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Thread: Round 2: Another European Sortie

  1. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Not sure how you seem to think money comes easy to me, you don't even know me. Anyway, this isn't relevant to Rob's thread, so F off.
    Steady
    JohnnyBoxer



    So many roads...........So little time......

  2. #34
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    Tosses banter

    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Not sure how you seem to think money comes easy to me, you don't even know me. Anyway, this isn't relevant to Rob's thread, so F off.
    Oh dear someone's got to many toys in his pram

    Rob you carry on enjoying your year at play and keep up the good work blogging your progress and sorry if this has interrupted your thread in anyway ,just us children at play on the sidelines ,one anyway!! I love casting my line

  3. #35
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    And it's back to the action

    Budovica to Porat


    Latest news is my brother has booked some uneasyjet flights to Dubrovnik, so now I've some sort of place to get to by Wednesday next.

    I rise at the Hotel Garni and walk downstairs in my flip flops and nearly falling down the stairs. Nice start. The 30 Euros includes breakfast, which is very good, and it is all very good. I have my traditional euro transit breakfast of a Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwich.
    For the meantime, I decide to head to Lake Bled. Big up again to the Garni, a comfortable place for buttons.

    I have an epic morning of riding. Slovenia is GS country. Ups and downs, twisty turny stuff, little traffic, roads that are not at all perfect but provide a great deal of entertainment. All in scenic spendour. I'm coming back again.

    Inviting motoring..



    Fancy a slap then, eh, eh?



    Roast Trout for lunch..



    I reach Lake Bled. I pootle around the shores and stop outside a craft fair. I'm almost wiped out by a backwards rolling Renault Megane trying to park. Sharp use of the horn sorts it and scowls indicate I won't be getting a Christmas card. I pull in. There's a stall there and I ask for stickers. He thinks I'm from another planet, but I show him one I've got and he sort of sees it, but observes 'what is the point?' to which I say I'll stick them on my bike. He thinks I'm a loon for doing that clearly and he says you won't find any here, aside from maybe one store in the shopping centre. Not wanting to over complicate matters I'll pass on that.

    His name is Michael and he has a stunning array of photographs on show. That is his passion- he's a devoted photographer. I want to buy something, so I ask him to tell me what one he likes, and I buy it. We chat for a while. 'Where are you going?' he asks. 'I don't know' I tell him. He's a bit bemused by that. I tell him target is Southern Croatia, for now. 'Where should I go?' I ask. 'Hmmm he says, if it were me, I would go to the Island of Krk. It is very pleasant, and not so far from here if you're going that way'. So the die is cast. 'Have you been in the lake?' he asks. 'You should'. I see. Wait a minute.. Johnny foreigner is telling me to go and jump in the lake
    We say farewell. Before I go he gives me two cards for luck. Saint Michael, to represent luck for me on the bike, and one of our lady, which represents love, as he explains, without love there is nothing. 'Thank you.. Now can I pay you for these?' I ask. 'No, thank you..' he says 'There isn't enough money in the world' It is a serene and charming encounter with someone with a very peaceful aura. It makes my day.



    It's busy on the road around the lake but the water is calm as a duck pond and picture postcard peaceful. No motor boats or jet skis or any of that kind of stuff allowed. People are ferried to the Island (Slovenia's only Island, by the way) in large row boats.



    I buy an Ice cream and park up just a few feet from the lake crashing the party of a group of Russian registered K1300GTs

    The Russians are coming.. The Russians are coming!



    Proof you don't need a big bike to go touring. Scoots are the future..



    It's hot. Bloody hot. The water is inviting. Sod this for a game of soldiers, I'm going in. So a nifty quick change, and I spend an hour paddling about in the lake. Yeehah, superb. I have a moment of 'I'm really doing this, and I'm really here', which was very very pleasant.

    I return ashore and get out the camping chair. Iced tea and feet up. One of the Russian fellows approaches with a handshake. 'You are from Great Britain?' he asks politely. We chat for a while. They've all been on a huge tour from Moscow and have clearly had a ball. They're puzzling on where to strap more shopping. London was on the itinerary- but he complained of paying £200 for the Eurotunnel. Not surprised- Bloody hell, that was steep.

    I set off for Croatia. The weather is closing in and there's a heavy wind. I nip on to the Motorway to escape South. I bought a Vignette at the Italian border as it implied the only way in was on the Motorway (which it did seem it was, even though I was getting off in a few KM). So anyway I get a bit of VFM. The Slovenian Motorway is good. A noticable tailwind pushes me along in a kind of funny vortex. It's very odd, I can really feel myself being blown along. Good for the economy side of things I s'pose

    Motorway is left to break for the border. There's a lot of traffic keen to make progress, eager to roll out the towels and blow up those lilos and beach balls no doubt. I have a moment and I pride myself in not having many of those. As I'm making an overtake I'm almost taken out by Fritz in his big Mercedes who is already trying to get around me. It was a lapse for a moment on my part for sure and I was a lucky boy.. but he would clearly see my position and intention, one of these blasted 'get out of my way' types. Twat.

