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rottiontour
08-03-2014, 18:25
Last evening at home. MH is packed, ready to go and in "Number One", all papers complete for the long drive. 3500 km heading South East, cross country from North Germany via Austria, Balkans, Peloponissos, then by ferry from Gythio to Kissamos/Crete..... hopefully....that´s the plan so far, we will see. We will do it in small steps.

Since some time I´m retired, notorious lack of money but absolutely free. Not a bad condition having no "boss" (except missus), however, life sometimes is getting a little bit boring.
And "googling the net" we read about an animal shelter on Crete, for stray dogs.... poor souls. The old Manolis cares about the dogs, they are his love and his life. And the idea was born to visit this shelter. I contacted an email address and got a positive reply, support always would be appreciated. So we had THE PLAN.
We do not know what will be expecting us, may be it will work or may be not, we will see but....we will try.
And I would tell you about this trip if you like....in my peculiar English.

15 hours from now on is enough time for a last beer at home. Two people and one dog......off to the dogs of Crete.

Bernd

loulou
08-03-2014, 18:29
Hi Bernd, trip sounds great, so go and enjoy. We have this target location in our sight too in the near future, so if you can post any tips, places you stopped at, and maybe some photos, we would be very aprreciative.

Cheers Lou & Terri

:camper::have fun::cheers::dog::drive:

tadpole58
08-03-2014, 18:31
Sounds like a great adventure - keep us posted

witzend
08-03-2014, 19:12
Sichere Reise Bernd

Keep us posted with your adventure

Fazerloz
08-03-2014, 19:21
I wish my English was as good as yours , but then I am from Yorkshire. Have a safe trip. :wave:

iampatman
08-03-2014, 19:49
We love Crete, we've been there half a dozen times, mostly to Koutouloufari near Hersonissos, but not in the van. It's one of the places we'd like to go to in the van so we'll be following your adventures with interest. Have a great journey.

rottiontour
10-03-2014, 20:07
Thank you for the kind wishes......


Day 1....Departure
Beautiful weather, last year in March snow and ice, today 20 C and sun.....airco time.
The black lady is the first to jump into the van.
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East Frisia is a nice country ....in case it´s sunny, heehee. Before the next rain will approach, we will be off.
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400 km later we stay overnight at a friend´s house in Westerwald area, electricity and a cold bavarian "Paulaner" beer included, the first taste of "southland".
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Day 2.... superweather, we decide to continue the tour on the western side of the Rhine, passing Koblenz and several wine-villages along the road, nice tour, empty roads.
By the way, a nice Stellplatz opposite of Loreley rock at St. Goar.
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The Loreley is a very narrow and dangerous gap between the hills. There, in former times, many ships crashed and all the skippers swore by god that they had seen a nice girl sitting on the rock brushing her long blonde hair and drawing their total attention and....crash.
I think it must have been a great fun for the girls of the villages to sit on the rock, brushing their hair and.....watching the crashes. There was no TV those times.
I think one of the nicest parts of the middle Rhine is the region between Koblenz and Bingen.
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We are staying overnight at a Stellplatz in Guntersblum ( 49° 47' 22'' N, 8° 20' 38'' E ) , 5 Euros, leccy, all facilities and lovely wine fields next by. The area of Guntersblum is beautiful, famous wine, nice for biking, good dog-walking area.
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150 km today, still 3000 km to go for the Fiat- "Frontschwein" (front driven and always dirty like a pig),
i drink the first small Ouzo....to get used to the taste of Greece. And more and more I feel free and independant.

Bernd

rottiontour
12-03-2014, 18:56
Day 3.......What a morning, sunny all over, the night 6 C now 23 C at 1100.
We do a break at Oppenheim, 9 km apart. It's not the nicest Stellplatz over there but it´s ok and very suitable for a walk into the town.
( 49° 51' 22'' N 08° 21' 53'' E, good supply station, 7 Euros)

Oppenheim is interesting, funny cars, a well of toads giving the name to the famous wine "Oppenheimer Krötenbrunnen" and a huge cathedral with colourful windows and a little chapel next by full of bones. The bones of 20000 dead were piled up there over 3 centuries.....anybody needs spare parts :scared:?
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The small catholic church 300 m down the road has an iron marking at the wall, an old prussian landmark. Those landmarks are clamped to many old churches as I learned. An old method to calculate exact heights and ranges by means of standardised geometric points.......GPS obviously not invented yet :wave:.
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Distance to Crete....3000 km plus 9.

Day 4....

Following the "Bundesstrasse" B 9 as we did since Koblenz, we change now at Rastatt to B 36 on the german eastern side of the upper Rhine.. ...Rotti does not really like France, it's a "muzzle-country" :scared:.
Overnight stay at Rheinmünster-Stollhofen in front of a large campsite. 150 km per day are good enough.
The Stellplatz is at 48° 46' 20'' N, 08° 02' 31'' E, good condition, 8 Euros, all supply and 15 minutes walking to the riverbanks.
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About 2800 km to go.....tonight Rotti may decide what to drink, beer or Ouzo :lol-053:.


Bernd

rottiontour
14-03-2014, 18:12
Day 5.......Black Forest Day
We had a cold night, 1 C but 18 C at 1000l already.
We head Southeast, fed up with "flatland" Upper Rhine Valley, crossing over Black Forest, mainly B 33 till Tuttlingen.
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B 33 is interesting, nice sceneries with typical Black Forest houses, the world largest cuckooclock and a picture of a local lady with "Bollenhut", the regional lady's hat with a sort of "dumplings" on top.
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The Triberg waterfall, longest waterfall of Europe as far as I know, good MH parking at Triberg in vicinity of the falls ( N 48° 07' 50.3'' E 08° 13' 44.0'')
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Overnight stay is at Tuttlingen Stellplatz within the public park, the young Danube next by ( 47° 59' 6'' N 8° 48' 47" E)
No electricity, but water and dump facility and costfree, not bad for such a town Stellplatz. The pedestrian zone is 5 minutes away and the park is suitable for dog walking.
In the evening I walk to the town center and i recognize many languages , which i do not understand. For sure it´s not German, not English, Russian, Greece, French, Italian or Netherlands. Those languages i would understand at least a little bit. Are we in "Southland" already? :scared: No, i don't think so, still too far away , I'll trust the Garmin.
Well, I really don´t care about and I task Rotti to do the route planning for tomorrow.
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She did a great job but I think she had some difficulties with her eyes probably she would need glasses.

150 km today, still 2700 till Crete.

Day 6.....the Prussian Day 20879
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I knew I was definetively parking on a reserved space for MHs. But in the morning hours the Stellplatz was flooded with nervous drivers looking for a parking place , panic in their eyes....and "law and order" lost the game. Even the supply station was blocked totally so no chance for me to dump.
Need to push away an Audi Convertible or empty the toilet over the car. OK, be patient , boy, there will be more supply stations on route, let's go.
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It was a good decision to take the road left/north of Danube, very nice region. Fantastic view over the valley of Danube and the monastry of Beuron.
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We detected a little cemetary, soldiers of three wars who died in the hospital of the monastry were buried there since 1814.
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Next overnight stop Stellplatz of Sigmaringen ( 48° 5' 8'' N 9° 12' 36'' E , 5 Euros, full supply). Very good for a stay and visit to the town and castle......the home base of the "Hohenzollern Dynasty", the family of the last prussian king "Kaiser Wilhelm".
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Some very friendly Dutch people parked next to us, now I know, why Wilhelm emigrated to the Netherlands after WW I, :scooter:. The castle is great....solid, not too comfortable and a little bit "modest", real prussian style, very impressive.
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Well, about 2700 km more along the Danube..... and we would arrive at the Black Sea, from here same distance as Crete, may be next time.

Bernd

rottiontour
15-03-2014, 17:04
Day 7 now......border crossing day.

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Weather getting worse, spring obviously finished, hazy, 10 c, but no rain.

In the morning I observe a "traveller" sleeping at Danube, bike, trailer, sleeping bag...oh, what a bad place to sleep, too dangerous and too cold. 30 minutes later the traveller creeps out of his bag and with him a big Rottweiler.....oh, what a good place to sleep, absolutely safe and so warm ;).

Garmin will lead us to Austria, roads are overcrowded.....saturday morning and shift change in Hotel beds, luckily not for us.
We made about 1100 km up to now, about 2500 km still to go.
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At the austrian border i buy a vignette, 8,50 Euros for 10 days is ok, Frontschwein has 3,5 to, may be a little bit overweight.
And then i see a "Leberkäs Semmel" (don't know the english word, may be liver-cheese- bread roll :scared: ) . For years i am missing good Leberkäs Semmel in Frisia and i MUST buy one ....with sweet !! mustard, mmmmh.
Well, and then i HAVE to share it, f...k !!
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For the night we stay at a campsite in Biberwier, Austria, Alpencamp Marienberg. (47° 22' 31'' N, 10° 53' 22'' E, full supply, electricity) 18 Euros, the price is medium, Austria isn't that cheap, however great location to walk and see the region. And...i feel like being in Netherlands, surrounded by yellow car plates. Funny guys the Dutch, i like them.

The area is very impressive, "Zugspitze", typical austrian chapel, and "Jakobsweg", way of st. James, Camino de Santiago Trail.

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From here we could follow the Camino.....1739 km till Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
But we continue to Crete, 2346 km to Gythion the ferry port to Crete.
And from now on we are under "comoloss condition", no regular internet connection for the next days.

Bernd

rottiontour
18-03-2014, 18:11
found a wifi, yeep.

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Day 8 ....bye bye "Killer Dog".... hello "Family Dog"

What a rain....a permanent shower. Towards Italy is the plan of today.... searching for the sun.
It´s Sunday and a long traffic queue is opposite to us....luckily. Thousands of Germans and Dutch driving home, in winter time skiing, in summer time windsurfing.....so many Dutch around Netherlands must be empty.
After Innsbruck we drive along the old Brenner road avoiding the modern highway.
The road is free, no cars in front of us, i'm happy about that. But the "Boss" warned me...don' look into the mirror!! :scared:
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Driving on the Brenner road is easy and we arrive at Vipiteno/Sterzing, there is a Stellplatz, easy to find (Top Stop Autohof, N 46.77909; E 11.43753 ).
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A large area especially for Mhs, good place, electricity, dump station, water. The office was closed and i asked a garden worker where to pay (13 Euros). He explained to me in Italian when the office will be open again. Unfortunately I understood not more than "Buon Giorno" and "tomorrow", luckily he took me for tour to showers, toilettes, water taps etc, very friendly man.
The restaurant was great for a cup of real italian espresso, cappuchino and sweet italian croissants, italian background music, sun outside....that's it!.
A nice castle down the road is good to "move the dog".
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During the walk i recognize that all car drivers are looking at the Rotti and all having friendly faces, smiling, some are greeting towards us. A mountain biker overtakes us, turns back and winks, "Buon Giorno"....the "garden man" from before. Now i'm sure that we overcame the "stone faces" of "my Northland". And the Alpes are in between..... what a luck for the dog....and me.
A group of austrian Boy Scouts made a break at the parking, one of them came to the MH simply to see the dog. And a lady came along, she looked at the dog and smiled.
I must admit, a very comfortable situation after having crossed the "muzzle countries" North Rhine Westphalia and Bavaria. In Austria a Rotti is not a "killer dog" or a "beast", it's simply a family dog, no hystery, no panic, no offenses, we do not miss "our Northland" .....and its newspapers.

150 km today......still 2250 to Crete
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Day 9......summer to winter within 15 minutes

We continue travelling along the Brenner road and then turn east through Puster Valley towards Austria again. It's warm and sunny, white mountains, the Dolomiti.
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At a filling station I asked a girl how much snow they have had during the winter. She said 8 meters....shock!!
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The valley is so sunny and nice that we decide to drive up into the mountains for an overnight stay.
A Stellplatz is open at Kötschach-Mauthen, Hotel Gailberghöhe (46° 42' 55'' N 12° 58' 4'' E,
14,50 Euro, all incl.) Great snow up here, 3000' amsl, 23 C. From summer to winter in 15 minutes. The night will be very cold but gas is filled up, Truma will make it..
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150 km today.....still 2100 to Crete.

Day 10.....winter to summer again

Down to Villach to visit a Vet, the dog needs a health certificate for crossing the Balkan. We visit the Vet Dr. Forisch at Villach, Piccostr. 8....35 Euros plus 45 Minutes and all is ok. A lamp of the car is broken....10 minutes searching for the car instructions (too many boxes in the car), 30 minutes walking to get a lamp and 10 minutes repair and off we go again.
15 Euros Vinjeta for Slovenia, 7 Euros for Karawankentunnel and we are near Ljubljana.
Next overnight stay at Smlednik, Hotel & Kanu Camp, 10 Euros all incl., good stay. (N 46.16927 E 14.42226)
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200 km today,.....about 1900 km to Crete.....weather is fantastic, we start planning to head for Crotia and Albania.

Bernd

horshamjack
18-03-2014, 18:53
Following your post with Interest .. Have a good journey and keep posting

RoaminRog
18-03-2014, 19:50
Fabulous post! Really enjoying following your trip. Keep up the good work and above all stay safe!

Regards to you all, Rog

rottiontour
19-03-2014, 18:46
Day 11, again what a sunny day


Yesterday's plan was .....continue marching. Today we "bin" the plan.....always be unpredictable......Merkel thinks we are in Serbia, NSA cannot track us, cell phones switched off and hacking open wifis on road, Putin is busy with Ukraine.......perfect day to do a bike tour.
The target of today....the castle Smlednik.
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We take the bikes, a mountain bike for me and and an e-bike for the Boss ....filling the battery with electricity is great, however, the Boss is always faster than me and never exhausted and afterwards she explains to me...you are too fat!! :mad2:
And so I swore yesterday.... no beer in the evening...for the next couple of days.
On way to the castle we pass a memorial/chapel called Blood Shrine.....oups.
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Everyhwere there are little chapels or cruzifixes illuminated in the darkness by candlelights....magic country.

And biking towards the castle we recognize some "small houses" lined up the hill.....chapels, the slovenian Kalvarj-hill.....great view, very interesting paintings.

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Mother and Son......not really a happy moment for a mother. 20961

Some (hundred) steps up hill and we are on top of the castle.
Nice panoram view over the Karawanken-Alps
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.....and....we meet our german MH-neighbours :scared:.....ok...not a problem....they are not stone faces, always funny and full of humour.
And because i swore not to drink beer in the evening....i'm too fat.....i drink it now, it's "high noon" and not yet evening :cheers:. And 4 Northlanders had a nice "sunny" chat on top of the slovenian castle.

