Monday, May 29, 2023 | Michaela Achatzi / Noël Gys | Europe
Welcome at the Athens to Dubrovnik blog.
From Athens, we left yesterday morning in western direction... to the Corinth Canal. We had our first coffee stop there, and visited ofcourse the well known 6,4 km long Canal, that connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea, with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. With a nice 20 degrees Celsius and with perfect dry conditions, we continued our morning tour to the beautifull coastal town Palea Epidaurus where we had lunch.
After tasting some different fishes and ofcourse the typical greek salad, we continued for one of the Unesco world heritage site of Epidaurus, well known for its healing sanctuary and remarkable amphitheater.
The last part of our first day was on a beautifull narrow, curvy road to the fortress of Palamidi, nestled on a crest of a 216 m high hill, with unforgetable views on Nafplio.
Nafplio is our first end station, a tourist city that attrackts people from all over the world and is definitely worth a visit, when travelling on the Pelopponese peninsular.
sometimes you don't know in the morning what the day might bring.
Of course we know that we ride motorcycles but not always where.
We leave Nafplio on the coast road to the south. With the best weather. Fantastic streets all to ourselves.
During our coffee stop you can see the guests thinking about how cold the sea is. But nobody dares to go in.
We continue along the Pardon mountains with a height of almost 2000 meters. We stop in Kyparissi, with a fantastic view of more for our lunch - fresh fish.
Then up even more curves, what a dream. Past Sparta.
Black clouds are coming to the right and left, but why? It just gave the sun.
We still have 55 km to Kalamata and the highest pass ahead of us. Quickly found a coffee, parked it and a mighty thunderstorm is already falling. What timing.
we sat out the thunderstorm and continued after 45 minutes in sunshine. But that's not supposed to be it.
Road blocks sometimes come suddenly and unexpectedly, but this time that means only driving a few kilometers more but on a fantastic mini mountain road with fantastic nature.
Wow, what a beautifull day here from Kalamata to Olympia today. With splendid, sunny weather, we left Kalamata through the curvy and narrow roads to Leondari. The little village still seems to sleep when we arrived at 10,00... About an hour later, we visited the open air water power museum in Dimitsana and found out how inventive the Greeks were many centuries ago. After lunchtime at Maniatis restaurant in Langadia, the cosy little mountain village, we headed for our highlight of the day : Olympia.
We strolled through the site of ancient Olympia and organized our own small "Olympics"... not naked, like so many years ago, but we registered some new Olympic records and a false start of Sky at the 200 Meter sprint... he is disqualified now and will not be in the finals tomorrow!
In the evening we had a great dinner at the Zeus Restaurant, in the quiet little town Olympia.
Today we drive from Olympia to Delphi. We start our day in the best sunshine and drive through the mountains on beautiful winding roads.
We discover a small bakery with all kinds of delicacies. And there are also toilets across the street in the hospital, no matter what the need is.
Continue to the symbol of Greece in the 21st century - the Rion-Antirion Bridge.
2250 m long, each pillar 230 m high on two tectonic plates, and it can still grow, 2 m in 120 years. 600 million euros
Of course we drive over it, and on the other side I reserved a table on the beach.
It's picnic time. What a surprise .
Today's destination is Delphi, also here we dive into the story of Zeus and the oracle.
Good morning from sunny Delphi. We started our day up to the Pindus Mountains. Great curvy roads took us through over the Mount Parnass. Via the busier road to Domokos, we had a coffee stop at the main road. A little bit later we turned west again for smaller and technical narrow roads to the Lake Plastira. The road was really adventurous here with quite a lot of holes, rocks and even gravel paths sometimes. But the view at the Plastira dam and lake, the green surroundings and the christal clear water gave us so much back. It was such great fun to ride there. From Lake Plastira, it wasn`t that far anymore to Meteora... another top tourist attraction on our tour.
Yes, a rest day is also used to do a lot of nothing. It also rained all day, so there are no pictures.
