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rottiontour
17-02-2015, 20:44
Three winter months at home were ok, all work done but sometimes I´m feeling like Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog day”, one day is like the other :cry:.
So, cold but sunny outside, ideal to pack the m/h. Plan is to leave “Punxsutawney/East Frisia” to go down to the palm trees of the Croatian coast, then Albania and Greece. It must be warm down there, palm trees know where to grow. We did a similar tour last spring and it was easy going, so we want to repeat it. The temperatures are raising slowly, good conditions for a tour right now.
Tonight the last Frisian beer, it´s a ritual. And tomorrow we will be “homeless” and…. “light the fires” …..:lol-053:
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Anyone else down in Greece for sticker spotting :cheers:?

Bernd

iampatman
17-02-2015, 20:58
Have a great trip down Bernd. We arrive in Igoumenitsa on the 24th April, don't drink all the Mythos before we get there!
Pat

silverweed
18-02-2015, 07:48
Looking forward to hearing more

rottiontour
18-02-2015, 18:56
Have a great trip down Bernd. We arrive in Igoumenitsa on the 24th April, don't drink all the Mythos before we get there!
Pat

Hi Pat,
we intend to stay till end of may, may be one or two Mythos will be left :o

Have fun
Be

rottiontour
18-02-2015, 19:10
Hi Bernd
Lucky you to be on your travels again.
Do you use the same route through Germany?
Have you got a destination in mind?
John

Hi John,
presently we are in Celle, very nice town.
The plan is to go via Hannover, Kassel, Würzburg, Ulm, Munich, Salzburg, Villach, Grado and then looking out for palms.
We think the weather along the coastal road will be ok, we will see.
And in Greece....initially we want to go to Ancient Corinth. There is a simple but usable Aire close to the town, very friendly owners and good for Rottie. The beach is about 7 km away, well, i am not a real "beach boy":D
We want to stay there some (more) days, till the weather will improve, it´s tarmac ground ...and then cruise through Greece. But all is matter of minute to minute change, no plan, no Groundhog Days anymore :wacko:

Have fun
Bernd

snowbirds
19-02-2015, 05:20
Enjoy your trip Bernd sounds Great.:wave::lol-053:

Snowbirds.



Three winter months at home were ok, all work done but sometimes I´m feeling like Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog day”, one day is like the other :cry:.
So, cold but sunny outside, ideal to pack the m/h. Plan is to leave “Punxsutawney/East Frisia” to go down to the palm trees of the Croatian coast, then Albania and Greece. It must be warm down there, palm trees know where to grow. We did a similar tour last spring and it was easy going, so we want to repeat it. The temperatures are raising slowly, good conditions for a tour right now.
Tonight the last Frisian beer, it´s a ritual. And tomorrow we will be “homeless” and…. “light the fires” …..:lol-053:
27838

Anyone else down in Greece for sticker spotting :cheers:?

Bernd

rottiontour
19-02-2015, 19:06
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Routine Tour on highway down to South via Celle, a wonderful town at the southern edge of “Lüneburger Heide”, On way to Celle many “Wildcampers” at the B 214….or Night Hawks?? There must be a nest.....:scared:
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Anyway, we did not intend to park next by, let the ladies do their job, we used the Stellplatz in Celle. Generally a cost free Stellplatz with good supply but no electricity. Unfortunately the supply facility was “down” because of vandalism, not the first time we have seen this in Northland. But the Stellplatz is well situated and good to visit the nice town.
Apropos Northland….many Southland people are “chilling” in the sun, enjoying life, so sometimes we got the impression to have reached Southland already, but…..after three hours drive??,… and, where are the palm trees? :rolleyes2:

We decided to believe only in palm trees and continued driving next morning…again highway heading South.
Between Hannover and Göttingen many of the highway parkings have special space only for m/homes….this must be new, i never saw this before, a very good idea.

We stayed overnight at Hannoversch Münden, a beautiful old town at the southern edge of Lower Saxony with a very good Stellplatz closed to the beginning of the river Weser. The rivers Fulda and Werra are joining at Hannoversch Münden and building the young Weser…I did not know that, hmmh.
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The Stellplatz is great, 6 Euros, full supply and electricity, very clean and close to town, so a dog walk downtown is always possible.

Some evening impressions of Hannoversch Münden, it´s worth a visit……
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Very nice old houses but doggie and me we were really happy to return to the warm m/h. It was 2 C outside and windy….brrrh. But the town was great.
And back in the car…..a good working Truma, a hot drink and a hot meal were a good help to guarantee a cozy evening at the young Weser in deep February.

Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
21-02-2015, 17:27
Day 3……best weather. The night was a little busy, at one o’clock a young man with an old loud Golf car drove up and down the parking place….nice hobby.
After 30 minutes driving up and down he got tired, parked the car and slept….hmmh.
And at 3 o’clock Rottie got nervous, I let her out and she disappeared in “Rottie mode” into the darkness so i had to run after her in my sleeping clothes...grrrh....and then I saw her…..trying to catch ducks….. dxmnxd baxxard.
But the rest of the night was ok and in the morning lovely sun.
And the people here are very friendly and open minded, we had more small talks in one day than in one winter month with the neighbours at home :rolleyes2:.
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On the highway to South I saw a touristic sign with “Point Alpha”. Ok, the weather was brilliant, and the hilly Rhön area with Point Alpha was unknown to us, so …deviation to East.
Point Alpha is an American Border Observation Camp used during Cold War Time as Forward Post, now a museum right on top of the former border within the famous “Fulda Gap”.
It was very interesting for us to visit the museum and see the relicts of the Cold War and the Inner German Border…..the observation tower of the US Army, the border tower of the former GDR and National Peoples Army and the IGB itself.
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I guess lockers of soldiers do look the same everywhere in the world……
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And Cold Warriors too……
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and the “Capitalistic” observation tower seen out of “Communistic” perspective.
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And the m/h behind the Iron Curtain, the “Anti-Imperialistic-Protection-Wall”.
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Well, nice museum, and before becoming more nostalgic :sad: we drove to a Stellplatz in Tann, nice area, nice Stellplatz, 5 Euros and full supply…..and no ducks!!
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Day 4….Snowy Day

Bad weather, drizzle all the time, so take off as soon as possible.
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We want to visit the “Wasserkuppe”, the highest mountain of the Rhön area and a traditional and famous glider area with an old early warning radar, we never were here, but……fog, snow, and many tourists….weekend. Not my game so we skipped the plan and headed South again, ok, we have been here now.
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In Aalen we found a wet but cost free and clean Stellplatz with all supply and electricity, ok for one night.
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Not really the best weather for a walk outside so the day will be finished with a beer.
Rottie seems to be glad to stay inside the warm and dry m/h. By the way, this box is the best place to store the little cash, moving of a 43 kilo Rottie could be burglar`s last fun :lol-049:.
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:cheers:

Bernd

snowbirds
21-02-2015, 17:54
Hi Bernd,

Great pictures and routes very interesting keep them coming,looks like the dog is enjoying the trip.

Regards Snowbirds.:dance:



Day 3……best weather. The night was a little busy, at one o’clock a young man with an old loud Golf car drove up and down the parking place….nice hobby.
After 30 minutes driving up and down he got tired, parked the car and slept….hmmh.
And at 3 o’clock Rottie got nervous, I let her out and she disappeared in “Rottie mode” into the darkness so i had to run after her in my sleeping clothes...grrrh....and then I saw her…..trying to catch ducks….. dxmnxd baxxard.
But the rest of the night was ok and in the morning lovely sun.
And the people here are very friendly and open minded, we had more small talks in one day than in one winter month with the neighbours at home :rolleyes2:.
27878

On the highway to South I saw a touristic sign with “Point Alpha”. Ok, the weather was brilliant, and the hilly Rhön area with Point Alpha was unknown to us, so …deviation to East.
Point Alpha is an American Border Observation Camp used during Cold War Time as Forward Post, now a museum right on top of the former border within the famous “Fulda Gap”.
It was very interesting for us to visit the museum and see the relicts of the Cold War and the Inner German Border…..the observation tower of the US Army, the border tower of the former GDR and National Peoples Army and the IGB itself.
27879 27880 27881

I guess lockers of soldiers do look the same everywhere in the world……
27882

And Cold Warriors too……
27883

and the “Capitalistic” observation tower seen out of “Communistic” perspective.
27884

And the m/h behind the Iron Curtain, the “Anti-Imperialistic-Protection-Wall”.
27885

Well, nice museum, and before becoming more nostalgic :sad: we drove to a Stellplatz in Tann, nice area, nice Stellplatz, 5 Euros and full supply…..and no ducks!!
27886 27887 27888

Day 4….Snowy Day

Bad weather, drizzle all the time, so take off as soon as possible.
27889

We want to visit the “Wasserkuppe”, the highest mountain of the Rhön area and a traditional and famous glider area with an old early warning radar, we never were here, but……fog, snow, and many tourists….weekend. Not my game so we skipped the plan and headed South again, ok, we have been here now.
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In Aalen we found a wet but cost free and clean Stellplatz with all supply and electricity, ok for one night.
27892

Not really the best weather for a walk outside so the day will be finished with a beer.
Rottie seems to be glad to stay inside the warm and dry m/h. By the way, this box is the best place to store the little cash, moving of a 43 kilo Rottie could be burglar`s last fun :lol-049:.
27893

:cheers:

Bernd

Namder
21-02-2015, 18:27
Rottiontour, I don't know you or your dog but as a dog lover I'm concerned that you think it's ok to let a rottweiler(I assume that's what it is) or any other size dog go out of your van without a lead. It would be foolish in the UK, and illegal but in a foreign country who knows what can happen. If I saw it in the distance whilst walking my small dog I would have to detour and hope it hadn't seen me. Please, if you love your dog, be more responsible.

rottiontour
21-02-2015, 18:53
Rottiontour, I don't know you or your dog but as a dog lover I'm concerned that you think it's ok to let a rottweiler(I assume that's what it is) or any other size dog go out of your van without a lead. It would be foolish in the UK, and illegal but in a foreign country who knows what can happen. If I saw it in the distance whilst walking my small dog I would have to detour and hope it hadn't seen me. Please, if you love your dog, be more responsible.

hi Namder,
see your point, but believe me, there was absolutely no danger. It was in the middle of the night, the area and parking were illuminated, no person at all in vicinity, nobody.
And the dog is trained by me and totally obeying to my commands, always. She does not approach persons or dogs if i do not allow.
And i allowed her to run down to the dark river which was 50 meters away. And she never killed any other animal, no dogs, no cats, no chicken although she likes to run after them but if she gets one she never touches it. And ducks seem to be great fun, always flying away with much noise. Ok....poor ducks, but they will survive and will get no trauma.
And if you meet my dog with your one, believe me, the dogs will have much fun and no offense will happen.


Bernd

dave docwra
21-02-2015, 22:40
I hope you have a licence for him to drive :lol-053:

Namder
22-02-2015, 09:24
hi Namder,
see your point, but believe me, there was absolutely no danger. It was in the middle of the night, the area and parking were illuminated, no person at all in vicinity, nobody.
And the dog is trained by me and totally obeying to my commands, always. She does not approach persons or dogs if i do not allow.
And i allowed her to run down to the dark river which was 50 meters away. And she never killed any other animal, no dogs, no cats, no chicken although she likes to run after them but if she gets one she never touches it. And ducks seem to be great fun, always flying away with much noise. Ok....poor ducks, but they will survive and will get no trauma.
And if you meet my dog with your one, believe me, the dogs will have much fun and no offense will happen.


Bernd

I still maintain that you are being irresponsible. Your dog may be the most obedient, softest dog in the world but I wouldn't know that when I'm out walking my dog(on a lead). You already stated that it chases ducks, can't you see how that looks to a passer-by. People that are nervous of dogs would be scared witless confronted by a rottweiler chasing ducks with no owner present. There is a further issue of dog poo not being cleaned up if the dog is not with its owner.
Please be sensible and keep your dog on a lead when outside of your van. I believe in Greece as in most other countries the police carry guns. I'd hope that they wouldn't shoot first when confronted with an unaccompanied rottweiler and ask questions later. But don't risk the life of your loved companion.

John

mlynnf50
22-02-2015, 12:35
Rottiontour, I don't know you or your dog but as a dog lover I'm concerned that you think it's ok to let a rottweiler(I assume that's what it is) or any other size dog go out of your van without a lead. It would be foolish in the UK, and illegal but in a foreign country who knows what can happen. If I saw it in the distance whilst walking my small dog I would have to detour and hope it hadn't seen me. Please, if you love your dog, be more responsible.

It is the norm in European countries to walk dogs off the lead, they seem to be better trained than in the uk, maybe because they are trained from very young to be obediant, here in France its very rare to see a dog on a leash, I was upset about it when we first moved here, but in tbe 10 years ive been here I have never seen a dog fight or a dog run over.

rottiontour
22-02-2015, 17:43
I still maintain that you are being irresponsible. ....

John

Sorry John, but i cannot aggree in that for what you are trying to blame me. And i feel a little bit "educated", very late in my life :cry:.
But i do not have a real problem with that cause as i said, i see your point and i can respect it because you have your good reasons and experiences, but i have mine as well and a compromise obviously is very difficult. So i will avoid further comments cause it would be much better to do this face to face and not by anonymous writings.
Up to now i had hundreds of discussions concerning my Rottweiler dog, the race, the aggressiveness and even about my character as a Rottweiler owner, i know, i´m a "bad guy" . And all discussions were without result due to "cognitive obstacles"....may be on my side too. So please understand that i do not want to continue this discussion here and now.
But i can assure you that up to now not a single human being, dog or other animal was endangered or even hurted by our Rottweilers, this Rottie girl is the fifth. And we never had complains. And my dog is on leash if it is requested by the situation and off leash when we are alone and nobody is around....i mean it as i said...alone!

Btw, i often was asked why i have a Rottweiler, there are so many dog races without "justification problems" for me. The answer is simple.....many years ago i had an accident, both hands severly hurted. And i walked with my hurted hands through a nice and peaceful town and i was stopped by two drunken men, who knocked me down without reason, simply to have fun. And i could not defend myself, cause my hands were hurted. After the attack my eye was hurted and my nose broken, sometimes life is not very fair.
This was the moment, when i sweared that never ever somebody will touch my skin without permission. And the best defence against guys looking for bad fun is a real guard dog. And for me rottweilers are the best.
And believe me it is easier being discriminated as a "rottweiler owner with a disturbed character" than being knocked down a second time.....please, i did not say you did so, i think your comments are fair.

So i will finish my comments on this matter now and continue with some stories about my Greek travel.
And the reason for me to travel heading southeast is very simple, the further i come down southeast... away from "Northland", the more relaxed the people are. On the whole Balkan including Greece we never had a bad remark concerning the dog and me as owner, no panic, no hystery, no bad comments, nothing.
This is one of the main reasons, why i like the Balkan, me and my dog we are free and respected as what we are, it´s as simply as that. And Northland and all its problems are far away, i like that.
So, have fun with reading....or not.

