My two best friends

A different meeting:

One day two small animals were literally left at our house.

A rabbit and a guinea pig. They were left with a 1m2 cage, several packs of hay and pellets. They looked, and behaved, very afraid and crawled together as if to protect themselves from all evil. It was painful to see them like this.

This was my first encounter ever with a rabbit and a guinea pig- so totally different from all other animals I have been so lucky to get to know, so small, so dependent..or? I got curious and started to google for more information. I couldn't believe that these animals were meant to be locked up in a cage forever without being able to run freely, eat wildly, feel the scent of the nature. It just sounds too miserable. And true enough, they  looked and behaved miserable. My research paid off, all signs were there; the rabbit was depressed. All experts signs ticked off.

Living in a place we do (or did, see post...) is not a place you can make decisions by yourself only, you have to feel around. But I realized quickly these animals would be locked up forever if I didn't push my agenda of getting them back to life.

So I fixed the old hen house net and daily moved them outside in the sun. The first day Mr Rabbit rewarded me with a little bunny jump and a curious walk around inside the fenced area exploring. Gini was in shock and so afraid she forced herself up the side of her basket and froze still to pretend she was dead or not there. Terrible to watch especially since I meant no harm!

This went on for a week or two. In the beginning we carried them back and forth in their arrival basket, but slowly we dared taking them in our arms to make them get used to more human contact. They felt desperate; trying to fight their way out of our hands, and couldn't get quickly enough away from us when we put them down in their garden.

It still didn't feel right. Mr Rabbit did never again show the happiness he did the first day, as soon as we put him down in the garden he would chose the same place to hide and just stay there all day. And Gini was desperately running away as soon as she saw us coming, hiding, and in general letting us know she was not wanting us there.

As it got colder we took them inside. First since it was a community, we brought them into the kitchen to let them stay there. Every time they seemed depressed but we had no reason to move them. It got colder. No fire, no heating. And they were locked away in a cage. In the morning I would find them so close together to soak up the other ones heat. So I took them to our room where we had the fire place running every day. I let Mr Rabbit run freely and built a ramp for Gini so they could explore the world (room) whenever they wanted and needed. and they did. Smart animals. At night when it got too cold they would be coming into bed with us and sleep under the duvet.

Times change and Mr Rabbit got unhappy. He was awake at night looking for life. Meditating on the moon which was shining into our room and creating a magical atmosphere. He started to hump Gini, which she did not approve of. Hm. I started to google again. What is this story between rabbits and guinea pigs? are they perfect to keep together? Answer is NO. So check it out yourself.


We left some time later, with Gini and Mr Rabbit. Gini came to a good family and Mr Rabbit was released into a rabbit colony - I guess he has a lot of children now :D


I wish I had more photos to share with you but I don't. The funny and loving experience just has to stay within my heart.







#gini #mrrabbit #douceuretharmonie #life #cily #xavier #changeyourlife #france


Summer is still around

The day before my birthday. It's a bit cold, and overcast. We pass one of our favourite grocery shops and decide to do the birthday shopping today in case we are out in the bush tomorrow. Good idea, we go wild. Oooh happy days:D

As soon as we leave the shop to go for a super interesting picnic it starts raining! Isn't that just typical?? There is nowhere to hide but we managed to sort of hang our tent cover from a branch in someone's remote drive way, crawl up under the tree, and get, well, all wet as we try to eat some breakfast.

And the rain continues.. I think I honestly must say that in all these months cycling from Greece, this is the worst day. It is absolutely MISERABLE to be cold and wet, and cycle the whole day on top of it!

We have cycled this route before, and we know it can be quite enjoyable since there are mostly cycle paths. But it climaxes outside Narbonne, Xavier is leading the way, and we get on a more and more muddy bike path. Suddenly my bike gets stuck, I mean, really, I can't move at all (I have been pushing the bike for some time because it was too muddy to ride) and Xavier doesn't hear I am calling for help, the rain is too loud. I am soaked, tired, angry, frustrated, desperate. What to do? I can't lean the bike anywhere to clean the tires (it seemed to be the reason I'm stuck) and the bike is too heavy to do some sort of fancy 'hold with one hand and clean with the other - it would just fall over..) A German couple in shorts and Tshirts approach me with their bikes as well, being surprised by the rain, they stop to ask how it's going but do not offer any help, even after I say I am stuck..hmmmm) With a 'good luck' and a hand wave they leave me.