Driving down the hill was easy after the beer and Rotti did enjoy our return, she did a great job again, the car was still there.
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And then .....relaxing.....doing some preventive maintenance for Frontschwein....and observing the approaching spring. Far in the East clouds are coming up.....hopefully the weather will stay.
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And again i'm convinced that small diamonds for your own are much nicer than to share big diamonds with loads of tourists.

The motto of today....always be unpredictable.

Km of today .....10 , still 1900 km to Crete.

And.......thank you for the kind replies,

Bernd

witzend
19-03-2014, 21:39
Hi Bernd thanks for blog we are enjoying reading and looking at the pictures. The weather looks to be kind to you with blue skies in most pictures. Take Care T & C

Captain Biggles
20-03-2014, 00:32
Following your movements with interest Bernd, I am green with envy, familiar with the first part of your journey down to Bodensee area only.

Keep up the good work & enjoy your travels, wish we could be there with you, but perhaps another time...

Captain Biggles :plane:

rottiontour
20-03-2014, 16:48
today plitvice crotia. crossed combatzone 1991....desaster zone.....10 km later...touristarea....frm hell to heaven in 15 minutes
bad connection. details later ...."wildnetting"
regards
bernd
thx again for comments

rottiontour
21-03-2014, 17:36
Day 12........

Smlednik is great, but after the second night a little bit boring, we decide to continue via Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, we haven`t seen this up to now. We leave "Schengen", passing the border is easy, short look into the papers, smiling, everything ok. 8 of ten custom officers are female.

We want to do Croatia on minor roads towards Lake Plitvice, avoiding highways.
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....and the Garmin did his best to guide us into the middle of nowhere.....f**k, the Garmin is a ba****d, at X-mas i will give him to my best enemy as a present.

After having lost complete orientation we had to decide to obey to the Garmin 100%, "without discussion" and ......the Garmin led us to the "highlight of the day" (sorry for that expression)
The roads got more bumpy, the houses poorer and less and less people in the villages.....more and more houses destroyed, abandoned......desaster area,.
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And often next by the destruction new houses were built up, all new....amazing.
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We were a little bit confused , we expected Croatia to be a nice tourist nation, and then we see that....holes in the walls.....typical gunfire relicts. And then we detected a road sign to Bihac....the solution.....Bihac, a bosnian town was 1991 a center of the bosnian-serbian-croatian war and this region between Bihac and Plitvice was a local combat zone.....the reason for all destructions. And just as a prove we saw a small memorial in a little village....all died 1991. An old woman standing in a garden smiled and winked to us.
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Well....for us really a depressive feeling, driving in a big white van coming from the "paradise Slovenia" into this combat zone with all that war relicts, 25 years in between did pass away but the war touched us right now.
And amazing....10 km later, jumping over a hill.....the heaven of Lake Plitvice, the lake of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, a real nice touristic area. As a boy I "ate" the movies of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand and now i'm here, at the place of the Apache village and Chief Winnetou, built up to produce the movie....Lake Plitvice.
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However, driving through this fantastic lake scenery, we were not "in the mood" to enjoy it.....one picture as souvenir, that´s it. Too many tourists down there.....and too many broken houses up there. I may look into Google Earth to see pictures of the lake.


We found a Stellplatz at the Bistro Marina at Korenica, costfree overnight for a meal in the restaurant (44° 44' 50'' N, 15° 42' 13'' E).
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The restaurant was closed but anyway, the owners offered us to stay ....and have a meal on the backtour when the restaurant will be open....friendly people.
Buying some bread, apples, bottle of vine and a beer in the small market opposite the SP did cost 5 Euros.
Looking around, we saw, that the region already looks a little bit like Greece.....Greece must be a Balkan state too....:).

The day was hard, i know that i swore not to drink a beer in the evening.....i simply declared "Zulu Time" for Croatia and..... it was just late afternoon...cheers....:sleep-040:

200 km today, and from hell to heaven in 15 minutes.....impressive.
About 1800 km to Crete, we made half of it now.

Day 13.......in the middle of Tito's land.

The night was cold, 1 C, the shepherd dog of the owners sang like a wolf in the middle of the night, may be he missed his pack or may he smelled the black lady in the MH. And the bells of a church tower rang all 30 minutes. But the beer did help and the night was ok.
The morning sun gave as some nice impressions.....
Romeo and Julia, they could not meet each other

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A little croatian hero is defending his homeland
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Joint Defense by "Army" and "Airforce"

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Morning in Tito' s land

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Before leaving we said good bye to the owners and I took the oportunity to ask the lady about the war. She spoke a very good German.
She said her husband is Serb and she is Croatian. During Tito's time everything was ok and then the war came up the hills. It costed many lifes, when croatian soldiers came to here to bring freedom and independance. They killed the Serbs who lived since decades as farmers up there in the hills and the remaining Serbs escaped to Serbia. After the war the young people stayed away , only some old ones came back building up houses again......so the old lady from yesterday winking towards us must have been a serbian woman.
The owners lost everything and late in their lifes they rebuilded a new house with restaurant step by step, a second time in their life. And she said.....the time today is a european madhouse, european-german law is ruling them :scared:.
She worked during her whole life and now she is getting 200 Euros pension.... Tito's time was much better......oups, i thought by myself, this is really politically incorrect, :idea-007: , it's not in the present mainstream :scared:.....i will keep it as a secret.
And....we understood what she meant and we will come back...cordially invited for a meal.

On route again, some impressions.......
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Tito's tanks......wow, now i'm criminal, taking unallowed pictures of tanks ...:)
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near the coast of Krka
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Finally we arrived at Lozovac, Camp Marina, 43° 47' 58'' N ; 15° 56' 31'' E.
The Stellplatz is a little bit abroad but we like it. 11 Euros all incl., Wifi !!!.
The owner is very friendly, presented us a vine when we dropped in. The place is simple but clean and usable and the gigantic tourist palaces are far away. May be we will stay for a while.
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And we've got all what we want, we need nothing more.....
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About 2000 km from home, 1700 to Crete and I think we managed to "dive under the skin of Tito's land".

Bernd

rottiontour
21-03-2014, 20:05
forgot the route pictures of day 12 and 13
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snowbirds
22-03-2014, 05:41
Hi rottiontour,

Sounds great have a good time, keep us all informed on the way.

Snowbirds.




Last evening at home. MH is packed, ready to go and in "Number One", all papers complete for the long drive. 3500 km heading South East, cross country from North Germany via Austria, Balkans, Peloponissos, then by ferry from Gythio to Kissamos/Crete..... hopefully....that´s the plan so far, we will see. We will do it in small steps.

Since some time I´m retired, notorious lack of money but absolutely free. Not a bad condition having no "boss" (except missus), however, life sometimes is getting a little bit boring.
And "googling the net" we read about an animal shelter on Crete, for stray dogs.... poor souls. The old Manolis cares about the dogs, they are his love and his life. And the idea was born to visit this shelter. I contacted an email address and got a positive reply, support always would be appreciated. So we had THE PLAN.
We do not know what will be expecting us, may be it will work or may be not, we will see but....we will try.
And I would tell you about this trip if you like....in my peculiar English.

15 hours from now on is enough time for a last beer at home. Two people and one dog......off to the dogs of Crete.

Bernd

rottiontour
22-03-2014, 19:57
Day 14

A real action day.
In the morning tic alert....a tic in my jeans. Obviously not docking to the dog.... tic protection seems to work for the dog....but it crawled during the night to MY jeans next by the dog. Ok, got the beast luckily.

2 years ago we had too bad experiences with tics and the dog.... we were simply too stupid those days...... the dog got Babesiosis but we could rescue her.
After reading many sources about tics and protections against tics, and many trials with different repellents, we do now the following procedure which seems to work with the dog.
1. protection with Scalibor collar starting about 14 days before travel.
2. Search for tics each morning and evening. The tics need about 12-48 hours after docking and sucking till the little beasts will be transferred into the dog. That means we use the 12 hours intervalls to search for tics and hope to remove them in time, before the infection will be transferred to the dog.
Don´t know wether it works 100% , at least you must find them, but there is no 100% method.

And in the afternoon biking to the Krka waterfalls, Winnetou's Apache village part 2.
We pass Tito´s bunkers, a chain of bunkers once protected a factory.
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The falls are a very nice area, in case you intend to visit it don't park at the first parking area as we did, better use the parking area down at the falls. We parked the bikes at the first parking, the result was kilometers of down and up hill walking absolutely exhausting. The parking down at the falls can be reached very well with a normal MH....outside tourist season.
But the falls are worth to visit, a perfect wooden path (2,5 Km) has been built to walk through the area.
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and a nice recreation area
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In the evening a second MH arrives, 6000 sm empty campsite and where does it park? Between us and the restaurant, not a real place for parking even a restaurant table had to be removed to fit in, obviously no other spot available. Ok, friendly people, not a real problem, i'm just wondering about creative parking, why not directly inside the restaurant?

Today 12 km biking , always opposite wind and up hill. Still about 1700 km to go., and....i'll check if the second Scalibor collar we have would fit round my neck.
.

drewdt3
22-03-2014, 22:14
This is a really great adventure you're on and I am enjoying your very concise accounts.

Keep us informed and have a great time

Drew

rottiontour
24-03-2014, 13:56
Day 15.....following the coastal road


2 weeks on road now, 9 C during the night, 15 C during day, windy, no sun, little rain.
We continue heading south along the famous "Jadranska Magistrale" also called "Adriatic", the coastal road north to south. We join the Magistrale at Sibenik, passing Trogir, Split along the "Markarska Riviera" down to Drvenic. The road is in a good condition and easy to drive, nice views. This part of Croatia is well organised, very touristic character but still very calm.
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Overnight station is Camp Male Ciste (N 43.1689 ; E 17.2085), full supply, 12-15 Euros. Showers and toilettes are ok. Many camps like this are at the road but most of them still closed.
An austrian couple with a shepherd welcomes us presenting a "Tiroler Zirbel Schnaps" and Rotti is making friends.....cat hunting in close formation is the "game of the day"....no chance for the heavy dogs, the small cats are too clever and tricky. For the dogs life is easy here this time, no other tourists in sight and the camp owners are very friendly and tolerant. But life of the cats is getting harder.


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At the evening the camp chief opens the little restaurant, more a beach bar. "Karlovacka" and a croatian liqueur are tasting well....funny tri-national evening, croatian music, i guess we'll need a break tomorrow.


200 km today.....still 1500 km to go.


Day 16..... little "break day"
The "real world" is far away and we are not in a hurry so we do a little break. Rain and snow at home and we appreciate the sun partially breaking through the clouds, the weather is improving,16 C in shadow but still windy.
Some impressions....cats are great.


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0 km today....1500 km to go.


Bernd

rottiontour
26-03-2014, 19:06
Day 17........taking pictures

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During the night hail, now sunny and cloudy, 16 C.
We want to hit the road again, the Stellplatz owner Mladen says Good By. giving a present to my wife, a cherry liqueur....why does the Boss get a present and not me???:rolleyes2:....and the Austrians come along and invite us to meet them in Laide/Scotland in June....where the hell is Laide? Ok, we exchange adresses and we will see.....nice two days.

And we leave Makarska
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After some kilometers we reach the area where Crotia is separated by a piece of Bosnia and we leave the EU entering Bosnia Herzegowina.
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No problems at all, control by a bosnian lady. But we obviously are disturbing her during hair dressing action and she looks p***ed. And then we are in BiH.
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Another 10 Km and we are back in EU-Croatia.
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First impression of Dubrovnik
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and the old town
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We decide not to visit Dubrovnik/Croatia, cause 27 years ago we visited Dubrovnik/Jugoslawia, it's obviously the same ;). Nice view back...
21145
And the Boss got the idea to buy some "well known food" and 5 km behind Dubrovnik we just feel at home......LIDL!!
21146

Even an bottle automat is available to return plastic bottles.... operating instructions in german !!!! :scared:.....hopefully Merkel is not inside.:scared: :scared: .

On the way to the next Stellplatz at Mlini, many drivers are giving us signs with the car head lamps....speed checks....we pass the speed check point but ....the police officer is just busy with his cell phone and not with the laser gun. He might have had a call by his boss ordering him to go to Lidl after duty.....for a pound of butter....:cool1:.

The Stellplatz at Mlini is ok, although still closed we are allowed to use it but the owner is asking us in perfect English not to park in sight of the road. So the police, when performing controls, cannot see the MH.....new european rules......well, we feel it's time to go to Albania now.
Mlini, Camping Kate, 42° 37' 29'' N ; 18° 12' 27'' E.....full supply, this time 10 Euros.

Down at the Plaza of Mlini
21147

By the way, before travelling i learnt that all large dogs like Shepherds, Boxer, Rottweiler etc. have to wear a muzzle in Croatia. But nobody cares about here, absolutely nobody....ok, we did not meet up to now a specific type of "Northland people" no Blockwart and no Oberlehrer, yes i'm nasty i know, :lol-049:.

150 km today, 1300 to go till Crete.


Day 18.......rainy day
The night was not too cold but today rain, rain, rain, not too much but continously, 11 C.
In the morning we had a nice chat with a French couple who arrived late in the night. They spoke excellent German and told us about their experiences touring with a normal Chausson MH through South America, what a great adventure and no risk as they said. They gave us their adresse to ask for more details in case we want to do a similar tour..... interesting idea.
We have got more adresses of friendly people during 2 weeks "on road" than being 2 years in homeland...it's strange isn't it :king:.

We continued on Magistrale and after some kilometers we leave Croatia and EU and we enter Montenegro and we come to an area we never have been before.Border crossing no problem, the roads getting worse but still usable without problems. Everything is one or two levels smaller, poorer than in Croatia.
21148 21149 21150

In Montenegro the Euro is the valid currency although not a EU member, they simply use it everywhere. A little touch of socialism covers the country, the buildings, the parks, the cars. Much tourism at the coastal road and the bay of Kotor is fantastic. Palm trees everywhere this must be Southland, we made it.
21151

end part one

rottiontour
26-03-2014, 19:18
21152

At the border many police cars but we never had the impression to be threatened by them. Diesel 1,27 Euros filling stations all over the country, LPG everywhere, i love my LPG tank bottle, one of the best equipment i have. When filling the gas bottle i had a chat with the "gasman". He spoke good english and we spoke about the beauties of Montenegro.

