South East Europe

Italy – Albania – Macedonia – Greece – Bulgaria – Serbia

The Ride

In 2012 I started my first long distance bike tour. I wanted to discover some history and wanted to explore some of the wilder parts of Europe. What could be better than staring this in Italy. From Geneva I went down the coast through Pisa, Rome to Naples. I didn’t really know what expects me on a bike journey like this and I was happy to avoid any bigger mountain for the first weeks. In Naples I faced the first mountains while crossing to the Adria coast in Bari but after the warm up I kept up with about 100km per day.
This suddenly changed when I left the ferry in Dures, Albania. Pit wholes and dirt roads were a new experience for me on a travel bike. But a experience I loved from the first moment. Sand roads on the coast and gravel trails in the mountains brought me up to the beautiful lakes of Ohrid and the Macedonian border.
After a short stop in Thessaloniki, I turned around and returned through Bulgaria and Serbia, where I finally catched a train back home.

The Bike: The Iron Lady

Two years before this trip I picked up cycling again. For the little knowledge I had I bought quite a good bike. Built on a no-name standard aluminium Frame and equipped with Deore LX transmission and breaks.
Two VauDe rear panniers were fixed at a seat post rack. What was quite inconvienient for driving, was very comfortable when I was off the bike. I released the seat post, locked the bike and carried all my luggage with me, in just a second.


The Conclusion

After a few backpacking trips this was my first bike trip. I was impressed by peoples reactions to bike tourists and in love with the speed and the challenge of biking the world. The daily distances enables to live a very intense journey, feeling every change in culture, climate and landscape. To enter, suffer and conquer mountain ranges and reach oceans. Powered only by your legs.
An impressive experience and a life changing journey.