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Mediterranean Europe

2003

Jacek Solo


Europe 2003 Trip Index                 Read top to bottom or choose a section:

Preparations

This time my preparations didn't involve any visa-type paper work. I was going to travel on my Polish passport and the whole Europe was open for me. I flew to Poland not having a vehicle. After a few days of enjoying the company of my parents, my brother and my high school friends (I attended my high school reunion), it took me a few days to find the right bike. I bought motorcycle magazines, looked for Yamaha XTZ (at least I knew what I was looking for) and made some phone calls. I the next few days I travelled around Poland checking them out. Most of the bikes were either already sold, or in a really poor shape and not registered in Poland yet. I still wonder how can a motorcycle dealer offer a motorcycle that imported from Switzerland or Germany and is not registered in Poland! 

I was losing hope. The last bike I was going to see was in Cieszyn, a town on the Polish-Czech border. This one had high mileage (60,000 km), but was in excellent shape.

The owner had driven her every day. It took me a few minutes to decide that it was going to be mine. I spent a bit more time negotiating the price. The next morning I picked up the bike and drove it to Torun (450 km). That was a great ride since there was no surprises - the bike simply ran "good."

On two consecutive mornings the battery failed. I had a mechanic fix some wire connections. I read that Teneres had faulty charging system. I was going to see if that was the case with my bike during the next few weeks. I registered the bike on my name, bought the green card (insurance for Europe - only $30 CAN per year), and off I went. 

Poland to Croatia

I left on Tuesday, July 8. First stop: Basilica in Lichen - still being built. 

In Wroclaw I changed my rear tire from Czech-made Mitas to a used Michelin T66. Felt much better. I slept in Miedzygorze at a free campsite. Free is for me. 

Map of Poland   Map of Czech Republic

After passing Czech I arrived in Vienna early afternoon.

Map of Austria

A friendly Austrian biker lead me a campsite, I pitched my tent and spent the rest of the day and evening walking and driving around the city. 

Vienna.....  

The next day I drove from Vienna up to Pula in Croatia, where I met my friends Monika and Radek who were just finished a 2-week choir camp there.

I spent next week travelling around Croatia.

Map of Croatia

I visited Rovinj....     ... the Kirk Island...     Baska on the Krk Island ...

Trogir...    

 

Split...     .... and Dalmatian coast ...    

I really enjoyed Dubrovnik..... 

At on point I took a forest trail and barely managed to find the way out. Tenere enjoyed the trail very much.

 

Still in Croatia, closer to Bosnian border, different "attractions" started to appear: abandoned houses that used to belong to Serbs before they fled to Serbia.

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Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania

Crossing the border between Croatia and Bosnia was no problem. , 

Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina

I stopped in Mostar .....  

... and Sarajevo......

Still in Bosnia, I wasn't able to find a campsite, so I stopped at a bar, spoke to an owner and she happily allowed me to pitch my tent behind the her building. I tried to pay her, but she refused. I spent the evening in the local "joint" among happy, singing and a bit intoxicated locals.

The next morning before crossing the border with Serbia, I stopped for breakfast. Presence of a foreign biker was not common. It resulted in a friendly conversation with locals patrons of the restaurant. They actually insisted on paying for my scrambled eggs with bacon! They were very curious about economical situation in Poland in comparison to Bosnia.

Map of Serbia and Montenegro

I rushed through Beograd. There were a few damaged buildings, but less than I was expecting. My other stop included Smederovo and Unrjacka Bania, a popular spa town.

Entering Kosovo was a surprise. UN soldiers are controlling the border between Serbia and Kosovo. A soldier from Philippines checked my passport. 

Kosovo....   Map of Kosovo

Montenegro was a pleasant surprise with its picturesque mountains, gorges and beaches.  

Map of Montenegro

Moraca Gorge.....   

Bay of Kotor.....  

Budva...

Dutch biker on Motoguzzi....Robin on Motoguzzi, biker from the Netherlands

Scuba diving in Budva.... Scubadiving in Budva

Albania.

Currently writing... 

Map of Albania

Tirana, the capital...

Llogara Pass...

An Italian on Vespa (150 cc)....

  Near Greek border....

Currently writing... 

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Italy

Currently writing.... 

Map of Italy

Pompeii....      Vesuvius...

Rome.....  

Currently writing.... 

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Sardinia and Corsica

Sardinia

Currently writing...  

Map of Sardinia (Italy)

Saridinia....

Corsica

Currently writing....

Map of Corsica (France)

Bonifacio.....   .... de Piana....

Desert des Agriates... ....

Cap Corse....

Currently writing....  

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Italy to Poland

Italy

Currently writing....

Map of Italy          Florence......

Dolomites......

Austria.

Currently writing....

Map of Austria

Glacier Glossglockner......

Currently writing....

Currently writing....  

Map of Czech Republic     Map of Poland

Poland.

Currently writing....

Buying a sheep skin..... ..... Torun...

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Personal Observations

Currently writing....

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Statistics

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Trip summary (dates, km):

TOTAL: 9,461 km.

All maps originate from Library of University of Texas website: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/europe.html

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