Break

Dear readers, 

Thanks for following me!
Now I sadly have to tell you, that I will take a break from travelling for health reasons. I’m going to fly home, get well and regenerate and if everything goes fine, I will continue the journey in January.
Thanks for your understanding!

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Sky above Delhi

At first the traffic in India really seems as chaotic as everyone said. But if you stroll around a few times, you will get used to it.
For the beginning I think it is the best to follow the locals going in the same direction as you. And as a pedestrian you actually find some space to cross the street really easy.
Somehow it works.
If you drive first, the others will stop and let you pass, and if the others drive first, you have to wait. With eye-contact, a good reaction and some honor you can make it as an european too.
I don’t say you don’t have to be careful. But if you are afraid, you probably shouldn’t even try.
The food was incredibly tasty from the beginning. Kevin said, that in India even he could become a vegetarian. In fact, many of the restaurants in the north of India are vegetarian. And this truly makes sense. The Hinduists don’t eat beef, the Muslims don’t eat pork and the Buddhists don’t eat any meat. But in some restaurants you can find meals containing chicken.
Main part of the meals is rice. Then there are a lot of meals with vegetables in different varities and/or a withe, smooth cheese. Wether fried or in one of the many sauces. Additional they serve bread, for example Roti, Naan, Chapati or Pappad, used as cutlery. Manish showed us how to use it properly and after some practice it works quite good now.
Oh and the chai tea here tastes great! You can’t compare it to the chai you mostly get in Germany.

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The people in India are mostly interested in us. The spectrum of faces they show us reaches from sceptic and distrustful to nosy and friendly. Sometimes they talk to us, just to ask how we are and where we come from.
Many women still dress traditional, independing of their age. The clothes they wear are refreshing colourful, match well together and are sometimes decorated with detailled ornaments.
But well, you also can see more and more women dressing western.
And for coming back to the title: one time we saw a blue sky above Delhi, even if the prejudice tells you different.

Way to Gurgaon

Our first impression of Delhi was a bit disillusioning.
We came out of the airport, thirsty and completely overtired and stood in a huge crowd.
Our plan was to take a taxi, that would bring us to our host in Gurgaon. Only problem was that this plan was not easy to implement.
There were many men trying to offer us a taxi ride, but finding someone trustworthy who would not make us an incredible high price was quite hard.
As we followed one man to his taxi, an other man stopped us, claiming he was a police man, and telling us to follow him. Then he brought us to an ‘official’ taxi stand. As we learned later, he was no police man, because they always wear uniforms, and he didn’t.

 

23 hours

As we were too late for applying Visa for Russia we now have to spend 23 hours at the airport in Moscow.
Sunday, October 25th, 2015:

At about 7.30 pm we leave the plane from Thessaloniki. Arriving in the hall we go further to “International Departures”.
There we are welcomed by a employee of the airport asking:
‘Where does you flight go?’
‘To Delhi, but tomorrow.’
She looks at the paper in her hand saying: ‘Oh yes, two persons. Just go there and your flight goes from terminal F.’
We pass the security check and, in opposite to Thessaloniki, are allowed to keep our shoes on this time.
In the waiting hall we are welcomed by Burger King. The first one I have seen for the last eight weeks.
Behind there is a coffeeshop, an other burger bar and some duty-free-shops, where you have to pay 2€ for half a litre of water.
We buy a bottle, pay with the creditcard and wait probably five minutes until the bottle is sealed in a plastic bag.
Meanwhile it turns 8.43 pm. But for our feeling just 7.43 pm, because we changed the time zone during the flight. And in Germany it’s 6.43 pm. I don’t know for which time I should act. Am I sleepy? Somehow yes, but I think it’s too early to sleep and I’ll wait until it turns night.
Near our seats we find a plug socket that actually works. So we don’t have to be afraid of low batteries in the mobile phones.
At about 9 pm I say, that I want to look for german or english magazines at the kiosk. Right in this moment, the kiosk closes. At 9.12 pm I recognize, that it’s open again but until I get up to walk through, it is finally closed for today.
At about 10.15 pm we get ourselves a burger each, which we can pay by creditcard. What a luck! We don’t have any russian currency and in the whole airport we didn’t find am ATM.
After dinner we search for a place to sleep. We choose two face to face standing benches, someone pushed together. The single seats are divided through armrests, but if we lay diagonally it should work. First I circuitously turn from one side to the other, but sometime I must have fallen asleep.
I use my jacket as a pillow and put the sleeve over my eyes. All the lights keep turned on the whole night. As if they wanted to make a party.
At 4.00am we are awake again.
Monday, October 26th, 2015:

At 5.00am I am still sleepy, so that I try to sleep again. Works good until 7.00am. Then the dawn is breaking and the airport gets busy.
At about 8.00am it’s time for the first coffee, so I go and get us some breakfast.

Fortunately there are many people, vehicles and other things to talk about at an airport. In between you can wash your hair at the
nfnfbnfk and have some lunch.

After lunch we have a walk through the airport, looking for some english magazines. No way, they are all only available in russian.
But through the free Wi-Fi we can download some games.
Until we found some new seats in an other hall, it turned afternoon.

