So I’m now in Istanbul and I’ve spent the day cleaning my bike, sorting kit out and eating. Basically tomorrow is when I’ll become a tourist. This means I have very little to say about the day’s events. Because of this, I thought I’d take the time to summarise the European leg… although I probably won’t do a very good job of it…
Distance: 2460 miles / 3960 kilometres
Riding Time: 176hours (I got this wrong in yesterday’s blog – I have now amended it though)
Av. Speed: 13.9mph / 22.5kph (not quite as fast as I’d hoped/expected but I had a lot of headwind and a fair bit of climbing)
Elevation Gain: Quite a bit
Riding Days: 24 full days, 2 snow days
Rest Days: 1 rest day, 1 sick day
I’ve ridden in 10 countries; England, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herz., Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.
Shortest Visit: Bosnia – 34 minutes
Best country: Bosnia. A slightly controversial and slightly odd decision I know, but due to the fact I was there for such a short time, it didn’t really have a chance to annoy me!
Worst Country: Again controversial, and there are a number of contenders…
Italy wasn’t great, but that comes down to the fact that I was ill.
Greece came close, but the people just about made up for the weather.
Montenegro wasn’t great. The weather was a bit rubbish and I didn’t really enjoy riding there. It is saved by the dinner I had there which consisted of a large pizza with ham to start, then – and I quote – ‘chicken with a peanut butter, coconut milk and tabasco sauce’. It also came with rice and salad. Plus I followed this up with a generous slice of chocolate cake for dessert.
This means the award has to go to Slovenia. I was there for a very short time, but unlike Bosnia, it did pretty much the opposite and did everything it could to annoy me; snow, hills and headwinds. The highlight of it (genuinely) was keeping myself amused by trying to pronounce their road signs.
Best Day: It hasn’t all been bad, and there have actually been a few moments I’ve enjoyed; but the best day was either Day 9 in the south of France or Day 15 when Croatia was sunny.
Biggest Dinner: Day 19 – Tirana. A main course size portion of lasagna, a large portion of chips, a local dish – roasted peppers and cheese (starter portion) and 8 chicken fillets (600 grams of chicken)
Biggest Breakfast: Day 26 – Alexandroupoli. 2 bowls of cereal (fairly small), 3 mini doughnuts, one puff pastry thing, one nutella crepe, lots of bacon, a few mini sausages, handful of chips, some cooked tomatoes, 3 pain au chocolats, 3 croissants, 1 slice of cake, 1 slice of strawberry tart, 1 fried egg and a ham and pepper omelette (I’d say around 2 eggs worth)
Funniest Moment of today: I saw a woman fall into a jacuzzi. Unfortunately for her, there wasn’t a step where she thought there was, and rather than a graceful entrance, it was more of a belly flop… which made me laugh! (of course I was subtle though…)
Once again, I’m shattered – despite having done very little today – so thats all I can think to add. If you have any questions feel free to post below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Also, with regards the the biggest meals, I have photo proof in case anyone doesn’t believe me.