Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Balkan Bumblings 2018

May 2018 - a road trip through Serbia to Greece and back through Albania and Italy.

Serbia, Danube River Novi Sad taken from Petrovaradin where we stayed in the majestic Hotel Leopold along with a badminton team from Istanbul

Danube by day 

Novi Sad 

Statue of Jaša Tomic, politician, publicist, journalist,with notorious itchy nose on Dunavska street

Someone else is doing the driving....south to Thessaloniki
 Now in Greece.
Greek Merperson, our friend painted this.

Nice in May, the dandelions are about to spawn

Down at Astros harbour

A revisit to Spetses Island some decades on...I wish we hadn't

Old mansion in Spetses town - only nice bit.

Mountains near Astros - Grom and BMW overland adventures - we ride through a monastery
 Due to a strike by Greek border officials we had to leave 2 days earlier than planned and so our stop in Albania was prolonged.
Homeward bound in Albania - I didn't milk our friends cow.

Durres port - ferry to Bari, Italy - looks like a giant tank landing craft: Adria Line A/F Marina.

Near Bari we visit a castello.

Hexagonal structure built during the 1240s by Frederick ll

Further to an overnight stop at Belinzona we get stuck at Gt. St Bernard Tunnel ...

...so we went over the pass instead.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Game of Fours

A fellow but competent blogger tagged me in a Game of 4's: a challenge in which 4 questions are provided, to be answered by 4 answers, and then to nominate 4 other bloggers (or vloggers). Thank you, Sonja for providing a most welcome distraction from growing old and moving house and cleaning filthy gas cookers.

The Questions are:
1. What is your favourite food?
2. What are your favourite drinks?
3. Places you've been?
4. Names that you're known by?



Answers 1:


Meatballs Asia Minor style

Gigandes - giant beans

Meatballs and spaghetti

Wild boar balls...
Answers 2:


Planter's Punch 



Red wine....
Answers 3:




Constantinople in case you were wondering


Answers 4:
Oi you
The bottomless pit
Your Royal Highness
Mr Botchit


As virtually no one reads my blog I can safely nominate:

Retired Blogger Richard from Yorkshire

The very lovely gluten free cook on 2 wheels

A cultured musical  Franconian

Ms Wonky Words

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Post Brexit North Sea OCD

July 2016: Given the depressing news of 23rd June 2016, I can't keep away from escape routes to the continent.

A short tour of Suffolk took me to Harwich and a ferry trip to Hook of Holland enroute to Brake on the Wese.


I travelled initially with the pensioners motorcycle club. We stayed at the unimpressive Brome Grange Hotel IP23 8AP.
Somewhere east of Ipswich - a liitle excursion to the River Deben...

and the Ramsholt Arms for lunch

A day later after drying off my clothes following the torrential downpour on the journey back from the Ramsholt Arms to the hotel, I headed to the continent to try out Stena Lines super cruise booze ferry service Harwich to Hook of Holland

A short evening flit to Harwich and some Garmin mis direction later I arrive in time for the evening departure of the Stena Hollandica


Motorcycles accomodated on the main car deck.
Decent size inside cabin

Useful TV with charting of route on channel 23, and

meanwhile on channel K9p, a view of the kennels!
Looking back at blighty.  I check later what SCR means - Selective Catalytic Reduction - a technology ignored by Volkswagen

Looking forward to Hook of Holland 
 Egress from the Hollandica was straightforward and onward travel to Brake am Wese hindered only by a Garmin gps lock up and manual navigation around Amsterdam.  The Garmin whilst displaying a map and route started counting distance backwards showing my destination receding...
I went fresh and drank my capuciino al fresco in the drizzle

No sooner had I arrived in Wese upthe Brake or whatever, Mrs N. decided that we should spend some time on an island in the German Bight.  I had just read Erskine Childers classic The riddle of the sands and seen the corresponding movie Bei Nacht und Nebel with the lovely Jenny von Agutter so was keen too.   Due to the short notice and lack of pre planning we could not go to a nice island so went to Helgoland instead.

The route to Helgoland with a duck under the Wese

At Cuxhaven we just missed the slow boat so Mrs N secures the last 2 places on the jet service

We have waiting time to explore the Cuxhaven dockside accoutrements.

Invaluable wind information for vessels headed for Bremerhaven.
The jet arrives, and I wonder about Limassol

I am comforted that the Limassol registered vessel has a Greek (Cypriot) style boarding routine

The weather at Helgoland is sunny and we ascend the bomb crater to take in the views

This is the bomb crater resulting from the British trying to remove this former German Naval base and munitions dump from the map WW1


Interesting topography

This path forms a circular route around the island - about 1.5 hours walk

Guano generators prevail





We were quite glad to leave Helgoland especially as all the restaurants were closed for lunch.



I was told off for saying moin moin.
On arrival at Cuxhaven we decided to explore the dockland area where we had eaten some years ago.
Cuxhaven - Sea food restaurant revisited  - sadly in its last year as the owners are retiring



German ocean liners used to depart from here
Further to sea food (rather a lot) we explored the beach side area where Mrs N had stayed some years ago.
Iced coffee glee

clutching at clouds

Magic ocean going ships pass yards away from canoodling couples

sun set over the beach baskets

This is Mrs N's home from home at Brake.  Bicycles are complimentary.


I have lost the pictures of the return leg from Ijmuiden to Newcastle. To be concluded....

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