Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seasonal Message

All the very best to you all from the team at Nikos World!

Seasons greetings and an amazing 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Allegro ma non troppo: 'Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande!

The tow hitch on the car became loose - the motorcycle begged to be ridden. We had a plan to meet up with panzer division from the BMW Oxford club on a classical Greece tour. I enjoy listening to Beethoven 6 -  "Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside" .  I have never been to Delphi before without being sick.

The route east to Delphi cut across to the Corintian Gulf  - quite a stunning motorcycle journey.

Healthy Greek breakfast by the harbour.

Unhealthy Ottoman breakfast by the harbour.

The motorcycle is released from the efficient pageant combo and languishes by the harbour.
Waiting PATIENTLY in the ferry queue - we are on an island!
The other half of our team and now exclusive driver of the support car - waiting  in the ferry queue - we are on an island!

This is the ferry that connects Lefkada to the mainland.  Officially it is registered as a ferry so that Lefkada can claim to be an island  - in practice it is a glorified motorised bridge tethered at one end. This channel was cut through by the Corintians in classical as practice for the actual canal?  Handy for the yacht sailors.

Look - the ferry is a floating bridge.

We deviate from the main road to take refreshments at Zevgaraki - the waitress is indeed pleasant with a most sunny disposition and she tells us where to go (after an iced coffee or two)..

Not to bad for a 2001 model - a near ideal machine for Greek roads

The route took us over the River Potamos at this stunning wooded gorge.

I have dreamed about this sort of thing for years

We make it to the Corinthian gulf at Nafpaktos.

Heading up to Delphi the view is oraclistic - please excuse the garbage

Booking dot com provided a reasonable hotel at Delphi.

The heavy weight conquering Classical BMW tour group from England arrive and stay nearby in a superior position.

Spot the British hi viz motorcyclists! Late arrivals  - Catherine and Steve have visited every greco-roman classical site between Delphi and Igoumenitsa at least once today.

Sunset over the Corinthian gulf
Tomorrow: I'm not sick, money lost and found. lighting over the Corinth canal......

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ouzo Tinted Spectacles

Vasiliki!  That would be a nice place to visit with its φυσήξειτοshitαπόέναρυζόγαλο wind and beach life. In a previous life I learned to windsurf there and rode around on rented scooter, mopeds and mountain bikes. On the way to Lefkada we could also look out for the plot of land for sale near Arta that friends, desparate to sell,  keep plugging at us with phone calls at 2am (Greeks don't care about that).

View of lake near Arta - we stop for a picnic in a deserted village.

A challenging descent through impossible narrow passages - Tomtom set to "navigate through labyrinth"

I investigate route on foot - Mrs N looks on.

We drive under the sea at Preveza.  Later we drive over a ferry bridge to the island of Lefkada.

Lefkada island - Vassiliki: A hotel is found adjacent to a mosquito breeding swamp

Vassiliki bay - just how I remember it - almost.

This small town has everything all in one shop,

This car ferry goes to Fiskardo on the much nicer island of Kefalonia. Unfortunately we have to go to Delphi tomorrow to meet up with BMW motorcycle riders from Oxford.

Harbour side eating, drinking and planning.
Evening strolling  - tat shops proliferate in this tourist charm of a place.
Next episode -  I want to break free - back on 2 wheels

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.

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