But wait a minute! I am behaving like a Damsel in Distress??! No way! I quickly got my act together, putting anger, frustration and breath together - lifted the bike and CARRIED it out of the worst mud. Good for me. Xavier shortly came back on foot to look for me and we could continue. Turned out it was the wrong path so we had all this fun for nothing. (irony..!)

Our camera is still broken so I do what I can with a bad mobile camera. I think I remember these are flamingos..or?

On the right path again, following the canal southwards.Finally stopped raining!

Such  magical light. The sunset outside a nudist colony/town. We found a laundromat to dry all our stuff and hung around waiting for everything to close so we could hide our camp behind the building.

Finally; we arrive Canet Beach outside Perpignan. Insane! We have been cycling from Greece to Perpignan that we left 17 months earlier! 

A happy man talking to us. French people can talk a lot. A lot I say.

My birthday,(oct 7th) we have reached Canet Plague making a gloat stop before continuing to Argeles sur Mer for the night. We have now done 15000km in total.

Arriving Argeles we bumped into this sign, this is the trip we have already done, twice, maybe again next year?

Arriving the Pyrenees and the place we will be spending the winter. Of course we managed to scoop out the free hot spring baths in Amelie-les-bains. 


ps. This trip ends here for now, I am a bit late with telling the story so there has been a lot happening since we arrived here October 2016. More to follow.

#trening #helse #fitness #reise #sykling #cycling #hotbath #pyrenees #france #changeyourlife #cily #xavier

Camargue..the sump

It's very pleasant to be in this area. People are on holiday, relaxed, the sun is bright and we spend time on the beach every day. It's a few more days left of September and we feel we are getting closer to our destination too fast. Being on the road for this long is challenging some times, but most of the time only nice. It's only those days you miss a shower, but as soon as you feel better you just wanna go back out there again!

We have passed Toulon and make a stop on the beach in Sanary-sur-mer (everything here is called something-sur_Mer!) I (Cily) feel a bit 'off' because the roads are not as fun as before, going a bit up and down and I don't feel like climbing..;)I feel my clothes are smelly and icky and, well,  I have nothing else to change in to.

Resting on the beach, a woman approached me. And we started talking. And talking. A very sweet German tourist, traveling with her husband and two small children.

Me talking to Jennie from Hamburg.

The sky looked dangerously dark and Jennie was so nice, she invited us to come and stay with them 'forever'. She is keenly into yoga and wanted to learn more about us and our lives. Her husband Alex agreed and we got their address so we could cycle there as they were in a car.

This way or that way or where do we go?

We had such a nice time with them, both medical doctors and happy to be relaxing in south coast of France in a rented flat. For 4 weeks. We played with the children, talked, ate, talked some more and the charming little son was happy I could communicate with him in German. And we got to wash our clothes!! I had to borrow something from Jennie since all my clothes were busy and I felt like a new (clean!) sophisticated woman. (never bad!)

The morning after we strolled to town and relaxed on the beach together. And they wanted us to stay another night which just sounded too wonderful to turn down. But then , moving on..

Now there's just luxury after luxury. We aimed for Xavier's family further up the coast, more precisely a beach town called Sausset-les-Pins (no sur-mer!) just outside Marseille. That means 'just outside' by car. Not by bike. That took us some time, are you getting used to that what seems like a flash in a car actually takes us part of a day or two? ANYwho, this is why we do it..slow travel is educational, interesting and including. The ride from Jennie and Alex' place was hilly, not too much, but we felt it. And Marseille is HUGE! I have a friend there but I just felt like, OMG, I can't even think about trying to maneuver around Marseille in one day, on the bike. Crazy traffic, but luckily we could follow the water line, and the beautiful beaches with cycle paths on the side. We started to panic a little bit on the outside of Marseille (after passing) because it was quickly getting dark and there was no sign of a good camping spot. In the end we actually found a REAL boat cemetery and took our time to cook diner and get cozy before going to sleep. Next morning it turned out to be a factory with a lot of workers coming to work so they all looked surprised and confused as we rolled our bikes out the main gate..hehe.

