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  #1  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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Proposed trip to Eastern Europe

Hi all
I'm new to the HUBB, so forgive any ignorance on my part.
My friend and I are planning a three week trip into Europe, probably next May. My friend visited Croatia with his wife this summer (sailing & touristing) and was impressed. It's suggested that might be our final destination, but it'll be a round trip. We've also been influenced by Michael Palin's "new Europe" trip. Other than that we've no fixed ideas. We'll be travelling on BMW R1200GSs and are relatively new to this kind of thing. We enjoyed a week in NW Scotland in Oct this year (amazingly fine weather). We don't really want to go outside the coverage of our BMW warranty and assistance packages (ie all of Europe).
We've got a bit of a hankering for some low-key off-road stuff on the way; hoping to get on the BMW off-road skills course before our trip.
Looking for any thoughts from more experienced travellers. All ideas greatfully received, including alternatives to what I've suggested.
We both live in the Peak District (Derbyshire UK) so that's our start point.
Cheers
Geoff

Last edited by geoffcrowther; 20 Nov 2007 at 18:07. Reason: missed a bit out
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  #2  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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Geoff
I'm arriving in the UK on 4 May.
You might like to consider joining us for part of the trip.
See the thread below.
There's a meeting next weekend of people that are contemplating going on part of the journey. (see the last few pages for details of the meet) I won't be there of course.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...d-2008-a-27599

Regards
Mick
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  #3  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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Trip

Three weeks is a great length of time to begin exploring. As Mick Tharme said (I'm going on the trip with Mick in May next year) you'd be welcome to join us for the first part. I'm going to the northern meeting on Saturday and have the rough details if you can get there. Failing that or if you don't fancy our route, drop me a mail and I can advise on places to go and see. I've been tripping in Europe for many years but only as far north as Sweden and Estonia, east to Czech and Poland and south to Spain and Portugal.
Cheers
Paul
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  #4  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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Hi Mick & Paul
Thanks for your replies. Don't be offended but tagging onto someone else's trip is not quite what we had in mind; I wish you well with your adventure though.
Yes Paul, I'd love to hear your advice on places to visit, routes etc. For some reason I can't send you a private message (some weird rule says I have to have 8 posts, whatever that means). If you send me a private message you are welcome to have my email address. Or, reply on here if you wish.
Cheers
Geoff
PS Just had a day of mild off-roading around the Peak District on my F650Gs Dakar
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  #5  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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Go for it Geoff.

We've ridden through Eastern Europe a couple of times.

Three weeks is enough for you to see a wide range of sights. I'd visit the capitals but also make sure you venture out in to rural areas as this is where you'll see the bigger differences between east & west.

I'd recommend Prague, Bratislava, Llubjana, Budapest, Southern Poland (Krakow & Salt Mine @ Wielizca), Tatra Mountains & Dalmation Coast. Allow yourself a full day for sightseeing in the larger cities like Budapest. If you come back via Slovakia, you might be able to fit a ride all the way through the Julian Alps, Dolomites & then the Alps all the way in to France.

We didn't like Zagreb but maybe we were just unlucky in finding the city's worst hotel & restaurant waiter?

Plenty of pics in the Motorcycle & Travel galleries here: Steve's photos- powered by SmugMug
All are clearly labelled & easy to navigate.
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  #6  
Old 23 Nov 2007
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April start date from Tokyo to Vlad then onwards

Hi there,
sorry for butting into your thread but it was the only way I could get a message to PaulM.
I'm shipping my bike to (probably) Tokyo, then ride up to the ferry for Vladivostok and then from there onwards across to Belarus or Ukraine, Poland, Czech, Germany, France, UK. Anyone else around on same route/time?

I'm going to be doing a low speed bimble though (using Royal Enfield Bullet 500).

best rgds,

john
hong kong
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  #7  
Old 23 Nov 2007
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Cool

May might be a bit early for the mountainous areas on the continent, so the beautiful Tatra might still be under snow in the higher regions.

Romania is a great experience for un "Westerners" - in the rural areas the people still live like before WW II. Horse-carts are still a general means of transport, ploughing is often done with horses, there are lots of historic town centres like Sibiu, Sigishoara, Brasov etc. And - most important - there are still lots of "normal" gravel roads, lots of scenic mountain passes - tarmac and dirt. Accomodation is easy to find, guesthouses and rooms are generally cheap compared to Western Europe.

Unfortunately the higher mountain passes (above 2,000m) are normally still closed in May due to snow. IMO the best time for RO is end Aug, beg. Sept.

The best bet for spring is probably Croatia & Montenegro. The coastal road down to Dubrovnik is absolutely fabulous for bikers. Just stick to the speed-limits ;-) Whereas Croatia is up-to-standard, Montenegro is still touristically unspoilt. Infrastructure isn't as good as Croatia, but the mountains (Monte Negro) are really stunning.

