Beautiful Balkans: Three weeks through Eastern Europe

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by enduro Dan, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    OK,Been putting this on hold long enough.
    This past October me and my girlfriend took a trip across the Atlantic.
    Destination:Ljubljana,Slovenia to start our Balkans tour;consisting of 4 countries and 20 days of riding.:thumbup
    After getting all our gear packed up it was off to the airport.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    So far so good,our first stop Switzerland and then a connector to Ljubljana.
    [​IMG]

    We were picked up at the airport by our host(Rozle) of the rental company.
    (Adriatic Moto-Tours)and taken to our hotel.
    [​IMG]

    Where our bikes are waiting. :clap
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After checking in we decided to catch a bus downtown and see the sights.
    Hoping to rub off some of the jet-lag and try to keep ourselves occupied,as the excitement was killing us.
    Well, me more so than Ellie. :D
    Down town Ljubljana ;
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We went back to the hotel and picked up our panniers and got briefed on our trip.
    The temperature was a little below average,around 50 F.
    We were both glad we had electric liners packed away.
    Off to dinner and a good nights sleep(thanks Ambien) for tomorrow the adventure begins......
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,699
    It's certainly is gorgeous in the Balkans, and peaceful at last :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    Birmingham,UK
    Looks great so far:D
    #3
  4. Ozz

    Ozz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    411
    Location:
    Monterrey
    Congrats...sounds like a great trip. Are those your bikes or did y rent them over there? We want to do a similar trip and was wondering if it is best to ship our bikes or rent them.
    #4
  5. motorradrudi

    motorradrudi tourguide

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    367
    Location:
    Sonthofen, Germany
    :lurk

    Best greatings
    Rudi
    #5
  6. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    Day 2;
    We wake to a nice sunny day,a bit cool but were ready.
    Our day consists of a nice ride to Kog/Jeruzalem.
    Around 230K(144miles),a nice day to shake off the cobwebs.
    After leaving the city we see this.
    [​IMG]

    :clap I love the mountains.
    Slovenia is so diversified in it's terrain,a bit of everything.
    After a quick ride into Austria the GPS(Zumo) sends us up this trail back to Slovenia.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We later found out it was a closed border path that we stumbled across.
    Zumo would do this to us quite often we would later find out.
    We don't like to ride around gates but we really didn't want to go back down the mountain side.
    some of the road was very steep with sharp drop-offs.
    The gate was only on the Slovenian side. :dunno
    The other side was wide open.
    As we regrouped,we met up with these British guys who were doing a guided tour with Matej.(Adriatic Moto Tours)
    We started from the same place that morning and wouldn't really get to know them for a couple of more days.
    Quite a group of characters :D
    [​IMG]

    They were basically doing the same tour as us for the first 5 days,only guided and the luxury of a chase vehicle.
    We went unguided which seems to work for us.
    Our first stop was Rinka waterfall in Logarska Valley.
    www.logarska-dolina.si
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After more spectacular scenery and roads it was of to our place of rest for the night;B&B Hlbec in Kog.
    It's a family run farm,with a well stocked wine cellar.:beer
    Also our first taste of slitivitz :huh
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The owner was from Germany,spoke no English but would carry on a conversation anyhow.
    Although neither of us knew what the other said,It was a fun night.
    Tomorrow we look for castles.....
    #6
  7. zadok

    zadok Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,044
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Beautiful place.:D:lurk
    #7
  8. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    We rented the bikes.
    I think you need to go longer than a month to make it cost effective to ship your own.

    Yes,peace at last.
    And very friendly people. :clap
    #8
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,704
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I'm Soo Jealous!

    :lurk
    #9
  10. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    After a typical breakfast,and a taste of Eastern(Turkish) coffee were on our way again.
    The first castle we find is Podsreda Castle.
    Located on the Northern slope of green Orlica hill,the mighty Podsreda castle rises above the town of the same name.
    [[​IMG]

    After many more miles,and a fun ride with some locals,we made our way to the Predjama castle. http://www.castles.nl/eur/sl/pj/pj.html
    The castle hangs in the middle of a 123 meter cliff,very impressive.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ATGATT :D:D
    [​IMG]


    Dinner time, and off for bed.
    [​IMG]
    At the hotel.
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Dirty POG

    Dirty POG Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    :lurk Very nice. I've been reading a great deal about the Balkans lately (working on my History degree). I'm glad to see that its finally peaceful in a region that has seldom been such.

