The Trip

On this page I will tell you more about how my journey went.
You shall see more text than photos over here.
But don't worry, I've posted plenty of photos on the following pages! ;-)

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Where am I:

Where have I been:

Country - City: Distance - Time:
Greece - Lefkada 2.309 km - 11:00 hr.
The Netherlands - IJmuiden 1.900 km - 03:45 hr.
Greece - Thessaloniki 237 km - 03:30 hr.
North Macedonia - Skopje 537 km - 28:00 hr.
Albania - Tirana 160 km - 05:30 hr.
Montenegro - Podgorica 212 km - 08:00 hr.
Herzegovina - Mostar 284 km - 07:45 hr.
Croatia - Zadar 624 km - 08:30 hr.
Hungary - Budapest 198 km - 02:15 hr.
Slovakia - Bratislava 332 km - 05:00 hr.
Poland - Zakopane 522 km - 09:30 hr.
Czech Republic - Tábor 994 km - 14:15 hr.
The Netherlands - IJmuiden 0 km - 00:00 hr.

How did the trip went:

From IJmuiden to Lefkada:
Because it was so nice to be back home, it was not exactly easy to go back.
Especially after all these wonderful days I've had over there, it didn't made it a lot easier.
Eventually I had to take the plane again, because all my stuff was still in Greece and I was busy discovering the rest of the world.

The flight itself went quite quickly; 1.900 km in almost 04:00 hours.
I did the other 07:00 hours with my car, after staying in Thessaloniki for one last day.
You can read more about this on the page Nature & Culture.

During my car trip to Lefkada I was very lucky. On the day I left, there were elections in Greece.
This meant that I didn't had to pay any toll, which saved me almost €15.

The ride itself was quite simple. The sky was blue, the temperature was good and there was little or no traffic.
Long live the free toll roads on Sunday!

I won't keep you reading any longer because I have a lot more to say.
Below I've created a button to go to the next page. That's a bit easier, than scrolling back and forth every time 😄

From Thessaloniki to IJmuiden:
May 12, 2023, was the day that I took the plane and secretly flew to the Netherlands.
"Secretly? Are you on the run?" Hahahah of course not, but if you want to surprise someone, then it should remain a secret.

I flew to the Netherlands to surprise my mother for her 60th birthday.
It was quite difficult to keep this a secret, especially if your mother is trying to videocall you a few times in the meantime.
Fortunately, everything had remained to be a secret and I was able to join the birtday breakfast with a full body of nerves and joy.

Besides the fact that I had trouble finding a parking spot, didn't speak Greek, arrived at the wrong gate and almost missed my flight, the rest of the journey went pretty smoothly.
With the exception of a few minutes, I had just enough time to empty my bladder so I was safe for the next 4 hours.
The upside is that I didn't have to wait so long for my flight...

From Skopje to Thessaloniki:
I can still remember arriving at the border post with my butt clenched together to pass the border to Greece.
You might think; "What do you mean? It's no problem crossing the border, you're not doing anything wrong, are you?"
Yes, that's right, I didn't do anything wrong... But during me previous trip (from Tirana to Skopje) I had to empty my entire car twice for two drug tests, while I also didn't have the green card from my car, a drive of approximately 6 hours, became at a certain point 28 hours.
I can assume that you also understand that no one wants to drive 28 hours without any sleep...
During my trip to North Macedonia I had to buy a special ticket for 7 days because I didn't have my green card with me.
Fortunately, this allowed me to cross the border to Greece without any worries.
From the moment I crossed the border, it was a super relaxed drive.
The landscape was beautiful, the roads were much better and I was on my way to a new adventure...

From Tirana to Skopje:
Geez mina, I've been through so much along the way!
I experienced so much that I can't put it all on this page.
In case you are curious about why it took me 28:00hr to get to Skopje?
Let me know via the page ¨Contact¨ and I will send you an email with an attached document for the whole story.
Enjoy reading the other pages!

From Podgorica to Tirana:
Because it was super nice at the accommodation, I left from Podgorica at 14:00 PM.
The first part of the drive went flawlessly , because I was already at the boarder control at 15:00 PM.
Once I got there, the delay started to increase as there was a traffic jam of about 00:20hr.
When I crossed the border I started to collapse completely, so I pulled my car over and then closed my eyes for an hour.
At 16:30 PM, I started the car again and then drove the upcoming half hour without any worries.
After that, things started to get exciting and I definitely learned one thing...
In Albania, if they tell you to drive a maximum of 20 km/h, just do it!
Don't drive 30 km/h because this can be disastrous for your car.
The roads in Albania are so poorly maintained in some parts of the country, that they have a garage on almost every corner of the street.

