to Thessaloniki, Greece (via Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Spending the morning in the Bulgarian mountains; continuing south, we cross into Greece (a first for PP)...a 400 mile day , deserving of an impromptu hotel, on the coast of the Aegean Sea!
Bulgaria and Greece, you don’t disappoint! Some of the most amazing roads and mountain passes we’ve discovered.
Unfortunately PP had food poisoning and was far from cheerful at the prospect of today’s lengthy ride. The last long (circa 400 mile) day, all our others are now sub 250.
Up a few times in the night, PP was still ready, packed away for the off at 07h00...we ‘snuck’ out and headed West for the first time in over a week; passing along a little track before we picked up the main drag to the first set of mountains in northern Bulgaria...
Amazing, both in terms of road surfaces, shapes of the twists, as well as the sheer lack of other vehicles (all day).
Dropping back down into the Valley of the Thracian Kings, passing an amazing gold roofed church nearby.
Headed south west to Plovdiv, PP really wasn’t feeling up to exploring any Roman ruins, so the city detour ended up being a hot and bothered waste of time. Stopping for a coffee and to ‘recharge batteries’ briefly, we kept the heading south west, over the second stunning set of mountains...reminiscent of the Alps, these have us vistas of a similar scale to Norway.
Even the A roads were empty, full of long sweeping bends. Eventually crossing the border into Greece (hassle free waiving of Passports only), my Sat Nav awoke for the first time in four days...not certain how (30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall) Greece qualifies as Western Europe?
My route took us over the most amazing Greek passes, a series of twists like a rollercoaster, that kept on giving.
We’ve passed a great deal of livestock beside the road, though the funniest sight is the stalks that nest atop Lampposts...sadly no photos, though several have very large fledglings, staring down at the traffic and pedestrians beneath in bemusement.
Now up to 36.5 degrees we decided, for all the food it does, to blast the last 70 miles around Thessaloniki, via the dual carriageway autoroutes...one section over a set of hills, the twistiest motorway ever.
Landing at our hotel for the evening, PP’s made himself scarce; air con is on, washing done and off to find some food!