Sunday, September 7, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 5

Today after probably the best breakfast that we had so far, we finally could enjoy the roads without any rain! Finally! It was just about 100km to port in Igoumenitsa where we took a ferry to Corfu (it took about 2 hours).
Satisfaction for those rainy days and bad roads
So lets enjoy it
Greek beauty
Good asphalt, nice curves... finaly we can enjoy it
Another photo of another member of the group
Igoumenitsa port in Greece
Buying tickets for us to Corfu (about 20 Euros each motorcycle with driver)
Welcome aboard
Leaving the port
Corfu isle

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 4

After delicious breakfast we packed all our stuff and left our hotel (Hotel Blini) on Shköder lake in Albania.
Hotel Blini in Shköder - Albania
We continued to Albanian capital city Tirane. Unfortunately maps for GPS were very bad. At least for TomTom. Well at least the main roads and Tirane was done pretty good. The main problem in Albania is that you usually don't have any direction signs, not even the town signs (when you enter the town, you have no idea where you are). We got about 60 km somewhere else. The local people told us that we should come back or continue about 30km on a road without asphalt and then continue on our original route. Well... it was worse than we expected:
"Road" in Albania
Rocky road full of gravel (sizes ranges from small apples to big oranges), not much space for two vehicles - well one is sometimes enough.

The same "road" after another 300 meters
Josef had some problem when he tried to change the trail. Unfortunately he dropped the bike (fortunately without any damages). 

Josef has some troubles
Support team is here to save the day :-)
We helped him and after few minutes we got about 500 meters further. We stopped there - since the road enabled us to do that. We tried to recover ourselves little bit after that dropping of the bike. And we were thinking about comming back since we just reached about 3% of this road and we already dropped a bike and it cost us a lot of energy. Whats more - the rain started again.
It is starting to rain - after 1km out of another 30km (of this road)
This picture was taken about 30seconds after the above one. So really heavy rain that turned the road into muddy and slippery nightmare. We were really glad when we were back under the hill - unfortunatelly completely wet since we were not able to dress the rain suits on on time.

Nightmare in Albanian mountains
It got even worse in another Albanian mountains - even though there was asphalt (huge holes, disappearing road, landslips...) even havier rain started. The road changed into a river (really about 20cm of water with wooden sticks, plastic bottles...), the water ran pretty fast so we stopped at one gas station for about one hour till the rain was acceptable - but still heavy... we continued about 180km to Greece - in complete darkness of the night and GS doesn't have good headlights :/
Albanian / Greek border
Finally we passed the Greek border and continued about 60 km to Ioannina and our luxury and perfect hotel Filokalia. We reached our destination at 11:00 PM local time. It was really nice change since we came completely wet - we imediately took hot shower, changed into dry clothes and the receptionist ordered us some local food for us that we had in dining room together with some good Greek wine. We went to bed at 2 AM. 
Our perfect hotel Filokalia in Ioannina - Greece

Friday, September 5, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 3

We left Travnik at 8:10 but just few minutes after we left we dressed our rain suits - since it started to rain again. We continued through Sarajevo to borders with Monte Negro:
Main road that took us to border with Monte Negro
Border bridge (river below is the border) - entering Monte Negro
After passing the borders the landscape is really beautiful, deep valleys in rock, rivers, small reservoirs, dams... 
Lot of beautiful tunnels in the rock along Piva river
Huge dam structure on Piva "lake"
Guys with the bikes on the dam (I am taking the picture)
And when we enjoyed those beautiful places - it got even better - National park Durmitor is probably one of the most beautiful places that I have visited. I am placing just two photos but I wanted to stop there every 500 meters and take another photo there and there... It was really beautiful - small hills on the top of tableland smoothly changing into rock mountains... The weather was not the best but it didn't matter in that moment:
Durmitor national park - Monte Negro - one of the most beautiful places I have visited
Another beauty in Durmitor park - unfortunately the cloud covered the peak
Just few minutes after leaving Durmitor national park - the rain started again and it did not change till we got closer to the national border to Albania:

The weather got better when we approached the Albania border

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 2

After a good breakfast (including eggs, bacon, salami etc...) we pack all our stuff, pay for the hotel and go to our motorbikes for another day on the roads. It is cloudy but without rain. We are passing the borders (to Croatia) and we stop there to have a coffe but what is more important to dress into our rain suits. Yes - it is raining.

My father taking his rain suit from his topcase
Most of the day is still rainy.
Rain - not very pleasant weather on motorbike
After passing through Croatia we entered Bosnia and Herzegovina - still rainy. But sometimes the rain even stoped which was a nice change. 

Damaged sidewalk on road somewhere in Bosnian mountains along Vrbas river
Vrbas river (picture from the same place as the damaged road photo)
In the afternoon - around 18:30 we reached our destination in town - Travnik. We again took all our stuff into the hotel (that was already booked by me) and went after the shower etc. to city center for a dinner, beer and some wine maybe.
Nice restaurant next to mountain stream in Travnik
There was one restaurant just about 100 meters from our hotel. There was an outdoor grill and it smelled delicious so we decided to have a dinner there. After ordering the meal we asked for beers - unfortunately no beer, wine... no alcohol at all was served in this restaurant - since it was muslim restaurant :-) So after the dinner we decided to leave and to find some other restaurant where we could enjoy some local wine. Well it took us some time (we passed lot of pubs but people had there just coke, coffee etc...) but in the end we found one which was about 1 km distant and we tried also their wine (after 15 min waiting for waiter to find bottle screw).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 1

This year me (25), my father (58) and two other guys: Josef (69) and Pavel (69) - decided that we could try little bit more adventurous road trip - to Greek isle of Corfu. We met at 6 AM at local petrol station in my hometown in Czech Republic. The weather seemed that it could rain in every minute. 

Morning meeting at petrol station
The weather was quite cold and fogy but still not that bad so the journey went pretty OK. We crossed the border to Austria, we enjoyed few km of much better asphalt and continued directly to Hungary.
Entering Hungary
Our today destination was Balaton lake. Well known vacation destination during communism era. We had a nice hotel booked there - Villa Plattensee. So we arrived at 14:30 and went to our prepared rooms.
Balaton lake in Hungary (not much visible)
Our accommodation in Hungary (5 minutes walk from Balaton lake)
In the afternoon (after unpacking our stuff, shower etc.) we went for a short walk to Balaton lake (which was about 5 min distant) and afterwards for dinner. The restaurant was 15 minutes away. We enjoyed local fish from the lake and also Hungary wine. After some time heavy rain started and we asked the waitress if she could order a taxi for us. She said that there is no taxi so we persuaded her to take us to our hotel by herself. She agreed but she had car just for driver and one more passenger - so she enjoyed the lift to the hotel four times :-)