Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Chapter Five: Meeting Rainbows / 14.01.13


Thessaloniki. A college town on the coast of Greece, full of shopping, frappe, and social unrest. We arrived late at night with our loaded bikes after an 18 kilometer walk from the airport outside the city. Without a host, we found ourselves tired and in search of a cheap hostel to rest for the night. While waiting by a lamp post for devin to return after backtracking to find my lost bike lock cable, I made some new friends. First a boy about my age with a similarly loaded bike came over to me to introduce himself. His name was Gus, and he had been cycling by himself from his home in France for five months. Not a moment later another young man walked up and introduced himself, Martin was his name and he too was solo cycling across Europe. We all exchanged information, and within minutes were connected swapping stories of our travels, checking out each others gear, and wondering where the others were staying for the night.

After a difficult and seemingly endless day, this meeting of cycling tourists gave us a new energy and let us know we were not alone in our mission. Others just like us have the same ideas and curiosity- we were not crazy for stepping from our day to day lives to explore and let circumstances take us where they may. We really had no idea what circumstances had in mind for us later on in Greece, but it ended up being a colorful experience that would be hard to forget.

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Video: shepherd’s call / 28.11.12

PILGRIM NOTES: The Image of a Shepherd / 18.11.12

“he had no beauty or majesty that we should be attracted to him…” -Isaiah 53:2

Biking through northern Greece we don’t see many people–mostly shepherds and their flocks. Actually, we keep a wary eye out for sheep dogs, as they can be a bit aggressive to bikers on the road. Often the shepherd is there, however, and is able to call the dogs back if necessary. It’s the shepherd that strikes me.

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FBR reunited in Thessaloniki! / 17.11.12

Well, after nearly 3 weeks of separation, all six of us managed to show up at the same time and the same place: Thessaloniki, Greece. Devin and Tori have already been here two weeks, and have some good stories about home stays and people they’ve met. Kallie and I took the motorway in from the coast 70km out–a recommendation of–and we arrived in roughly 3 hours, cruising at 25-30 kph.* Peter and Lindsey opted to pick their way through smaller roads, but since the maps we have aren’t completely reliable, they ended up coming in at 105 km for the day and arriving five hours later than we did. But we made it, and celebrated with pizza and gyros! We are staying with Gael, a friend we met on the road back in 2008 in Cambodia, who was doing his own world tour ( Now he’s offering us hospitality in his studio flat, and we are seven. Lindsey’s friend Priya joined us from England for a week, so we are planning to celebrate an early Thanksgiving today and enjoy our collectiveness until tomorrow night, when Kal and I catch a ferry to Turkey to continue our journey with hopes of meeting up in Istanbul Dec. 1. Devin and Tori plan to bus it to Istanbul, as Tori is still not bike-ready (traveling can make for poor convalescence). Lindsey and Peter, as of now, are still planning to bike to Istanbul from Thess., but as always, nothing is final. Stay tuned…!!! *When we entered the city, we found our way to the coastal walking area and rolled along, noticing a Starbucks. Kallie immediately grew fairly excited about the prospect of her favorite holiday drink from Starbucks, and made some sort of vow to come back and procure one. About 500 meters farther down we saw another one, and then we saw a blonde sitting outside next to a bearded fellow and it was… “Devin and Tori?!!” We caught up then and there with a Starbucks holiday drink.

Camping near the mountain of the gods / 13.11.12

Our last two campsites have been in full view of Mt. Olympus. It has been clear and cold, with a slight breeze to keep down the frost, and the mountain has snow on its cap. Each of us has been digging deep to find all the warm clothes we are finally glad we brought, and the fires have been a bit bigger than usual (especially since the night a Greek farm woman showed us how it was done).

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Being welcomed and being turned away / 13.11.12

We are always looking for a place to stay. Whether it be a place to camp, a hostel or hotel, a home stay set up on or, or a spontaneous invitation, we are daily in need of a place. So far on the trip we have had all of these, but we were not always welcome.

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Halloween in Greece / 06.11.12

After a couple days in Igoumenitsa, we were primed and ready to enter Greece… and it happened to be Halloween.

We found a LiDL grocery store (one of our favorites–like ALDI) that accepted credit cards, so we decided to stock up on groceries and Kallie and I decided to buy $15 worth of candy for our very own FBR Halloween celebration. We did this on the sly, and then hid some among Peter and Lindsey’s gear for a surprise. They were thrilled when they found it, and we were surprised when we found out Lindsey had also purchased $15 worth of candy just because they accepted credit cards. We had also heard rumors that the sheep dogs in Greece were somewhat aggressive, so we each picked up a “dog stick” in case any got too close for comfort. Peter’s was an intimidating yet mostly harmless dried thistle stock…

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