    We get to the border. We're queueing, and Fritz, now many a car back decides to roll up across the kerb into the other lane to try and jump the queue. It seems this character is just a mobile nuisance. Anyway, so what. He's now next to me. That said, I stare at the blacked out window, ready for a chat and debrief if it obliges. There's nothing coming back though. My best inquisitive gurn generates nothing. He's positioned behind a camper and now a coach that's been flagged in, and we're moving and they're not. Hilarious. The border guard sees my Union Jack on the lid and waves me though. Top tip there as that's happened a few times.

    I stop over the border, change £60 Sterling up for what I now call Hrvattys, have a brief chat with the girl at the Beuraux De Change and then have a stretch followed by an Iced Tea. Fritz is still behind the coach back at the border post as I set off. I find that pretty funny. Tiny things please tiny minds I suppose.

    I reflect that I'm thankful to Michael's lucky charm of earlier; a few milliseconds difference (I kid you not) would have led to an entirely different outcome and most likely a very different thread to read

    On we go. I head down to Rijeka, and then on to the Island of Krk, across the rather splendid bridge. The road is incredibly busy coming the other way with the weekenders heading back to the mainland. There are Policija everywhere. Lollipop waving pedestrian versions, mobile fuzz in Skoda Octavias, short sleeved shirt clad biker cops wrestling RT's in heavy traffic.

    I check out a camp site; so busy it looks like some sort ridiculous tented game of twister. Erm, that'll be a no then. So I head to a tourist agency who get me a B&B for 45 Euros, which is fine all considered. Plus time is knocking on, too. It's just a few KM away in Porat. My posterior is beeping, I think I've worn out the Sargent seat, so the nearer the better.
    I reach Porat, where some wag had amusingly changed the sign from a 'P' to a 'B'. Well I thought it was funny.

    The B&B, or 'Pensian' fella flags me down and I park across the road, by the harbour. A really basic little place but perfectly adequate.

    I cross the road for a beer and have a few more. There's some local accordion group getting in to the groove and it's not a bad place to be on the planet. Facebook status added as 'Getting spangled', to which a certain Mr K adds an instant 'like'. The accordionists drink beer, cocktails, and what looks like grappe also. They're getting spangled too


  4. #36
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    Sounds like you're having a ball

  5. #37
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    Glad to hear your still makin new friends and spreading the two wheeled love ,but remember mirror signal manouver

  6. #38
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    Great stuff

  7. #39
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    Lake Bled is a beautiful place - I loved rowing on the lake on a family holiday when I was about 15. The coach came back via the Grossglockner and I swore I'd come back on a motorbike to ride it when I was old enough. Only took 20 years
    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  8. #40
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    Cheers all

    Quote Originally Posted by sven View Post
    Lake Bled is a beautiful place - I loved rowing on the lake on a family holiday when I was about 15. The coach came back via the Grossglockner and I swore I'd come back on a motorbike to ride it when I was old enough. Only took 20 years
    Ah, the Grossglockner, haven't been back in a while. Nice road, that.. may have a look in when heading North..


  9. #41
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    Porat to Sibernik

    Hmmm. Where to go today? Well, ultimately my need is South now, so it seems a shame to go back North to go over the bridge- and I'd already done that Northern section of Dalmatian Coast running down from Rijeka.

    I sit outside for a breakfast of Coffee, Bread and Jam. 'Here you are' says the young girl. 'Would you like anything else?' she asks. 'Is there anything else?' I ask. 'Well, ah, no' she giggles. 'In that case put me down for nothing'. She giggles and wanders off.
    I attack the jam but so do the wasps. Remember: if you splat one, ten come to the funeral. I shift everything on to another table and look at the map.

    Porat harbour from the top box..



    There's a lady from Dublin and her Austrian husband sat at the opposite table. She sees my England rugby t-shirt and comes and says hello. It's a very pleasant holiday conversation in good humour. Over time they say they've been to other parts of Croatia and they like Sibenik. 'Aha!' I say, since I needed inspiration that's where I will go, and with a little internet I work out I can take a ferry to the Island of Rab and then another ferry on to the mainland. Excellent.

    The ferry is taken from just a few KM from Porat. I fill up at the OMV station by the ferry area. There are two ferries- one for the island of Cres, which is very busy, and one for Rab, much less so. That works for me as folks will get turned away from this Cres crossing for sure. There's a lot of stressed looking tourists cooking in their cars.

