A Viking searching for the south east end of Europe.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by JohnnyTh, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Yes, Johnny, fabulous report. The thing I liked about Split was that part of the downtown waterfront blocks are built within the ruins of Emperor Diocletian's palace. As Roman emperors go I guess he was pretty good as he was one of the few who was not assassinated or who held on until he died in office. So since he was from Dalmatia to start with he built his retirement palace at Split. At least that is how I remember the history.

    Will be sorry to see this report end. Glad you are feeling better!
  2. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Interesting. I did not know that. I love Roman history, next time i will have a 2nd look :)
  3. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Well, now you have a good reason to return, and I will offer another: Next time, after Split, I recommend stopping at Plitvice Lakes. UNESCO World Heritage site, there are a large number of small lakes arranged like steps on a staircase with small waterfalls connecting. They are set in a deep valley and the rock of the valley and all the land underneath is limestone so the water is full of minerals. The water is very very clear and yet light blue or sometimes green depending on the situation. Microorganisms pick up the calcium carbonate from the water and convert it to travertine marble, building up the falls between the lakes. You can hike around on paths and there are small ferry boats too. Also there is camping as I recall, but we stayed at a very cool small family-run hotel called Pansion Winnetou. The building has a sort of Native American culture or the American Wild West feel to it, due to the fact that a Western film was shot here back in the early 60's...called 'Apache Gold' which I was told was one part of a larger story called "Saga Winnetou". On a more sobering note, the family said that shortly after they first opened the war began as Yugoslavia ripped to pieces and Plitvice was where it started. The family all went to Germany for safety and the building was full of shell holes. If you go there, keep your eyes ready for the sight of farmers with roadside tables selling cheese. The cheese is delicious and keeps well without refrigeration for a few days. Loved it!

    Also, on warm sunny days in Split the waterfront boulevard has some nice cafes where it is pleasant to spend some time relaxing.
  4. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Stunning! On my list for next time for sure. But i belive next time will be by car. My wife have a bad knee and cant ride the bike for long distaces any more:( next time i want to bring her wnd my daughter so i guess only way is by car....but i did buy myself a nice car this summer so its not all bad :D
  5. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    After my failed attempt to use the toilet i set off north towards Germany. This would be my last full day on the road. The next night i would be back home with my wife and daughter. Something i was looking forward to.

    Leaving the Praha campsite this old dam building told a story of a time when this area was a little nicer then it is today.

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    Last time i was in Praha i stayed on a direct route north on some secondary roads. This time i decided i would stay on the main road parallel to the one i took last time. The first part took me over some rolling hills with great views but after crossing into German this was replaced by great plains.

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    For this day i did not expect much. Only plans i had was to stop by Louis -a motorbike gear shop- in Berlin. I punched the address into the gps and set off. The stupid gps took me straight thru Berlin and this is a busy city but as any unplanned route there was a few rewards. One of them was a stop at Check point Charlie. I have been here before but this time i got a pic of me and my bike in front of it.

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    I found the Louis outlet and this bike was parked outside. Not something i would buy but cool. I expected to find Mad Max inside but i did not see him.

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    The way north to Denmark was uneventful, except that i did cross another East West Germany border station. Now derelict and abandon but still cool to see. This one was not in a town but in the middle of a forest and at some time it was a big military camp. Sadly no place to pull over for a picture as it was beside the autobahn. Not somewhere you want to hang around. Even when doing 200km/h i was passed by cars going a lot faster. For a norwegian rider its refreshing to ride somewhere you don't need to pay close attention to your speed. The Norwegian speed limits are low and the fines severe.

    I spotted this little thing close to the border. Maybe just another Dane shopping in Germany.

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    Norwegians go to Sweden for shopping, Swedes go to Denmark. Danish go to Germany and Germans go to The Check Republic.

    Guess this Dane will have enough beer for the weekend.

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    I also called my wife and asked her to book a ferry ticket for the next day. And a little later i got a text from her with a booking number. I found a great little campsite in Denmark, They had closed for the evening but a friendly lady open the reception so i could get a place to camp. As i left the reception i was thinking: this is it. a nice camp site for the last night, the ferry is booked. Im home free. Nothing can happen now. But when i got back out to the bike i could hear a sound i did not want to hear. ssssssshhhhhhh. Yeah sure enough. I had a puncture. somewhere my Michelin RP3 had picked up a one inch long flint stone and it was no stuck in my tyre.

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    After 11.000km in Europe, most of them on some of the worst roads we have over here i had a puncture in Denmark. Well i knew i would need that puncture repair set when i packed my stuff 4 weeks ago.

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    i plugged the tyre and my $8 compressor reinflated my tyre.

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    Sucsess!

    When i was done i had to pitch my tent in darkness again..
    The last few days i had been riding hard and long each day but atleast i was out of the rain. Tomorrow i would end.
  6. Oxalc

    Oxalc What is a motorway?

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    Greeeeeeat report & pictures and wonderful bike (also with very good offroad capabilities!)

    Probably my next bike!
  7. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Not sure i would say good offroad capabilitys :) i think thats because of DickyB's tiny 250 that tought me that i could go offroad on two wheels:) it dont need a hardsurface to be able to ride it handel ok og gravel. On good roads its a great bike. I cant see myself replacing it any time soon.

