Start of day 2 we did the Colditz tour
Tour finished and we headed for Czech Republic
Peklne Doly (Hells Mine) Czech Republic
Day 2 of our Trip. Colditz Castle Tour this morning then over to Czech Republic to see Pekelne Doly (Hells Mine) then across the boarder to Poland for the night. Easier day today only 230miles
Start of day 4 and straight to the Ukraine boarder
Short stop off in Lviv
The next 50mile to our hotel in the mountains where the roads got worse and potholes got huge!
What a view from the top
Day 4 of our Trip. We left our lovely hotel in Tarnów this morning and headed for Ukraine, Nice steady ride to the boarder and not too painful getting through took around 30mins. We then headed east to Lviv. When we arrived it was chaos with traffic and all cobble streets that were pissed wet through so we opted to head south towards to Romania border. Looked for a hotel half way and found a nice hotel for only £12 each somewhere in a mountain range so we headed for that. Once we came off the main roads we spend 100mile dodging potholes the size of a cave! We hit the last road up to the hotel which was 51mile, this turned out to be pretty much unpaved the hole way through the mountains with potholes by there 1000’s. we arrived safe and sound around 300miles today but was worth it for them views! Onto Romania tomorrow
Start of day 5 we set off for the Romanian boarder
Day 5 of our Trip, we met a lovely family in our hotel who where at a enduro race a few days earlier and were kind enough to invite us for a drink and also guide us to the border trough the rest of the mountains. Elizabet Stel'mashchuk and her parents where very friendly and we had a really good evening. We set off following them in the van and parted ways near the boarder. Shortly after we got pulled by the Ukraine police for failing to stop at a rAilway stop sign even thought there was no train coming. After about an hour of to and throw they drove away but we were 100euros each lighter!!! We then got stuck at the border crossing for an hour which set us back then we headed south through Romania to a hotel for the night in Sebes. Transalpina Highway tomorrow then on to Bulgaria to see my mums Angie Birchall new house for a few days rest. Gutted we did plan to do the Transfargaran aswell but it is still closed due to snow. Very long tough day today 280miles mainly on small roads and a good chunk of more potholes roads out of the Ukraine.
Start of day 6 and we headed straight for the Transalpina Highway
Waiting for the ferry to Bulgaria
Day 6 of our Trip. Left our hotel in Sebeş and within a few mile we were straight onto the Transalpina Highway. Excellent roads and spectacular scenery throughout. We climbed up to above 7000ft and went from 30c heat to 8c thunderstorms. Once we finished the pass we headed for Sofronievo to my mums vi a small ferry crossing the river Danube. Excellent ride today around 250miles. Few days rest now.
Day 7 of our Trip we had a quite chilled day and went for a nice meal. 0miles on the bike
Day 8 we decided to head over to do the Shipka Pass
Day 8 of our Trip we decided to have a ride so we headed South East of Bulgaria to do the Shipka Pass. 130miles to get there so we left at 7am whilst it was cool. Nothing special of a ride there but once we got there it was well worth it. Lovely road up to the top of the Shipka Memorial. We then to a side road off to explore and what a good decision that was. We stumbled across a massive UFO shaped building at the top of the Balkan Mountain. I de died to head up a dirt track to see if I could find a way up and luckily came across some locals who showed us the proper way. We later found out it was called Buzludzha which was used by the Bulgarian Communist Party. We managed to get the bikes right up to the top up a few dirt tracks and also had a race back down the steps from the top!
Long day on the bike today just over 300miles there and back to Sofronievo. Nice BBQ now at Angie Birchall house courtesy of Roy the local Brummie Bulgarian
Day 9 we packed up and left Bulgaria and headed for Serbia
Lovely kilo of pig for dinner
Day 9 of our Trip. We set off on our return leg of the trip and headed west towards the Serbian/Bulgarian boarder. Steady ride to the boarder nothing special and fairly quick to get through. Once into Serbia we carried on riding west towards the Bosnian boarder. After an hour or so of riding we got up into the mountains and from there on we have been along some of the best roads so far and with some spectacular scenery. Never thought Serbia would be so nice. We stopped for tea in a little village with a Hog Roaster our front and had a kilo of Pig 🐷 to share which was lovely. From there I booked us a Chalet near to the Bosnian border and we never expected it to be so good. £16 a night!! Just over 300miles today, Up early tomorrow to continue west through Bosnia and onto Croatia.
