Motorcycle Balkan Tour - Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania & Greece


 
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Finally I had my driver's license. Nothing stood in the way of the great freedom. During the semester break, my buddy and I spontaneously considered whether it would be possible to do a motorbike tour through the Balkans together with a Honda Transalp motorcycle.
 
Since our discussion did not lead to a reasonable result, we decided to try the practical test. This Balkan Tour Report was published in the motorcycle magazine Wheelies issue May 2010 from page 20 onwards . The perfect packing list is available here.
 
First we drove past the Chiemsee to Austria. Here we pitched our tent in a haystack in stormy weather. When we drove on towards Slovenia the next day, it started to rain. Here we got for safety's sake a motorway vignette, not to have to pay as Jasmine 300 Euro penalty.
 
As we drove up the very steep Katschberg Pass, the rain turned to snow. We were glad when we found a sheltered place in the evening, where we could warm up at a campfire and dry our things.
 
After entering the EU country Slovenia the next day, the sun finally came out. On the way we met many many motorcyclists who were on the way to a race in Croatia. Spontaneously we joined them.
 
From Croatia, whole groups of children are constantly being sent to Austria and Germany to rob people as pickpockets. They are punished hardly See also Report Munich from 05.09.2017.
 
The night we spent together at Rijeka by the sea. Unfortunately, there could be no talk of sleep because there were always drunken idiots who had their fun chasing their machines without DB Killer right next to the tents at idle to the rev limiter.
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Refreshed by a morning dip in the ice-cold Mediterranean, we drove the next day the beautiful winding coastal road along the sea to Split.
 
Here we spent an undisturbed evening on a deserted campground, made another campfire and went swimming, even if the water was still quite cold.
 
With a heavy heart, we left this beautiful place the next day and continued along the beautiful coastal road through Bosnia-Herzegovina and on to Dubrovnic to fill up our supplies.
 
Again and again we took breaks at interesting places or went swimming in secluded coves. We were all alone.
 
While I focused on the quite good but very winding road, my co-driver repeatedly found car wrecks along the way.
 
Even though Croatia is otherwise quite clean, nobody seems to think about disposing of this memory of sad events.
 
Since we were traveling in the preseason, we rarely met tourists who are camping with mobies on the way.
 
A tourist couple from Hungary on their honeymoon told us, however, that here in the high season only so crowded with tourists.
 
Given the many campsites on some beautiful pebble beaches and partly rocky coast, we believed it.
 
However, their report on how they were summoned by police for reasons of excessive speed a few days earlier, worried us somewhat.
 
Luckily we did not have any comparable problems with the police during our whole motorcycle tour. The Nach we spent with the friendly permission of the tenant on the property of a small restaurants on the sea.
 
When entering Montenegro the next day, our green insurance card was thoroughly checked before the motorcycle was registered and we were allowed to enter.
 
Unlike Croatia, people drove very slowly here.
 
We covered ourselves with very cheap cigarettes, were surprised that was paid in this non-EU country with euro,
 
continued on numerous hotel Rohbauten built everywhere and reached towards evening the Albanian border.
 
Here we noticed that we are no longer in Europe. The border officials not only took a lot of time, but also tried to charge different fees.
 
After tough negotiations, however, we agreed on a fee of one euro per person without a receipt, were given the required stamp and were allowed to enter Albania. Here I already worked on a social project.
 
After just a few meters, the streets got worse. Again and again, potholes or donkey carts approaching our lane forced us to slow down and get out of the way.
 
Since the country was densely populated, it was not possible to find a place to sleep until the eggbreak of darkness. When, due to a lack of public campsites, we regretted not having spent the night in Montenegro, we were kindly allowed to camp on the covered terrace of a small restaurant right on Shkódèr Lake when the rain set in again.
 
The customary law "Kanun" of the 15th century regulates not only hospitality in Albania, but also the blood revenge. Many people no longer dare to leave their homes for fear of being murdered by their neighbors.
 
We felt like in historic times and visited the next day, when the rain stopped a castle with old dungeons. Also here was litter everywhere in the countryside.
 
On the short, toll-free motorway from Tirana in the direction of Durrés we were repeatedly lasered by several policemen hidden on the wayside, but our speed was not objected to. Lucky ... we had heard of other travelers.
 