Montenegro is beautiful and fascinating, very contradicting, modern and old, rich and poor, partially ugly and very often too beautiful and....friendly. For us it is worth the long travel.
And we met the french couple again at a parking .....doing lunch.... "Frenchmen".... great.
21153 21154

After Budva we stopped at a campsite in Petrovac, ok to stay for some time, toilettes, showers not northern standard but usable....for us it doesn't matter.
21155

The camp owner spoke excellent german, the "gardenman" little german, italian and english.
Sometimes i'm wondering why people here speak much better German than many "Germans" in Germany. Well, do not want to continue thinking about, not really worth, i'm in SOUTHLAND!!

And Southland has its own rules....during the evening walk we saw a nice coast, we met 2 Rottweilers and a Boxer on road, and ......two puppies lonely in the grass, no mother, we can' t help them, too many poor dogs around.
21156 2115721158
21159

Walking home there was gunfire in the hills not too far away, automatic pistols, about 9 mm, i guess, it's not really Europe, it' Balkan.
Again Balkan is beautiful and ugly, friendly and hostile, happy and sad, sun and hail, all close together.. This really is what we are looking for.

Camp site Maslina in Petrovac, full supply and Wifi for 8 Euros, very acceptable.
Pos N 42° 11' 88 '' ; E 18° 57' 96''

By the way i'm planning the overnight stations for Montenegro, Albania, BiH, Serbia, Macedonia with the PDF brochure Camping treasures of the Balkans, you can download it from link it's in English too:
Camping auf dem Westlichen Balkan - camping-balkans Jimdo-Page! (http://www.camping-balkan.net/)


Today 150 km, no bullits hit the car......1100 to Crete

Bernd

rottiontour
27-03-2014, 20:15
Day 19.....in Albania

21173

During the night rain again, 9 C outside, East Frisian temperatures, and rain again.
We drive from Petrovac to Lake Shkoder, and then to the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica.
Passing lake Shkoder again we arrive at the albanian border. Entering Albania is not a problem, and the custom officials are friendly.

21174 21175 21176

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In Albania the transit road to Lezhe or Tirana is in a good condition better than most roads in Montenegro.
It is raining too much and we decide to stop at a campsite with a hardened ground for parking. It is at Hotel Camping Riviera Shengjin near Lezhe. N 41° 47' 07.4' ; E 19° 37' 41.1
It's within a hotel complex, clean, electricity, Wifi, nice ambiente next to a swimming pool area.
Toilets and showers usable, but iaw with "country style", the toilet is a simple hole, old mediteranian style. The price of 15 Euros is relatively high but still acceptable, it is a safe and clean site.

Walking with the dog through the village is amazing for me.
The country is dirty, it's the dirtiest country i ever saw in Europe. Everybody throws his rubbish over the fence and into the fields, what a catastrophy!!
And....the black dog is of highest interest, like a lion which is walking through the streets. Some young boys come out of a building to see the dog and they aproach very carefully to take photos. Rotti is a sensation, they even call their parents to see that dog. And all have big respect ...or fear?
And it's amazing, i did not see a single black dog in Albania up to now.

150 km today...about 1000 to Crete.

Albania is different....and dirty.

Bernd

rottiontour
30-03-2014, 19:32
Day 20......leaving Albania

Rainy morning, the night in the hotel camping was ok, good station to divide Albania transit in 2 portions....we decided to leave Albania as soon as possible, not "our" country. Rubbish everywhere, the dog is a lion, loads of young men hanging around in the villages ( because of Friday?), nearly no women on the roads, road condition often a mess.
However, to cross Albania is easy, a good alternative for the way down south. Simply take main !! roads, there you find filling stations taking Visa, or have a full tank for about 500 km. Police is very friendly, obviously not "touching" tourists.
And pay attention to slow movers and horses coming opposite on highways.
21202 21203
We had again a "Garmin day", 50 km secondary roads passing Enver Hodscha's bunkers and rotten oilfields, the smell of oil permanent in the air.
21204 21211

And then finally Greece....Mama Ellada. The Drug Control officer saw the Rotti and came to us to do a "small talk". His drug-dog smelled the Rotti and refused to do his job, heehee.
The police officer said Albania is the Columbia of Europe.
Nice F 104 in low level on route....good for a stop.
21205

Overnight stop at a greek taverna, WWII museum and memorial for "OXI Day" next by and a watertap in front ( N 39° 53' 02.3'' E20° 37' 57.4'') good place to stay.
And......the French motorhomers came in absolutely unplanned and joined us for a diner, great evening.

Day 21......in Greece, luckily.
Why luckily.....we feel at home. All mediterranian is good for holidays, Greece is good for our souls. Love it or leave it, nothing is in between.

Sunshine all over, and course to Vikos Valley. On route a memorial for the Pindos Women, supporting the Greek Army 1940 in defending the country against the Italians by transporting material and weapons over the mountains.
21206

And the Vikos Valley, a highlight.
21207

We then head towards Igoumenitsa on the old E 90. Overnight wilding at a parking near Brasina, clean and quiet, no traffic on the road. Fantastic view over the Pindos mountains.
N39° 39' 02.0'' E20° 30' 30.2''

First impression of Greece.....cleaner than last year, very friendly people, peaceful, easy going.

Day 22
Following E 90 till Igoumenitsa, empty roads, not the best condition but usable, albanian roads were much worse.
We took water out of taps at the beach of Drepano near Igoumenitsa. N 39° 31' 08.8'' E 20° 11' 13.4'' .
People laughing towards us, greeting, winking. The people are like their region....beautiful....
21208

Overnight stay at the beach of Ammoudia N 39° 14' 10.6'' E 20 28' 46.9''
Good place in vicinity of the town, many restaurants.
21209 21210
Rotti has a new friend, a little Greek.

Bernd

rottiontour
01-04-2014, 17:47
Day 23......

routing day 20-24
21224

A Taverna girl arranged for me to get a fresh bread and cause I had to wait too long for the bread, I got a coffee for free, very friendly.

At the ancient Nikopolis I detected that the job of a shepherd must be a top job, may be for my next life.....
21225

Along the costal road we found a nice wilding place south of Mitikas, lonely beach, quiet night.
N 38° 40' 25.1'' E 20° 58' 14.8'' Greece is the best "wilding country" I know.
21226 21227

Day 24....on Peloponnes

Driving along the West coast road is easy, roads are empty and in usable condition. Looking into the gardens.....it must be Southland.
21228

At Astakos i went to a Cosmote cell phone shop , it's a big chain called Germanos....i like that name.... there i bought a prepaid internet card for 15 Euros. The people in the shop spoke good English and installed the card for me. 500 mb cost 6 Euros. Now i have greek internet with my cell phone everywhere, they have an excellent coverage.
And we drive over the Rio Antirrio bridge and..... are on Peloponnes .
21229

And then we do a technical halt for 2 or 3 nights at campsite Ionion Beach in Glifa (N 37° 50' 11'' E 21° 8' 1', ACSI camp, 16 Euros)
21230

The Boss intends to wash the clothes and we intend to "chill at the beach" (we...the dog and me)

1900l, 26 C, little wind from the sea. 3600 km up to here and 250 km still to go to Crete.

And.......come to Greece.....warm and friendly people, loads of wilding spots, lonely beaches, nobody cares about you. :wave:

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
02-04-2014, 10:11
Hello John,

thanks for your interest.
We just have a lazy day recovering from the tour and a good Wifi on the campsite. The Boss is happy with the washing maschine and the dryer, by the way the only campsite here with a dryer, that's why we choose this site.

Concerning your questions, we got the dog checked in Villach/Austria, cause it is easy there, good parking next by the vet, on route and the vet knows what to do. To cross the Balkans you need a blue EU pet passport with valid rabbies vaccination documented, and the blood titer test for re-entry into EU.
As far as i know the only country requesting an additional Health Certificate not older than 20 days is Macedonia. Macedonia requires definately a health certificate, i asked the embassy. And in Austria we simply did not know what route we would take and to be sure for all Balkan countries we got the certificate. This is not a big deal, 30 minutes, just looking at the dog, filling in the form and stating that the dog is healthy, that all vaccinations are correct, and in English too, that's it.....and 35 Euros.
But we often entered Macedonia and nobody looked after the health certificate.... customs and embassy are obviously not the same. We never needed it even not in Macedonia. But you know.....not having the certificate, the customs officer could have had stress at home with his family ....and you are loosing the game. And then you have at first to get one or wait for the night shift, heehee.
In Croatia, Montenegro, Albania we did not show the health certificate, nobody asked.
With the dog we had absolutely no problems, easy to cross the border, totally relaxed. Even no examination of the car, one custom officer said, oh, a Rottweiler in the car, then there is definately no Pakistani on the toilet.....i know, i should not say that, but actually HE did, that's real life at the European borders.

And for the route....we took the landline again, cause we do not want to take the ferry, it is a pain for our dog. We did the ferry twice and the dog did refuse to make a "P" for 18 hours....ladies, heehee. And we do not want that the dog will be imprisoned into an iron kennel. Depending on the ferry company they order you to use a kennel....and the dog cried for hours after her pack so i managed to hide her illegally in the MH. We simply do not want this condition.
And...we do not like to book a ticket, it is a little bit loosing freedom.

And...we like driving through the countries on our own and looking how the regions are changing, so we get a feeling for the distances.
This route was a very short notice decision at Ljubljana, we never have seen Albania, Montenegro and South Croatia, but often we made the landline via Serbia, so this was more interesting ... and easy as we saw afterwards.
To do a fast routing from Austria to Greece the route via Serbia-Macedonia is the best, good highways, good filling stations, some good campsites and Stellplätze and always credit card accepted.

Long speech, hope you are not too bored. In case you are interested in further details...feel free to ask anytime, we really appreciate.

Kind regards
Bernd

1133 l and 20 C ....in SHADOW

rottiontour
04-04-2014, 18:40
Day 25....washing day

I cannot see my wife working :scared:....I must close my eyes.


Day 26 and 27....Taygetos to Mani

21282

Got a ferry from Gythio to Crete...possibly. For final confirmation i have to "check in" at the travel office in Gythio on Monday. Whoever is interested in a ferry from Gythio to Crete, call Rozakis Travel in Gythio on 0030 27330 22207, english speaking.
So no problem and we are on route again. Pyrgos, then westerly heading via Olympia into the Taygetos mountains, and....the Navi and I getting lost......in the town of Mikos Theodorakis.....
21283

.....but it must be inGreece.
At a filling station the owner asked me, whether i am German and then he said friendly "Merkel-Merkel"..... :scared:
I told him to be silent, i'm just escaping from Merkel....and he went off laughing loudly.

We want to visit the ancient Gortys, where Zeus had a bath as newborne baby. The road is not bad, deep into the valley......
21284

Gortys is small, very abroad, but THIS is it, and......the dog is allowed to enter the ancient Gortys. She too wants to do a "P" on ancient stones, :D.
21286

And where Zeus had a bath it's good for Rotti too.
21285

Overnight stay at N 37° 32' 22.1'' E 22° 02' 47.2''.....nice place, best way is via the village Elleniko. Lonely dark night in Taygetos, in the middle of nowhere, no cell phone signal...should i be scared?

150 km to Gythio, 6 days to Crete.


Day 27,,,,,at the mixanikos

Stellplatz at Gortys is brilliant, lonely, beautiful....and a Britain walking downhill. Short friendly small talk and.... he is rushing away.....must be Army with that ground speed, :rolleyes2:.
21287

I decided to have the tyres changed, back to front and viceversa. I found a greek mechanics, a "mixanikos" and he did a great job. And i learned, that there is no need for modern tools, it's a question of improvisation.
21288

Via Kalamata....a horror town for MH drivers, all ladies are parking wherever they want blocking the roads.
The beach of Kalamata is great.
21289

We drive into the Mani....pirates land.
21290 21291

We find a nice Stellplatz at Neo Itylo in position N 36° 41' 35.1'' E 22° 23' 21.5''
At the beach, nice panorama, quiet.
21292

"Merkel and the bureaucratics" are 4000 km away, heehee.....but i have a bottle of german Schnaps with me, a red one, "Merkel's blood" :scared:. The Greeks like this very much.

Hope the thread is not too much :blah:

Regards
Bernd

2130 l ....17 C

witzend
04-04-2014, 19:11
Great Stuff Bernd 882 readers must be good Thank You

iampatman
04-04-2014, 19:30
Hi Bernd,
It's wonderful following your travels. We're setting off at the end of this month for Greece, I've plotted your route and though it's nice and direct, unfortunately our insurance doesn't cover us for some of the Balkan countries you've visited. We love Crete and have noted the agent you have mentioned. If you have time maybe you could let us know how much the ferry is costing you?
Keep enjoying your trip and thanks for posting all the information. Maybe we'll catch up with you in a couple of months time, or meet you on the way back :)
Pat.

rottiontour
04-04-2014, 19:59
Hi Pat,

catching up would be fun, hope some of Merkel's blood will be left then :lol-053:

Ferry Gythio to Kissamos/Crete costs 258 Euros, one way, 2 persons, 7 meter MH.

Greece is great for relaxing, have fun in Greece and a safe and nice trip all the way down.

Bernd

iampatman
04-04-2014, 20:10
Hi Pat,

catching up would be fun, hope some of Merkel's blood will be left then :lol-053:

Ferry Gythio to Kissamos/Crete costs 258 Euros, one way, 2 persons, 7 meter MH.

Greece is great for relaxing, have fun in Greece and a safe and nice trip all the way down.

Bernd

Thanks for the info Bernd. For €258 I think we'll be popping over and seeing some old friends in Koutouloufari. I can almost taste the olives and Ouzo :)

rottiontour
05-04-2014, 17:25
Day 28....."spartian" day

21310

Windy, hazy, not the best photo shooting weather, but 20 C at 1000l.
We continue further south, all along the coast, passing Vathia.
21301

A typical pirat's village, nobody could ever rule this land, the land of the sons of Sparta, who withdrew into this abroad region, fighting against each other because of "Vendetta".
Even the cemetaries looking rough, warrior like.
21302

We need water supply and the little jerry can is a real survival equipment absolutely important to take water out of the fountains.
21303

We arrive at Cape Tainaro, the most southern point of Peloponnes, which can be reached with an MH.
21304

From here 2 km walking along a small rocky path to the lighthouse of Tainaro.
21305

From now on heading North direction Gythion.
Overnight stay is at the port of Kotronas. N 36° 37' 08.7'' E 22° 29' 37.0''
Very well situated to stay for a night even with a Stellplatz sign at the road, very friendly.
Walking with the dog i had a conversation with 2 gents, one of them a greek Army guy, the other one a retired Police officer, and the first topic was.....Merkel!! :scared: OMG, is she tracking me?
When i told them that the Rotti is a sister of Merkel....laughing all over :lol-049:.
The Police officer said that no Rotti is needed in Kotronas, everything is absolutely safe...great.
At first we stopped in the middle of the harbour ramp but the waves and the wind were really hard and on advice of a fisherman i parked the "ship" between the other ships, now we were protected by them and by "Kapitan Macedonomaxos", a hero of 1940.
21306 21307 21308

21309

Tomorrow morning last kilometers to camping Gythion bay to wait for the ferry.