Part of the group booked a bus tour to the famous Meteora monasteries, others rested. In the evening it was time for dinner on your own.
tomorrow we hope the weather will be better because we are going to Albania tomorrow.
Anyone who goes on a journey can tell something. Unfortunately, today we will start in light rain, but the prospect of arriving with sunshine makes it easier for us to get on the bikes. We slowly swing in and the sun comes out just in time for the coffee stop in Metsovo. We can pack our busy clothes. We continue to the north Pindos Mountains where we drive up to the deepest gorge in the world, the Vikos Gorge. Up to 500 meters deep and a few meters wide, also in the Guinness Book. Let's stretch our through-town in Gjirokastra, the old town has it all. Steep driveway on cobblestones and tight turns. Even so tight that our Diana had to get off the bike that we got around the corner. Continue for about 1 km. Arrived at the top - Jon, where's your wife? Uh -forgot she waited patiently at said place until she was picked up, what fun, that was the running gag of the next few days.
today from our hotel located on the hill of gjirokaster to the picturesque lake Ohrid. Plenty of beautiful views along the way, lots of curves and great weather again. We regularly caught a glimpse of the still snow-capped Mount Tomorri. Then via the Dumreja plateau with more than 80 lakes, to the Albania / Macedonia border. Like a dream there suddenly lies the clear and pure Lake Ohrid. Our hotel is right on the shore... what a beautiful sunset.
This is supposed to be fun today. We leave Ohrid and go on a dream road that makes every motorcyclist's heart beat faster. Again and again right left right left, because no tire is angular. We stop briefly at the Fierza reservoir. And then again to cross the border to Albania. Also there a lot of curves but unfortunately not so nice asphalt. But that doesn't spoil the fun for us. Our goal today Shkodra 5th largest city in Montenegro.
Today we leave Albania again and arrive in Montenegro (black mountain). Soon we leave the main road and dive into the mountains again... After looking back towards Shkodra Lake, we already see the highest peaks of this region: the Maja Jezerce (2694 m / 8839 ft) high. We slalom to our first photo stop and enjoy the numerous hairpins again. Not much further is the border. Everything goes smoothly and a little later we arrive at the lunch stop at Plavsko Lake. We haven't forgotten Julie's birthday... and of course we have to sing! One more beautiful pass is on the program: the Tresnjevik pass (1686 m / 5530 ft) before entering Kolasin, a winter sports resort. A rest day awaits us here.
Due to the bad weather forecast today we have limited ourselves to a short morning ride. Most enjoyed a relaxing day in our luxury hotel with a visit to the spa, swimming pool and massages. Michael, Sergio and Sky decided to take a trip with Noel to the Ski Resort of Kolasin 1600. It turned out to be an adventurous trip with even a bit of off-road experience. That is how we came into contact with the locals who lived up there and let their cattle and horses graze. The ski area is in full expansion and a lot has been built. The new hotels and apartments are springing up like mushrooms here. At first it was still a bit misty, but later the clouds cleared and it even became really sunny for a while. Back in Kolasin, everyone enjoyed the peace. In the evening we ate in a typical Montenegrin restaurant and had a really nice evening. How we laughed together and enjoyed the delicious dinner. Unfortunately, the end is already in sight... tomorrow our last ride to Dubrovnik.
Every tour comes to an end, unfortunately this one too.
With the best weather forecast, we start our motorbikes one last time. But it will be a dream ride.
We swing through the dreamy valley of Mrtvica. It's hard to concentrate on driving so amazing is this gorge to explore. In the small town of Podgorica we take our time for a coffee. There is so much to see on this last day. A narrow lane leads us to the photo stop Pavlova Strana. Then to get to our lunch stop through the Lovcan National Park.
In bright sunshine we have the Bay of Kotor in front of us. There can't be a nicer final stop for our lunch.
We wind our way down the valley through the bay via the 25 hairpin bends and we take the ferry across.
The border to Croatia then requires a little patience from us before we arrive happy and proud in Dubrovnik. What an adventure.
But after the tour is before the tour, see you all safe and sound home soon