Monday, November 24, 2014

Goodbye Macedonia Hello Macedonia

In this edition we say goodbye to the Republic of Macedonia and it's drying tobacco leaves, funny loos  and pretty flag and cross the border into, wait for it, Macedonia.

Mrs N is taken very much by the drying 'baccy as we head for the border on dangerous roads

Sit for a while in the wrong queue to enter Macedonia Province of the Hellenic Republic (MPOTHR) - free left hand European citizen lane spotted eventually

Man with big spear

Could we be reminded of the Trent valley by the power generation capability of the plains of northern Greece?

Via Egnatia - we head west towards Rome where all roads lead.  We divert to Ioannina lakeside University town of beauty as our rendevous with a carpenter at Igoumenitsa is disrupted.

Greece welcomes careful cat feeders

Ioannna hotel of delight with parking for our efficient pageant

Castro of Ioannina

Ouzeri within castro

Aviary within castro, Otoman was here

Beautiful lake view of Ioannina

Byzantine church, where is the synagogue?

It's sunset and time to find a traditional non-tourist Greek restauarnt

Not for the average tourist - σαλάτα παντζάρι

Hello hello hello....

στο δεκάρα καταστήματα και σταθμούς λεωφορείων άνθρωποι μιλούν πάνω από situations, τρώνε παντζάρια από το πιάτο γεμάτο και σκατά όλη τη νύχτα στις τουαλέτες (sorry B. Dylan)
Musical interlude

Next episode - I want to break free....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Република Македонија

FYROM, that's what the hysterical Greeks call it hysterically -   "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".  Rather than me trotting out stuff, read about the Republic of Macedonia here ----> CLICK ON ME.

Anyhow, we spent a weekend in this pleasant country mostly eating raw vegetables and here are some piccies:

We have lunch at a trout farm near Gostivar...

Plenty of fresh vegetation'''

fresh pitta bread

and salmon with 7 chips.

After their notable success in Greece with Essex brand washing powder the guys at Reckit and Coleman have been doing their market reserach in Macedonia too.

Sanitary arrangments type A

Sanitary arrangements type B with tickler device

The next day we head towards the Albanian border.

Coffee stop at Kitchik Towers lakeside hotel

Apparently on Sundays the local traffic police dress up in pantomine gear

Lake Mavrovo

More traffic police

Ohrid, the town of 364 churches sits on  Lake Ohrid and borders Albania.

There is a definite Otoman style in this town except for the restaurant names

I can't say that it's all Greek to me because it's serbianic

Plan of Lake Ohrid showing Albanian border

Weeping willow and rain drops.

We decided to take a short boat trip in the rain..

and Mrs N takes control of the tiller man.

Ohrid is a bike rally destination and here is the pretty Macedonian flag.

This is a pleasant place especially when the rain stops.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Macedonia or Bust

Google maps does not permit a border crossing into Kosovo - very curious as I think we did it and were not shot at much. Aliali was not to keen either.
View from our Hotel Nadin at Mostar

I would not like to ride this on 2 wheels.
By luck we drive past the National Library at Sarajevo rebuilt following destruction in the 1990 war by Bosnian Serbs

Too may sign posts in too many languages

Display ouput of Aliali, the new Balkan proof navigator replaces Tomtom showing potential route directions

Dodging small arms fire I take a photograph at the border - we thought we had enetered Kosovo...

Aliali, the new Balkan proof navigator replaces Tomtom seen in action downloading updated coordinates and route directions

Kosovo Road hazard #1

Countryside in Kosovo

As night drew in and Aliali was beginning to flicker we decided to stop at the splendid Hotel Dva Lava somewhere in Kosovo between Novi Pazar and Kosovska Mitrovica

Wine - expensive and bad

Food - cheap and bad

Next day...

Morning view. Although this is somewhere in Kosovo between Novi Pazar and Kosovska Mitrovica it  nevertheless provided a convenient place to spend the night.
Kosovo Road hazard #2

I think we took the right fork
 Kosovo is the land of the palatial filling station every 1km. There is no evidence of monopolistic oil company domination in this land.

Palatial filling station #1

Palatial filling station #2

Mosque alert

Kosovo Road hazard #3

Kosovo Road hazard #4 -12 - Peace keepers and awful roads with heavy taraffic

Palatial filling station #3

Aliali state of ther start moving map display system (C)

Palatial filling station #4

Palatial filling station #5

Kosovo Road hazard #13

Palatial filling station #6

Palatial filling station #7

I think we went straight on

Palatial filling station #8

Palatial filling station #9

Palatial filling station #10

Palatial filling station #11

Palatial filling station #12

Palatial filling station #13

Palatial filling station #14

Palatial filling station #15

Palatial filling station #16
 I think we crossed into Macedonia but Aliali told me to stop taking photos.
Crap Macedonian  filling station #1

Macedonian road hazard #1

A war memorial...

...situated in a mine field!

Crap Macedonian Palatial filling station #2

Anyone for morning prayers?

Macedonian public lavatory

I think we turned right to Aliali's Home location
To be concluded...
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