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
06-04-2014, 18:01
21322

The heroic Macedonomaxos kept an eye on us and we had a safe night. During the morning walk with Rotti through the village and the gardens the Greeks are smiling towards us and showing "thumbs up"....is it for me or for the Rotti? Well, i do not think about it, it's better not to do. :cry: Nevertheless, very friendly people, the spartian Maniotes.
21323

We follow the coastline up to Gythion with its nice harbour promenade. Gythion is full of life more than other coastal villages and it has all what you need as a camper, nice town.
21324

The intention is to stay at campsite Gythio Bay, N 36° 43' 39.9'' E 22° 32' 44.4 . We know that campsite already and for us it is alright. It is an ACSI site with all you need for 16 Euros all incl, Wifi too.
But before i intend to visit an old ship wreck 3 km east of Gythio. It can be seen on Google Earth as well. N 36° 47' 20.1'' E 22° 34' 56.1''
Obviously a nice spot for wilding too, but we want "full supply" this time.
21325 21326 21327

And so we drive to "Gythio Bay". The site is empty, 7 campers on the huge site, all nations. And the site is open all the year round and we meet some campers who stayed here over winter. The wintertime must have been very mild but very wet as well.
21328

Tomorrow is the "big day".....trying to catch a ferry to Crete. Hope, we will be lucky.

.......and "Northland" is so far away and all its problems too.
Good bye Merkel....the bar is open :cheers:

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
06-04-2014, 18:38
Hi John,

i think, the ferries are relatively well in time, but.....this time the rumours here on the site say, that the ferries are on strike presently.....obviously i am in Greece.
I'll wait and see tomorrow morning. And in case the ferries are on strike....i saw that the tavernas are all open:wave:

Kind regards
Bernd

rottiontour
07-04-2014, 13:30
4 main items to do today.....stress pure.
-Get a ferry ticket....strike, travellers in panic?? :scared:
-Get money.
-Get the cell phone reloaded.
-Go to Lidl....i hate it.

So at first i want to get a ferry ticket. Could i make it because of a possible ferry strike? How many people will "fight" for the last tickets?
I know Greeks open late and so i wanted to be the first client at Rozakis. I took the bike and was at Rozakis Travel Agency 2 minutes before 0900l .....closed, i did expect that....and empty. I decided to use the minutes till opening to get money first, may be they do not take plastic cards.
Outside a bank i found an ATM machine...in English, great.
Item one successfully completed.

Back to Rozakis and....it was open, 5 minutes past 0900, unbelievable.... is it a Troika order?
Inside the office a young lady speaking to me....in English, great.
She said the ferry to Crete is ok, price is 221 Euro.....great, cheaper than announced. Ferry will leave on Wednesday at 1530 l , be in harbour 30 minutes before. You are camper?...Yes, on Gythio bay.....We call the reception, when something goes wrong, we will find you...Ok, but what about the strike?....Yes, a strike has been announced but nobody knows the time, in case the strike is on Wednesday, come back to us, you will get back your money.
Item two successfully completed.

Now i had a little bit time, i went to the bank to change some 50 Euros into little pieces to buy the reload card. The interieur of the bank is good looking, all employees good looking, all clients good looking, good clothes. A little girl, may be 12 years, obviously a Roma girl, went from desk to desk and tried to sell flowers....in a bank? All people were very polite and friendly and the girl went off after a while.
A long queue of clients was inside the bank, much discipline, silent, friendly, greeting each other, no complains. After about 30 minutes it was my turn. The bank employee asked what he could do for me....in English, great.
So i had some 5 and 10 Euros to get a cell phone card. Opposite the road there was a "periptero"....i do not now the english expression.....a small shop, 3 by 3 meters, on the road or footpath, and they sell everything, drinks, icecream, cigarettes, chocolade, sweets, batteries and prepaid cards for cell phones. The woman behind the small window asked me what i want.....in English, great.
And so i got my card for 10 Euros, 500 mb, hope it works.
Item three successfully completed.

Now back to the site, a fresh bread at a bakery....you may ask, what language the baker`s girl spoke....i don`t tell it to you, heehee.
And then we drove to Lidl, easy to find it in the town next by, Skala.
And we saw that the Greeks have a funny behaviour in parking, especially the greek ladies, always directly next by the entrance. It didn't matter, that the space near the entrance was overcrowded....there is always room enough for an additional lady car. And for my large MH too.
21342
One thing i learned in Greece is...wherever a local attraction is, a parking is always in very close vicinity. They do not like to walk, the Greeks.
And passing the island of love of "Paris and Helena" we drove back to the campsite just before the afternoon rain started. The weather must be a copy of the East Frisian summer weather.
Item four successfully completed.
21341

I could have thought it was an english day but it wasn't, the Greeks made it easy for me speaking English. But in reality it was a GREEK day......easy going, sometimes a little bit chaotic, although it worked quite well, may be without knowing why, ...... simply it's greek, love it or leave it.

And i am always astonished how friendly and helpful the people are, i'm not used to it.....i'm a German :mad2:.

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
08-04-2014, 17:19
On a sunny day the beach is quite good looking... and the campsite still needs a little bit maintenance after the winter. An Albanian started working on the site today, step by step and always with a smile.
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And the "Wardog" had a big life operation in the afternoon......

detecting caaaats :scared:

21356

fake attacks :mad1:
21357

bark attacks :mad2:
21358

and finally .....loosing......the 45 kilo Rottweiler was not tough enough for a 3 kg greek cat.....cats are too cool :dance:.
21361

And searching "the net" i found a nice greek movie

Stunt Pilot's Breathtaking Flight Through the Corinth Canal | GreekReporter.com (http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/04/06/video-stunt-pilots-breathtaking-flight-through-the-corinth-canal/)

Tomorrow is our "ferry day" and a general public transport strike will start, we will wait and see, what's happening.

Regards
Bernd

iampatman
09-04-2014, 19:32
Hey Bernd, did the ferry leave? Have you got to Crete?

rottiontour
10-04-2014, 18:07
:dance: 21383


Day 32

Public transport strike was announced for today....nothing happened. But the bank was closed without announcement:banana:...it's Greece.

1400 l we were at Gythio harbour, the ferry was not on strike, nobody was on strike...Gythio is not Athens.
We drove into the ferry without problems and 1630 the ferry "took off". We left the dog in the MH, no iron box for her, no crying for us, and after 2 hours we took the chance to stay at the MH too. Illegally for sure but nobody did recognize it and so we stayed with the dog in our small home...a little bit noisy but much better than in the restaurant for the next 10 hours. Via Kythera and Antikythera we arrived at Kissamos/Crete at 0100 l in the night.
21384

Leaving the ferry we stayed in the harbour of Kissamos-Kastelli and the night was ok. Even a public toilet and a watertap was available. N 35. 51831° E 23.63788°
It was a super feeling....the wind, the harbour lights, the night and Crete....i drank one Ouzo more and sat till 3 o'clock in front of the MH watching what was going on.

Day 33

Sunny but windy morning....and the dog made some friends...easy in Greece...three bandits planning a crime.
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Short drive to the west coast, not that what we are looking for, very rough and many tomato fields.
21387

And we drove some kilometers into the peninsula of Rodopou
21388 21389

Then we moved via Chania to the peninsula Akrotiri to see the monastry of Agias Triadas. It's a wonderful monastry with a beautiful garden.
21390 21391 21392

Having visited the village Stavros...too touristic..., where a part of the movie Alexis Sorbas was produced, we drove into the hills of Akrotiri to stay overnight. N 35° 34'04.7'' E24°07'35.6'' , beautiful place. May be some of you know that tower on the hill.
21393 21394 21395

And....i found an open Wifi in the middle of nowhere....Greece is magic.

Regards
Bernd

iampatman
10-04-2014, 22:02
Glad you had a safe landing. Crete is, indeed, magic. Although your wifi is probably coming from the airport:)
Pat

rottiontour
11-04-2014, 05:50
Glad you had a safe landing. Crete is, indeed, magic. Although your wifi is probably coming from the airport:)
Pat

SHOCK!!!!!!!!!
airport american....nsa
merkel athens today....
sheep observing us permanently....

situation deteriorating....going silent. changing position. paint the rotti pink. heehee

have fun
be:lol-053:

rottiontour
11-04-2014, 16:29
21412

Great lonely night in the hills of Akrotiri, sometimes a monk passed by in a car and winked. Fantastic view over the Lefka Ori, the white mountains.
21413

We wanted "to go touristic" and see Chania and so we drove downtown. I made the mistake to look after a parking in the vicinity of the harbour and all Greeks, tourists, and me did the same. So after some hazardous manoeuvers in the narrow town roads :scared: i gave up :mad2: and drove 1.8 km outside the center and easily i found a nice parking at the beach.....as i said, Greeks do not like to walk.
N 35° 30' 26.2'' E 24° 00' 14.3''....parking at a road but good for a stay overnight too out of my point of view.
A little harbour next by, nice tavernas, not many tourists, and after a 20 minutes walk the famous harbour of Chania.
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For me a real highlight of Chania is the market hall, nice greek products.
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After a Frappe and a good Gyros Pita....never call it Döner or Kebab.... we are becoming Greeks step by step :king:.
21419

And we leave Chania along the coastal road heading south east till Ancient Aptera.
At the castle of Aptera we find a lonely Stellplatz with a fantastic view over the Souda Bay up to Chania ...and a water tap only for us :wacko:. N 35° 27' 56.7'' E 24° 08' 49.6'' .
21420 21421

The afternoon clouds disappeared in the evening as well as the last visitors of the castle....great.
Ancient Aptera now belongs to us at least for the night.
21422 21423 21424
21425


Regards
Bernd

iampatman
11-04-2014, 17:15
Hey Bernd,
You've missed the E co-ordinate off your location.
You're fired!!
Pat :)

rottiontour
11-04-2014, 18:00
Hey Bernd,
You've missed the E co-ordinate off your location.
You're fired!!
Pat :)

Congratulations you passed the test.....

i corrected the coordinates....that's why it is a lonely stellplatz:lol-053:

Have fun
Bernd

iampatman
11-04-2014, 18:30
Congratulations you passed the test.....

i corrected the coordinates....that's why it is a lonely stellplatz:lol-053:

Have fun
Bernd

Ok, you can have your job back as location manager but don't let that kind of thing happen again. There'll be no second chances.
Pat

rottiontour
13-04-2014, 22:55
Day 35......Camping Kreta

21495

1000l....and we "lost" Aptera, loads of tourists and busses came up the hill and we withdraw.
We headed towards Iraklio and continued to Gouves to stay at Camping Crete, not the best... cretian conditions.... not very cheap, 18 Euros per night, but usable, we had shadow for the dog, water and supply and it was quiet. N 35° 19' 57.2'' E 25° 17' 32.6''
21496

And we found the animal shelter of Manolis, a lady opened the door and we could do a look into the shelter, much noise, many dogs and the old Manolis working in the background. He looked at us and ....turned away. We asked if we could come back tomorrow to have a little bit more time and the lady said.....no problem.


Day 36.....The Animal Shelter of Manolis

After a walk with the dog.....tourist "bunkers" and beaches....i started to visit the animal shelter of Manolis. I took the bike to ride to the shelter.
21497

Just stopping at the entrance an old car came down the hill, and Manolis jumped out of the car. I went to him, said "Jassas" and Manolis replied: Be quiet, don't move.... ??? :scared:
And then i saw the reason....a dog obviously a mother crossed the road and Manolis tried to get her. But the dog escaped into the bush.
And Manolis took my bike, put it away from the road, took my arm and pushed me into his car....sit, sit.
Then he drove to an old "roman" radio station....entry control point was abandoned.... and said that the dog is a mother with three puppies and underneath an old guard tower there must be her "nest".
21498 21499 21500

And then he put some food and water on to the ground, and we drove to an old building again because of water and food.
After being back at the shelter he immediately fed the cats waiting outside.
21501

And then we went into the shelter......oh my God what a noise. 200 repeat 200 (!!) dogs got crazy seeing Manolis, what an incredible noise.
And drinking greek Frappe and smoking a greek cigarette :lol-053: i learned that 7 years ago Manolis took over the building from the American Forces and started to build up this shelter to care about homeless dogs.
Presently the shelter is totally overcrowded by 200 dogs and some cats but often he has a chance to give a dog to a new owner in foreign countries, mainly Germany, Austria and Netherlands, but some to Britain, Canada and United States too. Last week he gave 7 dogs to Germany, transported by plane. And he said that he is very well supported by people of foreign countries who are supporting him with material and some money, who are looking for new owners and are arranging the transportation.

And after some minutes of talking the small old Greek "seemed to explode". He started to care about his dogs and what i saw from now on was unbelievable for me.
At first he went to 2 puppies. People had thrown 6 puppies over the fence 2 days ago. One of them died immediately, 3 were ok and 2 were so weak that they might die perhaps. But Manolis did not give up hope and gave water to them with an injection. I know about this method, it saved the life of my dog too some years ago.
21502

Manolis rushed around for more than 4 hours to feed the dogs and clean up the boxes like a robot., i did not trust my eyes. And each dog got a hand full of love for a short time and enjoyed it.
21503 21504 21505
21506

lonesome boy waiting for love and a lucky girl flying to Austria next week
21507 21508


Let me bring the 36-days-story to an end.
I never saw a man so full of love for animals, i never saw a man working 12 hours per day, 7 days per week for years mostly without help. The dogs are the life of Manolis and Manolis is giving his life for the dogs.
I did not expect such a clean, well organized and "warm" shelter in Crete, driven by a single small old Greek, i did not expect such an impressive man.

In my first post i wrote:

"......And "googling the net" we read about an animal shelter on Crete, for stray dogs.... poor souls. The old Manolis cares about the dogs, they are his love and his life. And the idea was born to visit this shelter. I contacted an email address and got a positive reply, support always would be appreciated. So we had THE PLAN......"

Untill to now we had a plan......off to the dogs of Crete. Now it´s complete, we are "at the dogs of Crete" .

Thank you all for reading and for your friendly comments.

My full respect to "Manolis the Great"

and tomorrow....we will wait and see.

