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Every time I come to Greece I feel I’ve finally arrived home. Extraordinary ancient cities with outstanding Mediterranean coast, glorious sunsets and easy going people do hypnotize me with every visit.
From Athens and it’s amazing historical Acropolis to archaeological sites as Olympia, Corinth, Thessaloniki and all the way to the coasts of Pylos, Limni, Volos and many more…
I always stop for a longer period I’ve planned.
Evia island is one of the closest to Athens and yet one of the most unknown places that was highly recommended by a friend. Here I have met a marvelous doctors Mrs. Hella and Mr. Armin driven all the way from Germany with their costume made 4×4 truck Man.
While enjoying the exquisite German humor, I have accidentally picked up some German words not knowing I am gonna need them in a future years when attending the emergency rescue seminar in Kassel held by this first-class adventures doctors.
Among other very important German words I have learned the whole sentence… „kirchdithmoldisch-chinesische Kirschbaum-Schnitzereien griechischer Art“
Translation: Who knows… I made people laugh and got a free pass, so call it… a good student and a successful learning. Free of charge, mission accomplished!
Small fisherman’s city Limni located in the northwestern part of the Euboea island convinced me to set my camping grown for the second time.
Without any expectations to meet the family on the coast, my Gelandewagen met his older cousin for the first time. That was a nice surprise. You could clearly see the same genetics and a proud Austrian spirit that hasn’t disappointed till this day. (1996/ 2013)
I will never forget the day when I was cooking a macaroni sauce on my small electric stove and suddenly got distracted by a family of dolphins near by. That day I’ve learned an important lesson. You can’t be on two different locations at once. But if you want to defy physics as I did, I can reassure you It is a lose-lose situation. You can only achieve blurry photos and hunger.
As lucky as I am life introduced me to Mr. Theo, a local man who knew how to ‘serve the plate’ and helped me with my cooking.
Mr. Theo is an English professor who originally comes from Australia and I’ve visited him in Athens in the next few years to improve my English skills and pick up a few Greek words as Galaktoboureko and other very important ones you need to know if you wanna survive in Greece lands, or at least satisfy the hungry appetite.
Finally discharged from the daily routines, a Greek atmosphere worked sort of as purificator for the mind and soul. I was ready for the road and new stories to come but I didn’t get far.
Not long after a great experience In Limni, my journey continued to Volos where I entered another local story. This time I was already skilled and fully prepared to enjoy life in a Greek mode. I met a wonderful history professor Mr. Dimos with his family and friends. It felt as if we would known each other for years.
I said to my self, one day when I am not gonna be on such a tight schedule, I will return. What do you think, did I? Of course I did and this time I brought my German doctors with me. The company was fulfilled and boy we had fun!
As an magician, Mr Dimos brought us to ‘the gypsy state’. The state I entered in Bosnia all ready and is only achievable if you’re surrounded with a beautiful people and a nice atmosphere. There was plenty of both.
Driving through Turkish city of Istanbul was story of its own. I felt like a kamikaze waiting to be hit from any direction what so ever.
I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in the car on a parking lot in the city because of the diabolical music playing in the cars of locals while competing with their sound system among each other all night long.
A part from that, this beautiful ancient city with its enormous colorful mosques implemented with a new modern architecture, amazing craftsmanship, endless spice markets and delicious food was just what I was expecting, even more, much more.
We enjoyed Istanbul so much we were seriously considering of offering a storytelling photo workshop in the future. Wanna join? I’ll see what I can do, but now let’s return to our offroad adventure, shall we?
Cappadocia was one of the necessities, the place It was clearly pinpointed on my map. Why?
You see my friends I have an endless mileage of travels accomplished with an airplane all the way since the times when I was discovering beautyfull archeological and cultural sides of Southeast Asia, but I have never flew with a balloon.
Since the region is known for their balloon aircraft skills, this was the place I’m gonna do it, experience the balloon ride. And I did!
What an extraordinary experience, as if time would stop for a brief moment. The landscpape looked like I am gonna lend it on the moon.
I couldn’t stop my self but to extend my staying. I made the deal with the Kaya Konak Cave Hotel located in Göreme and took photos for them while they let me stay in one of their beautiful cave rooms.
When shooting for the hotel a Tv team of journalists from Slovenia stoped me. (Planet TV) I didn’t like the idea of being interviewed because I was tired and unprepared but I still gave my self an opportunity simply to try something new and ‘break the ice’ of the public speaking. I didn’t enjoy it nor did I want to repeat it. Not everything is for everybody.
Everything till Cappadocia went according to the plan, but than the journey took it’s own turn. Yeah, It started in Turkey all ready.
Exhausted from a long drive headed towards Ankara It was time for a glass of wine and some rest.
I stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere when suddenly my mobile home represented a treat to somebody and not long after I was facing the weapons of the Turkish police.
I must admit it was hard to communicate. I did not speak Turkish and nor did they English. Everything sounded as a big mishmash. I had no choice but to fallow them to the station where I had to wait till the next day but without a glass of wine. What a mess!
The next day a police realized I am only a traveler so I got a permission to continue the journey.
In the next few days I reached Van lake and mountain Ararat eating melons and drinking tea with the nicest local man
not knowing I set the campground next to the military base. Thankfully this time everything ended up well.
Since I have driven such a long way I made a stop in Şanlıurfa, where I had to face another extreme. +42 degrees celsius made me fell I am going to melt on my car-sit. Aldo the air conditioning was working at it’s fullest, It felt like is not working at all.
The reason for stoping so close to the Sirian border was to see the megalithic structures of Göbekli Tepe that were built 5,000 years before the Egyptian pyramids as well as predates Stonehenge by 6,000 years.
From dry and unforgettable Turkey I soon entered a completely different story. Green wetlands of Georgia or as I called it the lands of Shire. I guess I accidentally entered the Mr.J. R. R. Tolkien‘s story, except the hobbits were missing.
Enough of the travels for today. We had quite a ride, don’t you think? Time for a new chapter in a next few days. Thank you for the company and I must admit it was a pleasure traveling with you!