Samstag, 31. Mai 2014

We've got company!

We're very pleased that my girlfriend Solène and her sister Laure will join us this evening here in Athens and ride to Istanbul with us!

On est vachement content qu'on profitera de la ravissante compagnie de Solène et Laure dès ce soir! Elles nous accompagneront jusqu'à Istanbul. Bienvenues les filles!

Freitag, 30. Mai 2014

Riding the Peleponnes

Three days of riding across the Peleponnes lie behind us and they've been quite varied. On the first day we'd chosen a route right through the mountains that included also some offroad parts. Beautiful views everywhere! When we met a turtle in the middle of the road trying to cross it in a turtle-typical speed we decided for her that this was simply too dangerous and sped up the endeavour by carrying it by hand to the other side. I hope she was grateful, though she didn't give the impression!

On the day after there had been a significant change in weather unfortunately, and driving through the misty mountains one could have mistaken the scenery for Scotland. The last kilometres were actually through the rain, our first encounter since we started. The day ended in the local tavern and in spite of the language barrier we got all the food and drinks we wanted. Nice!

On our third day on Peleponnes the weather programme was switched back to the usual sunshine so we could enjoy riding this magnificent road between Kosma and Leonidiou that passes through the "grand canyon" of the Peleponnes. Absolutely spectacular! We finished early after a short riding day and took an afternoon off to look at the historical site of Mykene.

Tomorrow we'll drive to Athens.

In case someone hasn't noticed yet, you can see more pictures by clicking on the link on the right hand side that says "PHOTOS"!

Dienstag, 27. Mai 2014

Adriatic ... continued

After we'd entered Montenegro for the second time we enjoyed a fantastic ride through the beautiful bay of Kotor and along the adriatic coast into Albania. We were pleased to find out that three other motorcyclists were staying in our hotel in the city of Shkodër. One of them was Pete from Australia who's travelling with his wife through Europe. He happened to have just ridden through Albania and Greece and could give us a ton of recommendations. We then spent the evening in town with the other two riders Hans and Rudi from Austria and Germany. We ended up in the city centre watching the final match of the UEFA cup together with hundreds of soccer-passionate Albanians.

The next day we followed the route that Pete had suggested and he had not promised too much! The adriatic coast is spectacularly beautiful no matter which country. We just couldn't stop riding before we reached Greece. Right now we're in the north of the Peleponnes taking a break to enjoy the sun on the beach and do some maintenance on the bikes.

Samstag, 24. Mai 2014

Small detour off the beaten track

After having enjoyed so many kilometres of the beautiful croatian coastline we were up to a little change and took a turn into Bosnia Hercegovina. We stopped for lunch at Mostar, famous for it's bridge, and were amazed to find the little town buzzing with big crowds of tourists. Temperatures of more than 30 degrees made exploring the place a little unpleasant in our heavy motorcycle wear so we did not stay very long. The remaining 120 km to Sarajevo through beautiful scenery passed by quickly. We had imagined the town completely different and enjoyed the multicultural atmosphere very much. On the other hand you can still find many signs of the civil war so the impression you get is somehow ambiguous.  Of course we couldn't miss to take a look at the place where Franz Ferdinand was shot almost exactly 100 years ago.

The next day led us into the mountains of Montenegro through Durmitor national park and that was truely one of the most fantastic rides I've ever had! We took a small road that went up to almost 2000 m and the beauty of the scenery was overwhelming! Joining a bigger road later on we were surprised to find the roads of Montenegro as smooth as a babies' behind, as we say in german! Not wanting to miss Dubrovnik we took a final turn into Croatia and visited the historic town centre in the evening. It is in an incredibly perfect condition almost like a scenery built for a movie!
Today's plan is to make a 180 degrees turn and head for Albania.

Mittwoch, 21. Mai 2014

Croatia - a real beauty!

When we woke up in Ljubljana on the morning after the rainy day we were very pleased to find the find the sun shining again. But packing our bikes our mood got a little spoilt - there had been an attempt to steal Christian's bike! The ignition lock had been damaged but luckily without doing real harm to it.
So we left Slovenia behind and after we had entered Croatia I let my old friend Tomtom do the lead using this awesome "windy road" routing feature that takes only small roads and the result was absolutely convincing! Lots of corners and great views! We spent the night near Rijeka at a private accomodation hosted by a very friendly couple. Then the next day's ride along the adriatic coast was what every motorcyclist dreams about! Perfect roads, gorgeous scenery and sunshine all day long ending in a nice hotel directly on the coast. Today the nice conditions continued and we've now arrived to Split. The evenings here can be pretty exhausting - huge piles of meat have to be eaten every time...
Tomorrow we'll be heading for Bosnia.

Sonntag, 18. Mai 2014

The Alps ... continued

What a great riding day! We started in sunny conditions in Merano heading east through the Dolomites. The scenery was just breathtaking! Though the weather was constantly deteriorating we stayed almost dry and finished the long riding day in Ljubljana in the evening. We had tried to find an accomodation via couchsurfing but had no success with the couch however what we could find was some company for the evening there. A local teacher hosting a funny french guy showed us around the city and all the four if us had a nice evening together! Today we're waiting for the rain to finish and will have a look at the beautiful city of Ljubljana.

Samstag, 17. Mai 2014

The Alps

For crossing the Alps we had considered to take the Brenner tunnel but since Christian's bike ist named Transalp that wasn't really an option. So we chose a route through western Austria via five passes all being between 1500 and 1800 metres high. Because we were expecting cold temperatures Christian bought himself some warm gloves in the morning but when arrived up there we got the impression that we were at the right place but with the wrong equipment! Skis or snowboards would have fitted much better in to the scenery than motorbikes! In fact it was like in deepest winter and even snowing from time to time. But when we descended into Italy the temperatures went finally up, like we had benn promised, and after a lot of research we found a lovely B&B in Merano in an old castle. Today we're heading to Slovenia.

Freitag, 16. Mai 2014

The start

After all the preparations it was good to be finally able to set off. Our first riding day led us through rather cool and cloudy southern Germany to the house of a friend near Lake Constance where we spent the night. Today we've decided to head south to Italy where the weather forecast looks a bit more friendly.

Dienstag, 13. Mai 2014

Very last preparations

postal voting for regional and european elections