Bernd

iampatman
14-04-2014, 18:51
Wow, Manolis seems like an amazing guy. Two hundred dogs you say? That's some commitment eh?
So what do you do now? Help Manolis out for a few days maybe and then what? You can't just turn round and go home! Too much of Crete to explore.
We set off in a fortnight, should be in Crete by early June so maybe see you on the way back and we'll help you finish of "Merkel's blood".
Enjoy the rest of your trip Bernd.
Pat

rottiontour
15-04-2014, 18:51
Wow, Manolis seems like an amazing guy. Two hundred dogs you say? That's some commitment eh?
So what do you do now? Help Manolis out for a few days maybe and then what? You can't just turn round and go home! Too much of Crete to explore.
We set off in a fortnight, should be in Crete by early June so maybe see you on the way back and we'll help you finish of "Merkel's blood".
Enjoy the rest of your trip Bernd.
Pat

Hey Pat,
What do we do now?.....Well, we went a last time to Manolis, he needs no help in his shelter, many people of the village come down to him and help a little bit and he is well organized and well known. What he needs is food and money for operations.
I have got his adress and we will see.
For the tour, yes, Crete is fantastic, right now we are at the harbour of Milatos near Sisi and planning the tour for tomorrow, i guess into Lassiti. And what i like, not so overcrowded, friendly people and many places for wilding, absolutely no problem.
And "Merkels blood", i just hide a package in the van, so some of it will be "saved".:lol-053:

We are now "on holiday"

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
15-04-2014, 19:06
Hello Bernard
.........
But neutering has to stop this ecodemic from continuing.
So how will this happen, in the u.k we have charities who help with this.
It there anything there?
Thanks
John

Hey John,
i do not know if there is neutering on a regular basis, but i don´t think so. I think it´s simply a question of money.
The problem is the greek behaviour, there are a lot of people who really care about dogs but as well a lot of people who simply throw a dog out of the house, when it is sick or useless, and this is the problem.
And today the have new law protecting the animals, i guess on EU pressure, but too many people don´t care about and the officials too. So, a long way to go for that country, but there is hope, Greece is improving. E. g. the rubbish problem did improve very well , all over the country rubbish container are disposed and they use it !!...unbelievable, a clear improvement. We both feel, that Greece never was so clean (ok, it´s relative) as today. It really improved in our opinion.

Thanks for your answer,
regards

Bernd

iampatman
15-04-2014, 19:29
Hey Pat,
What do we do now?.....Well, we went a last time to Manolis, he needs no help in his shelter, many people of the village come down to him and help a little bit and he is well organized and well known. What he needs is food and money for operations.
I have got his adress and we will see.
For the tour, yes, Crete is fantastic, right now we are at the harbour of Milatos near Sisi and planning the tour for tomorrow, i guess into Lassiti. And what i like, not so overcrowded, friendly people and many places for wilding, absolutely no problem.
And "Merkels blood", i just hide a package in the van, so some of it will be "saved".:lol-053:

We are now "on holiday"

Regards
Bernd

Yes, the Cretan folk we have met are lovely, friendly people and in all the times there we have never seen a Motorhome so yes, it will me good for wilding. The only problem are the roads leading to the south coast. We drove there last year in a hire car and they were worse than some of the roads we were on in Morocco earlier this year! But you have inspired us so we will definitely catch the ferry and visit old friends in Crete in a couple of months.
Now, enjoy your holiday Bernd,
Pat

iampatman
21-04-2014, 13:07
Hey Bernd,
It's gone very quiet since you started your "holiday" I'm missing your wild camping POIs :)
Pat.

rottiontour
21-04-2014, 15:52
Hey Pat
i'm disappeared..... :lol-053:

OK.... we left Gouves on day 38 and drove a little bit without plan towards east, north-east and then south to south-west and stopped near Ierapetra for some days.
21624

day 38 Milatos harbour, water tap, N 35° 19' 12.1'' E 25° 33' 38.9''
nice cave in vicinity and the harbour is great.
21625 21626

39 anywhere near Lassithi plateau in the mountains N 35° 12' 29.1'' E 25° 32' 55.8''
21627

40 Moni Toplou parking, N 35° 13' 15.0'' E 26° 12' 55.5''
nice monastry and little museum
21628

41 up to now, Koutsounari Camping N 35° 00' 24.5'' E 25° 49' 21.2''
i asked the campsite owner wether it could be possible to take part in an orthodox eastern celebration and...they took us with their car and their whole family to a church at midnight.....fantastic.
And additionally we received an invitation to a real cretan marriage. So tomorrow we will take part in an marriage. what an event. The people are so friendly that i feel a little bit shame.
So we stay till wednesday at Koutsounari camp.

Have fun
Bernd

iampatman
21-04-2014, 18:29
Hey Bernd,
Sounds like you're having a great time. Thanks for the co-ordinates and enjoy the wedding, looking forward to the photos. Only another 8 days before we set off following (some) of your footsteps.
Kalinychta!
Pat

iampatman
26-04-2014, 15:16
Come on Bernd, just because you're on your holidays it doesn't mean you can stop posting your adventures and locations :) :)
Pat

rottiontour
26-04-2014, 15:47
Come on Bernd, just because you're on your holidays it doesn't mean you can stop posting your adventures and locations :) :)
Pat

ok..ok...give me a chance.....had no good internet, stay cool and wait....just have to finish my ouzo :)

rottiontour
26-04-2014, 18:01
day 44-47
21793

We finished staying on Campsite Koutsounari near Ierapetra. The site was really ok but it was not such a lucky time for us cause the dog got heavy pain in her knee...old problem....and we had to visit a vet in Ierapetra. The vet was ok we got good pain relievers and decided to travel slowly back north, may be an operation would be necessary in Germany after some weeks. So we drove to Irakleon to catch a ferry.
In Iraklio we parked at position N 35° 20.448' E 25° 07.070'. Good public parking (Dimotiki Parking) slightly outside the touristic center, costfree. With the bike no problem to ride to the center, 10 minutes.
I got tickets for the next evening, night ferry to Athens, for 319 Euros. And with a pet cabin, the dog could stay with us in our cabin, great. Blue Star Ferries.
Booking agency was Paleologos s.a., 5, 25th August Street, Iraklio....in the middle of the tourist street. Tel: 0030 2810 346 185

Then we drove back to the south coast and stayed overnight at a parking in position N 35° 12' 13.22'' E 24° 28' 06.47'', ....in the middle of a rough valley.

Next day we visited the monastry of Moni Preveli at the south coast with an impressive memorial just in front of it. The memorial describes the fights of Canadians, Australians, Britains and the monks of Preveli against the Germans in WWII. Extraordinary panorama, really worth to visit.
21794 21795

and we saw Frangocastello
21796

Well, initially we intended to stay overnight at Frangocastello in order to see the " Drosolites", the "Souls of Dew", cretan fighters who opponed against the Turks and were slaughterd and buried in the sandy beach of the castello. And once in spring they come up and walk along the beach as shadows. We would have been pleased to meet them and say "Jassas" but the ferry was booked, may be next time.
And in the evening....ferry departure at 2100 till 0600 next morning.

Day 48- 49
21797

Arrival in Piraeus.....ferry was ok, but i simply don't like ferries..... as my dog.
We headed North West via Thiva into the mountains near Davlia. We found a fantastic overnight position at N 38° 31' 04.1'' E 22° 41' 33.4''. A camp of a greek MH club with water and toilet but nobody there. They use it only in summer. The only visitors were sheep....and us.
21798

Day 49
Some cross country drive to Moni Osios Loukas and good rules how to visit an orthodox monastry and church (no tangas, no hot pants, no muscle shirts, no boxer shorts....no discussion, basta!!.....love it or leave it). Respect their moral and you are highly welcome and will get all help you need.
21799 21800

and through Parnass Mountain (great scenery) to the Thermopyles and Leonidas the Spartian king. Really a good place to stay overnight, directly under the Phokian Wall, N 38° 47' 43.9'' E 22° 32' 10.8''
21801

Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
27-04-2014, 17:07
Day 50, seven weeks on road and "the horror".
The night was ok, Leonidas made us a safe night....and the little young straydog, a girl. What a lovely girl, so friendly and funny. And she reported every movement during the night and so it was really safe.
21841

And the dogs played at the Thermopyles and had a lot of fun.
21843

And then heavy rain started, the girl disappeared to protect against rain and i prepared the car to drive off.
I let the car roll off the ramps, put the ramps into the car, started the diesel and let it warm up a little bit. Then i began to drive off the sand and.....heard a bang and a cry.....the little girl, i hit the little stray dog with the car, oh my god. And i saw the dog disappearing into the bush, slowly, obviously hurted.
She was under the car and did not move, when i prepared the car and the diesel and i did not recognize her, what a horror.
In the rain i tried to find her....nothing. For hours we searched for her and then we saw her at the door of the Leonidas museum. Directly we went to her and examined her. She was calm and she was not hurted except her nose, bloody scratches. But she could walk, eat, smell and all teeth and bones were ok, thank God.
We were very happy :) :) :) :), gave her again a little bit food and we are 100 percent sure that the nose will be ok within 7 days. So we could leave her alone....and she was well known to the girl inside the museum.
And with a much lighter heart we continued to the north, till Nea Anchialos, a nice Stellplatz at the harbour. A little bit noisy but...with water tap
Position N 39° 16`35.7`` E 22° 49' 15.0''
21846 21847

And we are very happy that this lovely straydog girl will be alright soon and we are having just now a BIG ouzo on this.
21848
regards
Bernd

lowenna
27-04-2014, 17:54
We've been following your journey but haven't commented until now but what a fantastic trip with great experiences and ending. Really happy that the little stray dog is ok & 'Manolis' what a fantastic guy & human being, he really deserves a lot of support for what is a great thing to be doing, he must have a massive heart & passion helping those dogs that would otherwise suffer & die without him.

rottiontour
29-04-2014, 13:16
We've been following your journey but haven't commented until now but what a fantastic trip with great experiences and ending. Really happy that the little stray dog is ok & 'Manolis' what a fantastic guy & human being, he really deserves a lot of support for what is a great thing to be doing, he must have a massive heart & passion helping those dogs that would otherwise suffer & die without him.

Thank you very much for your kind comment and, yes, you are right, Manolis is a great guy, sometimes i felt some raindrops in my eyes speaking to him although there was clear sky.

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
29-04-2014, 13:48
Day 51.......Volos to Mavrovouni

The night at the harbour of Nea Aghialos was ok.....a little noisy because in a town, near the main road and inside a harbour and with the greek "Volta"....and Greeks don`t like to walk so they drive in cars. But after about 11 pm it was ok.
The Boss needs Lidl again and Volos is on the way. Volos is a large town at the northern edge of the Pilion, the town of Iason and his Argonauts ( spelling ok?). We leave out Pilion and Volos, we know it from former visits and we want to drive cross country through northern edge of Pilion towards the Mavrovouni, the black mountain, north of Volos, heading Agiokambos and Larissa.
The road is usable and we pass an animal shelter north of Volos. We want to visit the shelter but no one is inside. Some dogs waiting outside to get into the shelter and get food. The first time in life that i saw dogs waiting to enter !! a shelter. From outside the fence it looked clean and well organized.
21894

Near Kanali we pass a little church, Agios Giorgos. N 39° 28' 58.0`` E 22° 53` 07.6 .The legend says that the turkish invaders could not continue their ride cause the horses refused their job seeing the church. And so the Turks damaged the ikones of the church with their swords and gave up.
Nice place to do a picnic break or stay overnight in vicinity, water tap available.
21895

Then we drive up the hills easterly heading to the beach at Kamari near Keramidi.......The scenery is great, the village is "the arse of the world", the beach dirty and the road a problem for a MH. I made it, but some more tourist cars and a turn would be impossible and i would have to stay untill the end of the tourist season. Simply forget about it or take a motorbike.
21896

Back on top of the mountains we find a nice and lonely Stellplatz. N 39° 32`16.7`` E 22° 53`41.7``.
21897

Day 52....to the beaches of Agiokambos

......and a watertap not far away N 39° 36` 54.0`` E 22° 52´ 45.4 ´´

Nice look to Lake Karla, an artificial lake.
21898

The Greek did much work in this area in the last years, we are really surprised. Then over the top of Mavrovouni down to the beaches of Agiokambos
21899

Passing a nice beach, Papakostas Beach.
21900

And we saw a MH parking in front of a big "Camping forbidden" sign,
21904

chairs, tables and carpets outside, "what does the world cost". I know that in this low season period probably no Greek will complain, but for me it is simply an expression of politeness to respect the rules and law of Greece even out of main season. By the way, i know that this beach is used by the orthodox church to practise the ceremony of "baptisi"....i do not know the exact word, ritual dipping of new members of the church under water. So "no way" for me to disregard the big sign. And what nationality the campers had?.....hahaha!! I´ll give you a hint...stone faces).
We continued driving and so we found a place for parking at the harbour of Agiokambos, not too bad and quiet . N 39°40´50.7 E 22° 53´14.8
21901

For me Thessaly is my favorite area in Greece, green, water, beaches and mountains, Olymp, Dion, Meteora, Pilion in the South and Chalkidiki in the North, and so many small and hidden diamonds. I think we will spend some days cruising through Thessaly.
21902

And what i still feel every day but cannot understand up to now......it is the kindness and politeness and the friendship of the people in Greece.
I think i will drink an Ouzo on this :D

Xalara
Bernd

rottiontour
30-04-2014, 19:41
Day 53......

Another day in paradise, an old man .....about my age, oups :scared:....gives me some herbs as a present and we start to drive back through the mountains heading inbound Larissa.
21925

On the road we see a dog, a hunting dog, and he wears a big bell around his neck. With each step the bell rings loudly, what a pain for a dog´s ear.
We stop, turn the car and drive back. Seeing the dog again, i leave the car and walk towards him. He is very friendly and approaches me slowly, a very nice hunting dog, but very skinny. He walks very slow cause the bell rings so loudly with each step or movement....what a pain for a sensitive dog`s ear.
I examine him and he is very quiet, and i recognize a Teletac around his neck, a device to give electrical shocks to a dog, to force them to obey. I know that this is a method to train hunting dogs, a bad method.
What a pain for this poor dog. I remove the bell and the Teletac and throw it into the bush. And the eyes of the dog are full of thankfulness. We give him some food and he eats very slowly. And then we leave him alone, we cannot help him, he must help himself. He will survive or die. But when he will die he will do it in peace, without the ringing bell and without the horror of the Teletac shocks.
And i feel hate in my heart, much hate. Unfortunately i do not know his owner, so i cannot press the bell and and the Teletac into his arse till it comes out of the mouth of this baxxxrd....unfortunately :mad2:.
But this is Greece as well, many people are really fair to their dogs but many are not. And where is much light there is much shadow as well. However, this night will be the first night for that dog not hearing the big bell ringing with each little movement and not fearing the sudden shocks of the Teletac. He is free, can run away and help himself.