Kind regards

Bernd

rottiontour
22-02-2015, 21:13
transmission problems, i´ll do it again

rottiontour
22-02-2015, 21:20
something seems to be wrong with the pictures, do not know what, sorry.

Tonight we are parked up on the camp site Thöni just underneath of the Resia Lake dam.
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We changed the plan for routing due to snowy conditions; priority target is “to reach the sun”. So we skipped the eastern routing via Salzburg, Villach to Grado and we want to cross the Alps today and tomorrow to reach Meran, Bolzano and Lago di Garda, it´s warmer there.
And yes, we used a camping site :scared:. There was no Stellplatz available and no free space to park because of the snow. But this camp site is ok, 22 Euros per night, all including is an average price and acceptable.

The snow started already in Bavaria, and the cars on the highway got more and more on both sides. It´s Sunday, change in Hotels, 1100 is the time to leave and 1300 is the time to get the hotel room, so “the changing traffic”.
And here always is tourist traffic, winter is season for skiing, spring and autumn are seasons for surfing at Lago di Garda and summer is holiday season. So the roads during the weekends always are full. And a lot of Dutch people are on the roads, amazing, Netherlands must be empty now.
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Resia pass up hill was a little bit more quiet. No cars in front of me :lol-053: but all behind me, the view into the mirror was frustrating :scared:. But driving presently is as easy as in summer, the road conditions are fantastic.
And reaching the Resia Lake was stunning too, all frozen, all white, we never saw that lake frozen.
The church tower of the old “under water village”, which has been evacuated, when the dam was built, is still in its position, great.
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Camping Thöni is a nice one, we hide behind a wall to be protected against the wind.
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Walking with the dog we detected a wolf´s chapel. A man built this chapel to thank for his luck to be able to escape from a wolf’s pack.
Wolves are rare nowadays in this area, but I detected one at the chapel….a "Blackwolf", Lupus Canis Familiaris... a single one, a little bit too fat and absolutely dissatisfied with the snow.
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Time for hot drinks now, tomorrow we will make Italy and loose Internet. Coming back soon.

Have fun

Bernd

iampatman
22-02-2015, 21:30
Hi Bernd,
When you "come back soon" don't forget to repost those pictures. Especially the wolf!
Happy travels,
Pat

Channelcrosser
23-02-2015, 07:58
Hi Bernd,

yes we are in Greece now. At Stavros, a small fishing village about 80 miles east of Thessalonika. Unfortunately it is raining today and 10 degrees. Temps have been disappointing but when the sun shines it is pleasantly warm.

We took your route from Igoumenitsa to Thessalonika!! Have you ever done it in February?? We hit a low of minus 10 degrees and were fortunate that the mountain pass at 1800 metres was clear of snow otherwise it is a long way back.

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Lets hope the really good sunshine arrives soon. Who said HOT HOT HOT cos its NOT NOT NOT !!!

Channelcrosser

rottiontour
23-02-2015, 18:24
Hi Channelcrosser, you must have good nerves. Pindos in Feb is brrrh.
But winter is short in Greece, you will have hope :bow:.

We had last night on Resia Pass in Italy -8 C and 1700 meters later (vertically)near Trento +22 C, thanks God.

Enjoy Greece and good luck

Bernd

rottiontour
23-02-2015, 20:32
Tonight we are in Peschiera, Lago di Garda, and lucky to have internet again.
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Good place here in Peschiera, room for about 80 m/homes and tonight only 5 m/h here. 15 Euros all incl (dump, water, electricity, wifi, toilets and shower), very modern and close to town.

Yesterday evening we had 2 C plus at 2000, but this morning -8 C :scared:. But a fantastic morning view, however snow is not really my game.
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And 1700 meters later (vertically), near Trento, we caught the early spring, 22 C in the sun, lovely.
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On heading south we took a detour along Lago di Garda and drove the Gardesana Orientale, the eastern road along the lake, which is more picturesque than the western tunnel road.
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The weather was a bit hazy but not uncomfortable and we knew that we were on the right track.
And finally we saw this….
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PALM TREES!!! :lol-053: :lol-053: :lol-053: We made it, we are in Southland now. Next plan will be....heading East towards Triest.

Have fun

Bernd

rottiontour
25-02-2015, 18:41
"On the seventh day you shall stay in bed :sleep-040:"....who said that?

In the morning we decided on very short notice base to be lazy and have a one day break.
Rainy day but really interesting, we played Camper’s most favorite game…..observing people.
There was an Italian couple with 2 English Bulldogs, lovely dogs, we immediately ran out to feed the dogs with goodies and had a nice chat with the Italians.
And there were 4 Dutch supercars, all together about 750000 Euros. The whole Sosta was free but they parked in a small corner, displacement about one meter in between the m/homes….i must admit, really good drivers.
And the guy from the land of poets and thinkers…..obviously unable to read. There was a big sign with a picture which said “do not empty your loo into the WC”. But he could not read it, so he did. Well I guess, the school system of that Northland was better 60 years ago.
And the Sosta chief….he had the best job. Once per day he showed up to empty the cash machine and collected the money for the parking tickets, the rest of the Sosta is running fully automatically.

Next morning we wanted to continue driving and I went to the cash machine to pay the ticket. Very easy job…..put in the ticket, fill the machine with cash, take the ticket back and drive to the barrier. Then insert the ticket at the barrier and it will open. But…..not for me, the automat said “your ticket is not paid” ….what??? I just inserted 26,60 Euros into that blxxdy machine.
So what to to……searching for telephone numbers in the little bureau, ineffective, nothing at the walls.
Taking the telephone number out of my Stellplatz book….it did not exist.
But just in that moment of deepest desperation we got help from an old Italian bicycle rider. He saw that we had a problem and took his bike and rode to the house of the Sosta owner and told him to show up at his Sosta.
During the time we were waiting for the owner I tried to imagine his face……too stupid to operate the cash automat, eehh? Or..... do you try to pxss off without paying, I know that trick.....:scared:
After 5 minutes a very elegant “Sir” in a very elegant car appeared and asked me very friendly what my problem was. I explained it to him and he said “this is not a problem” opened the barrier and said “have a safe trip”….and we drove out, wow.

And this is my first impression of North Italy…..well dressed people, very friendly and relaxed, nice and clean towns, good roads and car drivers who are taking care of the other drivers and….good cappuccino coffee.
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We stayed overnight at a Sosta in Lido di Jesolo…10 Euros all incl. The huge beach is in a distance of 300 meters and still in “winter mode”, so we had the whole beach for us, Rottie enjoyed.
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:wave:
Bernd

rottiontour
01-03-2015, 16:07
In the North winter and snow and here sun and blue sky, so we decided to stay another day in Lido di Jesolo, bicycle day with “spring feeling”…….:D
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Next day drive to Grado, Sosta parking near the beach….
Grado is interesting “Laguna Town” connected with a long road over a dam…..
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And Grado has two Sostas, one for 16 Euros, all incl, and one next by for 4 Euros and dump and water is possible at the other one for 4 Euros. So 8 Euros without electricity or 16 Euros with electricity….hmmh, I have batteries.
And the parking is ok …..
Next morning we were surrounded by 10 m/homes, obviously a meeting. And 3 of them emptied their loo into the bush behind the parking…..30 %, is this the average of m/home-pigs :scared:? Hope not.

Anyway, crossing Slovenia….the green Slovenian hills still were brown….and we arrived at Croatia without needing a vignette.
The large town of Rijeka is not looking very nice, harbor town.
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But after Rijeka the coastal road to South, the “Jadranska Magistrale” was absolutely great and in a good condition.
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A typical strong wind, the “Bura” or “Bora” was falling down from the hills to the sea. Many road sign are indicating that the bora could be dangerous for large cars so we drove very carefully. And a Croatian once told us, if the bora is blowing strongly snakes would come down the hills to warm up on the tarmac of the roads.
To be protected against the wind we tried to find a Stellplatz behind the castle of Senj but after some time we detected the halogen lights used for illumination of the castle at night……not really what we wanted for the night, being roasted by halogen lamps.
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So we continued driving for some kilometers and found a nice overnight parking, very lonely and suitable for the dog too.
This is what we like….the Balkan, lonely and beautiful.
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The coastal road from Rijeka to Zadar is stunning, fascinating rough region and south of Zadar the area is becoming smoother again….and has more camp sites.
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But no camp sites open yet and because we needed some dump and supply we drove a little bit up hill to Lozovac and Camp Marina.
The owner is living permanently at the site and so it is open all the year….11 Euros all inclusive and a very good basis for a visit of the Krka water falls, we visited the waterfalls already last year so overnight and supply only is ok.
A little illuminated reindeer is still left from x-mas time, winter is just passing away.
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Have fun

Bernd

snowbirds
01-03-2015, 16:21
Thanks Bernd,

Great pictures looks like you are enjoying the trip.:lol-053::cool:

Snowbirds.

mlynnf50
01-03-2015, 18:43
Really look forward to hearing about your trip, Have a great time, looks good. Cant wait for the next episode. x

rottiontour
03-03-2015, 16:31
Two threads presently in the forum about "strange English sentences".....this one will be the third :cry:


Sunday evening, 1. March……..

After sunset I took the dog for a walk down to a footpath through the lonely hills.
Some hundred meters downhill in the bush the dog stopped, looked at me, turned, walked back, stopped, looked at me and continued walking back home….obviously trying to convince me to follow and leave that place.
From time to time she had shown this behaviour and always it had been a warning to me that a potential threat was near by and it would be better to disappear and stop all provocation. At home in the Frisian forest I twice saw the reason, once a wild pig and once a fox, all about in 10 meters distance. The senses of my dog are thousand times better than mine, so I trusted her this time again without “discussion” and both we went back to the m/home.

And late in the night I did the “last” walk with the dog through the fields and suddenly she went “on alert”, standing high up and pointing with her body towards a bush. I took her on leash and illuminated the bush with my lamp and I saw two eyes reflecting the light….a stray dog observing us, the first one during this travel. I approached the dog carefully but he was very shy, a young dog like a small shepherd. He was very interested in us but always evading. I left some goodies on the ground for him and went back to m/h.

In the morning I asked the site owner what type of animals would be living here in the fields.
He answered…wild pigs, fox, rabbits, a sort of wild dogs like coyotes, even some wolves coming down the mountains from time to time and since some weeks a young stray dog.
And during the morning walk Rottie examined very intensively the area, which she avoided yesterday…….clever dog, and very sensitive as all dogs are, you only must be able to understand what they are “telling” to you.

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2nd March, Monday.

After a slow 4 hrs ride along the Makarska Riviera we are parked up at Camp Male Ciste.

A little shopping in a local supermarket was not too expensive…..2 half liter cans of beer, one large bread, one large cherry cookie and a box of cigarettes ….normal breakfast?? :scared:….. for about 6,50 Euros. In Germany that would cost about 11 Euros.
And the Diesel price is affordable as well, about 1,25 Euros.
The Makarska Riviera looks a little bit like the Italian Riviera or the Cote d’Azur but is not so overcrowded with people.
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The coastal road is in a very good condition, easy to drive and really worth to see and many picnic parking were built next by the road.
Unfortunately the weather was bad, rainy evening, however, good for one of the two cans of Croatian beer haha.
The dog is not a real “beach girl”, she does not like her “own island”, but the camp is ok and the Stellplatz is really beautiful.
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Tuesday, 3rd March

During the night heavy rain and storm, we thought the m/home starts floating away.
But in the morning a fantastic view out of the hab door………
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….and we decided to spend the day in the sun, the tour through the “dark Balkan” was pure stress up to now …..or the Croatian beer? Haha
And we are the only guests so no reason for spreading out beach towels to build up an empire in the middle of the night :lol-053:.
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Doggie enjoyed the sun too and made a new friend….. Monty, the big black dog of the CP owners, sometimes they looked like Romeo and Julia.
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Anyway…..the first real summer day of the year, sun glasses were paramount :cool:.

On the neighboring ground suddenly some noise started, obviously a new apartment house was under construction. Immediately the CP owners went to the builders and told them to stop the works because of the noise level and the guests….we!! And with some questions marks in their faces the builders took care, stopped working and went away.
But we thought that there was no reason to hamper the Croatian economy and we told them, no problem with us, continue to work…..and the workers were glad, the owners were glad and we had some more friends…...and got some freshly baked bread from the CP owner, great taste, great day.
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And now it´s time for the second can of Croatian beer….lazy sunny evening...and the CP site owner is just coming with a home made cherry liqueur....what a stress:lol-053:.

:cheers:

Bernd

iampatman
03-03-2015, 17:22
Not much further now Bernd. Montenegro then Albania/Macedonia and you're there!!
Pat

rottiontour
03-03-2015, 17:30
Not much further now Bernd. Montenegro then Albania/Macedonia and you're there!!
Pat

I can smell the Ouzo.....

mlynnf50
04-03-2015, 07:34
Love it, the scenery is lovely, your dog is well chilled, wish mine was the same, I have a cocker Spaniel and although being socialised, is just so frightened of everything.

Keep the diary coming I love reading it and wait each morning for the next installment.

rottiontour
05-03-2015, 15:47
Wednesday 4th March

In the morning the sky was cloudy, good weather for driving. The CP owners of Camping Male Ciste (10 Euros per night, all incl, plus wifi, nice and very clean) were a little bit sad that we left and black Monty was really sad to say good bye to Lara, he observed us permanently till we left the place….bye Monty, we will come back soon and you will meet Lara again :sad:.
28256

Today`s plan was to visit Dubrovnik, the old Ragusa….my edition of MS Autoroute must be very old.
To reach Dubrovnik we had to cross over a little portion of Bosnia-Hercegowina.
28257

The border crossing was easy and the customs officer was only interested in the Rottie….aah, Rottweiler…. he said with respect. And 4 young men at the road smiled at the Rottie, well, we are not used to such attitude in Northland and we are very happy to be on Balkan.
Up to now this was an easy tour no problems at all with overnight places, all road conditions were ok and no problems at the borders. Last year we did the same tour and made the same experience, Croatia is an “easy going country.”.
We made all routes to Greece up to now, via Italy and ferry, via Autoput and Serbia, via Romania and Bulgaria and via Croatia and Albania.
The ferry route is easy but at least 18 hrs on a ship is not our game, Autoput is ok, a very fast landline but a bit boring. Romania and Bulgaria are very interesting and you stay in EU but especially the road condition in Bulgaria is a mess.
And this coastal road via Croatia is not the fastest method, you must have a little bit time, but it is so easy to drive and many beautiful locations are along the road, it is our favorite route to Greece.
2825928258

In the afternoon I started a trial to find an overnight place in Dubrovnik to visit the old town. But driving through Dubrovnik was not a big pleasure…..full, full, full…..and so we turned away and continued on the Magistrale. Ok, Dubrovnik is worth a visit, but we know it already and we avoided the stress, good bye Dubrovnik.
28260

Tonight we are parked up at Camping Kate in Mlini, some kilometers south of Dubrovnik. We visited that place last year and we knew that the place will open officially in April, but last year in March we met a garden worker on the CP and he told us, there is no problem to stay. So we did the same procedure today and we were successful. The site was still closed but we met the same garden worker and he told us, there is no problem to stay. And the best…the owner came, said parking is cost free for us cause we are the first guests this year.
Very friendly and because “Balkan rules” are applicable, we gave a little gift back, a little bottle of German “Kräuterschnaps”, I called it “Merkel´s Blood”….old joke, I know, but the site owner was really amused.
28261

Camping Kate in Mlini is a very clean place, about 10-15 Euros all incl… i guess, haha. And Mlini is near, down the hill, a very nice town with a regular boat service to Dubrovnik, I think a boat is a real good method to visit Dubrovnik without car and without stress.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Below the Balkan Low

It was a hard night, heavy thunderstorm and rain to maximum extend. In the early morning hours I moved the car to a solid ground and turned it out of the strong wind, everything was wet, wet, wet.
For the morning supply I pulled on my rain suit, old motorbike leather trousers and rubber shoes….it did not help, I got wet up to the skin, so what. The site owner and the garden worker came to see if we did survive the storm, friendly guys, … we are Northlanders, eh.

