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21/06/2017

Alicante 2

Last night I slept in the balcony outside and that's the morning view:


Yes it's quite enough in some places in Alicante to do so. Have a short tour with the tram to see how the city looks like:




A visit to the beautiful local archaeological museum...


brought me close to some interesting Maya items:




Last but not least this guy deserved more than one picture:





The quite tall buildings trying to offer as many flats with sea view as possible is one of the characteristics of this city:





However this city is too pretty to allow them to spoil her. Especially around this time that they celebrate the beginning of summer with various events taking place around the center:






Sorry but that this ship deserves a lot of pictures:






What is really impressive about the city of Alicante is that it offers such an amazing level of living to its people. The weather is amazing, even the hottest days seem bearable, the air feels fresh always, the light of the day is so bright and vivid that must be the only place I've been that can compete my birthplace's region on that and last but not least the effortless access to the sea. Half of the people walk the streets on swim suits :) Here's why:






Tomorrow morning I leave for Almeria. I'm doing good so far skipping the heatwave. See you ;)






19/06/2017

Alicante


This was my breakfast view before I left Valencia behind.

The first 50km on my way to Alicante were rather boring and (even worse) smelling like shit. Literally. Top WTF time. It got better and more scenic later with quite nice temperatures close to Mariola and Maigmo mountains. Speaking of temperatures we expect a huge heatwave and I already think about spending my time somewhere high at Nevada till it cools down a bit. Right now is still OK and allows me to enjoy a wonderful city like Alicante:



Amazing. Hands down. What a sweet place is this. IN the city of Alicante you can enjoy beaches like this where there's no one around you in a radius of 30m. Perfect.The city itself looks very nice and I'm sure it will offer quite pleasant walks hopefully tomorrow (hence no more pictures today). Stay tuned ;)

18/06/2017

Valencia

Rather pleasant weather today. Or at least less hot than I expected. OK the swimming pool was too warm to resist so last minute I decided to have a short soak.
Funny but on my way to Valencia I met a river with same name as ours in Greece (Evros) wich also has a "delta" like ours does. Therefore I pictured its beautiful bridge:



Later on I had one of the most needed and refreshing stops I ever had in my biking career:



On hot days like these a couple of trees bring you to heaven.

Valencia is quite beautiful. The sweetness of the European South is here. I didn't have time and guts to walk a lot as I usually do in cities I visit for the first time so I took my bike for a spin around and took some pictures:









When they paint in Valencia they really do!



Tomorrow Alicante ;)

After Barca before Valencia.

The ferry that brought me to Barcelona was flooded by school kids and as you can imagine it wasn't the best back to back ferry trip I could have. Due to port's traffic we arrived a bit late and my airbnb host had to leave his place. Small things to add something to the adventure: Driving at night, communicating online with the house owner who insists on speaking only Spanish, trying to understand what the translation brings up and finally I make it to the place where I found the keys under a flower and was welcomed by two barking dogs after 10:30 pm running on the last fuel reserve for the last km. A shower and then I dropped dead on the bed.

BTW, that's my view as I type this @ 7:30 am:



No...don't envy me. The pool is not so good as it might look like. Mediocre and shallow for a spoiled sea person like me. I'll pass it. Or...don't know. Maybe a bit later. You still wanna see it? OK.




Gotta bring myself together and head for Valencia. See you on the next one ;)


17/06/2017

One step before Barcelona




Ζεστή και υγρή αλλά αυτό δεν προκαλεί ευχαρίστηση όταν μιλάμε για μια πόλη - την Ανκόνα εν προκειμένω. Ιδιαίτερα όταν φτάνεις με 2 ώρες καθυστέρηση και αφού σε έχουν βγάλει από την καμπίνα σου 4+ ώρες πριν οι MINOAN που ανήκουν στην GRIMALDI. Το "σταρχίδιαμου ο πελάτης" στα καλύτερά του. Ζεστή και χλωμή μέρα, κάνει τη διαδρομή ως τη Civitavecchia τέτοια ώστε να αγαπώ τα δροσερά τούνελ όσο τίποτα στον κόσμο. Με την ευκαιρία να πω ότι το Google maps έκανε άψογη πλοήγηση εκτός σύνδεσης για αυτά τα 300 χλμ (περίπου 225ΜΒ η συγκεκριμένη περιοχή). Από τη στιγμή δε που η μαμά Ευρώπη σταμάτησε τις επιπλέον χρεώσεις περιαγωγής, η συγκεκριμένη εφαρμογή δεν έχει αντίπαλο. Στη Civitavecchia παίρνω το επόμενο καράβι για Μπαρτσελόνα και απολαμβάνω άλλο ένα εκνευριστικό ταξίδι με την GRIMALDI η οποία κατέχει πλέον σχεδόν ολόκληρη τη Μεσόγειο. Χάλια στρώματα, στον ντους δεν χωρά άνθρωπος εκτός αν είναι η Rihanna, 1.4 ευρώ το μικρότερο μπουκάλι νερού και άλλα όμορφα. Δυστυχώς δεν υπάρχουν εναλλακτικές και αυτό το εκμεταλεύονται όσο μπορούν. Τα λέμε στο επόμενο.