And we continue driving crossing the flat land of Thessaly and the town of Larissa.
21926

We stop at Tyrnavos and find a nice Stellplatz up on the hills of Tyrnavos at the turkish border......ok....it is not the turkish-greek border any longer, but it was till 1901 or 1908 and we find the relicts of the border and border station....nice place to stay overnight.
N 39° 44' 54.8 E 22° 15' 34.7
21927 21928 21929

21930 2193121932

The night above Thessaly is fantastic and here on top of the pass and border very windy.
21933

Sun and shadow, black and white....all this is Greece.

Be

horshamjack
01-05-2014, 13:11
Day 53......


On the road we see a dog, a hunting dog, and he wears a big bell around his neck. With each step the bell rings loudly, what a pain for a dog´s ear.
We stop, turn the car and drive back. Seeing the dog again, i leave the car and walk towards him. He is very friendly and approaches me slowly, a very nice hunting dog, but very skinny. He walks very slow cause the bell rings so loudly with each step or movement....what a pain for a sensitive dog`s ear.
I examine him and he is very quiet, and i recognize a Teletac around his neck, a device to give electrical shocks to a dog, to force them to obey. I know that this is a method to train hunting dogs, a bad method.
What a pain for this poor dog. I remove the bell and the Teletac and throw it into the bush. And the eyes of the dog are full of thankfulness. We give him some food and he eats very slowly. And then we leave him alone, we cannot help him, he must help himself. He will survive or die. But when he will die he will do it in peace, without the ringing bell and without the horror of the Teletac shocks.
And i feel hate in my heart, much hate. Unfortunately i do not know his owner, so i cannot press the bell and and the Teletac into his arse till it comes out of the mouth of this baxxxrd....unfortunately :mad2:.
But this is Greece as well, many people are really fair to their dogs but many are not. And where is much light there is much shadow as well. However, this night will be the first night for that dog not hearing the big bell ringing with each little movement and not fearing the sudden shocks of the Teletac. He is free, can run away and help himself.



Bless You .. Nice to know he is free from his shackles
I bet you slept well that evening :nicethread:

Fazerloz
01-05-2014, 16:57
Unfortunately i do not know his owner, so i cannot press the bell and and the Teletac into his arse till it comes out of the mouth of this baxxxrd..


Is this a new German hobby I don't know about ? Don't let these things spoil your Holliday get back to enjoying your time and keep chillin. :cheers:
Some things are beyond your control .

rottiontour
01-05-2014, 18:13
......Which way are you heading back?.....


Hi John, don´t know yet, dog´s knee is quite alright with the pills, but still needs an examination or operation.
It´s not so urgent and we plan for about 4 weeks travel from now on.
Up to now we have absolutely no interest in leaving Greece, we would like to stay here a little bit longer...however.

Presently we are thinking of driving through western Bulgaria and Romania, but we will wait and see. Serbia is an option too, but we did it too often, no challenge.

Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
01-05-2014, 18:19
.....Is this a new German hobby I don't know about ? .....

You never know......

But you are right.....:cheers:

Xalara
Bernd

rottiontour
01-05-2014, 19:52
Day 54.......

Sun and thunderstorms

21966

Up to the Mount Olympos that´s the plan but before we had to stop the Rottie from walking to East Frisia. Obviously she saw East Frisia at the horizon and started to walk home.
21967

Down at the valley of Elassonas we see that all fields are in very good condition and spring is everywhere
21968 21974

and then we see the Mount Olympos. For me it´s always fascinating to see this mountain, it has many faces.
21969 21970

In the small village Karya there is a peace memorial next by the road. When i walked to the memorial an old man winked from far away and came to me. He was very friendly and explained the memorial to me......for all mothers of the world who lost their sons in war.
21971

And finally we met the "Zeus Clan"...
21972

The southern road is a real scenic drive with a very interesting point on route , the "magnetic point".
At the markings on the tarmac I stopped the car with the front down the road and..... it moved backwards up hill....magic. Try it....N 40° 02' 07.0'' E 22° 31' 00.0''

Back at the coast we drove the road from Leptokarya to Dion, the town of Alexander The Great. In front of the archeological site we found a parking to stay overnight " only for tourists"....very friendly, isn't it.... i am tourist.
N 40° 10' 24.7'' E 22° 29' 29.1''

And the Mitikas showed its "olympic evening face" after a heavy thunderstorm.
21973

Xalara
Bernd

rottiontour
02-05-2014, 21:20
Wake up in Dion like Alexander The Great :king:, fresh bread from bakery and.....escaping asap :drive:....loads of busses are arriving.
The Boss needs a logistic day, washing, Lidl, and i have an internet problem and need a "Germanos" shop.
Priority 1 .....Lidl....at Katerini beach, then Germanos, then camp site with washing machine and dryer.
21984

Lidl parking is so full of busses that i have my doubts if it is really a Lidl parking. Anyway, we are in Greece and nobody will care about my parking at a bus stop.
Inside the Lidl shop i see the reason for the busses, loads of Russians and Bulgarians are shopping at Lidl, nobody speaks greek. Katerini beach is a center of russian and bulgarian tourism......and the EU sanctions against Russia seem to be not very effective....:lol-053:.

But the real adventure of today is taking the mountain bike and riding to a Germanos shop in the middle of a large town center of a medium greek town, i was not so keen to do this with my MH :scared:.
But biking was absolutely great.....left....right....ignoring red traffic lights and one way roads....and chasing a scooter driver, i did win the race, i could use all pedestrian ways, he couldn't, what a ride, i had fun like 50 years ago...:D :D :D.

Germanos/Cosmote no problem, all problems solved by operators with excellent english...it´s Greece, amazing.

And washing and drying machines we found at camping Poseidon at Platamonas beach. N 40° 00' 45.8'' E 022° 35' 28.6''.
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Compared to spanish or italian luxury sites the greek sites are simple, like 20 years ago. But the site is ok, usable, clean and really idyllic....and empty cause the saison did not start yet. And the beach is fantastic.
It should be convenient for me, but a little bit i am missing the freedom at the "turkish border" of Tyrnavos with a bird's view over Thessaly :sad:. So we will stay 2 or three days due to logistic reasons.
And the large road in front of the site is full of small restaurants, bars, supermarkets....and some dogs. We will get all we need.
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:goodnight:

Bernd

iampatman
03-05-2014, 17:19
21991
Hi Bernd,
Your route is in purple, our proposed in pink, blue is where we've been last few days. Looks like we could bump into you in Eastern Europe :)
Pat

rottiontour
03-05-2014, 20:08
21991
Hi Bernd,
Your route is in purple, our proposed in pink, blue is where we've been last few days. Looks like we could bump into you in Eastern Europe :)
Pat

Hi Pat,
let's do a trial :). We will continue to stay some time in Greece, it's too nice here. I must admit we have still no real interest to go back to that land far in the north where we were born :cry:.

Safe trip
Bernd

rottiontour
03-05-2014, 21:08
The Boss needs another day for maintenance, the weather is not too good and i take the bike for a ride from Platamonas Beach to Platamonas village, the castle upon the hill is in between.
The hill stops me riding, there is no way along the beach except through an old tunnel.
I go into the darkness, there is no other choice.
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After the tunnel i ask an old man where to continue to Platamonas. He points into a direction and smiles. I can easily read what he is thinking.....crazy tourist, coming out of the tunnel with a bike, why not take a taxi, a bus or a car, everybody in Greece takes the car.
And in Platamonas i see what he meant.......really EVERYONE takes a car in Platamonas.
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Platamonas is a nice village, still nearly no tourists, nice harbour and some people are chilling in the beach bars with blue greek background music, a great atmosphere.
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Before the rain starts i want to be back at the campsite, again castle and hill, the tunnel and back home.
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Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
04-05-2014, 18:21
Weeks ago i travelled to this country and i expected loads of poor and homeless people on the campsites. The "Quality Press and the Mainstream TV" of "Northland" told me that due to economical crisis many Greeks could not afford a flat any longer and so they must live more and more on campsites :scared:.

Just now i am on a greek campsite since three days and in the last two years i saw many greek campsites, but i never saw "homeless" people who were forced to live on a campsite because of the economical crisis (which does not mean there is no crisis).

But now i see this......
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Well structured tents under which the caravans and furniture are sheltered against humidity.
And outside of main season it looks like this
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Now a problem comes up for me..... What i see with my own eyes does not match with the articles of the "Quality Press and the Mainstream TV" of "Northland" about greek campsites.
What to believe?
Well, it's easy....i decided to continue believing in the articles of the "Quality Press and the Mainstream TV" of "Northland" and so i define for myself......no problems, what i see is not the reality, it is a Fata Morgana, basta.
TV and Press are always right especially in Northland....but....is it the same with the Northlanders too?
:lol-053: :lol-053: :lol-053: :lol-053: :lol-053: :lol-053: :lol-053:

:have fun:

Bernd

PS: Just an impression not worth a big discussion for me

rottiontour
06-05-2014, 18:04
22143

Day 58....Volta day
Leaving the green jungle of Camping Poseidon Beach at Platamonas beach we want to "orbit" a little bit around Larissa and head towards Tembi Valley. The Pinios river cut a deep boundary between Kissavos mountain (or Ossa) and Olympos.
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And we join the greek "Volta" on Platia in Larissa center, good looking town, vital but confusing atmosphere.
For the night we stay again on the "greek turkish border". I love this place well above Tyrnavos.

Day 59 .....how to get a ride to a bakery

"How to get a ride to a bakery" .....this is very simple.
Just go into a greek supermarket without !! bread and ask for a bread, like me. With many excuses the people will explain to you the way to the next bakery. Look at them a little bit helpless and stupid :confused::confused: ...this is easy for me :mad1:....., don't understand what they say and someone will help you, take your arm, draw you into his car and give you a ride to the next bakery......easy isn't it.
I do not know if it will work always but this morning the people of Tyrnavos were very friendly and helpful.

And in Tyrnavos the annual market, the Bazari, is just going on. We visited the Bazari during the early afternoon hours, when it was not yet full of people. During the evening and night hours it is "horror".
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An then we drive via Sykourio and Spilia to a parking in front of a Katafigyo, a shelter hut, nearly on top of Kissavos, 1554 meters. N 39°48' 32.3'' E 22° 41' 10.8''
A good road leads up the hill ....plus a water fountain in Spilia next to the road N39° 34' 17.4'' E 22° 27' 36.6''
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A little bit cold tonight, 6 C now but the dog likes it.

:have fun:

Bernd

Tailor1
08-05-2014, 10:26
I now understand where you are. Thanks for your time. Enjoy.

Sylvia

rottiontour
08-05-2014, 18:41
Day 60 and 61

In Larissa......Pos N 39° 37` 10.7`` E 22° 24` 03.5``
Not a very nice overnight place but a huge place in Larissa in front of the police station where you can park some nights without problems to see Larissa. I can recommend the Taverna "Moucha" at the corner of the streets "Karditsas" and "Antiochou". 5 minutes to walk from overnight position.
Water taps under the market roofs.
In September this place cannot be used because the huge Bazari of Larissa is located here....worth to see.
Larissa itself is a real greek large town without tourists, what does not mean it is not attractive.


Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
08-05-2014, 20:37
.........What is the bazari of lirissa.......


Hi John,

This is the Bazari of Larissa, some old pics......
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The Bazari is an anual event taking place in Larissa in September, a market for everything mainly eating and shopping.
In Larissa the Bazari is during September, the end of main season.
It's colourful and hot during day and night, more during night, thousands of people walking around, no drunken people, no stress :banana:. Children everywhere even during the night :scared: .
It' simply the life style of a greek town.

Be

Martin P
08-05-2014, 20:44
Lovely

rottiontour
11-05-2014, 11:43
Day 62.......9.5.2014....the friendly day

The morning on the huge Bazari place in front of the police station was a very friendly morning.
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A policeman winked towards as....Kalimera. Another policeman probably at end of his shift went to his car....Kalimera.....best weather in May for a trip now...where do you go....have a nice trip.
A young man came to us....hello, do you need help?....
A woman at the small fruit market opposite to us saw the Rotti, pulled her husband out of the car and both looked fascinated to the Rotti, winked and laughed.....Kalimera........
THIS is what you get doing "WILDING" in Greece far away from tourists.

And we said Good Bye to Larissa the friendly town and drove towards Trikala, Kalambaka and Grevena.
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Often we stopped at Meteora on former visits and again it is fantastic, we cannot leave it out.......despite this.....
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After having changed the parking location....there is another one not so suitable for busses.....we took a deep breath looking arround.
For me Meteora is the most fascinating place of whole Greece. In case you will have the opportunity to stay there take the time to visit.
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Some tips for Meteora:
Coming from Trikala ......the three good things, water, sun and wind......reaching the southern edge of Kalambaka take the road to Meteora at the first sign "Meteora" to the right/east, 200 meters after the train crossing. This track leads in a circle anticlockwise around the eastern edge of the hills up to the top, from South of Kalambaka via East to the North and down to the West/Kalambaka city.
Half way up hill there is the Taverna "Arsenis" with a Stellplatz, the owner is Kostas, a "very touristic" but as well very nice guy. He has to struggle hard for his income, tourist market did collapse during the last years. You can stop there for the night and take the next day for Meteora.
N 39° 42' 51'' E 21° 38' 58'', 5 Euro incl. water, electricity available, no dumping. Or have a diner and save the 5 Euros.
This place is suitable to visit Meteora area for one day with the MH. All roads are suitable for MH.
The road of "Meteora" is a ring road from Kalambaka to Kalambaka, several monastries are next by the road, all with parking. For me the best monastry is "Megalo Meteora" the "Grand Meteora", situated at a side road of the ring road, good parking and a nice walk to the monastry, very impressive. It is open for visits. And it has a nice shop, where you can get an informative video about Meteora and "Megalo Meteora", very mystic area.

We did not visit the monastries of Meteora, we did that already "one thousand times", and continued towards westerly and north-westerly heading inbound Grevena. 10 km South-East of Grevena directly at a bridge over the Venetikos River, there is the so-called "Grand Canyon of Greece".....well, it is not so "Grand".....it's Greece, heehee. But it is worth a stop and a walk arround...impressive.
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For us the parking was a little bit too dirty.....the Greeks obviously are very busy in trying to raise their number of population, many "rubber relicts" proved this......and we drove a little bit "into the fields".
We found a SP next by a road in the middle of green fields, but a friendly Greek stopped and said this place is not so good to stop here for the night. We could stay here, but it would be better to drive down to the village and stay overnight at the church. So we did.
Well, often Greeks do fear a little bit to stay overnight outside a town.....this is Greece, too. And our greek friends are fearing it, too,....they do not know one single real reason for that, no bandits or thiefs arround, but they are fearing it..... ok.
At the church of Kalochi .....N 39° 38' 03.7'' E 22° 23' 00.0'' .....the Stellplatz was really ok although it was directly next by road, but there was no traffic, absolutely quiet and a water tap.

