Sept.1999 Athens during rush hour!
|TTo ride in Athens for the first time, was an experience we will not soon
forget! In addition that the traffic was very heavy, we managed to make a
navigate error, so we ended up in the center, instead of Piraeus. We
realized that we were on the wrong course, when the Acropolis appeared
right in front of us. We took the first major road to the left and ended
up in Pireus 1 pm. The last boat to Poros departured 2 pm! We arrive at
Poros in the evening so we decided to stay there.
|Next morning we started optimistic on our way to
Nafplion. It started with about 10 km relatively easy cycling. After a while,
however, it started to be hillier, and we saw a road high up the mountain.
We agreed that it couldn’t be the road we should bicycle, but it was! We
cycled uphill for nearly 2.5 hours, and it seemed like it would never end.
Then it went down on the other side, just so that we could get almost the
same uphill again. We arrive Nafplion in the afternoon reasonably
Nafplion is a city that can be recommended, but for us a little atypical Greek. Great architecture and a large castle lying up on a hill. The city has previously been the capital of Greece.
|On the way to Tripoli|
|On the next leg we did some resort, before we started. We were advised
not to ride the old road, because of extreme climbs. We were recommended
to ride the new road, but we never found (not all roads are well
marked in Greece) so we ended up riding old road anyway. We bought plenty
of drinks and food before the trip, but it wasn’t enough. It was not
very many places to buy foodstuffs. This stretch is sparsely populated.
Tripoli lies on top of a plateau and the temperature was significantly
lower at night than at the coast. Nice city that also is worth a visit.
The next day we continued to the west coast of the Peloponnese, and we had
a fantastic cycling in relatively flat landscape, with a good tailwind. If
we had had more time, the trip would have gone to Sparta, and down to the
southern tip of the peninsula and up to Kalamata.
|Cycling in Greece has been a positive experience, both in terms of, road
quality, car density, and considerate motorists. The last thing surprised
me a little, based on experience from previous holidays (not cycling
holidays) in Greece. But what is most unattractive in Greece is all
rubbish that is thrown along the road. I will not claim that it is the
Greeks themselves who litter the environment. Most probably they have help
from tourists, but it is nevertheless a pity.
|Kakovatos at sunset|
120-130 km of biking from Tripoli to Kakovatos we arrived just before
sunset. The next day we continued on to Patras. Patras is like most cities,
but out of season, you may want to stick to larger places to get some
nightlife. The rest of the leg against Athens went in 2 days. We stayed in
Xilokastron, and then passed the Corinth Canal to the island of Salami.
|Distanse: 700 km|