The headline might sound Greek to you - and you are right - it is! "Have a good day" and "Have a good trip" are the words the locals are using to farewell us at the Edelweiss tour start in Athens.
After tour guide Stephan trailered a fleet of brandnew bikes the long way from Mieming to Athens - using the ferry from Ancona, Italy to Patras, Greece - the bikes are lined up in front of the hotel and waiting for their riders. Meanwhile everybody is here and looking forward to our trip through unknown Greece.
Stephan and the bikes lining up at the ferry
They are all brandnew!
Jim and Steve like their bikes too!
First day out on Greek roads
To avoid Athen's down town we went on the motorway to get around. Surprisingly quick we found ourselves on a small mountainroad leaving the crowded bowl of the city
At the lunch stop in Aliki, an unknown place even amongst the Greek, the "Greek feeling" started to take over. I guess it was the landscape, the beach and for sure, the food.
Good roads, blooming ginster beside the road and snowcaped mountains in the background
Even visiting Greece on a motorcycle doesn't mean that there is no time for culture. The monestary of Ossios Louka gave us a first impression about Greek's past.
Restday in Delphi
All of Europe is celebrating May 1st! A day to honour labour - and so the Greek do as well - everything is closed except the tavernas and bars. So we got an extended version of the planed afternoon ride. Climbing Parnassos mountains we checked out one of Greece' most famous skiing areas. From the coast to skiing doesn't even take an hour - and there is still snow up there!
On small roads we headed North to reach the battle field at the Termopyles, where the Spartanes lost against the intruding Persians centuries ago.
Lutz having a "cafe metrio me gala"
Delphi - Kalambaka
As we couldn't visit Delphi yesterday we had a "cultural hour early this morning.
Roads of all kinds, from wide open to narrow, led us to the town below the Meteora Monastaries. Flowers where ever you look, specially the yellow blooming broom longside the roads.
Restday in Meteora
An easy day! We went to see the monasteries of Meteora. Sitting on top of pinacles now for over 800 years they are still impressive. Hard to imagine a life as a monk here.
Kalmbaka - Ioannina
Leaving the magnificant area of Meteore we headed again for small mountain roads. An endless number of curves took us across a first mountain range and closer to the Pindos Mountains. Snowcaped peaks were greating from the distance. It felt more like riding in the Alps than being in Greece - but it was just wonderful. Breaks in Grevena and Metsovo and the visit of Spileo Perama, a cave, split the day in well dosed sections.
How do you take your horse from A to B?
Fresh strawberries on the farmer's market in Gravena
Hard to believe that this is Greece
Leaving our lunchstop in Metsovo
Ioannina - Nafpaktos
Some more Greek mounatin roads took us to Preveza where we decided to take a side trip to the island of Lefkada. the only difference to what we had before was that this "mountain" was surrounded by the sea. Great roads great views and an excellent lunch in Vasiliki. After getting back to mainland we hit the coastal road which turned out to be a race track with an uncountable number of lefts and rights. At a picture stop we did everybody had a kind of funny grin in his face. All in all - a great day!
view from our lunch place
Nafpaktos - Olympia
After an easy start on Sunday morning (the Greek are still asleep) we headed for Peleponnesos. Crossing over the new (since 2004) bridge we reached the island and after following the coast for a while we headed into the mountains. What great roads!
The Rio-Antirio bridge, officially the Charilaos Trikoupis bridge after the statesman who first envisaged it, is the world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge
On the bridge
Peleponnes' mountain roads
Restday in Olympia
After two days of good riding it is time to do some culture. But after three hours at the sights of Ancient Olympia we could feel the lure of the backroads. And it was worth to go - great roads, an excellent lunch in one of the mountain villages - and some more culture. Just another perfect day!
One of the many small roads framed by flowers
What's hiding underneath?
The Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, temple to the god of healing and the sun, was built towards the middle of the 5th century B.C. in the lonely heights of the Arcadian mountains.
Olympia - Nafplio
In the meantime we are addicted to the Greek roads. Checking out the smallest roads on the map we are taken in areas with breathtaking sceneries. Mountain villages nestling on the hillside spread their charm and invite for a coffee or lunch stop. We are so hooked to riding on these roads that there are days where there is not much time for pictures
Ena frape metrio me gala - everybody wants one
Main road through a mountain village
That's how hot the roads are......
Nafplio - Poros
Nafplio has a lot to offer! A lively town with approx. 18.000 people living there and a lot of history invited for a stroll through the old part. Real Italian ice cream slowed us down a little bit. After visiting the town we headed for Poros, a small Agean island very close to Pelleponnesos.
Gabi loves ice cream
On the road towards Poros
A short ferry ride took us across
Gabi on the ferry
Island of Poros
Poros - Athens
Is it realy the last riding day? Only about 200 km left? The final day took us to Epidaurus to have a look at the ancient theater and heading towards Athens we stopped at the Canal of Corinth - two more major impressions on this trip.
Having a look at fotos, drinking some Ouzo and remembering an outstanding trip concluded a 12 day dream vacation.
All the brave ones who scouted Unkown Greece......
"Kalo taxidi" - have a nice trip back home!