All the day long storm and rain, we saw in the morning TV that a Balkan Low was just overhead so at least 4 days good fun.... arrgh.

28262

We decided to fight our way through to Greece although driving was a little bit risky due to water and storm. Our next target was to reach Petrovac in Montenegro there we knew an open Stellplatz but…….rain, flood and storm.
2826428263

The bay of Kotor, well, sometimes a lovely place…..
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The flood got more and more on all roads and in the early afternoon we had a total stop, all roads closed due to severe damages.
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So we reached the final point, road blocked……
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….and had to turn back. We sat in the middle of the wx trap, luckily we have time enough as retirees :wave:
On the road back I saw a big furniture market with concrete high!! parking and....free wifi;). I asked the girls inside if it would be possible to stay overnight on the parking….no problem….and so we had the first bad weather abort. Even the dog refused to go out for a “P”…incredible luxus lady.
So what, we will survive, I guess, a high solid parking, wifi, sufficient diesel, gas, food and beer, ;)
And we heard that in Northland the weather will improve drastically…..fxxk!!

So, have fun in the good northern weather

Bernd

mlynnf50
06-03-2015, 07:58
Sounds like fun, ..... We have been having strong winds here in the Alps too but no rain. I am just loving your blog... i am reading from my lovely warm bed....cant wait for next instalment.

rottiontour
06-03-2015, 19:08
Sounds like fun, ..... We have been having strong winds here in the Alps too but no rain. I am just loving your blog... i am reading from my lovely warm bed....cant wait for next instalment.

Hi,
thank you for your friendly comments....we did just arrive in Greece, feeling back home now :D, one long ride through Albania, i must admit not really our country, so we drove till reaching Greece. Wx bad, rain and storm, but had a good diner in a taverna in Kalpaki, first eve with a diner it´s a ritual, hehe. More later....after compensation of the red vine:o

Have fun in the Alps,

Bernd

rottiontour
07-03-2015, 22:55
Day 17…..and no rain anymore. All weather forecasts were "bull....", it was sunny outside and a lot of fresh snow on the hills. Monte-Negro should be renamed to Monte-Bianco, this would be more correct….not only politically, I think :lol-053:.
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All roads free again and we decided to visit the southern corner of MN and to drive through Albania to Greece.
MN is an interesting country, it is neither member of EU nor of Euro currency zone but the Euro is the only and valid currency. I wonder how they manage this without Mario Draghis permission…… and the prices are low. Diesel 1,08….bread 0,70…..zigarettes 1,50, sorry that I only mention these vital goods.
The whole country seems to be “under construction”, many unfinished houses and I saw more Porsche Cayennes in one day than I saw in my homeland in one year….amazing, obviously there is “another life possible”, outside the EU.
283132831428315

Ulcinj and Bar are real touristy areas and full of cars and people and Land´s End of Tito´s ex-country is really a little bit the end of the world. We had to drive a big “U” to reach a border point to Albania.

The roads in this area are usable and not too bad and the border crossing to Albania on a minor road South of Lake Shkoder happens without a single problem.
2831628317

We entered “Skiptari” and again we had to admit that Albania is not our favorite country. The country is dirty, the dirtiest country of the Balkans at all, loads of rubbish everywhere, incredible. The road conditions in Albania are different, the minor roads are a catastrophe, but the major transit roads are generally ok. Many modern filling stations, credit cards are accepted and for a transit we did not need Albanian money. So we managed to drive 350 kilometers from North to South in 6 hours, however, this is possible only in daylight and it´s not very difficult…..if you pay attention and hit the correct road. On a wrong road you might get lost in space. So Albania is a challenge but not a difficulty or a threat. And the police must have the order to let all tourists pass through without control. In all police check points they showed clearly to us that we might continue driving.
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We passed Tirana, Durres, Fier and drove southeast via Girokaster, which is the drug production center of Europe, little Columbia.
In the evening we arrived at Greece and stopped at a taverna in Kalpaki for a Greek diner and an overnight parking.

Saturday, March 07, 2015…..day 18

It was a real Greek morning, a farmer saw the Rottie, stopped and said that he had two Rottweilers too, good dogs. And he had worked 6 years in Germany and spoke to me in German.
And I saw a WW II museum next by…..no. no. I do not mention the war….., which was built as memorial of OXI day, the NO day or refusal day, when the Greeks said no to an ultimatum of the Italians, and the Italian troops entered Greece and the Greeks resisted in this area successfully and pushed back the Italians. Very interesting photos, documents and equipment, a little diamond.
This OXI day is celebrated every year in October with big parades.
And the best for me was, I saw two soldiers sitting lonely in the museum and I winked to them. They came out immediately and invited me for a private briefing in OXI day museum in English….great guys, I thanked them with two little bottles of “Merkel´s blood” and they could not stop laughing :lol-053:.
And this first day in Greece expresses exactly what it means….Greece is so different and a lovely country.
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During the drive I recognized a problem with the car. The ventilator of the loo was not working, not a big problem, but……
So I contacted the m/home garage of Zampetas in Thessaloniki for repair and Zampetas answered, no problem, we will fix it on Monday, come in.
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On way to Thessaloniki we found a nice overnight place at a big bridge near Theotokos but suddenly a police car came. I asked the police officers if there is a problem to stay overnight. They answered, generally not, but this area is used for drug trafficking. The Albanians climb over the mountains with rucksacks full of marihuana and try to import the drugs to Greece :scared:.
And if we do not want to come into contact with the "brothers of Mary Jane" it would be better to stay overnight in the next village. All would be safe there.
And so we did and parked the car in front of a little old taverna, had a cold beer and discussions about Albania and the owner “Mama Lokanta” offered free wifi to us……..the first day in Greece, a little bit magic.

Have fun

Bernd

mlynnf50
08-03-2015, 07:18
Wow' bet your glad you didnt camp there, will have to remember that one. Husband says I have a great imagination, says I should write a book...lol

snowbirds
08-03-2015, 09:24
Hi Bernd,

Great report sounds like you are enjoying your self down there and the Rottie too,keep the reports coming and the great pictures.

Regards Snowbirds.




Wednesday 4th March

In the morning the sky was cloudy, good weather for driving. The CP owners of Camping Male Ciste (10 Euros per night, all incl, plus wifi, nice and very clean) were a little bit sad that we left and black Monty was really sad to say good bye to Lara, he observed us permanently till we left the place….bye Monty, we will come back soon and you will meet Lara again :sad:.
28256

Today`s plan was to visit Dubrovnik, the old Ragusa….my edition of MS Autoroute must be very old.
To reach Dubrovnik we had to cross over a little portion of Bosnia-Hercegowina.
28257

The border crossing was easy and the customs officer was only interested in the Rottie….aah, Rottweiler…. he said with respect. And 4 young men at the road smiled at the Rottie, well, we are not used to such attitude in Northland and we are very happy to be on Balkan.
Up to now this was an easy tour no problems at all with overnight places, all road conditions were ok and no problems at the borders. Last year we did the same tour and made the same experience, Croatia is an “easy going country.”.
We made all routes to Greece up to now, via Italy and ferry, via Autoput and Serbia, via Romania and Bulgaria and via Croatia and Albania.
The ferry route is easy but at least 18 hrs on a ship is not our game, Autoput is ok, a very fast landline but a bit boring. Romania and Bulgaria are very interesting and you stay in EU but especially the road condition in Bulgaria is a mess.
And this coastal road via Croatia is not the fastest method, you must have a little bit time, but it is so easy to drive and many beautiful locations are along the road, it is our favorite route to Greece.
2825928258

In the afternoon I started a trial to find an overnight place in Dubrovnik to visit the old town. But driving through Dubrovnik was not a big pleasure…..full, full, full…..and so we turned away and continued on the Magistrale. Ok, Dubrovnik is worth a visit, but we know it already and we avoided the stress, good bye Dubrovnik.
28260

Tonight we are parked up at Camping Kate in Mlini, some kilometers south of Dubrovnik. We visited that place last year and we knew that the place will open officially in April, but last year in March we met a garden worker on the CP and he told us, there is no problem to stay. So we did the same procedure today and we were successful. The site was still closed but we met the same garden worker and he told us, there is no problem to stay. And the best…the owner came, said parking is cost free for us cause we are the first guests this year.
Very friendly and because “Balkan rules” are applicable, we gave a little gift back, a little bottle of German “Kräuterschnaps”, I called it “Merkel´s Blood”….old joke, I know, but the site owner was really amused.
28261

Camping Kate in Mlini is a very clean place, about 10-15 Euros all incl… i guess, haha. And Mlini is near, down the hill, a very nice town with a regular boat service to Dubrovnik, I think a boat is a real good method to visit Dubrovnik without car and without stress.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Below the Balkan Low

It was a hard night, heavy thunderstorm and rain to maximum extend. In the early morning hours I moved the car to a solid ground and turned it out of the strong wind, everything was wet, wet, wet.
For the morning supply I pulled on my rain suit, old motorbike leather trousers and rubber shoes….it did not help, I got wet up to the skin, so what. The site owner and the garden worker came to see if we did survive the storm, friendly guys, … we are Northlanders, eh.

All the day long storm and rain, we saw in the morning TV that a Balkan Low was just overhead so at least 4 days good fun.... arrgh.

28262

We decided to fight our way through to Greece although driving was a little bit risky due to water and storm. Our next target was to reach Petrovac in Montenegro there we knew an open Stellplatz but…….rain, flood and storm.
2826428263

The bay of Kotor, well, sometimes a lovely place…..
28265

The flood got more and more on all roads and in the early afternoon we had a total stop, all roads closed due to severe damages.
2826728266

So we reached the final point, road blocked……
28268

….and had to turn back. We sat in the middle of the wx trap, luckily we have time enough as retirees :wave:
On the road back I saw a big furniture market with concrete high!! parking and....free wifi;). I asked the girls inside if it would be possible to stay overnight on the parking….no problem….and so we had the first bad weather abort. Even the dog refused to go out for a “P”…incredible luxus lady.
So what, we will survive, I guess, a high solid parking, wifi, sufficient diesel, gas, food and beer, ;)
And we heard that in Northland the weather will improve drastically…..fxxk!!

So, have fun in the good northern weather

Bernd

rottiontour
08-03-2015, 16:16
Sunday, March 08, 2015…..day 19

Not a challenging morning, wind and 5 C in Theotokos. This little Pindos “village” is not a real village, 10 houses, 3 tavernas and no young people. Since the big highway is finished the national road through Theotokos is dying and the villages too.
But it was a quiet night, no cars on the road, nothing in the middle of nowhere. During the morning walk we ran into the rush hour of Theotokos….within 2 minutes 3 cars started to drive and 2 people walked along the road, time for the orthodox morning pray in the church…I wished “Kali Mera” and got the answer “Guten Morgen”, well, Theotokos probably still is very international.
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Yesterday night we saw the two policemen, the drug hunters, sitting in the taverna next by, obviously no drug dealers caught tonight.
The taverna owner, Mama Lokanta…don´t know what the name means…was not very anxious about the drug dealers and I think the advice of the policemen to move to the village for a safe night was more caring for foreigners than protection against an imminent threat. Or did they think the two old m/homers would have looked out for a joint, would perform a Woodstock revival party in Pindos mountains and would fall "stoned" into the river :angel:.
Ok, this is Greece as well, very worrying and friendly people and for me this is more than ok. And on the other hand Greece is still one of the safest countries.

The drive through Pindos up to 1200 meters was cold and snowy; Rottie was not very pleased……
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Hi Channelcrosser, do you know that location?

We were glad to come down to lower regions, less snow and at least 6 C outside….Greece in March…:scared:.
We took the highway and parked in Vergina, a village famous for its museum, and a Stellplatz for 7 Euros, water and electricity, no dump, but…..tarmac ground !! :dance:
Along the highway we saw a new double fence, it looked like the IGB...Inner Greek Border? It is a fence to stop bears to cross the highway.....hmmh, EU sponsored !! And all people and animals living luckily and free behind the fence. Is it a project of the so called "Kleptokratia" and all participants were spending and earning EU money? :confused:
28361

Well, at least i don´t think about it too long and we hope, that the weather will improve soon, in Germany today sunny and 18 C, what did we do wrong?.....or is the Greek sun seeking asylum in Germany too? :lol-061:
Well, still we have hope and we prefer a rainy Greece more than a sunny Northland. In Greece the sun is always inside the hearts.

Have fun

Bernd

iampatman
08-03-2015, 16:53
Great posts again Bernd.
Despite those fences there are still a few bears killed each year trying to cross the motorways.
We visited the bear sanctuary at Nymfeo last year, interesting experience. Read about it here..

travels in a motorhome: Bears. (http://withnoparticularplacetogo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/bears.html)

Pat

rottiontour
09-03-2015, 05:14
Great posts again Bernd.
Despite those fences there are still a few bears killed each year trying to cross the motorways.
We visited the bear sanctuary at Nymfeo last year, interesting experience. Read about it here..

travels in a motorhome: Bears. (http://withnoparticularplacetogo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/bears.html)

Pat

Found it on map. Thank you for the tip
Be

rottiontour
10-03-2015, 19:26
9.3. -10.3. …..day 20 to 21

The Stellplatz in Vergina was not a Five Star one, but water, leccy and an interesting museum of the Macedonian King Philip II in walking range. But on Mondays it is closed.
So we left the place.... and the chicken surrounding us.
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We had to go to Thessaloniki to repair the ventilator of the loo….as soon as possible :rolleyes2:.
At the m/home garage of the Zampetas brothers the spare part was already available and 5 minutes later the loo was “comfortable” again :king:.
Who ever met Zampetas would know the two dogs Willi and Lucy. Willi is always looking for goodies, he is a friendly dog but lonely now cause he lost his girl friend Lucy, who died 3 month ago after a car accident.
But Antonis said that Willi will have another girl friend and his lonely days will be finished soon.
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And we met a Suisse couple, fulltimers, being on road since about 2 years in a self built Dodge 5.9 ltr Diesel even with an oven for wood. Great idea, completely independent heater system all over the world. They are just back from Turkey and are waiting for a vital spare part, estimated time for deliverance is 8 weeks …arrgh…..you must be really a fulltimer for driving a Dodge.