    Your report is amazing as well! Keep it up.:freaky
    #11
  12. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    High Level, Alberta
    Looks to be a great ride and adventure. Do either of you speak the language or does that make it more memorable and exciting? Look forward to more.
    #12
  13. SpitfireTriple

    SpitfireTriple Seek Truth

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Bristol, Britain
    Some spectacular scenery. More please.
    #13
  14. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    No,unfortunately neither of us speak another language.(English only)
    It really humbles you when so many others are multi-lingual.
    I found the Slavic languages much harder to pick up than when we were in Italy a couple years ago.
    It seems almost everyone speaks a bit of English nowadays.
    #14
  15. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    Today would start off wet as would the next 3 days....
    First stop was to see the Postojana Caves. www.postojna-cave.com
    At least it wasn't raining inside.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The caves were quite large,the largest I've been in.
    I felt like we were in a Lord of The Rings movie.
    Sorry no pictures allowed inside.

    The ride to Bovec was some of the best riding so far.
    Too bad it was mostly raining(hard at times)and very foggy in the mountains.
    Again sorry for the lack of pictures,to much rain.
    Here's a link to what we missed http://socawalley.blogspot.com/2009/02/bovec-zaga-kobarid-soca-on-googleearth.html
    We made it to our cabin which would be home for the next 2 nights.
    [​IMG]
    The next morning it was still raining so we took a ride to the Kobarid Museum http://www.kobariski-muzej.si/ang/home.html
    [​IMG]

    The museum was founded in 1990 with aim of presenting the events on the WW1 Soca Front from May 1915- November 1917.
    A detailed presentation of the famous battle of Kobarid,the twelfth battle on the Soca River on October 24th,1917 where the German and Austro-Hungarian divisions drove back the Italian forces all the way to the Piave River is the main feature of the Museum.
    The history of this area is incredible.

    On the way to the museum we ran into a construction zone.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seeing how I do road construction at home,I thought it was neat how they made these barriers.
    [​IMG]

    After the tour around Kobarid and lunch we set off for Italy.
    [​IMG]

    Again it was wet and most of the scenery was covered in fog.
    We did stop and see this fellow and his dog tending to his flock.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back to the resort to warm up,check e-mails and get dinner.
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow would be another wet day......
    #15
  16. zavi

    zavi tra curve e tornanti

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Firenze (I)
    :lurk
    #16
  17. darwinBlacky

    darwinBlacky ADVRider

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Surabaya,Indonesia
    oh wow ...
    very..very beautiful place
    so peacefull ... :cry :cry
    #17
  18. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    106,190
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    :lurk
    #18
  19. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    22,001
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and we had to leave the Julian Alps without seeing all it's beauty.
    The highlights of today would be Vrsic pass,the highest pass in Slovenia,and Bled Lake.
    Again it was cold and rainy as we set out for Škofja Loka
    The temperature dropped steadily as we made our way through the pass.
    (liners set to high)


    <object width="425" height="344">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kwOJ1ZFGOOo&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></object>

    We didn't see any cows,this video was borrowed from YouTube.
    Actually we didn't see anyone.
    The lowest temp I read on the dashboard thermometer was 4C.
    We made our way to Bled and stopped here for a cappuccino and hot cocoa for Ellie.
    [​IMG]
    Once warmed up we took this picture of the lake.
    [​IMG]
    Notice the numbers on the picture?
    This is the second picture I've seen with numbers on it of this lake.
    I used my digital camera,the same one used for the rest of my pictures and this is the only one where the numbers show....strange.
    The ride to our hotel was incredible.
    Here are a few pics along the way.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We were glad it was a short day,riding wise.
    So we checked into the hotel early and cleaned/warmed up.
    It was a short walk into town.
    Skofja Loka one of the oldest, and most beautifully preserved medieval settlements in Slovenia.http://www.skofjaloka.si/en/
    We were looking forward to tomorrow as we are going to Croatia to see Plitivice Lakes National Park.
    Also we are meeting fellow ADV member Damir at the border for a nice escort to Plitivice
    #19
  20. Stuart T

    Stuart T Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    258
    Location:
    Perched on the edge of suburban sanity
    Went to the Balkans last year, sadly not on a bike. There are some great roads in Montenegro in the mountains, stunning construction, scenery and curves. I can't remember the actual route, but we were heading from Sarajevo to Ostrog.
    If you make it to Sarajevo and like your coffee, head for the old town and look for the small courtyard coffee shops. There's one just off the tinsmith street which is just fantastic.
    #20