Day 63....10.5.2014.....another friendly day

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Quiet night and....a baker's car came up the hill. When he was selling some bread to an old woman in front of a house, i went down to them and bought a bread and a "Koulouri" too ( a ring made of bread and sesame) . And the old lady and her husband tried to invite me for a morning coffee, they could not imagine that we are well equipped inside the car.
And the baker asked me....do you have a wife......yes, the Boss.......So give her another Koulouri as a present....... and the next friendly day was starting. But why presented he to my wife a Koulouri with sesame AND cheese?? :sad:

And some time later the old man, the husband, came to us. I jumped out of the car and said Kalimera. And he began to speak about the region, his children, the villages on top of the hills and asked me what i am doing here....travelling around Greece. My broken Greek was not so good to understand each detail, but i understood that he gave a tip, where to stay with the MH. So i gave him a little of "Merkel's Blood" as small present and he called it....german Tsipouro....:scared:

And the tip of the old man is here......N 40° 03' 11.0'' E 21° 33' 30.9''.....a Picnic Place, very abroad, i never would have found it without the tip, and the gravel road was ok for my MH. The next village is Agapi, that means "Love".
Beautiful place.....and controlled by a farmer's patrol (spelling?), looking what's going on in their area. This is really fine for me, they are safeguarding their homeland......i am not allowed to do so in my homeland, heehee.
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But I am presently NOT in MY homeland....... luckily !!! BECAUSE......
-the weather and the tomatoes are better,
-the farmers are patrolling through their fields to keep up safety,
-the people always are offering help to us,
-the bakers are giving small presents to us because of their hospitality,
-old men giving us hints for staying overnight,
-policemen and farmers are often winking towards us,
-younger people still are respecting older ones, i can feel it walking through the towns,
-nobody is teaching me like an "Oberlehrer" in order to "improve my behaviour",
-no "Blockwart" orders me on a Stellplatz where to park the MH,
-people are asking me how i (as a German !!??) would solve a specific problem.... and are listening!! to me......listening to me, a completely unusal behaviour :scared:,
-nobody is panicing seeing the Rotti,
-and last but not least, the people are ALWAYS FRIENDLY, POLITE and RESPECTFUL....despite of Merkel, haha.

Well....only some observations out of my point of view, my wife and i, we are simply not used to it.....we are coming from a "Northland".
And that's why we love Greece.....Ellada einai tin agapi mas.

:wave:

Bernd

rottiontour
11-05-2014, 12:49
Routing day 62-64
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The night was great, clear sky, bright greek moon and stars and dark forest with moonshadow, and.....Rotti had her first "live operation"....a marten. Lara observed a bush silently for some minutes, then she detected the marten, attacked and .....nearly got him :mad2:. Really fast those car-eating-baxxxrds. He only could escape using the deep valley of the Aliakmenos.....well done, Rotti, the car will be safe from now on! And a wonderful morning.
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We drove cross country along the Aliakmanos Lake till north of Velventos.
In Velventos we got lost and circled through the village. A greek cardriver observed us, the overtook the van and stopped us. Outside Greece i would have loaded all guns and sharpened all knifes, but here a simple "Kalimera" was enough. He asked where we want to go, jumped into his car and showed us the correct way......great guy, thank you very much...evcharisto poli.
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Some kilometers north-east of Velventos we found an extraordinary Stellplatz at a motorbike-mountain-road, well above Lake Aliakmanos. N 40° 17' 33.1'' E 22° 05' 52.4''.
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Good for tonight...sun, beautiful panorama, motorbikes coming along and.... internet....perfect.

Time for an early Ouzo:D

Bernd

rottiontour
12-05-2014, 18:33
22568

Very quiet night, till up to the horizon Rotti was the owner of the world.
We drove back, westerly and northerly heading....

Crossing the Aliakmanos lake and the region around Kozani.....coal mining region, gigantic coal power plants being supplied by hundreds of lorries using own road tracks parallel to the public roads.....like huge ants. Unfortunately i shredded the pics by finger trouble :cry:. ....OK, so we will come back in autumn to take those pictures again....:lol-053:.

Near Aminteo at Agios Panteleimonas we found a nice Stellplatz at Lake Vegoritis.
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A former campsite now abandonned and refurbished to a public recreation area. Obviously with EU money and, cause Rotti has to pay taxes too, she will be allowed to use "her" portion of the new meadow.....:mad1:.
N 40° 43´ 20.6´´ E 21° 45´ 07.5´´
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Because of bad weather north of the Alps we plan to stay in Greece and cruise through the north-eastern part up to the turkish border...... the real one, :scared:.

Greece is......:cool:

Bernd

rottiontour
13-05-2014, 06:06
Hello Bernard
Thank you for posing your blog very intresting.
Couple of questions
Is a marten a robber/ bad person?
What is merkels blood?
You have mentioned it loads and I am none the wiser.
I seems you have traveled these routes a lot of times, it has really inspired us to follow.
Is Greece your favourite place to travel?
From our small experience we like Portugal, then Italy, but these are small experiences and as the years past we hope to broden our horizons.
We like that from our small island there is a wealth of very different cultures, in an relatively short distance from our shores to experience.
Thanks
John

Hello John,
thank you very much for your friendly comments.
What is a Marten....i must admit i got the translation out of the internet, may be i did it wrong. In German it is a "Marder". Here a pic
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It is an animal like a large cat. They are real little baxxxrds cause they enter houses, kill chicken, destroy things in houses and stink like hell. And they like to enter the motorroom of a car and destroy all cabels. Obviously they like rubber and plastic. And once you had a marten in the car and you change your position another marten will smell it and enter your car to fight against the smell.....very bad.

And "Merkel's blood"...heehee....it's a simple german liqueur (Schnaps) , a "Boonekamp" made of herbs , there are many of those, a well known is "Jägermeister". I have it in little bottles and when i gave it the first time as a present to a Greek, i called it "Merkel's blood" and everybody loved it and laughed...a joke, not more. But the Greek like it very much....and the joke:D.
And....it is a nice behaviour in Greece, that, when you get a present you give a little present back....and for me it is a present when people are very friendly and helpful, so...."Merkel's blood"...not always but sometimes on specific occasions.

And for our travels.....yes, Greece is our favorite country. I had 2 years work in Greece and learned a little bit how they think and feel. And this makes me love this country.
But i like the whole Balkan cause it is not so "touristic" and the people are very friendly. And i think it is really safe for us when wilding, cause the "bad boys" are all in Germany already...little bad joke...:D
And a very important fact is how they treat the Rotti. In France , Spain the law is different . Greece , the Balkan and the eastern countries don't care about the race of a dog and this is ok for me. Therefore i like the countries east of Germany from Lithuania to Greece....the Rotti AND his owner will not be discriminated due to the race of the dog. It's sad, but it's fact.

And in Greece we simply park each night a little bit outside and it's peaceful and never a problem.

Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
13-05-2014, 18:38
22586

We leave Agios Panteleimonas at Vegoritis Lake on a beautiful morning
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and head for Edessa the macedonian water town and it's famous waterfalls, the "Kataraktes".
Edessa is a smooth town, water and green plants everywhere and this.....
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You can`t do it without getting wet but it is great.
Edessa has a good public parking, cost free and close to center...N 40° 48' 17.4'' E 22° 03' 14.9'' .
Suitable for staying overnight, too, but for us it is too early.
We continue to the North ......macedonian border, we never have been there.
Next by the road at Aridea we find an old fountain...
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Filling up my watertank a Greek approaches, takes his cup and drinks from the water. I ask him in greek if the water would be ok and he answers in good German....oh yes, absolutely fresh and ok, it comes from 30 meters below the ground by natural pressure, and you must go to Loutraki, 10 km away.
Ok, will do, good bye.......
And the next Greek approaches, drinks water and tells me in good English that he always comes to this fountain, the water is pure and cold.....and good bye.
This is Greece, you never are alone.

So we drive to Loutraki, nice little mountain village, good for bathing and good for many tourists.
Next by the road in a little wood we detect a pack of straydogs......
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And after some kilometers we park for a break near the protector of all travellers, Saint Christoph, Agios Christoferos, very impressive painting.
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At least we find a good Stellplatz before Aetochori in pos N 41° 05' 09.9'' E 22° 10' 17.5''
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It looked quite well and lonely, but in Greece you never are alone......
Out of the bush a woman came to us.....looking for her dog. She found him at the building of the restaurant next by.....and went off.
And two dogs came out of the bush and cows and a shepherd. I said "Jassas" to him and he replied that his name is Christoferos (the second??) and then he asked me about the prices of cows in Germany :scared:. I could not give a good answer :sad: and he went away....hmmh, in Greece you never are alone.
And the rest of the day we were protected by 4 shepherd dogs supervising a lot of cows...and us.
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Every day in Greece we got into contact to interesting people, we like that it's so fantastic.

Have fun
Bernd

yeoblade
13-05-2014, 19:58
Hi Bernd,

A very interesting and informative blog you have been posting here which I have been (jealously)following, one day .............

Tell me, are the maps you put up, a downloaded trace of your actual gps route, or plotted on the map?

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Bon voyage ,

Julian

rottiontour
14-05-2014, 06:56
Hi Bernd,

A very interesting and informative blog you have been posting here which I have been (jealously)following, one day .............


Tell me, are the maps you put up, a downloaded trace of your actual gps route, or plotted on the map?

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Bon voyage ,

Julian

Hello Julian,
thank you for your comment.
the maps are made simply with a snapshot from google maps and the route with ms paint. It's "handmade" and simple and a little bit incorrect like my Énglish :cry:.
I do not have the suitable tools for gps tracking and my Garmin is as old as i and ....i am too stupid for that, probably the main reason:dance:

Regards
Bernd
life wx macedonian border....140612zmay....15C, slightly foggy, sometimes rain, sometimes sun. WX conditions are changing minute by minute.
22606

rottiontour
14-05-2014, 17:57
22609

Yesterday the lady searching for her dog gave us the tip where to get water....a fountain 50 m away, great. And so we continued the trip into the bad mountain weather through Aetochori, little village near the greek-macedonian (FYROM) border...or macedonian-macedonian border?
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Turtles crossed the road and sometimes we had a panoramic view over the Axios River through the macedonian bad weather area.
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In Axiopoli, the Axios-Town, was a weekly Bazari.....the chance for us to use the rare sun beams for a shopping "Volta". All olives were delicious and so i asked a dealer in my "best" Greek what are your favorite olives, and he answered in perfect German :scared:..... he was born in Germany.
I don't know WHY THEY KNOW IT, BUT THEY KNOW IT.
And i always give my very best to avoid the "german tourist outfit"....Bermuda shorts, socks and sandals :scared: :scared: :scared:...., whole Greece is laughing about that :lol-049: :lol-049: :lol-049:.....and my wife would kill me :hammer: :angel:.
Or is it my horrible accent, my beer belly :cheers: or the blonde hair of my wife, they NEVER will tell it to me :sad:.....but they like it :heart:.
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The coffee break at the banks of Axios river.....Google WX forecast said "sunny"......was a little bit too wet. 10 minutes from hell to paradise.... and Google area WX said 22° C and sunny, and we had 17° and thunderstorm with hail......even the sun comes too late in Greece, hehe.
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We left out Saloniki and drove to Koronia Lake, Agios Vasilios. There we found a nice recreation area to stay overnight N 40° 40' 03.7'' E 23° 07' 14.6'' with a historic tower next by.....
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Walking with the dog I saw this historic tower, closed. As I tried to take some pictures through the fence a Greek came up the road, saw me, opened the gate and let me in. And i could climb up the steps and take a nice area photo.
And ....always somebody is controlling the area and when they see the MH and us, everything is alright...ola kala. I think they are more looking out for the real "fulltimers" swashing over to Greece after opening the borders than for parking motorhomers.

And southern sun did its job .....finally 22621

Just before shift change 22622


Xalara
Bernd

rottiontour
16-05-2014, 15:04
Day 68.......Touristoupoli

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The Stellplatz was very comfortable, large, quiet, clean and water, but sufficient for one night and a dog walk through the village, i know it all now.
Heading today is inbound Ouranoupoli, "Heaven's Town", the last town before the Monk's Republic of Athos, a town where the last 2 forgotten "Matala hippies" stayed over winter 10 years ago, heehee.
And 10 years ago i was there with a greek friend and i had the chance to enter Athos with a special permission....great adventure, an autonomous republic given to the orthodox monks and safeguarded by the Greeks. No women allowed inside the republic, so this time no chance with the Boss and the black lady. However, i wanted to see the little town Ouranoupoli once again...and the Hippies may be.
But before....China Market near Stavros. Good for shirts, jackets, whatever presents for the people at home :). And in Stavros we met the sun again and the sea.
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Well, this area today is not my favourite one, the beaches outside the towns are dirty and the town beaches are very organized for mass....mess??.... tourism. But Alexander the Great is still supervising everything.
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Then we entered Ouranoupoli the last station before Athos Republic, still a fascinating town, but it was a very different Ouranoupoli, it should be renamed to "Touristoupoli"....the last two Hippies must have reproduced themselves some thousand times, so too many people over there.
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Initially we intended to stay at the campsite of Ouranoupoli, but it was a little bit far away from the town center so we drove into the town. A big sign said "parking 24 hrs"...great, so i drove to the town parking. I asked the guy at the guard, if it would be a problem to stay here with a MH. He said, no problem, but you are not allowed to sleep in the car, cause it is forbidden by the camp site owner......what!!?? :scared:
The camp site owner tries to FORCE !! ME !! to use HIS !! place......never..... you can take my life, my dear, but not my freedom!!! Not he will decide where i park, only i will decide that, basta....and the Boss, ok :dance:.
So we left this MH unfriendly town and drove a little bit to the north and near Gomati we found a place to park for the night with a reliable road guard. N 40° 22' 40.6'' E 23° 50' 52.8''.
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Day 69.......escaping from the Balkan weather

The weather was not really nice, generally the May is much dryer and warmer. This time a big rain cloud is covering Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, the countries are "sinking" partially, the reason for us to continue staying in Greece. But sometimes the edge of the big cloud is touching us...for 10 minutes.
This morning, however, is great with a stunning view towards Mount Athos, the "Holy Mountain".... "Agion Oros"
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And a tractor driver came to the Boss with a friendly "good morning, did you sleep well?"....in German, as usual. Obviously he was not the campsite owner of "Touristoupoli"...:).

