Bicycle tour Carpathian & Balkan mountains


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Monday 21 July

Back in Euroland, immaculately white houses and a lot more car traffic. On a picnic area a group of Romanian invited me to join lunch. After lunch I cycled west between a 2000 m high mountain range of Mt. Kerkini and a lake with the same name. On the highway to Kilkis lots of trucks, luckily the road has wide shoulders. As I left the mountainous region the landscape consists of barren, dry hills. On one of those hills I'd found a fairly flat rocky spot without too many thorns. The campsite reminded me of camping in the desert.

Tuesday 22 July

Only 70 km to go to Thessaloniki, where I'd booked an airplane to Düsseldorf in the evening. The traffic in the city is hectic. Some piece of metal caused my first flat tyre of the trip. To my surprise I was carrying all the way spare tyres that didn’t fit, the valve being too short for this kind of high rimmed wheels! :-( However, I manage to fit the spare inner tyre somehow onto the wheel and didn’t need to fix the puncture.

After a quick visit of downtown, I cycled along the boulevard to Macedonian airport, about 15 km south of town.
At the check-in I didn't had to box my bike, only turning the handlebars sideways and remove the pedals.

Wednesday 23 July: Wesel (D) - Arnhem (NL)

The 2hr45 minutes long flight to Düsseldorf passed without problems nor delay. After assembling the bicycle I took the shuttle to Düsseldorf airport train station. Unfortunately I missed the last train to Emmerich (near the Dutch border). Took the next train, which didn't go further than Wesel. From Wesel I started cycling to Rees. It was past midnight and pitch-dark, I had no map and assumed I'd cycled on a backroad along the Rhine, hopefully in the good direction. Cycling during the night wasn't bad at all, the roads were totally deserted and temperatures very pleasant, compared with the heat in Greece. Not quite sure I was on the right route, I arrived in Rees, and found my way to Emmerich very soon. After passing the Dutch border, I felt very tired and just before dawn it became pretty cold. In Arnhem I decided I to take the first train back home.