Hot 'n wet but not adding any pleasure at all when she's a city - Ancona in this case. Epecially when you arrive on a 2 hours late ferry while you've been kicked out of your cabin 4+ hours earlier by MINOAN, member of GRIMALDI group. The "I don't give a fuck about customer service" at its best. Hot and dull day, makes me fall in love with the chilled tunnels on my way to Civitavecchia. By the way I gotta admit that Google maps worked perfect offline for these 300km (225MB was the map's size). Especially now that mama Europe stopped roaming charges this app is a hands down winner. At Civitavecchia I take the next ferry to Barcelona and I experience one more annoying trip with GRIMALDI - they own almost all Meditarenean now. Useless mattresses, no space in the shower unless you have the size of Rihanna, 1.4 euros for the smallest bottle of water and the list goes on. No alternatives unfortunately so the cut all corners possible. See you on the next one.

15/06/2017

One more trip begins




--- English below ---


Ζέστη. Πολύ ζέστη. Στην άσφαλτο για πολλά χιλιόμετρα μετά από καιρό. Κάπου στη μέση πηγαίνοντας για Πάτρα με παίρνει τηλέφωνο φίλος που είχα να ακούσω καιρό. "Με πέτυχες στα διόδια - του λέω - πάω Πορτογαλία". Έπρεπε να βλέπατε το βλέμμα της υπαλλήλου που με άκουγε να το λέω αυτό στο καλά κρυμμένο bluetooth του κράνους μου. Φτάνω Πάτρα. Στο βενζινάδικο πριν πάω στο λιμάνι για να μπω στο καράβι διαπιστώνω ότι το κούνημα στα όργανα οφειλόταν στο ότι έχασα μια βίδα από τις δύο που κρατάνε το μπροστινό υποπλαίσιο του φέρινγκ. Βρίσκω συνεργείο και ο μάστορας μου βρίσκει μια άλλη βίδα. Μα τι γλυκός τυπάκος! Ίσως φταίει το γαιδουροφορτωμένο μου δίκυκλο που προκαλεί οίκτο (όταν δεν προκαλεί δέος). Φτάνω λιμάνι. Μετανάστες παντού διάσπαρτοι. Τους κυνηγάνε οι λιμενοφύλακες κατά διαστήματα. Κανα δυό κρύβονται πίσω από τη μηχανή μου. Τους διώχνουν. Καβαλάω να φύγω. Στην ουρά του ελέγχου οχημάτων πριν τα καράβια ένας Γερμανός παρεξηγείται που περνάω με ευκολία όλα τα αυτοκίνητα και χτυπιέται να μην μου αφήσει χώρο να περάσω με τη Mercedes του. Καλά...ακόμα θα με ψάχνει. Πρωτάρης θα είναι. Οι ίδιοι οι λιμενικοί άλλωστε πάντα με παροτρύνουν να το κάνω αυτό αφού προφανώς δεν έχω χώρο να κρύψω μετανάστες για να με ψάξουν και δεν υπάρχει λόγος να περιμένω. Ευγενικοί - να σημειώσω - όλοι τους πάντα εκεί. Στο τέλος της ουράς ένα άλλο Γερμανικό Camper αναγκαστικά κλείνει όλο το δρόμο και έτσι περιμένω να τον ελέγξουν. Με χαμόγελο τους ανοίγει όλο το - μεγάλο - αμάξι του ο οδηγός. Με ένα παραπάνω χαμόγελο γυρνά και με κοιτά. Ανταποδίδω και αναρωτιέμαι λίγο. Μετά παρατηρώ μοτοσυκλετάδικα αυτοκόλλητα στο Camper του και καταλαβαίνω. Η θάλασσα λάδι, τα στρώματα στην καμπίνα χάλια, σαπούνι έπρεπε να τους ζητήσω για να μου δώσουν, σαμπουάν τους τελείωσε λένε, σιχτιρίζω τις ΜΙΝΩΙΚΕΣ αν και οι υπόλοιποι δεν πάνε πίσω στο χάλι πλέον και άλλο ένα ταξίδι ξεκινά. Στο δυτικότερο μέρος της Ευρώπης και τον υψηλότερο δρόμο αυτής μεταξύ άλλων. Τα λέμε ;)

Hot weather. Quite hot. On the road again for lots of km. It;s been a while since the last time. Halfway to Patra a friend calls me. Long time no talk. "I am at the tolls on my way to Portugal mate". You should have seen the face of the lady handing me the change listening to me saying so to my well hidden bluetoot helmet intercom. I arrive at Patra. At the fuel station I find out why my instrument panel was too shaky. I lost one of the two bolts that hold the front subframe. I find a mechanic and he hands me another bolt. What a super sweet guy. Maybe my overloaded bike causes mercifull feelings (when it doesn't trigger awe). I make it to the port of Patra. Immigrants everywhere. Coast guard pushes them back. A couple of them hide behind my bike. They chase them away. I drive off. At the car queue a German is too upset to see me filtering the traffic and does his best to cut me off. Yeah right...bye babe. Must be a noobie. Even the coast guards tell bikers to do so since there's no space to hide an immigrant on a bike therefore no reason to wait. At the end of the queue another German camper is too wide to leave space for me so I patiently wait till they check him out. With  smile he opens the whole vehicle to the guys. He turns to me with a bigger smile. I smile back a bit wondering why till I see he's got lots of biker stickers on his camper. There you go...;) The sea is very calm, the cabin's mattresses are too bad, I had to ask them for soap since they didn't have any in the cabin and they claimed that they run out of shampoo, I bitch on MINOAN LINES but lately they're all the same crap (and the same GRIMALDY thing anyway) and another long trip begins. Most western point and the highest road in Europe are included and waiting. See you ;)