From Mostar to Podgorica:
Google Maps lies! It's not 3:30hr driving at all...
You can do it in 03:30hr, but then you have to drive through the mountains with 120 km/h, have internet for your navigation, no traffic jams and no problems at the border.
This was not the case for me, let me explain why:
- The maximum speed was 60 km/h
- I was too stupid not to download the route
- Traffic jams, that's part of it when you drive
- Yeah, the border control... I'll tell you more about that

The border control: Because I had no internet and had to do everything via a Google Maps map, I drove through the village Grab.
At the end of this village you have a border point. Yes, I made it to the border, I'm heading in the right direction! Just another 2:30hr and then I'm in.....
Before I could finish my sentence (to myself), at that moment somebody knocked on my window.
The English-speaking man at the border reported the following to me: ¨Hello, sir, where are you going? Are you aware that this is not an entrance for tourists?¨
To which I reply: ¨Shit, are you serious sir? This means that I have to drive a total of 1:00 extra hours for the next border point and also have to detour an extra 1:30 hours to get to my destination.¨
Too bad, but unfortunately I still had the misfortune to drive a few extra kilometers and hours.

Once I arrived at the next border point, I was pulled over because I didn't have my green card (the evidence that the car is on my name).
I started stressing and sweating like an otter! How am I going to fix this, hmmm....
Then I took a few bags out of the car to get out my MOT-document.
After a lot of talking with complete confidence, I still managed to convince them that this is the new version of the green card and that everyone is using this document.
I got so much lucky that I got the permission that I could drive through the border!
Pfff, it will me mnessed up if I couldn't finish my trip because I didn't have the right documents.

Not even 5 min. driving from the border, I had to make an emergency stop to enjoy one of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.
I'm not going to tell you anything about it, because if you see the picture you'll understand exactly what I mean.

From Zadar to Mostar:
What?! Did it take you almost 8 hours to get to Mostar? That's not even 300 km...
Yep, you're absolutely right about that. I slept in total 2 nights in Zadar, because I was not feeling very comfortable over there.
After sleeping in Zadar for 2 nights, I tried to stay in the place Dubrovnik for 1 night / 2 days.
Finally it all turned out differently than expected, because I forgot my passport in Zadar and I just found it out when I had my check in at Dubrovnik.
In other words, the next day I got into the car at 06:00am to collect my passport, ate something in Zadar and then drove on to Herzegovina in one piece.
Of course it is very annoying to drive back when in the end it was not necessary.
But secretly I didn't mind at all to enjoy the great surroundings of Croatia for one more time!

From Budapest to Zadar:
If I'm being honest, I'm not that fond of the roads in Hungary.
When you're driving on the highway you can expect some long / straight roads, holes in the asphalt, the environment is quite flat and monotonous to look at.
But...... once I arrived in Croatia, that's when it started to get fun!
Wow wow wow, I've seen so much along the way!! Once I arrived at the toll port in Croatia I was alone, completely alone on the highway.
Isn't that great driving?! Enjoy at your own pace between the mountains covered in sand, rocks and snow.
From the moment the sun tried to hide behind the mountains and the ice started to melt faster, something magical happened!
A piece of nature like I had never seen before.
Imagine thatr you're being completely alone on the highway, surrounded by huge mountains and the clouds floating just a few meters away from you.
You feel small, very small...

Unfortunately I didn't had the possibility to take some close-up photos, because I didn't had the oppertunity to stop beside the road.
Try to imagine that you're driving between these mountains.

From Bratislava to Budapest:
Hahahah yes... there really isn't much to tell. It was only a 2:15hr. ride.
But because I somehow feel obliged to write something about this, I want to report that the trip went super relaxed.
I drove about 40 km through villages and then 160 km straight on the highway with flat landscape.
Can't get any easier than this, right?!

From Zakopane to Bratislava:
The trip to Bratislava has been the easiest so far. In the first hour I only drove through small villages and once I arrived at the gas station I realized that I'm in Slovakia. After refueling my car and getting some food at the supermarket, it started to get quite difficult with a 12% slope down and a Hungarian who was tailgating all the time. When I finally arrived on the highway and the Hungarian finally passed me, I calmly drove another 240 km in one long, straight road to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

From Tábor to Zakopane:
Man oh man, what a ride! For a ride of 522 km It took me 09:30hr. to get there.
It all comes due the snow on departure, work on the road, a necessary pit stop, bad roads and of course a little break.
The whole trip I was pretty relaxed, because these were all circumstances I couldn't do much about.
Until dusk started to come and I still had to drive for at least 2:00hr. through the mountains with ice, no lighting and bad roads.
After my experience from the Czech Republic with the same challenge (fortunately without ice), I gradually started to stress a bit...
Afterall, you have to be a bit lucky, because exactly when I arrived at the hostel, the sun had just disappeared behind the oh so beautiful Tatra mountains.

From IJmuiden to Tábor:
I left at 07:10 and finally arrived at 21:25.
Besides the fact that I was very tired and full of tension, the journey went very smoothly.

It was just a bit of a shock when I arrived in the Czech Republic.
The quality of the asphalt is better here, but on the highway it is very common to stop on the highway, to have no lighted roads and no emergency lanes...

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a year ago

I'm too curious 🤣