    Aboard the little ferry for very peaceful hour and a half crossing and I sort out some photos and miscellaneous bits and bobs on the laptop.



    We arrive at Lopar on the Island of Rab just after 1pm. It is a nice island, I'd say nicer than Krk; quainter, less busy, which would figure as it's harder to get to, duh. I float down into Rab town, and there's a barrier to get in. The fella just waves me around with a smile. That's cool.

    Rab town is very nice indeed. Think sort of Rhodes old town without all of the sales pitch cretinous folk. Not as old of course, but it has definite charm, and one to revisit.



    I can't find any stickers, encountering more of 'what for?' questions to which I explain and get laughs and 'no sorry'.

    I stop for lunch. Pizza with fiery peppers, just by the beach in a shady tree lined spot. Lovely. I'm starting to get a bit paranoid about the GS and all the weight, as it's so hot. Creative use of straps moors it to a church sign. It was a good move, the tarmac had started to melt time I got back. I just can't easily get it on the centre stand loaded, and my attempts thus far have almost knackered the sole of my right boot..

    You can probably just make out the inventive use of the straps



    I head again South briefly to get a ferry back on to the mainland. As I descend towards the ferry I see it arriving, so a rapid turnaround for ticket for a just a few Hrvattys and I'm on.

    There's entertainment in the ferry Queue..



    The splendour of Croatian archipelago, from the ferry rails..



    A quick crossing and then I'm back on to the Glorious Dalmatian Highway.

    Of course, given it was July, and the amount of cars I'd seen on Krk I was expecting it to be Chaos on the coast road. Well.. nothing like it. I think I saw two cars which I quickly passed and twenty or so minutes later I'm back in Karlobag, where I stayed back in June. I've still got the hotel Wi-fi remembered on the laptop, so I stop, have coca-cola and water several times around and put up a couple of updates I've written.

    Up pulls a fella on a Spanish registered 1100GS. We chat. His name is Francesco. 'Frank' he says, to compensate for my clumsy mispronounciation of what I think is actually 'Franthisco'. A nice guy on his way to Athens from his home town of Pamplona. He's done a massive hit and is here in two days. Credit to him. He's a good guy to chat to. He stays at the hotel, I advise him he shouldn't be worried about going to Albania and give him a few more tips. It's all well received. 'When you are in Spain in September look me up' he says 'I will be glad to help' and gives me his e-mail address. A handshake and he's off to the hotel.

    Frank's GS with what he summarises as a 'questionable' 39k KM's. Looks pretty tidy though. I like his passenger.



    I try and sort out a place to stop in Sibenik, but I have one of those kind of brain freezes I do occasionally and things are taking much much longer than they really should. Indeed. Frank has re-emerged in his sports gear and is off for a jog. By the time I'm sorted with lodgings in Sibnick it's late- Garmin suggests an arrival time of 21:38. Sigh.

    Of course, Professor Piehead has ignored the 'LAMPF' message, having his two little GSA Xmas tree lights available and using them as has put things off with all of this other enjoyment stuff going on. This will be touch and go. I have a quick fiddle but no joy, and decide that I'll best use the light available and crack on.

    A view of what a quiet evening on the Dalmatian Highway has to offer..



    So I crack on. I have the most wondourous evening riding, I kid you not. It's cool, quiet and I float along. There's some side wind blasts, which this area is famous for. Not optimal but nothing scary. I get flashes from oncoming cars and back off. Policja. I tootle past, hopeful for no enquires vis-a-vis lighting arrangements. Good, they're not interested.

    The highway ends for now and it's on to the A1 to make for Sibernik. The light has gone now, but fortunately the GSA fogs are doing a decent job, so I'll wrap up things tonight with these. The Croatian motorway is splendid and it is an easy 40 mins to Sibernik, even with my feeble fairy lighting and it isn't pitch black.
    Here's a suggestion: If you need to munch distance in hot climes, then think seriously about doing it at night. It is quiet, peaceful, easy peasy and damned pleasant at 29 degrees when compared to the approaching 35 degrees of the daytime, and of course that sunshine.

    'LAMPF'. FFS.



    I get in to Sibernik and eventually find my rooms lodging. It's really very pleasant, big double bed, balcony, helpful land lady.

    Out for a couple of ales at the local Pizzeria. The local ale appears to be 'Pan'. It's great, so I don't mind being one of Pan's people, not at all.

    Back to base; I might just stay and explore tomorrow, sort out fecking 'LAMPF' too.

  10. #42
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    A day orf in Sibernik

    The land lady has shifted a few things around so I can have en extra day here and stay in the same room. So that's sorted, it'll be a day off. I catch up on a few bits and bobs and then decide to head in to Sibernik, which is a sort of a ten minute hop up on the bike. Easy parking sorted, a walk round, an Orange Ice Cream and a souvenir shop that knows what a sticker is



    A splendid place for a mooch..



