Bicycle Trip to Greece Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weber 26.04.2013 - 17.05.2013



26.04.2013 Haiger
27.04.2013 Rückingen
28.04.2013 Würzburg
29.04.2013 Pleinfeld
30.04.2013 Taufkirchen/Vils
01.05.2013 Freilassing
02.05.2013 Tweng
03.05.2013 Villach
04.05.2013 Bovec
05.05.2013 Ilirska Bistrica
06.05.2013 Karlobag
07.05.2013 Pirovac
08.05.2013 Omis
09.05.2013 Slano
10.05.2013 Budva
11.05.2013 Shkoder
12.05.2013 Fier
13.05.2013 Himare
14.05.2013 Igoumenitsa
15.05.2013 Paleros
16.05.2013 Platanovrisi
17.05.2013 Zakynthos


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04.05.2013, 9. day, 72 / 1076 km, Bovec

Early at six it rains a bit, but then comes the sun. After a good breakfast at the campground I pass the ski jump ramp at Villach and then the spa. The road to the Wurzen-pass is made like an autobahn. Biking is permitted, but anyhow I feel uncomfortable.
Then comes the left turn to the Wurzen-pass. 18% slope grade is difficult to handle, especially with more traffic than expected. The many motorcycles are bothering me increasingly, in particular the loudly banging choppers. It seems that there are twice as many motorcycles than cars on the road. Perhaps this is because today is Saturday.
The altitude difference to Villach is only 600 m, but it claims a lot of power. When I arrive at the top I have almost decided to finish today at Kranjka Gora, which lies just behind the Wurzen-pass and is famous with touristics, in winter as much as in summer. I remember that we have been here a long time ago with the children (of course not by bicycle).
Here I have a break in the sun. After a while I feel strong enough to do the Vrsic-pass. It goes from 800 m to 1611 m altitude in a distance of 9 km. The numerous sharp bends are counted and labelled with the altitude, unfortunately the last 15 are missing. After half the distance a small restaurant invites for a break, I get a warm fresh blueberry cake. It is comfortable there, I nearly fall asleep on the chair.
Nevertheless I have to get going again. It begins to rain now, and I have to cover the baggage again. To my right above me it begins to thunder, and I fear a heavy thundershower, but the rain remains moderate. I can continue. This is also necessary because it becomes colder and colder.
Finally I arrive at the summit. It is uncomfortable like at the other passes, no hut or restaurant. Behind me the thunder is getting louder. Again I put on both jackets, gloves and headband and start the descent. The brakes are good and important because the baggage is heavy. I can't go very fast because the surface of the road is very uneven. It is painful for my soul to brake down the sweatfully conquered altitude, but there is no alternative.
Down in Trenta it is distinctly warmer, I can put off jackets, gloves and headband.
The descent continues through narrow valleys, almost ravines, always along the Soca river. This river's water is remarkably blue. The Landscape is untouched, not yet affected by tourism. I enjoy it very much, especially because it is mainly downhill.
At 6 pm I arrive at Bovec, I don't want to go any further. The map doesn't show a campground on the next 80 km, and moreover I believe that two high mountain passes above 1000 m will be sufficient for one day even if the distance was not very far.
After a hot shower at the campground I visit the restaurant and order a pizza. The waiter asks wether I want a regular or a big pizza. Of course I order a big one. When it comes I'm amazed: it is really huge, but I eat it with great appetite. After this there is still enough room for two pancakes with a nut stuffing.
Now I'm really full (and tired).
Tomorrow I would like to arrive in Croatia.

The ski jump ramp in Villach

An inconspicuous turn

The next "encouraging" road sign

at the time very necessary

And already I am in Slovenia

At Kransjka Gora

So the Vrsic-pass is open

If I remember correctly we have already been here with our children (a long time ago)

4 km from the summit I order a cappuccino and a fresh warm blueberry cake

Flowers right next to the snow

Rather rough area

Now I think it is time to be done with mountain passes

The summit is an uncomfortable place

It goes down into this valley

Idyllic bridge over the Soca river

Deep down below the road continues

The valleys are narrow

The water of the Soca river is strikingly blue

At the campground in Bovec

The giant pizza