In Durrés we met next to numerous hotels for the first time on a sandy beach. We ate delicious food and were kindly given permission to camp on the beach.
 
The next day led us again past numerous laser inspections to Vloré and further over a pass from Dukat to Dhermi.
 
This is where the most beautiful part of our round trip begins for me. High above the sea, a narrow, winding and partly unpaved road snaked across Himaré to Palermo and on to Borsh.
 
Amazingly we met on this partly very steep, dusty road not only on super friendly shepherds but also on cyclists from Germany.
 
After dark, we looked for a nice spot in the countryside. Although we did not really feel safe in the rather poor area, we let the evening end again by the campfire. Main thing my buddy does not burn down the whole forest;)
 
After a quiet night, the next morning we continued via Shérvasija to Sarandé. From here, a tiny ferry pulled by a rope took us further towards Buthrotum.
 
Here, the friendly gas station attendant accepted our Euros and extra charged his huge generator due to power failure to refuel our motorcycle.
 
Then we drove in hot weather and buzzing radiator engine worst pothole and gravel road in the direction of the Greek border.
 
The Kulturschosk was great when we arrived after entering Greece to a paved, multi-lane road with markings and crash barriers. Here the EU has sunk billions. Even though the Albanian road was bad for the bumpers of my alp, I mourned her a bit. Here, people nodded when they said no. The Bulgarian influence was tangible.
 
Then, however, I turned something on the gas, felt the rich grip of the tires and on it went in low flight to the port city of Igoumenitsa.
 
Here we bought ferry tickets to the holiday island of Corfu and went out to eat, because we had time until the departure of the ferry.
 
When we arrived punctually to check in at the harbor, the ferry had already left.
 
We simply forgot to change our clocks. In Greece there is no summer time.
 
Fortunately, the friendly crew of the next ferry accepted our tickets, so we arrived in Kerkira, Corfu, the same evening.
 
At dusk, we pitched our tent a few bays further north at Dassia on the beach. Nobody bothered us.
 
Then we started our tour around the island. First we drove along the coast past beautiful bays to the north.
 
Of course, we always took breaks to visit old villages or go swimming on small pebble beaches. Occasionally the construction of a road for the motorcycle was necessary before.
 
The flat north of the island pleased and despite the sandy beach not so good. Therefore, we drove to Agios Georgios and Paleokastritsa on the mountainous west coast. There were also sandy beaches and numerous hotels. Out of season, however, there were hardly any people on the beach.
 
As there is no road along the west coast of Corfu, we continued our motorcycle tour inside the island. Here time seemed to have stopped in many small villages.
 
Old people stood in front of their crooked half-timbered houses or sat in small pubs, while someone outside sold chickens in shoeboxes and eggs from laying batteries directly from the truck. Did we want some? No thanks * laugh *
 
We spent the night in a clearing, drove on the next day slowly and kept taking breaks and detours to small towns by the sea.
 
In the southern, flat Agios Georgios we went to dinner and spent the night in the shell of a family home. Here we are largely undisturbed.
 
On the long sandy beach there is certainly not too crowded in the main season.
 
The trip to Cape Asprokavos the next day, however, was rather boring.
 
In Kavos there are numerous clubs and party houses where I was less interested than at small fishing villages. My buddy would have liked to stay. Where then with our stuff? I did not want to push guard.
 
From Messongi we drove along the east coast again. When we wanted to refuel we learned that due to a strike of truck drivers on the island, there was no more gas.
Fortunately, our reserves were enough for Kerkira. Here we visited the old castle complex and discussed our next steps.
Since a stay on the island without fuel was not very appealing and rain was forecast for the next few days, we booked the next day ferry tickets to Venice and stayed at the beach next to Dassia next to a campfire.
Although we were at the port on time the next day, we had to wait several hours with numerous truck drivers on the delayed ferry from Igoumenitsa.
My buddy got to know some riders from Russia who, like us, are on their way to Germany. Friendships quickly developed and my buddy was invited to the bar. The Russians lived up to their reputation as drinkers. While I could only watch as an uncharacteristically weak alcoholic , my buddy bravely tried to keep up. Accordingly, his head felt as we left the ferry the next morning and made our way home quickly. We wanted to get away before the driveway gets drunk on the highway with plenty of residual alcohol in the blood;)
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