Archive for August, 2010

August
29th
2010

Team Turkey


Team Turkey

The border crossing from Greece to Turkey was the most militarised border we have seen yet with age old tensions still much on display. Despite the soldiers having sandbag emplacements and large guns, a smile and wave from us was enough to light up their faces. Leaving Greece we had switched to travelling on our New Zealand passports and were no longer British meaning no visa required for Turkey and forcing the border guards to check a reference guide for these passports from a distant land. – Posted by Justin

August
22nd
2010

Greece By Numbers


Greece by numbers

An empty highway with extra wide shoulder, a border town filled with cafes and restaurants and a road through a river with people camping on either side. This visit to Greece was a quick hop through to avoid a busier road from Bulgaria to Edirne, Turkey. We learnt no Greek and saw no sights, but our time here was as sweet as the coffees we tasted before exiting the country. – Posted by Emma

August
21st
2010

Moment Of Food – Greece


Moment of food - Greece

Being in Greece for less than 24 hours as we transited from Bulgaria to Turkey we only had time to document one meal along the way. We ate lunch in the town of Kastanies which was largely deserted on a hot Sunday afternoon before we headed down the road for a cool swim in an empty music festival site next to the Ardas river. – Posted by Justin

August
21st
2010

Bulgaria By Numbers


Bulgaria by numbers

The north of Bulgaria was wide empty countryside and quiet back roads. As we followed the Danube east the fields became filled with endless rows of drooping sunflowers past their prime. The friendliness of the local people amazed us as every day someone gave us food and drink and we were even welcomed into homes. Bulgaria will always be special as we now have an always waiting home for us in the tiny village of Malak Izvor with Sabrina and Sabatine. – Posted by Justin

August
21st
2010

Learning Bulgarian Phrases


Learning Bulgarian phrases

With old castle ruins towering over it, Lovech was the halfway point in our path across Bulgaria. Its a sleepy little town with just a few ‘tourist attractions’ and we feel immediately at home. Our hotel room is huge, and so reasonably priced we can afford dinner at the restaurant below us. We amble along the river and up to the castle at sunset, marvelling at the lack of tourists here compared to hilltop towns in Italy.. – Posted by Emma

August
18th
2010

Day Of Food – Bulgaria


Day of food - Bulgaria

Bulgaria confounded us a bit on the food front: we struggled to find fresh bread shops like those we had been accustomed to in the rest of the Balkans and fresh fruit and vegetables weren’t on shop shelves where we expected to see them. At the end of this day of food we decided to treat ourselves to a stay at the posh Hotel Bulgaria in Minerali Bani. – Posted by Emma

August
14th
2010

Bulgarian Backwaters


Bulgarian backwaters

As we passed through the empty border crossing into Bulgaria I wondered what the nurse wearing hospital scrubs was there for. Maybe she was a vet checking incoming livestock, or perhaps Bulgaria was afraid of some kind of zombie flesh eating disease from Serbia? However she left us alone and after our customary request for a stamp in our passports we were in the sleepy border town of Bregovo searching for a cash machine, a map, some cheese and a shady place for lunch. – Posted by Justin

August
13th
2010

7000 Kilometre Photo


7000 kilometre photo

Somehow we have clocked up another 1000 making our distance to date a huge 7000 km before we’ve even left the Balkans. The 7000 kilometre photo was taken shortly after we left a hilltop free camp spot near Radyuvene in Bulgaria. The road directly behind me is in surprisingly good condition, considering most roads we have ridden on in this country have required serious pothole avoidance tactics. – Posted by Emma

August
10th
2010

Serbia By Numbers


Serbia by numbers

We cycled into Serbia through a national park, spending our first night as guests in a tiny farmhouse just outside Mokra Gora. The hospitality of our first night was repeated many times throughout Serbia whether by people buying us coffee, campsites offering free pitches and breakfast snacks, or an international canoeing group welcoming us to their campsite. In Belgrade we learnt a lot from our great hosts Aleksander and Milica. We left Serbia after a loop around the Danube which, despite bugs and breakages we’d started to grow quite attached to. – Posted by Justin

August
9th
2010

Good Times On The Danube


Good times on the Danube

We couldn’t believe our sleepy eyes when we cycled into the small riverside village of Stari Slankemen and saw what looked like the biggest, tent-filled campsite we had seen on this trip. After hardly any sleep before setting off from Belgrade early that morning, we were dreaming of quitting early and the site before us, set back from the river on flat ground with a huge number of proper outdoors-looking tents, was surely an apparition. – Posted by Emma