Sunday, 31 August 2014

Thessaloniki and Pre-Starting Line Bastard Grass!

Thessaloniki, the co-capital for Greece. It has a very interesting history, check out the wiki page.

Thessaloniki Wikipedia

There is the white tower.

This was a prison for naughty people, some guy earned his freedom by painting the tower white and hence its modern name, oooOOoo.
The promenade.

Delightful stretch of coast to wonder

TV Tower.

Yup, its an eye catcher!

The castle overlooking the city was definitely a highlight.

Excellent views over the city, well worth the huffing and puffing up the hill! If you are from Thessaloniki, this is where you bring a girl on your first date... or to suck face in a delightful panoramic view of the sunset! Great spot! 
Just on a date, me and my bicycle that is...

All in all, Thessaloniki is a nice city with a diverse and busy city centre. The student areas are great for getting a cheap bite to eat.

Bastard grass! 

After watching the sunset with my picnic dinner on the top of the old castle walls, I pick up my bike, both tires are punctured! The culprit! This stuff!

Ok, its not a grass, its Tribulus terrestris . These dried nutlets are not much fun for bikers

Its ok, it was only 8 punctures and a whole evening repairing them. The view over the city by night made it better.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Big Hills, Lesbians and Overnight Ferries

 After making 5 am pancakes for my delightfully intoxicated friends...

A lot of faffing!

A last sunrise over Turkey

A puncture repaired!

A little help from Daniel!

I'm on the road! Up hill to the other side of the island. My trusty steed feels heavy, I cycle in the lowest gear possible.  Sweaty as get out!

A last wave to the lovely Vathi

On to the ferry

Where I found a toilet with one of the best views I'd seen in a long time!

The ferry calls at the islands of Samos - Chios - Lesvos (Mitilini) - Limnos - Thessaloniki

Lesvos! Yes! Greece invented Lesbians! In 7 BC a woman by the name of Sappho wrote a lot of poetry dedicated to love and desire, much of it was about women! And so Lesvos became a name associated with female homosexuality.

There is a Women Together Festival every September, a lesbian pilgrimage if you will.

Statue of Sappho

It was cheeky but I needed to do it in order to save money. I bought a ferry ticket to Lesvos and stayed on the ferry until Thessaloniki...

After sharing a few Ouzos with some Greeks it was time to sleep.

I met this rather interesting character while helping him and his father onto the boat with their things. Yanni is a Greece Swiss organic farmer that is planning to walk from Switzerland to Samos! It would only take 30 - 45 days.

Journey thus far

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Pack, Packing and Repacking

Tomorrow morning I am cycling 12 km to the port of Samos to get the 8 am ferry to Thessaloniki. Goodbyes and farewells to the fantastic people I've met here, you will be missed!

It is time to move on and do what I've been planning the last 9 months! I flew my bike from Dublin to Crete it amazing, with RyanAir you can pay an extra EU50 under sports equipment and take a huge bike box with a limit of 30 kg. You can hide a lot in there!

My chariot
I've spent the last 2-3 days packing, packing and repacking my things to loose all unnecessary weight. Yes that is a guitar on the back, its going to be the best or worst idea to bring along for the trip. May have to try busking if things get tight.  

The last few weeks have rolled by very quickly but I feel I've made the best of it. at the top of Ikaria

About me

My name is Ryan Mckenna and I'm about to start my biggest adventure yet!

I'm an out doors and adventure sports enthusiast from Northern Ireland. I've been living on Samos (Eastern Aegean) in Greece for the past 4 months on an internship with a marine conservation research institute. Towards the end of a year living and working in Galway (Ireland) I decided it was now or never to set myself a challenge after my time in Greece, to cycle home.

With my camera and my trusty journal I am documenting my time in Greece and my cycle though Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.

The Olympus TG1, it's Ryan proof! 
My Trusty Journal