Next day all problems have been repaired and so we took off heading South again. And we found a little piece of sun at the highway restaurant of Korinos…..THE occasion to have an original Greek breakfast, Tiropita with Frappe, a kind of bread roll with Feta and a cold Nescafe with ice :scared:.

The Greek basic food type is amazing:
Breakfast……Tiropita and Frappe…….feta bread with cold coffee,
Lunch…..Spanakopita and Frappe…..spinach bread and cold coffee,
4 o`clock tea…..Bugatse and Frappe….kind of bread roll with vanilla inside and cold coffee,
Dinner….Gyropita and Frappe…..meat, French fries, Tzatziki and Salad, wrapped in bread and….cold coffee.
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After the Greek breakfast we drove down South. West of Olympos we had again snowy mountains till Tirnavos in Thessaly. Thessaly had a little smell of spring already.
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We are parked up tonight on top of the former Turkish-Greek border next by the ruins of a border station which is more than hundred years old.
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Nice quiet place ....we thought..... and within two hours 3 people showed up and stopped to do the typical friendly “Greek Small Talk”….in English.
Where are you from, do you like Greece, where are you going in Greece, do you have children, how old, what work etc etc.
When I compare this friendly behaviour with the my homeland news about Greece ….hmmh….something just is going wrong.
Well, in Greece you never are alone, you think you are, but……:welcome:

Have fun

Bernd

rottiontour
12-03-2015, 18:23
11th and 12th March

The morning on top of the “Turkish-Greek” border was quite busy….8 cars passed and 8 drivers winked and smiled…..how many percent?
The weather was dry and it was a good time for the “morning border patrol” from guard house to guard house.
On the walk I found some stones with engraved names, e.g. Giorgos 1908, very interesting. Obviously a Greek soldier Giorgos wrote in 1908 his name into a rock during his border watch.
I could imagine having many questions for him. What was his age, did he have a family, children, what were his feelings and what was his fate? I really would enjoy speaking to him about his and my life.... or about the "gender factor" :lol-053: that would be great. But Giorgos is gone and the only left over is his name on a stone…….
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Well, it´s a long way home but we made it.
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On the way down hill we suddenly had a little river in the car…..:scared:……water from the rear to the front, the truma had a leak. Luckily I found the leak and could fix it, only a hose was not fixed tightly, thanks God, dry again.
So we drove only a little distance to the beach of Agiokampos, our favourite beach in Thessaly…..please not too much stress in one day. Because of rain we decided to park on a tarmac ground near the harbour. The weather was not very comfortable and we turned on the heater, switched on tv and had a cold beer.
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Breakfast place at the beach…….
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Making friends…….
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Next morning the weather improved and we continued driving to the Thermopiles and the memorial of Leonidas, the Spartian king, and his “300”.
I like the words written below the statue….Molon Labe…..Come and Take It….the answer of Leonidas when the Persian king requested him to hand over the weapons :lol-053:.
For me a very fascinating place, i had the same view over the mountains as Leonidas had during his last fight.
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And it is a good place to stay overnight just below the Phokian defence wall. The hot springs of the Thermopiles are in walking range.
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The only one which was not enjoying this place was this sad palm tree….:sad:
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Good night

Bernd

rottiontour
14-03-2015, 21:28
13th March…..Friday …:scared:

The Great Leonidas did a good job, it was a silent night but rain, rain, rain.

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We said good bye to the heroes of the hot springs and continued to catch the sun but we had no chance.
Crossing the mountains of Delphi we had snow in 800 meters, didn´t stop driving and continued till Nafpaktos where the clouds disappeared slowly….give me hope!

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We decided to park the car on the tarmac ground next by the promenade.
Spending a Friday evening close to the town is an interesting event. Looking out of the window we saw many people walking up and down the promenade. But it did not look like the typical Greek “Volta”, too many groups of men in between who were definitely neither Greeks nor tourists. Their clothes were quite ok, they were in a good mood but they did not speak Greek language, probably refugees from Syria, Iraq or so.
What gave me food for thought is the fact that 5 month ago we parked exactly at the same position and the Greek Volta was purely a Greek Volta. Obviously times are changing rapidly and the ferry port of Patras which is near is a magnet and gate to the rest of Europe.
28631

Anyway, we had a quiet night and awoke early in the morning….sun and blue sky.
And looking out of the window we recognized a movement behind an old car in the bush.
This old Peugeot had no licence plates and we had seen it in the same position last October, may be a wrecked car. But the windows of the car were wet from inside and an old man in bad old clothes was coming out of the car. He had slept in the car during the night and went away discreetly. For sure he was a homeless Greek.
In this moment we felt a little bit ashamed, sitting in a well equipped m/home, drinking hot fresh coffee and this poor old Greek had to spend the night in a wrecked Peugeot “on the other side of the road”. Wouldn´t it be better for him to be a refugee from Syria?

On the dog walk I saw an rotten relaxation area and some young dogs in it, probably a good place for them to live cause I have seen them 5 months ago, they grew up very well.
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The mother of the young dogs used an old traffic exercise area next by for enjoying the warm sun.
The nice side of the medal…..and the other side just opposite……
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To get more sun we took the ferry to Patras and drove along the western coast of Peloponnesus.
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Many stunning beaches are in this region and amazing people. We had a little break at one of the beaches and met a fisherman. He asked me where i come from and i said Germany. And he laughed and answered "Schäuble", the name of the German finance minister, presently too deeply involved in the Greek crisis.
We spoke about Europe, the crisis, the banking system, the Mafia and so on. And then we said good bye, he went to his car and pulled on ......a priest´s habit. He was an orthodox priest fishing at the beach.

Finally we stopped at Camping Ionion Beach, a very “lonely” site in March but good for the dog.
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And well equipped with washing machine and dryer which are urgently needed after nearly four weeks driving along the Balkan coast.
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I think we reached our destination so far and we will spend some time here in Glyfa and later on Peloponnesus.

Ta leme sindoma….see you

Bernd

iampatman
14-03-2015, 22:04
Hi Bernd, you're doing a lot of miles each day! It would take us four or five days to travel that far :)
We stopped next door to you last year at Camping Aginara Beach when we were on our way back to Patras.
Enjoy the Pelleponese.
Pat

rottiontour
15-03-2015, 04:37
Hi Bernd, you're doing a lot of miles each day! It would take us four or five days to travel that far :)
We stopped next door to you last year at Camping Aginara Beach when we were on our way back to Patras.
Enjoy the Pelleponese.
Pat

Hi Pat,
the weather made us to speed up...horrible.
And now...pure sun. A little bit fresh at the beach but ok.

Regards
Bernd

mlynnf50
15-03-2015, 07:38
Hi Bernd, Seems like fun, We have done that part of Greece a few times, there is a lovely place called Pylos with a lovely village just before and a camping called Navarino beach at Gialova lots of history, camping on the beach the facilities are good and very clean and Pylos is very good and not many tourists. Don't know if you have been to Port o Heli, that is also good.

Love the pictures and blog, enjoy the rest of your adventure.

snowbirds
15-03-2015, 10:38
Hi Bernd,

The pictures are great it seems very quite with not many people about,have you seen many Motorhomes on your trip and do you feel safe when you are wild camping , but of course you do have Rottie with you.
Have you traveled that route before and lets hope you will get more sun down the coast.

Regards Snowbirds.:dance:





13th March…..Friday …:scared:

The Great Leonidas did a good job, it was a silent night but rain, rain, rain.

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We said good bye to the heroes of the hot springs and continued to catch the sun but we had no chance.
Crossing the mountains of Delphi we had snow in 800 meters, didn´t stop driving and continued till Nafpaktos where the clouds disappeared slowly….give me hope!

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We decided to park the car on the tarmac ground next by the promenade.
Spending a Friday evening close to the town is an interesting event. Looking out of the window we saw many people walking up and down the promenade. But it did not look like the typical Greek “Volta”, too many groups of men in between who were definitely neither Greeks nor tourists. Their clothes were quite ok, they were in a good mood but they did not speak Greek language, probably refugees from Syria, Iraq or so.
What gave me food for thought is the fact that 5 month ago we parked exactly at the same position and the Greek Volta was purely a Greek Volta. Obviously times are changing rapidly and the ferry port of Patras which is near is a magnet and gate to the rest of Europe.
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Anyway, we had a quiet night and awoke early in the morning….sun and blue sky.
And looking out of the window we recognized a movement behind an old car in the bush.
This old Peugeot had no licence plates and we had seen it in the same position last October, may be a wrecked car. But the windows of the car were wet from inside and an old man in bad old clothes was coming out of the car. He had slept in the car during the night and went away discreetly. For sure he was a homeless Greek.
In this moment we felt a little bit ashamed, sitting in a well equipped m/home, drinking hot fresh coffee and this poor old Greek had to spend the night in a wrecked Peugeot “on the other side of the road”. Wouldn´t it be better for him to be a refugee from Syria?

On the dog walk I saw an rotten relaxation area and some young dogs in it, probably a good place for them to live cause I have seen them 5 months ago, they grew up very well.
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The mother of the young dogs used an old traffic exercise area next by for enjoying the warm sun.
The nice side of the medal…..and the other side just opposite……
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To get more sun we took the ferry to Patras and drove along the western coast of Peloponnesus.
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Many stunning beaches are in this region and amazing people. We had a little break at one of the beaches and met a fisherman. He asked me where i come from and i said Germany. And he laughed and answered "Schäuble", the name of the German finance minister, presently too deeply involved in the Greek crisis.
We spoke about Europe, the crisis, the banking system, the Mafia and so on. And then we said good bye, he went to his car and pulled on ......a priest´s habit. He was an orthodox priest fishing at the beach.

Finally we stopped at Camping Ionion Beach, a very “lonely” site in March but good for the dog.
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And well equipped with washing machine and dryer which are urgently needed after nearly four weeks driving along the Balkan coast.
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I think we reached our destination so far and we will spend some time here in Glyfa and later on Peloponnesus.

Ta leme sindoma….see you

Bernd

rottiontour
15-03-2015, 12:35
Hi Bernd,

The pictures are great it seems very quite with not many people about,have you seen many Motorhomes on your trip and do you feel safe when you are wild camping , but of course you do have Rottie with you.
Have you traveled that route before and lets hope you will get more sun down the coast.

Regards Snowbirds.:dance:

Hi Snowbirds,
thank you for your kind comment.

Motorhomers:
In Italy we saw a lot but mainly on weekend,
Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania....zero.....but the season did not start yet, after Eastern it will become more and during the holiday season in Slovenia and Croatia will be many tourists and m/homers.
Greece....2 m/homers up to know, but it will increase. It is interesting, we saw no motorhomers in the mountains and this is most of Greece. Most of m/homers will be at the western beaches south Patras ( ferry harbour) AND in well known wild camping spots preferably as a "pack". And on camp sites for sure.
In low season and winter (Oct till May)only a few m/homers are in Greece. And even in holiday season it is not overcrowded by m/homes.

The route:
We did this routing last year in spring and we think that it is very comfortable and easy to drive (during low season!!) Roads are ok, camp sites are sufficient. From the driving perspective we had not a single problem.

We prefered mainly camp sites in Croatia cause at the coastal road it is a little bit difficult to find a suitable place and as far as i know staying overnight is not allowed in Croatia. So we did it only once and hidden.
But i think in low season nobody will care about. The transit was easier for us using camp sites.

Safety:
My experiences from many trips through whole Balkans is easy to tell.
I feel safer everywhere on Balkan and Eastern countries than north of the Alps and in westerly/southwesterly countries, i cannot explain why. And, too, i feel safer outside the "Schengen area", don´t know why :).

But Greece is a special case and this is depending on the Greeks. They are unique in Europe what friendship and hospitality is concerned.. So Greece for me is the safest country in Europe concerning wild camping.
All together i spent about 5 years in Greece, working and as retiree, and i made more than 150000 km in Greece.
We never had a bad incident and always felt safe except 1 situation in March 2011.
During ferry ticket booking in Igoumenitsa in the late evening 3 immigrants, definetly no Greeks, approached the m/home and tried to take our bikes :scared:
Well, they are poor guys, i know, but i do not like the taking away of my bikes without my permission and i stopped them very rude :mad2:. And within 30 seconds i was surrounded by about 30 immigrants :scared::scared: coming out of all dark corners and bushes, a situation like a zombie video. So i decided to jump in the m/h and pxxs off :scooter:.

The conclusion for me.....i avoid the harbour area of Igoumenitsa and Patras especially during night, and i avoid to park the m/home unguarded in unknown areas of Athens....too many tourists so too many pickers.
All other towns in Greece are not a problem for me cause "real greek towns". The smaller the town the more the Greeks pay attention and keep an eye on you. In rural areas i feel safe like in Fort Knox.
And all tours i could have done with the Shi Tzu of my daughter instead of the Rottie, no need for a "bodyguard" at all, but i like my little girl (43 kilos):).
But all this i my personal subjective opinion.

Kind regards

Bernd

snowbirds
15-03-2015, 13:50
Hi Bernd,

Thanks for all the information i must admit I had to Google (Schengen Area) as have not heard of it before.
I am sure that like me many of the other members on Wild Camping would also thank you for your excellent reports on your travels and hope to meet up with you in the near future,have a safe trip and keep the blogs coming.

Regards. John & Pat.



Hi Snowbirds,
thank you for your kind comment.

Motorhomers:
In Italy we saw a lot but mainly on weekend,
Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania....zero.....but the season did not start yet, after Eastern it will become more and during the holiday season in Slovenia and Croatia will be many tourists and m/homers.
Greece....2 m/homers up to know, but it will increase. It is interesting, we saw no motorhomers in the mountains and this is most of Greece. Most of m/homers will be at the western beaches south Patras ( ferry harbour) AND in well known wild camping spots preferably as a "pack". And on camp sites for sure.
In low season and winter (Oct till May)only a few m/homers are in Greece. And even in holiday season it is not overcrowded by m/homes.

The route:
We did this routing last year in spring and we think that it is very comfortable and easy to drive (during low season!!) Roads are ok, camp sites are sufficient. From the driving perspective we had not a single problem.

We prefered mainly camp sites in Croatia cause at the coastal road it is a little bit difficult to find a suitable place and as far as i know staying overnight is not allowed in Croatia. So we did it only once and hidden.
But i think in low season nobody will care about. The transit was easier for us using camp sites.

Safety:
My experiences from many trips through whole Balkans is easy to tell.
I feel safer everywhere on Balkan and Eastern countries than north of the Alps and in westerly/southwesterly countries, i cannot explain why. And, too, i feel safer outside the "Schengen area", don´t know why :).

