Elbasan/Albania – Thessaloniki/Greece

Hello Spyros! ;) We arrived in Greece! Well, as I said, we are back down to sea level, here in Thessaloniki, where I had already the chance to spent a wonderful week last year in October, also as a guest with Mary and her parents. We were flatmates once, in spring/summer 2004, during my final time in Potsdam and her time there as an Erasmus student. It is a very nice feeling to be here again – this time all the way by bike. It was the first stage you can say, our first month, like a warm up for us and the bikes for the things to come! – and we can say, that everything so far went very well – our mood is very good and the spirits are high. After almost 3 days bike-break now we are ready for the next stage, Thessaloniki – Cairo!

Looking back now and also because we were asked this question here, we both see our experiences in Albania as the most important so far, as the most impressive, not to say the ‚best‘ (that was the question) and maybe to explain it a bit better why – there were the personal contacts with the people there, for example the young manager of a bank in Likhazd (I have to check the spelling again later, sorry) who, when I was exchanging the rest of our Albanian Lekas at one of the counters, asked me for some time for a coffee, because he was interested and because he wanted to practice his german, which was already very good – and he never was in Germany, just in Greece once! So we had a wonderful cup of cappuccino with him acrosss the street and our bikes were still in front of the bank under the eyes of the armed guardian. Although, we have to add here, that we never felt unsafe or feared about our bikes or bags. Would that happen in England or Germany for example? I mean between a bank manager and a cyclist on tour, who could be sometimes easily stamped as a homeless ;) just because he is interested and wants to practice the foreign language, not to show off or something like that? I think, no, it would never happen! The question is Why do I think, it would never happen?

But back to our way to Thessaloniki. We had some cold nights up there in the mountains of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.) as you can see on one of the new pictures – you just keep all your warm clothes on before you wrap yourself and start to count the shooting stars and satelites again… ;) One evening a police car passed and stopped us – I thought automatically, damned, because of our strange/weak lights? But they were smiling, a man and a woman, just wanted to have a closer look at us and the bikes and ask the normal questions where we are from and where we are going, that was all! In Bitola, in an internet place, we also were told, that there were two french recumbent cyclists, a couple, passing through this town 3 days earlier on the way to Bulgaria. The Owner gave us the newspaper article – maybe we will meet them! Well and then there was the border to Greece already and some lonely, winded greek country side streets, a greek church in the morning with a singing male voice from inside, the little village shop, the friendly, helpful farmer, who, when we asked him for some water, was running away with a smile, to get some more from the village well, the trailers full of cotton in the plains between Edessa and Thessaloniki, the warm Welcome on a sunny Friday afternoon, Marys new home and her warm Welcome, of course – Thomas birthday yesterday, a visit in a bike shop, a map of Turkey, our next destination and finally – time and the opportunity for a long call with Elisa in Bogota! ;)

Tomorrow morning the bags will be packed again and fixed to the bike. There are still about 450 km of Greece ahead of us and a little more before we leave good old Europe…

Thanks again for all the help and the support we have received so far!


pictures to this article: Elbasan/Albanien – Thessaloniki/Griechenland : Fotos

12. November 2006 - Maik | english texts | Kommentare :: comments :: comentarios | Inhalt drucken

One Response to “Elbasan/Albania – Thessaloniki/Greece”

  1. 1 Hernan 18 November 2006 @ 5:31

    I see your good noticies here from a smal town at the sould of MEXICO.

    Congratulations and good look.,


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