Ok, the rest of the day.....filling water....escaping from Balkan Low.....fighting with Rottie to get back a rubber sandal ....and looking for a place for the night.
And here it is, near Asprovalta, quiet, clean and dog friendly....N 40° 45' 19.6'' E 23° 44' 22.3''.
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Have fun
Bernd

PS: 3 minutes rain, now sunny again....this wx is exhausting, we need an Ouzo and a "Mythos beer". This beer is really mystic, it only has real good taste in Greece, so we stay for a while....:tongue:.

rottiontour
20-05-2014, 14:57
Day 70......17.5.2014......heading north

The night in Asprovalta was a little noisy, i managed to catch a lightning stroke...."nudet" over Athos.
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But in the morning the sun came out again, and the Boss saw some dolphins far away.
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We needed bread for the breakfast and I thought i'm clever....up hill there was a church, where a church is, will be a town center and where a town center is, there will be a baker's shop.....it's logic.
So i went up hill to the church...15 minutes by feet all up. And then i saw.....it's not a church, it is a monastry. But a monastry never is in a town center and so no bakery too.....it's as simple as that.
So 30 minutes climbing up and down ended up without bread.

We decided to head north inbound Bulgaria.....Serres, i got lost in the middle of Serres, centimeter by centimeter i drove the MH through the narrow roads....horror.
But finally we hit the road to Bulgaria passing the lion of Amfipoli.
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We stopped in Sidirokastro a little bit off road. In the mountains we found a Stellplatz.
N 41° 15' 47.1'' E 23° 24' 30.0''
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And being alone and enjoying the sun 2 shepherds came out of the bush.....running fastly. And many sheep followed. Some friendly words and the shepherds rushed away, sheep eat and walk with an enormous ground speed, it`s stunning.

And being alone again a car stopped, four women jumped out for smoking. And one of them was a Greek woman living in Munich....and a nice small talk started.
Tomorrow is election day in Greece and all the Greeks in Greece and in the world have to vote in that town, where they were born....nice system. All Greeks will be on road tomorrow. And foreigners even when they got a greek passport and became greek citizens are not allowed to vote.....may be in their town of birth but this is not in Greece.....heehee....nice trick, isn't it.

Last evening in Greece, we are becoming sad, only an Ouzo can help. Although, we now know why it is so easy to detect that we are Germans. The Boss simply asked a worker at Lidl, who spoke German fluently. He said....oh, this is easy, Germans never take plastic bags and are the only ones who buy "Bremer Kaffee"......oups, this is really easy.

Day 71.....18.5.2014......ten weeks on road now.......

.........and time for a short view back.

Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Crete and back.........not a single real problem, not with people nor with borders. The weather was mixed getting hot now step by step, so we will return slowly.
Greece is "the highlight" for feeling free and independant as a motorhomer. The further to the south the more friendly and relaxed the people are....we and the dog are enjoying it....and we are now heading north...grrrh.

And Greece did say "Good Bye" to us, the last night in Greece was not very conveniant. The place was really nice and we were alone and it was silent.....except the folk music festival 300 meter below us in a valley and the bongo drums!!! We had seen the pamphlets announcing the festival but we were not aware that it was 300 meter low in this abroad area. So we changed position in the middle of the night , a real important part of the "MH training". We found another Stellplatz some kilometers away in the darkness and slept well, till the signal horn of a passing car woke us up....at 6 o'clock.....but we had intended to start early, so what.

Bulgarian border, entering another world, but the first results of the new EU development are everywhere....rubbish containers, blue and green.
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The highlight of the day was the visit of the Rilski Manastir......fantastic, the monastry the most stunning i ever saw, a "must" for tourists.
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The rest of the tour today was more or less "bulgarian routine".....roads partially very difficult, i would not drive in the darkness. But being careful it was ok.

And we passed Sofia on a brandnew highway which ended in totally bad road, road constructions everywhere. I was a little bit tired from the last bongo-night and this forced me to stop at a new TIR Parking north of Sofia, which is safe, clean and costs 5 Euros. A little bit noisy but for transit quite allright. N 42° 46' 19.3'' E 23° 16' 30.1''....by the way, double room for one night is only 20 Euros, real good quality, but we refused to take a room without Rotti and preferred to stay in the car with Rotti...this is our home.
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Beer and sleeping would be ok now.

Day 72.....19.5.2014
Heading North again, we want to go to Romania but first we have to overcome the bulgarian roads, they are not too good and both we need to concentrate on driving. The bulgarian living standard itself is low.
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And we were happy to reach the bulgarian-romanian border, very impressive and brandnew EU-construction. We never have been in Romania before and after some kilometers the road conditions improved drastically.
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Next usable camping place was Camping Hercules in Mehadia, the panorama along the river Danube, which here is the serbian romanian border, was impressive.
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Day 73....20.5.2014

Quick decision...we will stay for 1 or 2 days, sunny day means washing day.....Rotti at once made had a new romanian friend, and i detected that the camp site owner was a German from Cologne, the town, where i was born:wave: . Too, i detected that we have the same feelings, when leaving "Northland"....we both feel a little bit more free :lol-053:
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22771

Bernd

PS: And.......some "Wildcampers" had been around, "iampatman" was here till Monday morning and we dropped in Monday evening.....MI, missed intercept..... what a pity, now i have to drink "Merkel's blood" by my own. :sad:

iampatman
20-05-2014, 17:25
Hey Bernd,
I'm really disappointed to have missed you and by just one day!! I guess I'll just have to drink my Spanish brandy on my own and leave you to your Merkel's Blood. We are at Breznic tonight, a little south west of Sofia. It was recommended as a camp site but in fact is a resort complex looking out over a dam, a beautiful setting. The people here took pity on us and let us park in their car park. An old lady insisted we had a shower (?) and took us to a shower room and gave us towels and soap and shampoo. We have just finished a meal in the restaurant,delicious and inexpensive to us. The roads in Bulgaria are AWFUL and not much better in Romania. We travelled the last 20 kilometres today on a road with big, big potholes, subsidence and I managed to damage the van AGAIN!! Tomorrow we set off for Campsite Razlog near Simitli (if it exists) and then on Thursday we will be in Greece - Yessssssss.
Maybe meet up with you another time,
take care, happy travels,
Pat
ps how did you know I had been at Baile Herculane?

rottiontour
20-05-2014, 19:13
Hey Bernd,
I'm really disappointed to have missed you and by just one day!! I guess I'll just have to drink my Spanish brandy on my own and leave you to your Merkel's Blood. We are at Breznic tonight, a little south west of Sofia. It was recommended as a camp site but in fact is a resort complex looking out over a dam, a beautiful setting. The people here took pity on us and let us park in their car park. An old lady insisted we had a shower (?) and took us to a shower room and gave us towels and soap and shampoo. We have just finished a meal in the restaurant,delicious and inexpensive to us. The roads in Bulgaria are AWFUL and not much better in Romania. We travelled the last 20 kilometres today on a road with big, big potholes, subsidence and I managed to damage the van AGAIN!! Tomorrow we set off for Campsite Razlog near Simitli (if it exists) and then on Thursday we will be in Greece - Yessssssss.
Maybe meet up with you another time,
take care, happy travels,
Pat
ps how did you know I had been at Baile Herculane?
hi, i asked NSA....no, only joking...i read your blog,great story. And to confirm i asked the campsite owner.
Have fun in Greece. We go back to GR in september.
Bernd

rottiontour
21-05-2014, 14:26
Well, you cannot foresee the events in your life....luckily.
This morning i played i little bit with a soccer ball, no challenges, no body contacts, absolutely nothing, only little funny playing....and my Achilles tendon broke. Definitely, all symptoms are there, i need no romanian doc for that.
So i can still walk...slowly..., and press car pedals, no problems using a lot of "Panzertape". And the Boss is taking over the recovery.
And tomorrow morning we start driving home.....Sunday arrival, Monday to doc in east Frisia and then....for 6 weeks i will be "grounded", probably.

So, not really a big deal, could be worse, and everything is still under control.

Thanks a lot for your comments and interest, it was really fun for me.

And now......reporting off station for RTB..... that`s life :lol-053:

Xalara
Bernd

iampatman
22-05-2014, 17:50
Hey Bernd,
Sorry to hear about your Achiles. Maybe that's God's way of telling you that you are too old to play with a football?
Speedy recovery and a safe journey home,
Pat

rottiontour
23-05-2014, 04:57
Hey Bernd,
Sorry to hear about your Achiles. Maybe that's God's way of telling you that you are too old to play with a football?
Speedy recovery and a safe journey home,
Pat

hi thank you, we are safe at the german border now. driving is easier than walking, heehee.
your blog is great, and with your blog we are in greece again.
xalara
bernd

horshamjack
23-05-2014, 06:30
We have enjoyed reading your post's Bernd
Wishing you a speedy recovery, and look forward to the next adventure of Rotiontour :nicethread:

rottiontour
30-05-2014, 16:46
10.000 kilometers, 11 countries, 11 weeks.....

Back to real life, 1900 km in 2 days, Romania, Hungaria, Austria, Germany, East Frisia......5 countries :lol-053: in 2 days....possible only with "Panzertape", i think you call it gaffer tape. You can repair with it everything, bumpers, plastik, water pipes, cables, bones and Achiles....and you can pull a tank (Panzer) with it. I learnt that "Panzertape" became the most important thing in my life, it stabilized my foot like concret and i could use the foot for acceleration and braking. And full speed was possible with the left foot :scared:.
I did a test, calculated the risk and decided to drive home (low risk) instead of going to a doctor anywhere in Romania (high risk).....and it worked. This method as well created no problems for the Boss, the dog and the MH.
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Today is the last evening in hospital, operation was done successfully and in 8 weeks we will start the preparation for the next tour. And one thing i will never forget to take it with me......PANZERTAPE!!
It can save lifes!!!

Have fun
Bernd

It was always nice to speak to you.:wave:

iampatman
30-05-2014, 17:21
Hi Bernd,
Glad the operation went well, speedy recovery too I hope.
Panzer (Gaffer) tape is the motorhomer's best friend. With that and cable ties you can last forever!!
Pat

Stanski
14-07-2014, 20:25
Guten Arbent Bernd,

I enjoyed your tale - although time prevented me from reading every word. During our holiday we shall read it more thoroughly.

We, my wife and I with small Cavalier King Charles, intend to set off to visit Greece via Italy this Thursday (17 July) for a 5 week tour. We have not over planned or prepared for the journey as we enjoy adventure so chose Greece as a target country to aim for. The return journey will be via Croatia, BiH Albania etc.

Youe sense of humour, relaxed manner and adventure is clearly felt through your words. Are you sure you were born in Cologne and have German Heritage?

This thread deserves to be recognised as one of note for future members to read.

Dankeshun

iampatman
14-07-2014, 20:45
Guten Arbent Bernd,

I enjoyed your tale - although time prevented me from reading every word. During our holiday we shall read it more thoroughly.

We, my wife and I with small Cavalier King Charles, intend to set off to visit Greece via Italy this Thursday (17 July) for a 5 week tour. We have not over planned or prepared for the journey as we enjoy adventure so chose Greece as a target country to aim for. The return journey will be via Croatia, BiH Albania etc.

Youe sense of humour, relaxed manner and adventure is clearly felt through your words. Are you sure you were born in Cologne and have German Heritage?

This thread deserves to be recognised as one of note for future members to read.

Dankeshun

Yes, you're right, it was a great thread and partially inspired us to travel to Greece also. We're in Venice now after travelling through Greece for six weeks. If you're interested you can PM me with your email address and I'll send you details of places we stopped in KML/KMZ format which you can open in Google Earth or MapsWithMe. Enjoy your Greek adventure,
Pat

Digdug
14-07-2014, 21:30
Hi Bernd, go for it! Crete is our favourite place in the world,lost count of the number of visits weve made (and the Cretan friends).Having just got our first motorhome -that is a journey we mean to make in the future. A site you may find useful is Explore Crete, lots of info on all subjects and a lot of ex-pat members too. Over the years, we have travelled the whole island from end to end, so been to most places.Highly recomend a visit to Frangokastelo- one of the most laid back places imaginable. Not far from there is Hora Sfakion-over-run by the Samaria gorge crows in the afternoon, but quite and a great place to eat in the evening -and much cheaper than the tourist resorts of the north coast. Keep us informed on your adventures -and drink a Raki for me! cheers -Steve

rottiontour
14-07-2014, 22:19
Guten Arbent Bernd,

I enjoyed your tale - although time prevented me from reading every word. During our holiday we shall read it more thoroughly.

We, my wife and I with small Cavalier King Charles, intend to set off to visit Greece via Italy this Thursday (17 July) for a 5 week tour. We have not over planned or prepared for the journey as we enjoy adventure so chose Greece as a target country to aim for. The return journey will be via Croatia, BiH Albania etc.

Youe sense of humour, relaxed manner and adventure is clearly felt through your words. Are you sure you were born in Cologne and have German Heritage?

This thread deserves to be recognised as one of note for future members to read.

Dankeshun

Thank you very much for your friendly comment.....yes, i´m sure, i was born in Cologne.
Do you know the difference between Cologne and Berlin?
In Berlin carnival is going on the whole year :banana:, in Cologne only 6 days....OMG what did i say.

Enjoy your trip to Greece and Balkan. Sitting in East Frisia with my last Ouzo bottle, i am green with envy.

I wish you a safe trip to "Mama Ellada"....kalo taxidi,

Bernd

rottiontour
14-07-2014, 22:31
Hi Bernd, go for it! Crete is our favourite place in the world,lost count of the number of visits weve made (and the Cretan friends).Having just got our first motorhome -that is a journey we mean to make in the future. A site you may find useful is Explore Crete, lots of info on all subjects and a lot of ex-pat members too. Over the years, we have travelled the whole island from end to end, so been to most places.Highly recomend a visit to Frangokastelo- one of the most laid back places imaginable. Not far from there is Hora Sfakion-over-run by the Samaria gorge crows in the afternoon, but quite and a great place to eat in the evening -and much cheaper than the tourist resorts of the north coast. Keep us informed on your adventures -and drink a Raki for me! cheers -Steve

Hi Steve,
thank you for the tip, explore crete looks very interesting. Just opened my last bottle of "real" Ouzo having tears in my eyes.
Mid September we go back to Greece to "re-supply" :tongue:

Regards
Bernd


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