But Greece is a special case and this is depending on the Greeks. They are unique in Europe what friendship and hospitality is concerned.. So Greece for me is the safest country in Europe concerning wild camping.
All together i spent about 5 years in Greece, working and as retiree, and i made more than 150000 km in Greece.
We never had a bad incident and always felt safe except 1 situation in March 2011.
During ferry ticket booking in Igoumenitsa in the late evening 3 immigrants, definetly no Greeks, approached the m/home and tried to take our bikes :scared:
Well, they are poor guys, i know, but i do not like the taking away of my bikes without my permission and i stopped them very rude :mad2:. And within 30 seconds i was surrounded by about 30 immigrants :scared::scared: coming out of all dark corners and bushes, a situation like a zombie video. So i decided to jump in the m/h and pxxs off :scooter:.

The conclusion for me.....i avoid the harbour area of Igoumenitsa and Patras especially during night, and i avoid to park the m/home unguarded in unknown areas of Athens....too many tourists so too many pickers.
All other towns in Greece are not a problem for me cause "real greek towns". The smaller the town the more the Greeks pay attention and keep an eye on you. In rural areas i feel safe like in Fort Knox.
And all tours i could have done with the Shi Tzu of my daughter instead of the Rottie, no need for a "bodyguard" at all, but i like my little girl (43 kilos):).
But all this i my personal subjective opinion.

Kind regards

Bernd

rottiontour
16-03-2015, 05:41
Hi Bernd, Seems like fun, We have done that part of Greece a few times, there is a lovely place called Pylos with a lovely village just before and a camping called Navarino beach at Gialova lots of history, camping on the beach the facilities are good and very clean and Pylos is very good and not many tourists. Don't know if you have been to Port o Heli, that is also good.

Love the pictures and blog, enjoy the rest of your adventure.

Thank you, i will keep it in mind.

Be

witzend
19-03-2015, 16:31
Hi Bernd thanks for all the pictures and information. We are now at home after our winter in Portugal and looking to follow you to Greece unfortunately we don't expect to arrive until late May so will possibly miss you. We'll continue to monitor your travels Regards to Annie & Rotti

rottiontour
19-03-2015, 20:16
Hi Bernd thanks for all the pictures and information. We are now at home after our winter in Portugal and looking to follow you to Greece unfortunately we don't expect to arrive until late May so will possibly miss you. We'll continue to monitor your travels Regards to Annie & Rotti

Hi witzend,

thanks for your comment. We are still on CP Ionion Beach...relaxing with or without sun.
I think, the weather in Portugal was better than here...well done :).
We have to be at home in early June, so we will have to start going home about 20th May, but....what is a plan?

Have fun at home, good weather in the north, isn´t it?

Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
21-03-2015, 15:13
Actually it should have been boring days…..living on a camp site, no big challenge…. washing days, not a challenge for me :lol-053:…. only small villages around, not a great spectacle, but…….it´s the detail!

We got new neighbours, a Dutch couple, who is spending 6 month in the Mediterranean and just came in, friendly and open minded people, always smiling, we immediately got into contact with them. They said, oh it´s so easy with the Germans, they are so friendly and… I was :scared:. And we said, oh it´s so easy with the Dutch, they are so friendly and… they were :scared:…so we had the first common basis, :lol-053:.

And another couple dropped in, 11 pitches are in the front row at the beach, 9 pitches free and they choose the pitch directly next by us. Absolutely no problem for me, why not, but then the Missus saw the Rottie :scared: :scared: :scared:. She was shocked, frozen, paralysed, just in the moment when her husband needed her help for driving backwards. Very “prussian” I said “Guten Tag!!” and she came back to reality, run to the car, knocked at the window and the husband did an emergency stop…luckily, otherwise the Rottie would have been guilty.
10 seconds discussion and then full speed to the pitch opposite to the road.
Ok, we can live with it, we continued to be very friendly which made them really unsafe but I am just thinking of changing the name of the dog….to Medusa :).

Well, no problem for us and we took the bikes for a ride through the fields.
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And after some kilometres we saw this gate, a high fence surrounded the houses……
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Americans in Greece…:scared:…..We had no explanation for this cause we know how Greeks often are thinking about “Americi”. We saw some workers inside, the gate was open and we entered the place, I never would have done this in my home land, the danger to be kicked out would be too high, but we are in Greece. The workers smiled, one of them came to us and I asked him about the location. He answered that this location was built by the Greek orthodox church of America in order to give the Greek (American) children a possibility to spend some holidays in Greece, a youth hostel.
I was a bit astonished why he spoke such a good German, he said the reasons are the German girls. So I know now what German girls are good for :).
What made me wonder was the remark of Anni….he is a really good looking guy… eh..??

And in Glyfa we found a little taverna, some people inside so it must be open.
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We ordered this…….
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….and it was a perfect time. The little plate is called “Meze” or “Mezedes”, you will normally get it for free as a little snack additionally to a glass of wine or an Ouzo.
Looking at the walls I saw this nice picture…..
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The Greeks from the table next by saw us laughing and explained the picture.
This was “Athanasios” who lived in a house up hill after too much “Meze” (and wine) :lol-053:.

The atmosphere in the little taverna was really “cosy” and before I would look like Athanasios my wife took me home to give me some relaxation time “under close control” in the sun…:o.

Well……it´s the detail!

Cheerio
Bernd

rottiontour
23-03-2015, 21:19
Adio, Ionion Beach campsite, you are a very nice location, well equipped for all needs and the owners are very friendly and helpful.

Presently i´m sitting in “Anywhere”, have a super 3G internet connection but no clue where I am, only a position on the map matching with a road, tomorrow we will see :rolleyes2:.
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After seeing a mass of litter…....no community litter service any longer, obviously the communities have no money anymore--special thanks to the former Greek politicians and their “Kleptokratia”…......we did a short stop at Olympia which is very nice in spring.
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We continued “cross country” and saw in Makrisia this powerful guy….
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It is Papadimitris Kolobos who died in 1821. He was a “Protopapas”, a “First Priest” and he was well equipped with sword, pistol and orthodox cross to fight for the freedom of his village….no, no, this time not against the Germans :sad:, someone else must have been here too for about 400 years. I can´t remember the nation, I thinks somewhat with a “T”.
And I would like the Greeks to send this “Protopapas” to the EU credit negotiations, may be afterwards the community litter service would be ok again.

Anyway, we got lost in space, the sunset came and we found no overnight place. Just before the darkness would “eat” us, I found a parking, not very nice but ok. I stopped, saw a sheep stable and asked the shepherd if it would be ok to park there for the night.
The “shepherd” turned around and a young girl answered in perfect English, oh yes, not a problem, park wherever you want…..hmmh.

So we did and 30 minutes later an old car approached, not in a very good condition, more a wreck. And a hand came out of the window and gave me…two eggs. The real shepherd, and he said…. fresh eggs, for you. I answered, “thank you very much”, and “wait, wait, I have a little present for you too”….and gave him one of the famous “Kräuterschnaps-bottles” and said “ be careful, this is Merkel´s blood”. And he nearly got unconscious from laughing. He pointed with his finger to his mouth and said “yes, I will drink, drink, drink!!!” And then he turned to his rear seat and gave me his wooden shepherd stick. Ena doro, he said, a present. And he drove away….wow.
Now a have an original wooden Peloponnese shepherd stick, not made for tourists but for real shepherds….i am a shepherd now.
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THIS is Greece and you can find it everywhere in Greece…..in case you want.
I will finish now.....i have to watch a little bit "brainwash tv".....waiting for the first outbreaks of hostilities against the Rottie here in the mountains;););)

Have fun
Bernd

mlynnf50
24-03-2015, 06:26
Done that route a few times, beautiful ride to olympia, cant wait for our trip, Have you do e Halkadiki? We may do that...Is it warming up? take care? Lynn

rottiontour
25-03-2015, 18:00
Hi Bernd
Do you by any chance work for the Greek tourist board? LOL
.........
John

......never again a Boss.....(except Missus) :mad1:
be

rottiontour
25-03-2015, 18:19
Done that route a few times, beautiful ride to olympia, cant wait for our trip, Have you do e Halkadiki? We may do that...Is it warming up? take care? Lynn

Hi,
yes, Olympia is beautiful but it had some winter damages by rain. They are just cleaning it up.
And the temp is changing, very slowly it is getting warmer, about 16 C presently at nestor´s palace.
Much rain and mud, we often prefered to stay on tarmac, a tarmac tour. It was the worst winter since years, many palm trees are yellow and damaged and only a few stray dog puppies survived the winter.

And Halkidiki is great, i was not on Sithonia which must be the best of the three fingers but on Kassandra and Athos, 2 days in a monastry on Athos. I got the allowance managed by a greek friend....good connections are always an advantage in Greece, heehee..... an unbelievable experience, in the middle of the end of the real world, but this is an own mystic story.

Thanks for your comments and enjoy Greece,
Bernd

rottiontour
25-03-2015, 21:21
It was a dark night, so dark that the light of my lamp was eaten by the darkness, unbelievable black night.
But the “Rottweiler” and the “Shepherd” did a great job, no attacks occurred, might have been the snoring of the defenders :scared:.

In the morning we had some visitors and…..sun.
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On road again we recognized that we were only some hundred meters away from the village Andritsaina, hmmh. And several good overnight places next by the road…..that´s life.
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We stopped at a memorial, the memorial of Nikos Lambos. Today he could have my age but he had no chance. The young soldier was murdered on Cyprus in his barracks during the Turkish invasion 1974. And the Lord Mayor of his home town built a memorial for him. I wonder what would happen in my homeland with such a memorial :cry:….and the Lord Mayor :hammer:. And here people bring fresh flowers to the memorial.
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After some kilometres we saw a big castle on top of a hill which looked very fascinating, Kastro Karitsaina, good to explore.
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Karitsaina is very nice, a little clean village below the castle.
Although the castle is a ruin like many other ruins it was very interesting for me cause I met the impressive Mr. Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the main heroes of the freedom fight of 1821 when the Turks had to leave the Peloponnesus.
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He was one of the rebels who swore by the flag in the monastery of Agia Lavra in Kalavryta and then they started the freedom fight for the Peloponnesus.
In the castle of Karitsaina he had played as a child, he knew every stone and it was his refuge during the rebellion.
Tomorrow will be the 25th March which is the national bank holiday of independence and all town centres and many houses will be decorated with Greek flags.
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At the entrance of the castle I found a warning…..
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Very clear and self explaining “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK”.
How great is that…..within the castle it might be dangerous but the Greeks think that a visitor would be old enough to decide what to do with his life, isn´t it fabulous?
In my homeland I am not really used to take care about my own life because there is a regulation for everything, thousands of "authorities" declare to be responsible for me and are asking me to obey.
But not in Karitsaina in the castle of the freedom fighters, I may decide on my own what to do with my health... and so I did :scared:.
I walked into the castle, ok, it was a little bit difficult and some of the safety measures were not iaw northern laws, but….who cares. The Greeks think that I am old enough to decide by myself, a real “castle of freedom”.
And because I survived this “walk of freedom” I had the chance to meet my wife and my dog again and to continue the drive :wave:.

Next destination was Agia Theodora, the little chapel of Saint Theodora.
12 years ago we had been here and we wanted to see this mystic (touristy?) place again.
And for me it is a real miracle…..
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The chapel was built over a spring and many big trees are growing out of the walls of the chapel. But the trees do not destroy the walls, they leave it as it is no damage to the old chapel and this is the miracle. And the room inside is without trees, very stunning.
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A young man in a souvenir shop said “ For those who believe it is a miracle of God and for those who don´t believe it is a miracle of the Nature”…..Whatever is applicable it is a miracle.

And we had a very quiet night under the protection of Agia Theodora …and an excellent Greek dinner in the tavern “Nero Milos”, a footpath leads to it some hundred meters down the little river.
And it´s a miracle too that we were able to find the way to the little chapel :).
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Next morning we started to drive to Ancient Messini a big ancient town surrounded by a wall with a length of 9 kilometres. Very impressive for me was to drive through the old “Arcadian Door”, which must be as old as my m/home, may be I should clean it.
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The old town is worth a visit, a very large dig (dig ??, hmmh, hope I am right) but the weather was too bad for a visit so we continued heading south west back to the coast.
And I missed a road and got stuck in the middle of olive trees, some scratches will remind me for ever :mad2:.

A bit desperate I asked an old farmer to get the right direction. I asked him “where am I ?” and he looked at me and said….in Greece!! A real useful answer.
And I remember that 20 years ago I was in Wales with a trailer and got lost totally. So I took my map of Wales and went to a farmer on a field
And I asked him “where am i ?” and he looked at me and said….in Wales!!....a real useful answer..
Well, obviously farmers from Greece and from Wales do have something in common being asked for the position :lol-053::.

Finally we made it..... and tonight we are parked up at Nestor´s Palace……the palace is closed, the ground is wet and muddy, the temperature 16c and windy….but we have hope.


Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
27-03-2015, 21:25
26th and 27th March

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The Mycenaean tomb was interesting for me and digging close to Nestor´s Palace interesting for the dog, may be she has an archaeological talent :D.
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Luckily she did not find bones of the Ancient Greeks and so we could start heading inbound coast. We wanted to visit the Voidokilia Bay, the “Ox Belly Bay”….hmmh.
The approach was a little bit risky; twice we had to cross a steepish bridge and I would not do it again with a long m/home but I was lucky and the bay was great, a very nice lagoon with blue-green water and an old castle on top of a hill.
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We left Voidokilia and continued heading south to visit Methoni and the old castle.
And we got a real nice parking especially made for us…;).
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The road needs a bit repair but i think that all public work had been stopped presently.
Because the weather deteriorated we had looked after a camp site at Navarino bay already but nothing was open yet. So we decided to drive to Finikounda finally and look for an open site. We dropped into Camping Ammos which was not open yet too but the owner said that we could come in. So we were alone on the camps site. It started to rain like hell and I got wet like a poodle.

Next morning the sun broke through the clouds, time to dry the clothes. The camp site is an old fashioned one, no pitches, so we could get all we wanted, not bad for the dog. We took the day for recovery and rode to the harbour town Finikounda which is very touristy.
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I heard that many people from the North are staying over winter in Finikounda, it must be a trendy town, hmmh, I guess after a week here in winter I would start a shooting rampage or become an alcoholic :cry:.

Sitting in a little taverna drinking the daily Frappe I saw a woman with big round bread in her hands. I asked her where she did get it from and she answered, it´s a special bread and each Friday she will get one from a friend. For next Friday she could order one for me.
But unfortunately we will be away next Friday….and she went into the restaurant, cut off a piece of bread and gave it to us…..now we have a very special piece of Greek bread, home made and delicious.

Back at the m/home we got heavy thunderstorm :scared: and rain, I think we are just sinking ….but we still have hope.

