separate list of mine for the future).

Selimiye Mosque

Tombstones from Ottoman period in front of the mosque

Inside court of the mosque

I let you guess the purpose of that chain...

It seems like all the people are in the streets and everyone is doing something. I just took the streets randomly, wider or narrower, paying a little more attention to the traffic.

Pictures from the streets..

And the Old Mosque...I think from that place start the bazaar

Seeing some people eating in a small restaurant, I stopped there immediately. I wished not to leave Turkey without eating something from there. Do not ask me where I was, because I do not know - it was somewhere near their Great Bazaar! Very tasty food and very friendly people!

The Chef of the restaurant...he had an awesome suit

Because my watch was showing more than 12 o'clock, I left, crossing the city and trying to see a bit more from it. At the exit from the city, I passed the Sultan's Bridge. I hadn't time to think too much and I was already at the border. Leaving Turkey and entering Greece was a matter of 5 min both. Once being in Greece, I chose to go on some secondary roads and not on E85 which presented no interest for me.

The country side in Greece is great and is different from what I saw till then. One thing strange and funny was that there were no people in those villages. I hardly saw some people that were enjoying their coffee or tea or whatever they were drinking; but nothing more...

The road was great: on hills, through the forests and empty.

And suddenly this...

But there was a bridge and not a new one, so I understood that is the way where the river goes since a while

Entering on the E85 a heavy rain started, so I took time for refueling, me with a coffee and my tank with some the way, the gas is quite expensive in Greece . I did not wait too much, because it was no sign that would have stopped.

I think taking photos of cars in the rain made me look like some kind of a freak..

In Alexandroupolis I went straight to the seaside for a first look of the Aegean Sea.

The port in Alexandroupolis looks fact, the entire city looks the same

Not having too much time I had to go further to Kavala.

Avoiding highways on the fisrt section was interesting... a narrow street parallel with the highway, but only for me

A lot of poppy flowers that period in Greece

It worth to choose this road as the landscape is awesome; it carry you from rocks to the shore of Lake Vistonida. Close to this place I saw some kind of a camping....pines, close to the water and a motorhome between them. I turned back and I stopped. I had only around 100km till Kavala; it was not much, but it was late; but there was also not a place to sleep....without my helmet on my head, I was instantly bitten by at least 3-4 mosquitoes; the ground was also very wet so I left thinking at the camping near the beach that I had on my list. I reached Kavala by night - very nice city, I guess during the summer is full of tourists; then, at the end of April, without a lot of tourists, it was still "on fire"- a lot of people partying, a lot of motorcycles and motor scooters.

I stopped in the parking place close to a man, with the wish of asking him about this; I did not pay much attention to the uneven ground, maybe I was also tired, the idea is that I've put my foot down and I barely touched it. In one second I was on the ground in front of the poor man, who didn't know what just happened. He helped me to push the bike and he also told me that the camping is still closed as the season hadn't started yet. After the fall I was in one piece..:), but my left mirror was in two and the wind shield in three pieces. I gathered everything in my bag and I went back to Kavala to the other camping and was also closed. At almost 11 p.m. I've hardly found a gas station which was just closing. I left from Kavala saying that I'll sleep on the first beach I find. Lucky me, after less than 20km, in one curve I saw it from some distance...I went there and except two fishermen nobody was on the beach.

The picture is from next morning....just to have an image of where I slept that night....more will come
GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2014, 03:48 PM   #15
GexiJr OP
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 22
Day 5: Kavala - Stavros - Tour of Sithonia - Thessaloniki

GexiJr is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015