Hans
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  #8  
Old 23 Nov 2007
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Proposed trip to Eastern Europe

Hello Geoff,
why don't you try this route as an alternative, down through Germany on the Autobahns, (toll free), through Austria, past Vienna, into Hungary, then down Romania, across the Danube and into Bulgaria, then on south a bit into Greece, then head west to the car ferries across the Adriatic to the bottom of Italy, (all the time in the EU) from where you can head north then east past Venice and then Trieste to Slovenia and the Croatia. If you do this route you can come and see us at Sakar Hills Touring Park in southern Bulgaria. Look for our website at sakar-hills.com
Regards,
Martin
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  #9  
Old 23 Nov 2007
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Thanks guys

Hi Hans & Martin
Thanks for your ideas guys. Iinterestingly there's some overlap in your suggestions re Romania. We'll have a think about that and the rest of your route Martin.
Thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply.
To both of you and others, keep the ideas coming and when we've tightened our plan a bit more I may get back to you for more detail.
Ride safe.
Cheers
Geoff
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  #10  
Old 25 Nov 2007
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I would definitely recommend adding Bosnia to your trip - and Sarajevo is a must! If you are thinking of going there I can recommend a B&B five minutes walk from the Old Town with a garage for your bikes.
Personally I didn't enjoy the short bit of the Dalmatian coast road that I did - hence the reason it was short! There were too many tourists, too much traffic and although the scenery was great it all got a bit 'samey' in the end. I found the minor road that runs parallel but slightly inland was much better.
Slovenia was beautiful and the ride over the Vrisic Pass worth doing. If you go that way I'd recommend Lake Bohinj rather than Lake Bled - less tourists again and a great campsite on the lake shore.
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  #11  
Old 26 Nov 2007
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View Romania

Under the following link you can view some pics from Romania (May/2007). Unfortunately the comments are only in German :-( I might rewrite them some time...

Picasa Web Albums - Hans - Rumänien Mai ...


Hans
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  #12  
Old 4 Sep 2008
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Yes, Bosnia is nice, a lot of interesting places is there, but don't respect luxuriou houses and so on...
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  #13  
Old 6 Sep 2008
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
Go for it Geoff.

We've ridden through Eastern Europe a couple of times.

Three weeks is enough for you to see a wide range of sights. I'd visit the capitals but also make sure you venture out in to rural areas as this is where you'll see the bigger differences between east & west.

I'd recommend Prague, Bratislava, Llubjana, Budapest, Southern Poland (Krakow & Salt Mine @ Wielizca), Tatra Mountains & Dalmation Coast. Allow yourself a full day for sightseeing in the larger cities like Budapest. If you come back via Slovakia, you might be able to fit a ride all the way through the Julian Alps, Dolomites & then the Alps all the way in to France.

We didn't like Zagreb but maybe we were just unlucky in finding the city's worst hotel & restaurant waiter?

Plenty of pics in the Motorcycle & Travel galleries here: Steve's photos- powered by SmugMug
All are clearly labelled & easy to navigate.
via SLOVENIA ! |Sorry to correct but although there is only one country between them, they are very different but both worth a visit.If you go to Slovakia please don't just go down the motorway to Bratislava from Czech without seeing more of Slovakia (green and hilly bits)and then comment on how grey and drab Slovakia was.
As said, Bosnia is worth a ride but not sure if it is in the BMW assist comfort zone.
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  #14  
Old 7 Sep 2008
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Hi have just come back from Slovakia and Hungary and am taking a group that way again in May 09 .
Our route is thru germany to czech border , then into slovakia and up the e77 to south poland , then across tatra s back thru slovakia and down to budapest and lake balaton and finish with a couple of days in slovenia .
Agree with comments about lake bled - very disappointed to be honest , but was pretty .
Dont underestimate the distances though - to get to Bratislava is a long ride even at very high speed on my Bird .
The Lonely Planet do an Eastern European phrase book @ £5 which is worth having as once you get in to Nth Slovakia english is rare for anyone over 25yrs old .
Feel free to PM me if you want any help as im in the process of sorting out hotels etc etc
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  #15  
Old 7 Sep 2008
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AS Sigoodacre says,

Quote:
As said, Bosnia is worth a ride but not sure if it is in the BMW assist comfort zone.
...i echo the Bosnia sentiment, it's a little off the regular tourist track (which is no great problem considering it's a small country and easy to get to the more Westernised Balkans) but stick to the main areas of interest - Sarajevo/Mostar/Jajce - and the Muslim welcome (in the Federation, anyway) is a given.And as you gain faith in the Bike's abilities stepping out of BM's Assist comfort zone will arm you for more far-flung adventures.
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