Kali nichta

Bernd

mlynnf50
28-03-2015, 10:30
Aw what a shame, I can cope with the cold its the rain that gets you down, I love camping Navarino, and Pylos is really nice, We know that very well, there is a very good butchers in Methioni, great for steake. Hope the weather improves for you. The weather here last week was 21 in Evian but very mixed now, we had snow on the high pastures. Just love the blogs, cant wait for the next. Lynn

iampatman
28-03-2015, 13:49
Hi Bernd,
We stopped at Camping Finikes. Lovely people and nice site. But better still was restaurant Lambes halfway back toward Methoni. Parked in their car park 50m from beach. Nice people, nice food. After three days they said " Stay as long as you want but if the police come tell them you are just parked while you go swimming" And then she winked :)
Pat

rottiontour
28-03-2015, 15:25
Hi Bernd,
We stopped at Camping Finikes. Lovely people and nice site. But better still was restaurant Lambes halfway back toward Methoni. Parked in their car park 50m from beach. Nice people, nice food. After three days they said " Stay as long as you want but if the police come tell them you are just parked while you go swimming" And then she winked :)
Pat


Hi Pat,

yes, Finikes is ok. And we visited CP Anemomilos, directly next by Finikounda in walking range. It is in a very good condition, very clean and well structured, not bad as well.

And some infos now, may be you know:
The news in the Northern Euro land assume Grexit or insolvency just before orthodox Eastern (12. April). I do not know whether it is wrong or right but there is a "possibility" right now for sure.
I do not know what will happen but i saw the development in Cyprus, which was similar.
Banks suddenly closed on a weekend, people could not use ATM any longer to get cash and the fuel was getting "scarce source".
After about 7 or 10 days people could use ATM machines again but limited to 100 Euro per day...as far as i remember.

So my preparations are simple in order not to be surprised:
Always enough Diesel in the tank to reach a good camp site.
Always i fill up LPG when 50% indication.
And some cash to get bread and ouzo with meze :D for an ATM-less period of 2 weeks.

And then i will wait till the ATM machines are working again, whatever currency they will give out.
The Greeks are relaxed, so i am too, absolutely no panic here, all is normal and friendly

And congratulations to be on route again, reading your blog with interest.

Safe trip

Bernd

iampatman
28-03-2015, 15:45
Hmmmm,
Well, we land at Igoumenitsa on the 22nd April. I'll make sure I have a full tank of (expensive) Italian diesel, full LPG tanks and plenty of €/£/$ :)
Pat


Hi Pat,

yes, Finikes is ok. And we visited CP Anemomilos, directly next by Finikounda in walking range. It is in a very good condition, very clean and well structured, not bad as well.

And some infos now, may be you know:
The news in the Northern Euro land assume Grexit or insolvency just before orthodox Eastern (12. April). I do not know whether it is wrong or right but there is a "possibility" right now for sure.
I do not know what will happen but i saw the development in Cyprus, which was similar.
Banks suddenly closed on a weekend, people could not use ATM any longer to get cash and the fuel was getting "scarce source".
After about 7 or 10 days people could use ATM machines again but limited to 100 Euro per day...as far as i remember.

So my preparations are simple in order not to be surprised:
Always enough Diesel in the tank to reach a good camp site.
Always i fill up LPG when 50% indication.
And some cash to get bread and ouzo with meze :D for an ATM-less period of 2 weeks.

And then i will wait till the ATM machines are working again, whatever currency they will give out.
The Greeks are relaxed, so i am too, absolutely no panic here, all is normal and friendly

And congratulations to be on route again, reading your blog with interest.

Safe trip

Bernd

rottiontour
29-03-2015, 20:01
We left the camp site Ammos after 2 nights…..in the morning there is sun, in the afternoon clouds and in the evening rain. “Ammos”, that means “sand” and we will need tarmac instead of ammos.
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So we drove to Kalamata and then to Avia and found a parking next by the beach.
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Kalamata is a nice town with a southern flair…in case the sun is shining.
During the night we had much rain as usual. In the morning I tried to drive a shortcut from Avia to the main Mani road…..and I was stopped by this monster :cry:... bad luck.
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I had not recognized that the road was closed due to road works and thought “try it, it will be ok”….hmmmh, yes, I was a little bit reckless and in deep shxt now, no turning points in vicinity.
So I did a “road inspection” and found a possibility to turn but with a big problem, a hill of gravel. In order not to damage the m/home, I took my spade and flattened the gravel hill and then I was able to turn the m/home …..the road workers will miss the gravel hill next Monday :mad2:.
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Btw, Anni was a great marshaller, without her it would have been impossible to turn the m/home. And I had to promise not to drive again on roads under construction and closed roads…ok.
And iaw the promise I took only narrow roads and roads through restaurants from now on.
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And after a nice scenic drive we found a parking in Neo Itylio at the beach.
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I think a beer will be good now after a hard "road worker´s day".....don´t forget the spade!!

:cheers:
Bernd

mlynnf50
30-03-2015, 07:45
wow a bit scary, I think we have all been in this position...lol glad you got through it,, love the coastline,
hope the weather improves.

rottiontour
31-03-2015, 18:00
Since I saw the Mani the first time I am fascinated by that region which has a rough and a lovely flair .
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We continued driving southerly heading to reach the most southern point of Greece you can make with m/home, Cap Tenaro. And at the parking of the cap we were welcomed by a local which led to a bilateral discussion.
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This time we wanted to see Poseidon’s Death Oracle which today is a little chapel built of the old stones of the oracle.
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And some steps away we found a cave which once was an entrance to the Hades, the empire of the death. At this entrance the hero Hercules caught and killed Cerberus the hell hound. I think a son of the hell hound is still looking out of the cave, looks a little bit like a bulldog.
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And then it was time to say good bye to the friendly visitor and the cap, the weather deteriorated as usual.
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Some impressions of the coast road……

Porto Kagio, a little harbor village next by is told to be a wonderful little place….hmmmh.
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Even the Mani graveyard style is a little bit rough…..
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And the weather and the roads too……
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Tonight we are parked up at the little harbor of Kotronas, it will be a very gusty night.
When we came into the harbor I asked a fisherman if it would be a problem to park at the harbor front. He answered…park wherever you want, it´s Greece and best wishes to “Merkelina”…oups.
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Next day a short tour to CP Gythion Bay, open al the year and just undergoing the “spring refurbishment”. All trees have been cut in autumn. The trees were a problem last year for the m/homes and trailers but this year it´s all ok, good work.
Nice place and much freedom for Rottie.
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And we got an additional table and two chairs, very solid and in a good condition…from the Albanian worker of the camp site. Just because of some friendly words..…how are you, long time no see, ola kala?

We will stay here for some days but not only for relaxing. My little old net book broke down and I gave it to a local repair shop because I want to use my favourite MS Autoroute again…. I like to play with Autoroute. Hope that this will be the last repair on the tour.

Have fun
Bernd

rottiontour
09-04-2015, 19:38
The time on Gythion Bay Camping is lovely, sitting, reading, chilling, and…… observing Anni how she is doing the washing and cooking :scared:.
And chatting with interesting people, e.g the Britain with the Staffie dog, what a lovely and friendly dog. And the Britain told me about his problems with the dog and the police in Northland, a mirror of my experiences with the Rottie. And we both said, “Greece” means “freedom”, not only for humans.

Or the French guy with a real explorer car, the car is looking very “African” and so I asked him about his travels. And he said he was a member of the “Legion Etrangere”, a “Kepi Blanc” and he learned to love Algeria and spent the winter time over there, he showed us some pictures, how interesting was that.
I thought that he was younger than me but he is more than 10 years older, what a powerful and friendly man! Anni said to me….hey; you need a little bit more sport….. arrrgh.

And it is a real pleasure to observe the Greek workers cutting the trees. 4 Germans (incl. me) standing next by them and giving useful comments to the workers :idea-007: we were a pain in the arse and they laughed with us.

Last but not least, we met again “Heinz, the Suisse guy”. A crazy but friendly man, living on the camp site next by since some winters. He built a little Buddhist altar at the beach and is praying there every morning. I had to keep the Rottie very close to me, Heinz’ behaviour seemed to be very strange to her. But he gave her some goodies and now she really appreciates to meet him……girls, arrgh.
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The weather is not too hot, more a little bit windy and fresh but ideal for cycling.

Gythion harbour and the Mani in spring……..we don’t need more.
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On a ride across the country side I found a little chapel which was closed and a big sign was fixed at the door, “No money inside the church”.
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10 years ago all chapels we found have been open and the monasteries too. Today nearly all chapels are locked and many monasteries secured by doors, fences and dogs. It’s a shame and I feel very sad recognizing how times did change in Greece, a country so full of hospitality obviously misused by “some people”.

But as the Greeks say “Iparchi panda elpida” …..there always will be hope …..everybody is preparing for the Eastern days now and expecting a peaceful and happy period.
No traffic jam will be on the roads like in “Northland Eastern holiday period”, all will stay at home and celebrate with family and friends, a very peaceful time……except for those ……..
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Well, life obviously is very hard for sheep this time in Greece, many of them “lost the game” for barbecue :cry:.

Best wishes from the “peaceful Orthodox part of the world”,


Bernd

rottiontour
20-04-2015, 19:21
The weather was improving and for “Pasxa” everything was all right.
Pasxa….all Greeks are celebrating these most important orthodox days. On Friday night the “Epitafios”, the coffin of Jesus was carried through Gythion, a stunning ceremony. Many people accompanied the coffin, citizens, soldiers, police and fire brigade. Everybody was very friendly, disciplined, well dressed, young and old, rich and poor, all joined in harmony.
And after the march with the “Epitafios” everybody started the big “Volta” at the harbour.
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Some days after Eastern we left Gythion Bay to drive via Monemvasia to Neapolis, a region at the south eastern edge of Peloponnese which was still unknown to us.
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Monemvasia, the “ rock”, seemed to be a little bit touristy and so we continued driving to the region of Neapolis and the lagoons of Elafonisos.
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Near by Elafonisos we found a fantastic lonely overnight place at the large sandy beach…
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The weather was really hot, Rottie did not enjoy it, but finally she found a water tap……well done, doggie.
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And the breeze of Elafonisos must have had some interesting ingredients.
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Next morning we crossed the Peloponnese towards Ancient Corinth. This village has a little private Stellplatz where we intended to stay for some days. Ancient Corinth itself is very “historic”.
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The main street of Corinth……
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And how the old Corinthian people interpreted the “Gender theories” :rolleyes2:.
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The Apostle Paulus used the Bema, the “Speaker's Corner”, to speak to the citizens of Corinthos….with not too much success, he was offended and arrested.
I too used the Bema to talk to the people, but nobody seemed to be interested in my speech :sad:.
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Ok, may be the reason was that i am not an Apostle.

A bicycle ride to Korinthos and the channel was beautiful. Korinthos is a nice town and the channel is great. We drove along the channel on a path not made for tourists ;).
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The Stellplatz in Ancient Corinthos is not a very luxury one, no pool, no bar, but very clean and the owners are super friendly. For us it has all equipment a Stellplatz needs to have. The centre of Ancient Corinthos is near and has bars, restaurants and all shops we need. A good place to stay for some time and drink the home made wine of the owner :cheers:.

Have fun

Bernd

rottiontour
23-04-2015, 13:08
We are still on “Camper Stop”, the Stellplatz of Ancient Corinthos…..
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We like this place, it is very peaceful. Yes, a train and a National Road are next by, about 300 meters, but at night it is very quite…..except an owl hoot and sometimes the barking dogs of the town.
The place is driven by Grandfather and his family, lovely Greeks, very helpful and friendly. They speak some English and some French and there is always a way to communicate.
The place seems to be the hobby of the grandfather; some nice self made equipment is proving this.
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As far as I know there are not many real Aires or Stellplätze which are especially made for Motorhomers with all necessary equipment and this is the best of Greece for me.
For 10 Euros per night all is included, electricity, water, dump, toilette and shower….and dogs are welcome. Some nice places are near by, good for dog walking (and water drinking) in the fields.
Here “Aphrodite’s Spring”, unfortunately Aphrodite was not on duty, what a pity :cry: .
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And what I like is that the place has a solid ground, tarmac or gravel, which is very convenient in “rainy and doggy” conditions….relatives of the dogs must be the pigs.
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Grandfather sells home made wine, olives, oil, spices, and many types of fresh vegetables from his garden…..6 days here and the third bottle of wine, I know, it could be more but we are no hard drinkers :dance:.
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And Anni is feeding me permanently with “green stuff”, she says it would be good for me :idea-007:.
Well, sometimes when i'm getting weak, I escape from the “health centre of Camper Stop” and walk 10 minutes uphill for a beer, an ouzo and a good giropita, my body needs a bit recovery :tongue:.

I like the little town centre of Ancient Corinthos next to the huge “area of the old stones”, all types of tavernas and cafes, some supermarkets with “all you need” and fresh bread in the morning.
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Sometimes a little bit overcrowded……..
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Sometimes empty…..
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But always we find a nice place for a “Frappe” and a “Portokali fresco”……
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And the dogs are “always on guard”…… (some older pics).
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The area is good for excursions too, to New Korinthos, which has a large pedestrian zone or to Athens with the train, an easy connection. And to the castle of Korinthos or to the beach of Lechaio, not too far away and in “biking range”.
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The weather seems to be good in Old Korinthos, very dry in the morning and some degrees warmer than e.g. in Gythion at the beaches. And always a little breeze, not too strong which is good for the awning.

Well, I must admit this place is not made for people loving crowds of “beach boys and girls”, bars, pools and fun. But as rumours say…..there may be some other interests too, e.g. quite and friendly places which are “a little bit deeper under the skin of Greece”.

Grandfather is tracking his guests very precisely……
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And the Greek neighbours of “Camper Stop” are observing the “strangers” very carefully. In case you behave friendly :idea-007: you may get some little presents, fresh oranges or a salad from a neighbour working in his garden next by…..suddenly, without warning, in a surprise attack:scared: .....:lol-053::lol-053::lol-053:.


Yamas :wave:

Bernd

rottiontour
28-04-2015, 14:46
28.4.2015

Today we are parked up at the” Old Leonidas” again. For us it is a good place and for the dog too.
It is not nice to be aware that a northerly heading would be the beginning of our tour back home :cry:, but we will travel very slowly and stay as long as possible in Greece.
Grandfather and Grandmother of “Camper Stop” were very sad when we said Good Bye, but we promised to come back in autumn.
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We wanted to drive along the coast to the motor home repair shop of Nikos Kastritis near Athens. I needed a new door lock.
We crossed the channel of Korinthos at the eastern end (nice bridge, 3.5 to) and drove along the coastal road to Athens avoiding the highway… cheap and nice…..
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We passed Salamis and saw a relict of the “Battle of Salamis” :D.
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Well, initially I had no clue at all where to find a repair shop and I insisted in doing the repair in Greece and not at home. I don’t like all the “northern comments” about “Italian cars”, “Italian quality”, head shaking “hobby-engineers” and comments like “oh… to get a spare part from Italy will last some months”.
I guess they still use elephants to cross the Alps.
So I am fed up with all those “Northland dealers” and their remarks and i asked at first the well known Zampetas in Saloniki, but unfortunately he did not have the spare part available.