    Thank you for you comment.
  8. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    Johnny Great report,nice to see some europe scenes and esp some of eastern Europe and into Asia.lso very suprised to see your report on Ataturk and the Kiwi and Australian and English adventures at Gallioli.
    What a farce..
    Very important battles for us,we were a very small and very young country then.The population of NZ would have been less than a million then and our army were conscripts i think.
    very enjoyable repirt,thanks
  9. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    My wisit to Galapoli was plesant. The Turks have done a great job telling the storry whitout putting anyone down. Kiwis, English and Turks was all treated with respect in the monuments i saw. A lot like many monuments i have seen from WW2 in western Europe where the German side is not even mentioned.
    I think i have some more pictures from that area if your interested.
  10. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    A few more pics from Galapoli
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  11. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Yeah, my girlfriend is not a rider and we want to go back to the lakes some day so it will have to be by car also. So it goes. Great report!
  12. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    These gravestones at the beaches in Galapoli, i think was special.

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    Evry few hundred meters i found a information sign like this.
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    Many of these hills did not have any names before the war snd they keept there english names after the war. Like this one.

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  13. cengiz64

    cengiz64 Foreigner

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    thanks for excellent RR.:clap:clap
  14. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Sorry my conection is to slow to upload pictures. Im on a off shore oilrig and due to a storm here the conection is crap. Will try to sort the pictures tomorrow from a work computer..



    The next day was nice and sunny. I was finally out of the rain. I walked around the campsite for a few minutes and it was a great place. Even had a swimming pool and a small beach at a lake. On the lake there was a viking ship. My wife had booked a early ferry and i still had a few hours ride before me so i had to get going.
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    And a viking grave close by
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    Leaving the campsite i noticed the gravel on the road after the flooding the day before.

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    I made sure to avoid another puncture and on my ride north i noticed the architecture and i thought about how much the houses had changed.

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    The houses in Denmark was a lot different from the houses in Eastern Europe. And i guess people here had more money then Albanians. But even if they have more money in Denmark i had my first bad experience with other people here. Some random guy started to yell at me when i drove past him in a traffic jam in a small town. He gave me the middle finger and shouted. I ignored him but when leaving the town he caught up with me and drove up beside me on a one lane road, in a aggressive way pretending to trying to push me off the road. But after riding in south east Europe and specially in Istanbul i guess im not so easy to scare any more and my reply was stupidly to quicly move my bike closer to him. I bet there was noe more then a inch between his shiny new car and my left pannier. He quickly backed off and it was the last i saw of him.

    Hard to believe that the first and only asshole on this 11000km ride was a Danish.

    I did not make any stops going thru Denmark as i have been here so many times before. But that did not mean i didn't see anything funny.

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    Well i guess its not really funny. It could happen to anyone.

    I reached Hirtshals whiteout any incidents with time to spare so i did a bit of speed sightseeing from the bike. And even if i have been here hundred times or more this time i looked at the town differently. This time thinking i wanted to take a few pictures for ADV.

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    Hirtshals also was a German fortification during WW2 and the bunkers are still a part of the city.

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    In Denmark its leagel to ride on the beach and i wanted to get a pic of my bike on the beach. But a GTR loaded with all my stuff is not a easy bike to handle on the sand so i did not explore the beach. Managed to get a pic before found a petrol station to fill up for the last time with cheep european gas.


    There was a few other bikes waiting for the ferry and when boarding the ferry i had to help most of them strapping down the bikes.
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    I had lunch on the ferry and not much else to say about the boat. After 3 hours i was back in Norway. Now there was just 2 hours left of my epic ride. But true to my promise to not let this ride end until i was home i made a stop on the way.

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    This is Knuden built in 1922 to lift the road up a cliff. Now its a rest area and worth a stop if you are interested in old constructions.

    A hour later i was back in my home town and again the houses had changed.

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    There was no one home when i got there and it did feel kinda strange to unload my bike and carry all the stuff back into the house.

    Any regrets... Oh yes. Would i do it again? Oh yes in a heart beat...... Marokko sounds interesting.. Maybe in a coupel of years...

    Thank you anyone reading this. It have been a joy to share this ride with all you guys. And knowing i would write this rr have inspired me to think difrently and take more pictures.
  15. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Hi Johnny! Fantastic report! I really enjoyed the photos and your descriptions. I think it is very nice that you were able to keep "the ride" going all the way home. Many times once the bike is turned toward home, or gets within a certain distance of home, the ride is really over because the rider just focuses on getting home. Often the ride reports just sort of fade out because of this, though I do not mean to blame others. The lure of home is strong. But I was happy to read your report all the way to the end because it really did not end until you walked into your house again. Bravo!

    Looking forward to more reports from you in the future!
  16. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Thanx. When i started doing this report i just wanted to give somthing back to ADV, but now i see the value in having the report here. Already memorys are fading but i have my report to read if i want to. But now i notice all my spelling mistaked and other mistakes :)
  17. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    Excellent stuff Johnny. Can't get over the amount of miles you did in a relatively short time. You've given me and Juliet some ideas for our next trip :wink:

    All the best,

    Dickyb
  18. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    If it includes Norway i have a guest room. But i cant promise a full english breakfast:)
  19. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Just finished reading your super fine report and great pictures. Thanks so much for the time and work to share these countries that I'll never see except though ride reports such as your. :clap:clap:clap
  20. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Thanx. I hope i one day i will be able to explore the US a bit more.