We surprised Jean -Paul and Michelle by suddenly showing up at their door step: - hello..? Remember us??

Michelle trying to find a neighbour to make the photos..early morning before we were leaving again..

Two nights with family. Sooo good. Thank you guys!!

So next step; entering the CAMARGUE..

So what is the Camargue?

Wiki says:

With an area of over 930 km2 (360 sq mi), the Camargue is western Europe's largest river delta. It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or tangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes. These are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area. The Camargue  is a natural region located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhne River delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhne; the western one is the Petit Rhne

Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The central area around the shoreline of the tang de Vaccars has been protected as a regional park since 1927, in recognition of its great importance as a haven for wild birds. In 2008, it was incorporated into the larger Parc naturel rgional de Camargue.

It basically means MOSQUITOS, do not stay too long!

I am actually very happy, I love boats, ferries, water. Here we are crossing the Grande Rhone..

Xavier was in heaven! The Camargue horses are wild and generally considered one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world.

Look! A horse!

Soo, we are entering the Camargue with the aim to get through within the day..aaaand, Bob gets a flat tire.The same day we are talking about how long he's been lasting with the same tube. How about that.

Not only ones, but twice. No, THREE times. Within 1 hour.



#reise #travel #sykling #cycle #eurovelo8 #ev8 #france #camargue #helse #fitness #changeyourlife #cily #xavier

Parlez vouz French?

We sure were arriving in France: the traffic increased, the prices too !

I took this one thinking of my sister  who has a flat just near(or maybe in ) Shoreditch, East London. Its apparently a pretty trendy place.

Cily coming out at the other end of this tunnel.

The roads are good so we are suddenly very close to Monaco, and we wish to find a place to camp before entering. (too late to visit AND get out before dark!) A friend had told us that this is probably the most difficult place to camp, like ever, the police will just hunt you down and ask you to leave. Late evening, totally dark, we found a spot in a local residential area..large houses, big fences, closed gates..you get the idea? And a tiny piece of lawn on the side of the street next to a war momentum. We had no choice, we popped up the tent and hid (?) behind a bench there. Every time a car passed by they would light up the park and, if aware, see us. Exciting. At about 1.15am we woke up to the strangest sound - I jumped up wondering what is was - and Xavier all chill: 'it's an automatic lawn hose sprinkler.' 'Oh, well, don't you think it will continue on this side?' 'Nah, just go back to sleep'.

Yeah, right. 15 minutes later we got wet after the water system started watering 'our' side, trying desperately to move everything before it was soaked. Welcome to Monaco -

This is the only sign that we have actually crossed Monaco, and yes its everything you'd expect and more,

Yacht clubs, Lamborghini repair shops and you are not allowed to stop your bike for a long time in the city centre for fear of being "moved along"

by the police, or so we were told.

We had  some really inspiring and pleasant meetings. This man was 93 and had a daughter who was a yoga teacher.

He bought us this map of France and told us of his adventures cycling around France when he was younger.

He had been married 73 years (!) and still cycled regularly with his wife to Cannes, about 55Km one way.

I asked him for his health secret and he answered " I never drank and never smoked. I was in the army during the (2nd world) war

and traded in my cigarette ration for puddings with other soldiers.". We definitely will follow that advice, thank you !

Tired of being a "eat as much as you can" buffet for mosquitos, we burnt all the bits of mosquito coil at the same time

using this chip frying basket found on the beach!

This was our camping spot near Antibes and on the left in the photo is a family of Russians who came to pretend fishing (for their small children)

in the sea that evening. 

Xavier woke up in the middle of the night wondering why I was making chewing noises in his ear..(?!?) In the morning we found a small hole in the tent, Mr Rat had visited. And he made a hole in Bob as well..yikes.