    How refreshingly honest



    You've come a long way, baby..



    So back to the apartment for a snooze and a watch of some the Olympics. Same Pizzeria again in the evening for a nibble of Gnocchi and a couple more Pan

    Not much more to report.. Heading south again tomorrow

  11. #43
    You have me hooked now, I look forward to your next instalment.

    Regards Count Pikey

  12. #44
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    Looking forward to the next instalment
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
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  13. #45
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    excellent read, 2 for 2 so far, and yes i envy your trip.

    Good luck and ride safe
    /Phil - 2008 GSA

  14. #46
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    Cheers again folks

    Updates will thin out a little- I've caught up with myself pretty much now, and got a few days out on the beach coming up. I'll probably be posting some drivel or other though

  15. #47
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    Sibernik to Dubrovnik

    In e-mail dispatches things are coming together in terms of mapping out the next couple of weeks. We have a couple of days in Dubrovnik, back up to Split, across to the Island of Hvar for a five nights, down to Mostar for a peek, then an indulgent quick dart over to Sarajevo.

    I've had mails from friends in Germany and Sweden, so that looks like places to float to after, and I'd really like to czech out Prague (geddit? )

    Up and out to make a tea on the patio this morning prior to departure.



    Very pleasant, and I'm off at 9.15. I watch a bit of BBC breakfast on the laptop, normally I find myself thoroughly nauseated by it, but this morning there's some interest and it seems I'm finally truly mellowing out, discarding 20 years of being a wound-tight office jockey.

    I've messed around with bulbs but still dreaded LAMPF, so that fiasco is carried over. I've sorted out a bit of other wiring, and also changed the position of my water bottle from at the front of the crash bars to in the cockpit by the GPS. Just a bit easier and I don't need to have 'oops up side yer head' dancing sort of moments to try and get a drink whilst I'm on the bike.
    It's actually great and refreshment on the go is very useful. I didn't realise how hot it got under that screen though. In about 20 minutes of running in warm weather my peach Iced tea has gone from Iced tea to hot peach tea. But that's cool (well not cool as it were) because it actually tastes like normal fruit tea when warmed up and that's good by me. It's a good tip, Iced tea because it's the drink for all seasons, and hot water isn't very pleasant at all.

    It's a cut across from Sibernik down to the coast road again, the hilly area being much less well kept but interesting all the same.

    View to the coast from up in the hills..



    Back on the coast road towards Split. The traffic builds up but there's no rush so it's all OK, and there's a bit of friendly filtering (read barging too) which is all made better with a wave and a smile. Everyone is in holiday mood so it seems.

    Enthusiastic flashing from an Africa Twin headed opposite indicated Policija, all is mellow as I'm tootling. Only one roadside Policja is seen today.

    Through the busy town of Omis. Screech Powers operating the whistle.. The on the go picture doesn't give the hat topped perm full justice- shame.



    Where to go.. So much choice, so little time?



    Stopping for some fruit juice. If I were to tell you this were right by the road you'd never believe me..



    I cross through the short coastal stretch of Bosnia Herzegovina..



    A local demonstrates the local 'Scalextric' treatment of straddling double white lines..



    ..and shortly later I'm heading in to Dubrovnik where I meet up with my brother.



    We've got an apartment booked at the interestingly self assuringly named 'Best Apartments Roxy', which should by rights really be named the 'Snug Apartments Roxy'. Inside you could certainly swing a cat, but it would have to be a hard as nails cat that didn't mind hitting several walls as it was swung around. But, on the upside the washing machine that is virtually positioned inside the shower cubicle works so it's time to do a bit of domestic stuff.

    Out into the old town, which is quite a remarkable sightseeing destination. We stop for a drink at the appropriately named 'Buza' where we enjoy a beer overlooking the Nature Reserve Island of Lokrum and a chat to a couple of very charming London girls. Today's beer is 'Ozjusko'.



    These shorts are Brillo..



    The old town harbour..



    A bite to eat, a stroll around the streets and a stop in a bar to watch some Olympic stuff where we have a lousy Mojito. A very pissed local joins us and wants to talk topical issues, asking 'why we give passports to Indians'. Given ere was zero ambiance and the cocktails even worse we decide to retire. Considering that the opening badly slurred statement from said pissed local was most likely a preamble to start talking about hate in local terms, we'll give that a miss.



    The streets are full of English speakers. There seems a particular concentration of New York (or Neeew Yoik) Americans.

    Back to base for a rest.

  16. #48
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    As good a read as ever ... keep it up

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