Wet start to day 10 and on to Bosnia
The start of an excellence 40-50mile off road section over the mountains
Day 10 of our Trip. We set off from our lodge in Serbia and headed east to the Bosnian boarder. Early start 7am set off and shortly after we arrived at the boarder, easy enough getting through although we had to purchase a green card to pass through. Waterproofs were on from the off as it was pissing down. Once into Bosnian we continued east to Croatia. We spent the early morning riding round excellent roads twisting round and through the mountains. The rain stopped late morning and by this time we found an off road trail that headed over the mountains and turned out to be about 50mile long. We had a good play on the big bikes and the 50miles felt like 250! On the climb up to the top which was around 4500ft Ian Scotson had a little topple over trying to power slide round a bend on our off road section. No harm or damage done but as I’m so nice I helped him up rather than take a picture. We eventually dropped back down off the trail and back onto the main road shortly before crossing into Croatia. We stopped for a break around dinner then we headed towards Split on the coast. We stopped off for dinner in place called Marina which was also a small port. After dinner we headed north along some excellent coast roads with breathtaking views of the coast on our way to Zadar were we have stopped for the night in a decent modern apartment for £30. Long day today 12hours and 350miles later but was well worth it. Tomorrow we will continue north through Croatia, Slovenia and into Austria
Day 11 We set off along the D8 coast road in Croatia
Day 11 of our Trip. We set off from our Apartment in Zadar and headed North up the Croatian coast road (D8). The road was excellent twisty bends for 100miles and right along the side of the sea. We stopped for some breakfast near Senj. From there Me and Ian continued along the coast road and Tony split away to jump on the motorway to meet up with us later in Austria. We continued along the coast road and stopped in Crikvenica and went for a dip in the sea to cool down. From there we head back up into the mountains and across some excellent passes through to Slovenia. We stop off in the woods and got the cooking gear out for some lunch then continued to a nice pub to quench our thirst. Fully fuelled with beer and food we headed towards Austria to meet up with Tony. Booked a lovey hotel for the evening on Klopeiner Lake. 280miles today and plenty of fun. Tomorrow we’re heading up to do the Großglockner High Alpine Road
Day 12 and we set off to the Großglockner
Quick coffee stop waiting for the train
Day 12 of our Trip. We set off from the hotel and took the scenic route towards the north side of the Großglockner High Alpine Road. On route Tony said that he’d had enough of all the twisty roads and was starting to struggle so he decided to make his way back towards Rotterdam for the ferry and possibly catch an earlier ferry if not meet back up with us on Friday. Me and Ian then continued up to the the Großglockner, We did around 100miles to get there and loads of ace roads with excellent scenery, we also took a train with the bikes through the mountains to get there. Once we reach the High Alpine Road it had just started to rain so we stopped for fuel and got the waterproofs on. A few short miles later and we were climbing high up in the mountains way above the clouds. The pictures speak for themselves the road was fantastic even though we got drench and freezing we still enjoyed it and was well worth the visit. We climbed to the Bikers Point which was the highest point at around 8500ft and was 5degrees with a windchill of -5! We continued around the road and ended up and the Großglockner glacier which was awesome. We stop in the cafe for dinner then made our way back down the mountain and across the boarder to Italy. We are staying in a nice hotel 4500ft up in the mountains overlooking the cortina mountain range. 220miles today and onto the Stelvio Pass tomorrow
Start of day 13 and off to the Stelvio
Day 13 of our Trip. We set off from our hotel near the Italian/Austrian boarder and headed over via Cortina D’Ampezzo along the Dolomites to Stelvio. It was pissing down from the off so waterproofs where on and it was fairly cold. First few passes we did were good but visibility was poor so couldn’t see much. Once we climbed higher up above the cloud line the views of the Dolomites was awesome, we did pass after pass all afternoon. We reached the bottom of the Stelvio Pass mid afternoon and headed up it from North side. It was clear and not too cold at the bottom but by the time we got 3/4 the way up the clouds shifted over and the temperature plummeted. We reach to top 9000ft and and was 3.5 degrees which felt like -5! From there we headed north and back down the Umbrail Pass across the 3 boarders Italy/Austria/Switzerland. We booked a hotel for the night in a town called Davos which was about another 50mile further so we continued north and stumbled across 2 more passes in the Swiss Alps which where also fantastic. The highest one was Fluela Pass at 8000ft and was only 2 degrees at the top with the rod running through what looked to be a massive glacier either side but the clouds where that thick we could only see 10ft in front of us. Excellent days riding all together very wet and cold but well worth it. 250miles covered and onto Luxembourg tomorrow on route back to the ferry tomorrow evening
Day 14 fuel stop on route to Luxembourg
Day 14 of of Trip. Not much to report today we set off from our hotel in Davos Switzerland and headed North towards Luxemburg. Cold but dry start to the day and gradually got warmer. We did a mixture of roads today mixed from small roads to motorways. Pushed the tank range to its limit and rolled into a station with 1mile to go. Managed squeeze bang on 20 litres into a 20 litre tank. Coming out of Switzerland was very scenic with mountains galore and bright blue looking lakes. We went through loads of tunnels in and out of the mountains and eventually got into France where we stuck to the smaller roads. We have booked in a hotel just shy of Luxemburg in a place called Thionville for night. Longish day today 350miles but leaves a nice steady 220miles for tomorrow to get back to the ferry on the evening. Just had a nice steak and now few beers to chill.
Day 15 and on our way home to the ferry
Ian binning his Aldi waterproofs
Day 15 of our Trip. Last day today, Pissing down to start the day so waterproofs on for a clean sweep of rain at some point on every riding day! We set off from our hotel in Thionville and headed north for the Europoort. We jumped on the motorway early doors to get a few miles in then once into Luxemburg we stuck to mainly smaller roads and went through loads of nice towns and villages. Once into Belgium we noticed that pretty much every village we went through was immaculate and every house was something else. Few stops on route as the ride was fairly boring so we made the most of the cooking gear for a lunch stop aswell. Got the Rotterdam for the Ferry nice and early around 4pm and boarded at 5pm. Ship doesn’t sail til 8.30pm so we’ve showered, had tea and now perched in front of the big screen with some beers waiting to watch the footy.
Overall this trip has been excellent and over exceeded my expectations. We have been through a total 17 countries in 2 weeks and around 4500miles. For me the highlights where Driving through the Carpathian Mountains Ukraine, Transalpina Highway Romania, Nice few days rest in Bulgaria with Angie Birchall, Shipka Pass & UFO building Bulgaria, Serbia & Bosnia Roads and Scenery through the mountains, Croatia coastal road, Großglockner High Alpine Road Austria and Stelvio Pass Italy to name just a few but the whole trip from start to finish has been fantastic and one I’ll never forget!
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