Ipsala to Komotini Greece 122km
To Nea Karvali 96km
Crossing the border into my first European country couldn't have been easier......."Welcome to Europe. How long has it taken to get here? Have you been to Greece before? Let me give you your first European stamp. Have a Merry Xmas." And then I broke the law. For 40km I cycled on a motorway.... I honestly didn't see the signs, they were hidden behind trucks..... but the road was great, and empty.......
Then I cycled into my first Greek city.... and it hits me..... it's Xmas. Santa's are everywhere. Carols, decorations, Xmas lights. Last year I was in Asia..... no Santa's or Xmas there, so it's been a while...... All I did was cross a border.
And I found the legal road. It was glorious. Smooth, quiet, passing through small villages, and no dog attacks. The hills were small, the straights short, and there were lots of bends. There were rivers, coastline and lakes to cycle beside, views of the Aegean Sea to the left, and mountains to the right. All I did was cross a border.
I stopped in a small village for supplies..... "Where are you from? Wow a kiwi. Have you changed your flag yet? You shouldn't change it." All spoken in perfectly understandable English. From a group of ladies manning a "British School Stall", selling cakes and Xmas toys. .... "You've cycled from NZ? Wow. Can we help you?" In English..... and all I did was cross a border.
Wow. There's lots of good looking, athletic women riding bicycles. That's something I've missed. Haven't seen anything like that since.......? And all I did was cross a border.
Churches, and priests singing........
Wow, there's lots of bird life about. A huge Heron sanctuary, lots of hawks, sea birds, flocks of starlings. You don't realise what you're missing until it appears again.
I've got Euros in my pocket. .....but they disappear quickly. Hotels are three times the price of Turkey, and ten times the price of those in SE Asia. Food is alot more expensive as well, and all I did was cross a border.......