Only four and a half hours left until the flight goes off. Enough time to spend the last Euros on some things that could make the flight more comfortable. Some chocolate and that stuff.

The rest of the time we spent with drinking much water, so that we won’t dehydrate during the flight and talking to each other.

This 23 hours at the airport went through faster as we thought.

Chanterelles

In the woods of Meteora there are some places, where it is easy to collect mushrooms.
A few fly agarics, and some mushrooms we don’t know.
But what we know are chanterelles, and that they taste very good, if prepared well. So we collected one bag of them.
Before we started searching for them, some other travellers told us about the chanterelles, and that you  can find them here. Otherwise we would not have picked them up.

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Back at the campsite the mushrooms get cut, washed and mixed with rice and cheese.
A very tasty Risotto!

Meteora

Have you ever heard of that? Not me. We accidentaly got informed about it through two other bikers we met at Lake Ohrid. We drove through Meteora on our way to our final european destination Thessaloniki, so we decided to visit it.
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Meteora is known for it’s monasteries, built on, at or in the hills, so that you think it belongs together.
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So we wanted to walk to one of the monasteries, starting at our campsite. Google Maps said, it will take about one hour and so did the plan at the campsite. If we had found the right way immediately, this would have fitted. But first we took the wrong way and the wrong direction.
With the help of the map we got at the campsite, Google Maps an the GPS we tried to find the right direction. After three hour we reached the monastery we had chosen.
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On our way we had a nice view at the nature and the special type of hills.
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Near the monastery the map was quite inaccurate and the mobile phones couldn’t help us either, so we had to navigate through the cardinal directions and the position of the monastery, which we could see above the trees.
Then the pathes turned narrow and we didn’t really know, which of them were the official ones and which of them were just dirt tracks.
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One of the paths we took definitely was a dirt path. In fact one, that ended in front of a wall with a fence on it. Inside the wall there was a round ground and on the other side we expected the road leading to the monastery.
As it was not possible to walk beside the wall, we climbed on it an layawayd on the fence.
Later, as we stood at the monastery, we recognized that you have a really good view at exactly that fence. But seemed that nobody has been watching us.
You also could do this whole thing very easy, by visiting the monastery by car or bus, what will take about ten minutes. But in this case you probably won’t be proud, for finally making it there.
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Inside the monastery itself was not as exciting as outside as it is just a small building with an even smaller chapel inside. You have to pay for admission and as a woman, you have to put on one of the wrap-around skirts, if you want to enter it.
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Culture shock

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“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
But better not in Albania.
Trash, shit and dead animals beside the street, most shops closed and absolutely chaotic traffic.
And then somebody started talking to me and asked (in the second sentence) how I like his country.
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But I have to admit, not everything is bad in Albania. The people are very friendly and the landscape can be beautiful.

The castle we visited was amazing.
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Through my pictures you can only imagine how big the castle really is.
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At the castle you can see ten water supply wells that are still full of water.
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Different elements of the huge castle have remained too, i.e. a tower, bows or a complete house.
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Beside the wall, like in Croatia, some pomegranates grow. Kevin likes this fruits very much and every now and then he picks some.
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Regeneration

In contrast to Albania, Macedonia was really regenerating.
We stayed at a campsite near Lake Ohrid, which is the second oldest lake of the world with water you could drink.

The campsite was very familiar, we got a glass of Raki on arrival, and we met some nice people. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful.

If you drive around the lake, you reach Ohrid and if you go further, you arrive at the “gulf of bones” where they found old bones and parts of stilt houses. Today there is a small rebuilt settlement of Pfahlbauten, used as a museum.

They show the former life really authentic. There are different houses for families, with or without enclosers, and probably some common rooms.
In the houses they have many furrs and one bed per house.

Some houses contain a baby crib or a loom.

After the stilt houses we went to the monastery Sveti Naum, which is also situated at the Lake Ohrid.

First we took a wrong side road and came to a little curch, where only one man worked in the garden.

The terrain around the curch was really beautiful. After we had a look around, he came to us and asked, if we want to see the curch from inside.

It wasn’t allowed to take photos, but you probably never saw something like that!
The walls and ceiling were painted dark red and in a circle around the walls they had painted the life of Jesus. There were hanging candleholders everywhere, red coats in one corner, and the thick windows had golden decorations.

Somehow we recognized, that this couldn’t be the monastery “everyone” was talking about. So we took the main road until it came to it’s end at a parking lot in front of a high wall. We entered it through the gate and found ourselves in a severely and well trimmed park.

At the beginning of the park, there are a lot of market stands with souvenirs. In the back you can find the restaurant, a house for the peacocks and the monastery itself. But the most interesting thing of all is the curch in the courtyard.

Buddha, äh Budva.

In fact, this article is about Budva, not Buddha. And they have nothing to do with each other. They just sound similar.
Budva is a city, the only one we visited in Montenegro.
The new (and biggest) part of the city contains private homes, and one big hotel near the other. Everything blings and glitters and tries to catch you with spa-resorts, four or five stars and luxury shopping. Not really our world.

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Much nicer and calmer it is in the old town, which is surrounded by an old and high citywall (just as it is in Dubrovnic), and you can get through it only through a few gates.

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We took our walk here in the evening, when unfortunately the citadelle was already closed.

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