To get some help for finding another dealer in Greece I wrote an email to
info@motorhomeclub.gr
A very friendly Greek lady, Cissy, answered in perfect English and gave me an address near Athens…..Kastritis.
And being in Greece I used the "Greek method" now.....without any prewarnings, without appointment, without a telephone call I simply dropped into Kastritis.... and this happened:
“I have a problem with the door lock…..”
“Come in, someone will come soon and check…..”
And after some minutes a guy came, demounted the door lock, went off, came back with a spare part and after 60 “sunny” minutes I had a brand new door lock…..in my Italian !! car.
No remarks about appointments or the quality of Italian cars, no head shaking, no elephant transport and waiting for spare parts, only "60 minutes work"….that was it, absolutely amazing.
And all workers came to see the Rottweiler and tried to touch or to speak to her, but the girl absolutely did not like the “strange people”, got furious and answered….grrrh :mad2:. But all Greeks seemed to like it and laughed….good dog, Rottweiler kala.

So after one hour we went off to the Kithairon, a very lonely Stellplatz near the top of the mountain in 1143 meters….a cold and windy moonshine night, very refreshing after the hot repair day.
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In the morning we decided to search the sun again and drove to the parking of the Old Leonidas, an overnight stay directly below the Phokian Wall, the old "Battle Zone" of the Spartans and the Persian "immigrants" :scared:.
And in the afternoon no battles at all, too hot, only sun, sun, sun, 32 C and more, Rottie is just melting….and me too.
So I will rescue my life now with an ice cold Greek beer…..that’s it for today.

:cheers:
Bernd

mlynnf50
29-04-2015, 07:52
Hi bernd, Lovely to hear things are going well, you say you will be back in the Autumn? we may be able to meet up, we leave on the 15th October. We have just returned from the UK and they were advising people to take all there money with them when going toGreece, have you noticed any changes? is everything still available? Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

rottiontour
29-04-2015, 14:04
Hi bernd, Lovely to hear things are going well, you say you will be back in the Autumn? we may be able to meet up, we leave on the 15th October. We have just returned from the UK and they were advising people to take all there money with them when going toGreece, have you noticed any changes? is everything still available? Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Hi Lynn,

yes, we will be back in autumn, meet up would be nice.

Our "Quality Press" announced for Greece two economical crashes up to now :scared:, the first on 9th April.....nothing happened. The next on 29th April ....again nothing happened, looking out of the window all is normal, no panic outside. And when they say that the third crash will occur soon, i will use the newspaper only for the toilet.:lol-053:

Up to now we experienced no changes, life is going on as usual, people are very friendly as usual, shops, banks and filling staions are open, all ATM machines are working, absolutely no panic, business as usual.
And i think that the people are even more friendly than the years before, we experienced so much hospitality that it is amazing. Never before so many people on the roads winked to us, shouted "hello" and "welcome"....although i am looking like a "brother of Merkel":lol-053:
The only change is that if you come into a "deeper" discussion with Greeks, many of them would talk about their fear for their future. Many of them fear the "monster of EU banking system" and too, many of them do not like their present government but they like to stay in the EU...amazing point of view.
The Greeks still are very very friendly, polite, helpful, tolerant, may be more than before.

And the tip to take some money with you is ok, i guess. What could happen more than that the ATM machines would be blocked for 2 or 3 weeks....and then would give out again Euros..... or Drachmes :lol-053:.
I keep always so many Euros back, that i can fill my tanks with diesel and pay my bill with cash in order to reach Bulgaria or Macedonia or Albania. There the bank system will be ok again with VISA.
And when the filling stations will be closed for a period, i will drive to a beach or a camp site with the last litre diesel and stay till the situation is clarified again....may be forever, so what!!!:lol-053::lol-053::lol-053:

I for myself do not care any longer about "a crisis and a crash", and the politicians and the bankers may kiss my "a".

Hope i wrote not too rude words...in case, excuse me.
Check the latest situation just before you go to Greece, take your preparations and then.....go.

:cheers:

Bernd

rottiontour
30-04-2015, 21:02
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The morning was great, sunny and warm and……we met the little shepherd mix again, the lovely girl which I unfortunately hit with my car last year. The wound on her nose was ok again, but the last year must have been a very hard one. One of her eyes was blind and a piece of the tail was missing. Nevertheless, she was as lovely as last year.
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We drove along the southern edge of the flatland of Thessaly……
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….and found a little mill, very touristy. I asked a road worker, what it is, a tavern, a museum? He answered “tipota”…nothing. Simply a building with no function.
And then I saw the EU sign, sponsored by EU….so the EU sponsored “nothing with no function”, oups.
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Nevertheless, it was a really nice mill.
We continued driving into the mountains around Lake Plastira, a wonderful region, sometimes I had the impression to be in Bavaria :scared:. Luckily the road signs had Greek letters :lol-053:.
By the way....road signs?????
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“Limni Plastiras” is beautiful…….
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…..and in Neochori we found a good Stellplatz, a parking with a stunning view over the Mount Olympos covered with snow.
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30.4.2015
After a “morning doggie bath” in the beautiful Lake Plastiras we crossed over the flatlands of Thessaly to the beach of Agiokampos......
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……and had a very “historical” event….


The FIRST WILDCAMPING MEETING IN GREECE!!!!!

Ok, I must admit, it was a Mini-Meet, but to meet Pat and Phil (iampatman), sit at the beach, have a chat about Greece and smell the sea and the Tsipouro was an “outstanding” event.
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Who did spot the Wildcamping stickers first?....I think it was you, Pat :wave:

Have fun
Bernd

iampatman
01-05-2015, 10:41
It was good to meet Bernd and Annie and have our "mini meet" by the sea. The 32yr old Tsipouro was very enjoyable. Maybe a Greek "meet" should be an annual event and we could have special stickers?


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Pat

Annsman
05-05-2015, 20:35
An excellent thread and so informative. We hope to start our greek tour next Spring, 2016, and are beginning to put together logistical info. Learned an awful lot from this so thank you for your efforts.

Is it bad to wish time to go faster? :D

rottiontour
06-05-2015, 13:15
We still are in Agiokampos on the camp site Aegeascamp, where we already had stayed some weeks in October last year.
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When the British-German convoy arrived, a big “Hello” started by the Greek owners and ended in a “First-of-May-bar-b-q”, an international “three-language” event with much wine and delicious Greek food and I learned again that wine and Tsipouro are not too good for my pronounciation :D.
We spent a few days with “three-partite-gardening”, a little bit help for the owners, drinking wine and coffee or simply doing nothing.
After some days the wildcampers Pat and Phil had to leave, back to Zampetas repair shop….Good Luck and Safe Trip, it was very, very nice to meet you, hope your repairs will come to a good end…..and we continued to do “nothing” except feeding the dogs of Agiokampos.

We found 5 little puppies and a weak mother dog which was very skinny.
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Initially we assumed that it could be a mother and her kids but a neighbour told as the facts.
All babies of the mother were killed by some people of the village, she has no babies any longer, and the 5 babies in the bush have been taken away from their own mother and thrown into the bush to let them die, and we found them.
So we started to feed the poor mother dog and the lonely babies and after 5 days now the babies are getting more and more power and vitality and the mother dog is getting her power back again too, her eyes are full of thanks.
I know, there are so many theories if it is good or bad, “to feed or not to feed”.
I think, it is good to give them a little bit of power and some happy weeks and then they may die or survive by their own. At least they will have a little chance to live instead of no chance.
So we will stay till end of May in Agiokampos for dog feeding and then we will drive back home taking the fastest way across the Balkan.

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Good luck
Bernd

iampatman
07-05-2015, 13:46
Hi Bernd,
We spent a couple of nights at Zampetas and a temporary repair has been carried out. They'll do a full repair on our way home when they have got the part needed. Stopped at Nea Anchialos last night and today visited Volos before driving over Mt Pelion ( we didn't see any Centaurs) to Chorefto where we are parked up now with the sea on one side and a Taberna on the other. Happy Days.
Enjoy the rest of your time at Agiokampos and safe journey home.
Pat

rottiontour
07-05-2015, 17:25
Hi Bernd,
We spent a couple of nights at Zampetas and a temporary repair has been carried out. They'll do a full repair on our way home when they have got the part needed. Stopped at Nea Anchialos last night and today visited Volos before driving over Mt Pelion ( we didn't see any Centaurs) to Chorefto where we are parked up now with the sea on one side and a Taberna on the other. Happy Days.
Enjoy the rest of your time at Agiokampos and safe journey home.
Pat

Hello Pat,
Good to hear that the car is ok and ready again for the big "volta".
And the Centaurs, hmmh, i saw the last one after a half bottle Tsipouro....or was it a white rabbit:lol-061:
Anyway......have fun and safe trip,
Bernd

rottiontour
15-05-2015, 14:02
When we came on first of May to Aegeas Camping in Agiokampos….hi, Pat and Phil, you know it very well……the camp site was in a sad condition.
The road near by was a gravel road, unfinished works, no tarmac, and all was covered with dust. Toilets and showers still in “winter conditions”, trees and grass everywhere, roads and pitches not usable for m/homes or caravans, like in a jungle. The entrance, the first impression, was covered with dust and grass and the door was closed although the site was open, so not a real good invitation for guests :(.

But the owners were so friendly that we stayed again for a while and we lucky to observe how the “Greek wheels” started turning…cigar, cigar, slowly, slowly.

The owner's son came from Athens for a week and all the toilets and showers have been cleaned.
Some Albanians sometimes showed up and worked with the owners.
And suddenly there was a new free WIFI…..that’s what sons are good for too.
And a washing machine, it is working and ….for the guests too.
And the owner Andonis must be a member of the “Agiokampos Mafia”…..some noisy telephone calls to the Lord Mayor and the road repairs began and after two days the road outside was covered with tarmac and so there is no dust any longer, great.
And they cut the trees; some nice pitches are suitable now for m/homes or caravans, including the roads in front of the pitches, great.
The entrance area was cleaned; the door is open all the time now, and the rubbish outside was collected, some hundred meters public road are looking like a “Northland road” now. Hopefully the neighbours next by will copy it :idea-007:
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We are 2 weeks on the camp site now, the weather is outstanding :) and it is great to see, how this place is developing, a little green paradise, the shadow is good for retired m/homers like we are, sitting under cherry trees, and looking for a bit of peace and…. freedom.
…… eating one cherry after the other……
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And fresh Greek food in the little taverna with the Greek-Albanian workers and Andonis, “the Boss”…..
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And Agiokampos itself is waking up step by step…..
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It’s a little world, a bit hidden, a bit simple and mainly locals, we like that.
Whoever wants to join us for a cold “Mythos” and a Tsipouro, come in, the Rottie will announce you :scared:.

:camper:
Bernd

iampatman
15-05-2015, 14:56
Wow, it's starting to look like a campsite :) Give my regards to Andonis and his family, we won't forget the May Day barbecue.
Scorching hot here at Blue Dolphin - time for a refreshing Ouzo.
Safe journey home,
Pat

rottiontour
31-05-2015, 21:44
I hardly can remember when I had my last English beer, I think it was anywhere down in Portsmouth, but I am not sure …was it the beer?
And now, 2000 miles away and 20 years later I got another one, a real English beer in Greece…wow.
And the best…. it was imported directly by the Wildcampers Tony and Cheryl (Witzend), who suddenly “dropped” into the camp site, “scaring up” Magda, the owner, who started running towards us shouting “come, come, someone is searching for the Rottie”…heehee.
And so the second “Wildcamping Mini Meet” in Greece started with original English beer and Greek Tsipouro :cheers:.
Thank you Tony and Cheryl for the visit and the great and funny “international evening” and have a safe and lucky time in Greece. Hope, we will meet again.

Unfortunately sunny days are followed by rain and so our last evening in Agiokampos arrived.
We have to go home to the cold and rainy Northland and as usual we have to overcome a bad weather area over the Balkan.
Up to now the plan was to travel back through the inner parts of Macedonia and Bosnia but the weather forecast said “thunderstorms for more than a week” :scared: So we skipped this plan.
And the coast of Croatia presently is not an option for us, the tourist season just started, and to avoid the colourful “northlandish” invasion we decided to travel through the heart of the “dark and dangerous” Balkan, through Serbia, then Hungary, Austria and back home.
But what makes me really sad is….we have to leave Agiokampos and Greece :cry: :cry: :cry:.

Last walk along Rottie’s Beach…..
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Last “Siesta” in front of the Bar…….
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And tomorrow morning….Good Bye Aegeascamp……
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The Greek owners were observing sadly our travel preparations :sad:…..my neighbours in Northland never did, think they were always glad to get rid of me :lol-053:.
But with a glass of wine we just had an idea which is helping us a lot…..we simply defined to start tomorrow our summer holiday trip, this time a quick travel to the Northern countries, it must be summertime right now up there. And after some weeks of “sightseeing in East Frisia” we will return back home…to Greece.

Have fun
Bernd

iampatman
01-06-2015, 06:24
Safe journey home Bernd. Thanks for all the posts and information.

Pat

rottiontour
01-06-2015, 10:24
Safe journey home Bernd. Thanks for all the posts and information.

Pat

Kalo taxidi, Pat. Enjoy Crete.

rottiontour
03-06-2015, 14:58
Initially we planned to travel home via Albania and Bosnia, but we skipped the plan due to bad weather. But now we are in Central Serbia with westerly heading to Bosnia again….another change in plan, the weather is fantastic.
Central Serbia and Bosnia is new for us, a new challenge, and not too many m/homers are travelling there, so we hope to find camp sites which are not full….and many new impressions.
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And the first two days of the tour were full of impressions.

We saw parts of the “migrant tsunami” which had arrived in Europe. During our travel on the highways of North Greece and South Macedonia we recognized several groups of migrants, always 10-15 people, walking along highways and trains to North, all equipped with bag packs and cell phones, most of them young men, and only a few women and children. Hopefully Europe will not sink.

We saw the “war zone” of Kumanovo, some weeks ago there had been ethnic clashes. Albanian and Kosovo UCK terrorists killed Macedonian Police officers in a surprise attack and all terrorists were killed or arrested. 20 dead and some houses totally destroyed. Macedonian police obviously does not “discuss”.
Now all the life in vicinity of Kumanovo is normal again, no police, no soldiers, no damages, no road controls, nothing. And I had no bad feelings taking the highway near Kumanovo. I think, it is the same as surrounding Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, And Kumanovo was not a “Balkan war scenario” as “The Media” reported in panic.

