Km done: 1382 km
Daily Average: 57 km
Days in GR: 24
Days on the Bike: 17
Altitude climbed: 13000m
Average Altitude: 765m
nights in the Tent: 22
nights in Houses: 2
Breakdowns: 1 Flat Tyre
Daily Average: 19,80€
Calimera in Hellas,
Greece, the Gliche of turquise Sea with white House in the Rocks under Deal blue Sky and on the other Side Massprotests, Riots, Poverty and Abuse of Money. with these Thoughts in my Head i cycled into the Country. Lets see what the next few weeks will bring...
My first impression was the Quality of the Road. New made and wide also on Sideboards... Sometimes there is a Pothole but nothing compared to the last Months, brilliant!...
The second impression were the Supermarkets. In the rural Area of Albania the Shops had communistic flair that had just the important stuff and in limited Numbers... and then Greece! in the first Carrefour-Market i was total flashed from the Mass of Products... welcome back to Europe!
After two days on hot roads the Katara-Pass separates me from my next Point of Rest: Meteora. The Pass divides me also from the nice weather and so i had my first Autumn-experience on the Top of the Pass. With Rain and cold Temperatures i forced myself over the Top to Meteora.
The Landscape around Kalabaka is unique. Erosion shaped Rocktowers which are impressing. Monks build hermitages on top and into the niches of the Towers. Over Time there grew Monasteries that throne now on the top. Fascinating! Climbers also love the Area and so i had a lot of companions in the 4 Days of Rain i stayed on the Campsite near the Rocks...
After the Rainfalls stopped i went on east. My next target Mount Olympus felt out of my plans. The rainfall of Meteor brought 30cm of Snow up there so climbing was imposssible... A Pity. My plan to ride through the hills around the Peak was also senseless cause of the deep Clouds in this Area. Without view it does not really make sense to climb up there with the bike... So i went around the Massiv. Cause of my bad experiences with the Dogs i decided to avoid side roads. My way to the Thermic Gulf leads my in parts over Highways... Nice to ride ;-)
At the Coast i was welcomed by a very strange atmosphere. The Season ended and the villages along the Coast are pure Touristic Settlements without real Inhabitants. So i rode through Ghosttowns with empty Beaches. The Evening at the Beach was almost the same everyday: off the Bike, put up the Tent quickly and get in. Tons of Mosquitos hunted me and so it was impossible to enjoy the evening on the Beach... Annoying!
In Thessaloniki i had the opportunity to sleep in a real bed, the first time since Sarajevo. I take a totally calm look at look at the City. It´s situated at the Coast growing up the Hills behind it. An old Byzantinern Wall sourrounds the Oldtown from 2 Sides. A City full of Flair! I strolled through the little alleys of the upper town for hours. In the lower town i visited the ruins of the ancient times... Two very nice Days in Thessaloniki.
Two have a look at the classical Greece i decided to visit the Peninsula Chalkidiki. Three Fingers growing into the South and the middle One was on my List. I cycled around it where one bay after another with beautiful Landscapes around delighted my eyes...A Dream if there were no Mosquitos... The same story as before forced me in my tent early... The mostest Finger is the most interessting one but you need a kind of Visa to get there. It´s a semi-independent Monk-Republic that allowes no female visitors on their ground... But you have to organise the Visa in front so it was impossible for me to get there... The Weather did me a favor that it was so misty that you could not see the Island at all...
After a Stop near Kavala i decided to visit a real Island: Thasos. Just 10km away from the mainland it is just a short ride with the ferry. On the Island it was the same than the last days. Empty villages and Beaches. The Landscape was very nice and so i enjoyed the 2 Days on the Island just looking around. The Temperatures get more like Autumn and so it was not really comfortable to take a swim in one of the very beautiful Bays of the Island.
From Thasos it was a one Day ride to Alexandropolis, my last stop in Greece. I ordered some last Spaceports and Replacements from Germany and had to wait for the Parcel in the Town. So i could follow the End of Summer while sitting on the Beach where Wind blows strong and the Sky gets greyer and greyer. A very impressing change of Seasons.
After 24 Days in Greece i hope i could leave it tommorow heading forward to Turkey, my first Country in Asia and my last Kilometers on european Ground... But more of this in my next Story