The Border with Europe went much faster than we expected. No long queues, difficult questions or hundreds of people. More a surprised look when he saw all the stamps in our passport and a friendly ‘Welcome back to Europe!’ The DHL parts for the car where sent to Thessaloniki in Greece so that became our first destination. The first kilometers back on European soil.
Fellow travelers and lovely people
In Thessaloniki we ended up on a free campsite of a caravan dealer. He had room on his property because of the lack of business in Greece and opened his space up to travelers. The economic recess in Greece was visible almost everywhere. There are virtually no cars on the motorways outside the cities. Most of the office buildings and businesses are closed, the petrol stations are abandoned and we hear that many people lose their jobs and are forced to move to cheaper houses. For us, this country is clearly bankrupt.
At the caravan company the owner even made perfect facilities; a washing machine, toilets, cold shower, water filling, a coffee maker, really great. We met a German couple who has been traveling in Europe for 1.5 years in a van with two children and a dog. Also a French couple in a similar car as we have and just started with their world trip. They left France 5 months ago. (Yep, there are people even slower than we are;-)
When we were working on a car at the caravan park we met Maarten. Together with his wife, Janine and 4 children, he left the Netherlands to build a new life in Greece and help society. We are invited to come and eat with them. A very pleasant evening full of interesting stories.
The monasteries of Meteora
Afther a couple of days we left for the Monasteries on the rocks (Meteora). A beautiful surrounding where we woke up in the morning with ice on the bonnet! Haha where is the parking heater if you need one. We quickly moved the car looking for the sun to have a delicious breakfast. The whole area is dominated by high worn out rocks with monasteries. Unbelievable what a climb this must have been for the people and of course still is. Fantastic to have breakfast with that kind of views, to drink coffee and to chat with the people who pass by for a photo stop.
Now that we are in colder territory we are starting to miss an inside during these months of the year. After a few hours of sitting outside with a fleece blanket we become ice our self. Every day at 8 o’clock in bed until the next day around 8 o’clock becomes is not really our thing. We therefore decide to drive faster through Europe. Still go to Croatia, the Plitvice lakes and then with high speed towards the wooden stove 😉
In and out of Europe, some have euro’s some don’t
From Greece, we drive through Albania and Montenegro. We are amazed by the incredibly beautiful coastline of Montenegro and promise to come back sometime to take longer time to explore the area. Suus does some last free pomegranates picking along the way to supplement her collection of 6 kilos from Turkey! Haha yes Albert Hein, I know they are 1.79 euro each with you, but you get over 3 kilos for that in these countries! In Croatia it is even colder at night so we decide to stay in a lovely hotel with a fantastic view of Dubrovnik.
Via Bosnia we return to Croatia and drive to the Plitvice lakes. The whole looks exactly like the Ardennen in Belgium and it is now clear that the end of this fantastic trip is in sight. Autumn colors are still very beautiful in most places and with a clear blue sky it is really nice to wander through this fine area. Small paths, bridges, various waterfalls and beautiful views. A place to make lots of pictures again.
The next day we drive to Slovenia and make a quick stop at the bakery. When I want to pay they tell me ‘only cash’. So many different currencies in these couple of day’s, so i lost track and don’t have the local currency. The owner tells me he has no options to pay by card, but gives the bag with breakfast and welcomes us in Croatia! How nice that we still encounter these kinds of things. Everywhere people are so hospitable.
From the Plitvice lakes to the Mercedes museum
We arrive in Germany via Slovenia and Austria. One more stop at the Mercedes museum ;-). Unfortunately we can not enter the city, because we do not have a green sticker that our car is clean enough. With our 25-year-old diesel we are not even trying to get one. We can always try to solve it African with lots of chatting if we get a fine 😉
In Luxenburg we naturally fill all jerry’s with diesel, we get the Ameretto for coffee and we turn a wash at the Carrefour. It is a very special feeling when we realize that we have driven 47,000 kilometers, crossed 27 countries and met an incredible number of special people. Great to chat with friends and family and to look back on beautiful experiences and adventures. of the past year.