The overnight stay at Camping Motel Predejane was OK, we saw a Serbian “Restaurant and Motel life style”, very interesting. And we observed a group of children, who were well dressed and had much discipline….unbelievable. I do not remember when we saw last time such a well behaving children’s group. I think it was in Poland :wacko:.
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The Greek highway quality is not the best but usable, the Macedonian highways are bad but usable, all under construction, much work is ongoing.
The South Serbian highway is bad to excellent, but depending on speed always usable too. Much road work is going on, unbelievable much work. And all people at the toll stations or filling station are very, very friendly. All tolls we could pay in Euro.
North of Nis we left the highway to go cross country through Central Serbia towards Bosnia.
We had no clue what we could expect and we had heard so many bad rumours about the conditions in Serbia that we wanted to see it by our own and……Central Serbia was a big surprise for us, totally in contradiction to the rumours.
The roads are in a satisfying to good condition, minor towns seemed to be more poor than rich but with acceptable standard and larger towns had a good standard, well, it is not Paris or Rome. The traffic situation was OK, all drivers had much discipline, filling stations accepted VISA, cars were in an “average to modern” condition, no Polski Fiat or Zastavas any longer, and all people were very friendly, but not used to tourists, a little bit shy I guess. We saw many people working and this NON-EU-Country is in a quite good condition, in a much better condition than Greece or Romania and Bulgaria!!! For us an amazing experience….is there another life outside the EU and Euro zone??? Scared!! And so we started to enjoy driving through Serbia, a good looking Balkan country. Well, bad parts too, but…..
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And we found a good Serbian Campsite, the owners are very friendly and the camp site is clean, in a good condition and very nice.
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So we had our first night on a Central Serbian camp site, the owner told us, where to switch out the lights and we met a friendly Austrian couple and tested the local wine….the Serbian wine is excellent and the Serbian Wine Road is near by.

This is Grandfather’s equipment to produce home made Serbian Schnaps, Rakia. He won some medals with it.
Unfortunately the distillery does not fit into my m/home, so we had to load some bottles instead.
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After the first kilometres off the Autoput, we learned that Serbia is a big surprise for us and all the rumours are “bs”.

Cheerio
Bernd

rottiontour
04-06-2015, 17:19
Today’s highlight….the border crossing from Serbia to Bosnia. Now we made all Balkan states except Kosovo, and it`s good to have a remaining target.
This time….Bosnia. It was “easy going” from Serbia to Bosnia. The “Bosnian Mark” is not needed, cause most people are accepting Euros or Visa …2 Bosnian Marks are 1 Euro, as it was in former times with the German Mark (cry). Very interesting fact by the way, Bosnia is using Euros as an official currency and has an own currency too, and Montenegro is doing the same. So it is possible to use Euros without being in the Euro-Zone. Perhaps this might be an option for Greece too….leave the Euro-Zone and use Greek Drachmes AND the Euro . In case this might happen I would pay money for looking into the faces of “Goldman Sachs Draghi”, “wine lover” Juncker and the “Missus”, hahaha.
Anyway, that’s politics and we crossed the border into Bosnia…..
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But at first we had to pay three Euros on the Serbian side, an ecological tax, ahhh, they are learning from the Green Parties, but much too fast and always the “inconvenient things”.

And again….Bosnia is OK for me, the roads are usable, the people are friendly and the nature is beautiful, and…..many Police cars and controls. This is the country with the largest amount of Police we saw on the tour, similar to Albania. May be it is a sign of political, ethnic or religious instability or increased number of criminals like in tourist areas :scared:…. much Police on roads much trouble, less Police less trouble, no Police no trouble. However, we do not feel unsafe, absolutely not.

Bosnian “first impressions”…..
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And we arrived at Sarajewo, the Olympic Wintergames Town, we got a little bit lost in the suburbs and so we saw that Sarajewo at all is OK, sufficiently clean, not really rotten, sometimes only poor. And the boulevards are great.
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However, often in the outskirts we saw the impact of the war….
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And even in the middle of the town…..
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But this war is gone luckily and we are sitting in peace on Camping Oaza listening to the “songs” of the mosques…22:30, 04:30, and all 6 hours. I must admit, especially during the night I hate it.
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Next day we left the camp site, cause a mosque was next by. Especially for the black Rottie it was not a very convenient situation, cause in Islam the black dog is assumed to be a devil :scared:, his breath is poison, and walking next by prayers all prays will become invalid and so we decided to leave to avoid any conflict at all.
But overall I must say, for a “normal” visitor Bosnia is a very interesting and fascinating country with a quite good infrastructure. Without dog we would not hesitate to visit it again.

Sarajewo….Mostar….Croatia… Camp Marina in Lozovak.
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Some impressions…..
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And on Camp Marina we found what we “missed” since nearly 4 month….a nice chicken farm atmosphere with many Northlanders next by next, cosy and warm…..:lol-053:.
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Luckily we got the last but best place, for one night it will be OK.

Regards
Bernd

witzend
05-06-2015, 13:39
Hi Bernd. Was lovely to meet you, Annie and "Rottie". It was a pleasure to meet such a well behaved dog who certainly gives lie to the reputation Rottwielrrs have. It has been mainly your trip blogs which finally tempted us to explore Greece and so far we are really enjoying it. Hope you have a safe trip home and return to Greece soon.

rottiontour
07-06-2015, 07:33
Hi Bernd. Was lovely to meet you, Annie and "Rottie". It was a pleasure to meet such a well behaved dog who certainly gives lie to the reputation Rottwielrrs have. It has been mainly your trip blogs which finally tempted us to explore Greece and so far we are really enjoying it. Hope you have a safe trip home and return to Greece soon.

Hi,
Thank you for your kind comment and your meeting with us, it was a real pleasure.
Enjoy Greece, the sun and the people.
From Austria and 31 C....hot hot hot.....we wish you a safe travel.
Bernd and Anni

rottiontour
08-06-2015, 19:52
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The Stellplatz or Camping Marina in Lozovac/Croatia was great, a nice restaurant, fresh bread in the morning, Wifi and a new pool, and 12 Euros per night. And the owners have a bus shuttle to the Krka Waterfalls, about 5 km away. This time we didn’t do a visit, here an older pictures….
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So we continued heading North using the excellent Croatian highway. 25 Euros was a little bit expensive, but good for a very comfortable drive.

The mouth of Krka river…..
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We stopped directly after the Slovenian border, back in Euroland, the border station is 200 meters away and the river is border to Croatia. A very nice place, displayed as camping site on the map but it looked more like a public bath or recreation site by the river. But we asked and all should be ok.
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We had a cool place under trees and a gap for getting “Brainwash TV”,(:idea-007: :idea-007::idea-007:), cause it’s important to listen to the latest propaganda news before returning to Northland… to be “updated” haha.
Within next 2 hours the site filled with guests, children, dogs, young people and so we went to the bar and asked again….is it ok to stay overnight where we are.
And the guy behind the bar said….generally yes, but tonight it will be very noise and many people.
So I drank a Slovenian beer…. and took the car :scared: to move about 2 km west to another very “basic” campsite. Well, this was a more or less a field may be a very idyllic one….but a field.
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It was ok for us and the dog and the darkness came… and the mosquitoes.
Finally I drank a bit of Grandfather’s Serbian Rakia to cope with the stress of “going North”.
And Rottie enjoyed the border to Croatia…..nice border btw, no police, no controls, only the official border station, nothing more. I could have import everyone and everything into “Schengen” and vice versa, simply starting at campsite Lovesin.
The ”Schengen” border……
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Next morning we continued heading North again…we wanted to avoid the “Karawanken tunnel” because loads of tourists were driving to Northland and opposite. We would expect the usual weekend traffic jam at the Karawanken tunnel and with that outside temperature we all would die. So we drove from Slovenia to Austria on the old road over the Loibl Pass, a very nice one, which is easy to drive from South to North, from North to South it is a little bit harder.
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Our overnight place was in Rosegg/Austria, a Stellplatz next by a typical Austrian restaurant, the “Rosegger Hof”…good for a “Wiener Schnitzel”, a “Palatschinken” and a cold Austrian beer.
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For us one of the most excellent “Stellplätze” we know and a fantastic view to the Alps.

Road through Northern Austria near Linz……..
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Finally we ended up on a Stellplatz in Passau/homeland, and this Stellplatz was our first contact with “homeland” civilisation after a long travel, and it was a great show, no TV needed at all.
We saw people “fighting to keep the last resources”, stopping other m/homers to use the pitch next by cause it might block their “panoramic view” :lol-049:
We saw community officials driving along and checking out some m/homers. Did they use this cost free place for too many days?:idea-007:
We saw people cleaning their m/homes with bucket, sponge and ladder, and we were asked why our m/home was so incredible dirty :(.
We saw groups of people complaining that the baker’s car today arrived some minutes later than the days ago….:confused:.
And we saw a lady in sleeping clothes walking to the baker’s car buying some bread..…m/homers are trendsetters :sleep-040:.
So we learned again…..this large Passau Stellplatz is not a simple Stellplatz, it’s a “parallel universe” with own rules.
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Well, first homeland-night with so many m/homers is always a good show and we decided to drive some kilometres through Czech Republic, we needed some relaxation, haha.

Once we left the border region with all the Asian markets and Night Bars the Czech Republic converted into a nice country, quite good roads, nice town centres and friendly people.
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And the best….we found a picturesque camp site, not too many people here, clean, good toilets and showers and very “rural”.
Great for some relaxation but tomorrow we will continue driving.
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Regards
Bernd

rottiontour
10-06-2015, 20:30
Oh, what a morning….grey, grey, grey, we are not used to it.
We continued heading North.... some Czech impressions…..
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Anywhere near Karlsbad/Karlovy Vary……
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Karlovy Vary, Karlsbad, for me the most beautiful town in Czech Republik, some older pics…..
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Karlovy Vary…you can’t top it.

Pilsen, the town of the famous beer……
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And the border region……
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And finally the overnight parking. I detected it in “maps.me”, one of the best cost free navigators for Android. It is running perfectly on my Huawei tablet. When I asked the nav for “Wanderparkplaetze” it gave me some good options.
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Quiet night as usual and travel to Leipzig with the “Monument to the Battle of the Nations”, 1813…..
Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig - Monument to the Battle of the Nations - Overview (http://www.stadtgeschichtliches-museum-leipzig.de/site_english/voelkerschlachtdenkmal/index.php)
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….the “Obelisk” in W-DC is a “skinny clone” :lol-053:.

Passing Halle/Saale……
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……we found a little Stellplatz in Brachwitz by a Marina and a ferry, nice and quiet, very idyllic, lovely and peaceful. The region of the rivers Saale and Unstruth are the most fascinating regions in Germany for me…did I say “Germany”?…no, “German Democratic Republic”, its ’still existing proudly in the hearts of the "Ossis" :scared:, ….and I as a “Wessi” needed decades to understand why :idea: :lol-053:.
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The summer is arriving in Northland and it’s getting warmer, so a cold beer would be OK,

:cheers:
Bernd

rottiontour
14-06-2015, 13:06
We jumped from marina to marina, nice parking in Haldensleben, then anywhere in Lüneburger Heide and now….back home.
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In Halle I violated the green “Umweltzone” and it was my intention to do so, I was fully aware of it, I even planned it :scared::scared::scared:!!
I simply wanted to see some places where my father learned his job and met my mother. And this was in the green LEZ of Halle and I have NO sticker, so what :):):).
Nobody recorded my car, nobody paid attention to it, no cameras, no police (all at G7 or in long break), no mass panic, nothing.
I know, I am irresponsible, i'm a hazard, a bad guy and I am responsible for the warming up of the climate, for the lack of ozone and for the thunderstorms…. and I simply disregarded all of it, may be I was too long in Greece. Sorry, I forgot the dying of the forests in Brasilia :cry:.
Anyway, nothing happened and nobody should be panicking when driving into a Umweltzone in Germany. Simply turn back ….or continue, but then never park too long :ninja::ninja:.

And Halle is a beautiful town, many restaurants, much history and friendly people, and very clean.
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Think I understand why my father married a girl from Halle:)…..and “some years later” the traces of me and my parents have met again, I’m sure.

But there are "socialistic" mass quarters too…..
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But the marina of Haldersleben does not have any mass quarters, luckily, that’s what I like….and a good local beer.
This evening I had 3 half liters of black beer….i had a reason for it, cause I broke a plastic window of the habitation by touching an iron door, a very aggressive door :mad2:!
So I phoned to a local dealer and got the answer….oh, an Italian car, we don`t sell those cars.
What can I say, it is a window which is very common and many cars have this type of window. So I decided to keep my money, i checked out Ebay, found the window, and I guess it will be at home before I will arrive…60 minutes of repairing, and it will be done, it is so easy and cheap, but not for a German noble dealer. I am missing the Greek dealers and their answers ...“no problem, come in.....…..next repair in Greece, the Greeks know, what the word “service” means.
So, I repaired the window extemporary, we were able to continue driving and the rest will be easy, luckily…..and I won three black beers, “Schwarzbier”!
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Next morning….jump into the Lüneburger Heide, good parking by a forest especially for m/homes, friendly community of Neuenkirchen……
The rest of the drive was routine.
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And now, after having used a large shower room again, a large bed, a large kitchen and a large living room, and all electricity I wanted…….I am missing the life in my m/home !!!!.
Some repairs and some maintenance and in August we will go again and leave the friendly “Northland”. It’s good to have a plan, haha.

Summary:
10.000 km and 4 months on road like one week, every day we had a little adventure. We crossed the “snowy Alps” in Feb, had the first sun at Lago di Garda, had the “big flood” in Montenegro, met many lovely and open minded people in Greece and made a lot of new friends…..and Rottie too. We cruised through the “dark and hostile” Central Serbia and Bosnia, and we learned that all the rumours we have heard are wrong…..we saw “the other side”.
And we dived deeply into the heart of Greece, learned much about the Greek mentality, their problems and their fear….and their hospitality, the Greek “Philoxenia”, which is unique.
We saw the colourful flowers of the spring, had the first cherries from the trees, and had fish, wine, olives and Tsipouro of a kind, which we never got in Northland.
And we had not a single incident, for which we would have needed the help of the dog. Rottie was “on leave” all the time....she seemes to be a little bit sad too.

And we couldn`t get enough of the white mountains, the lonely beaches, the deep blue sea, the freedom and the Greek hospitality, so we will go back again soon.
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Best wishes to Pat and Phil and Tony and Cheryl…..hope to meet you in Greece again.
“Kalo taxidi kai ta leme sindoma”

:have fun:
Bernd

iampatman
14-06-2015, 14:11
Ahh Bernd, you have a large shower room and we have no shower! Parked this afternoon in Larissa, it's nearly 40deg outside and maybe hotter inside the van but tomorrow we are back at Zampetas and they will do the repair. Meanwhile you are perhaps a little bit chilly and we are damping ourselves down with a cold wet sponge!!
Thanks for all your posts, they have been inspirational in more ways than one. It was good to meet you and Annie, even Rottie who doesn't do much greeting. I'm sure our paths will cross again in Greece, you can't keep away and neither can we.
Best wishes,
Pat

toasty
14-06-2015, 18:23
Very much enjoyed reading your travelogue, inspirational! :nicethread:
Oh, & loved the photos & co-ordinates too :D


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