Cily posing on the "Promenade des Anglais" in Cannes.

Our first and only pose in front of the famous red carpet in Cannes, site of the Cannes film festival.

A nice camping spot right on the beach

Waking up to this view..

We could have been in the French Caribbean: beach bars, miles of sand and only dunes behind. We slept

safe and peacefully.

Some of the most beautiful areas of the south of France. Here we have passed the big tourist areas and are in the "Var" region

where its quiet and local. There are 3 large inhabited islands  just off the coast, 2 have small communities and the 3rd is shared 2/3 by the military

and 1/3 is a nudist colony. They apparently are good neighbours.

This was our camping spot for the night, within sight of the villa owned by ex-french president Nicolas Sarkozy's wife

Carla Bruni. The villa was broken into a few weeks after we were camping there, but we were not involved :)

As we got closer to Saint- Tropez we decided to skip the whole town..it would be a detour, and for what? Expensive prices and naked people? Ha!

BUT, we found another 10 euros in the ditch by the road, hahaha, that is always fun!

Merci Julien!

Standing outside a car body shop we were approached by a dread locked guy who invited us to come and spend the night at his place and make some diner.

Tired and needing a night of rest we decided to go and find his place. We made a real pasta feast, put up the tent on his porch and this is a link to his band , playing a French brand of "Not" Reggae. Thank you again  Julien.   http://thatsnotreggae.blogspot.fr/p/album.html


#reise # travel #cycling #trening #france #changeyourlife #monaco #eurovelo8 #ev8 #cily #xavier

Back to the coast! YES!

As said, no one who hasn't been there will understand the incredible feeling when you realize you've managed to cross one entire country by self power! Even thought crossing Italy from coast to coast was a relatively short distance it was our 13th+ country and it felt GREAT! Also since we were back to the water - we were able to swim again - yeeei!!

Xavier asked directions from a guy on the street in Savona who tipped us about a cycle route further up the coast so everything seemed bright. Now we feel chilled. We have crossed the mountains of Italy which was the biggest issue for the season; the temperature by the coast is still warm and inviting:

Having breakfast whilst cycling through a tiny village, I had to go to the bathroom and nicely asked in a hotel: Yes, the lady said, you can ask further down the street. Hm, what's that all about, people don't want to help others in need?

We didn't really try to hide this evening, we found another tent next to us who seemed to be  like a long term tenant. So why pretend?

BOOM! After some riding on the main road we by coincidence found the cycle route! By coincidence!! Hohohho, we were of course super happy to not have missed it, but if you are ever in the area remember this - it's not like it's in your face :P

Some posing is required, this bike is made of wood!

This too! Cool, eh?

Here's the bike map, the cycle route, totally excellent and beautiful. If it were like this everywhere people would not be thinking we're crazy anymore, they would join in! And become healthy and fit too!!

As we were sitting on the beach having a rest doing absolutely nothing, we met German roof builder Sven who is cycling from Spain, taking a sabbatical. We spent some hours chatting and left one another after exchanging contact info.

The 24 km on the cycle route were over too quickly and it was almost dark as the path suddenly ended. And we were in a place called Ospedaletti. We decided to camp on the beach, but we wanted to sleep in the next morning so we tried to find a hiding spot. And we did - behind what seemed to be a boat cemetery where no one could see us. First thing next morning a dog was just outside our tent door. And his owner. They were just going for a morning walk and since it's illegal to walk your dog on the beach we didn't feel bad about camping here. Hehe. Shortly after two other people showed up and walked past our tent door, they were going to have a swim. And since they came from a locked up fence saying no trespassing-danger we didn't feel bad about camping here. And so it continued. We decided to stay for the day, and relax on the beach. We are not in a hurry anymore.

So, I am sitting here, next to someone, and believe me they talked ALL the time, even exchanging food recipes!! It's very good for my Italian practice, but gosh, they are very much the prototype no?

A man walked around the beach trying to sell stuff to those who had the opportunity to spend this sunny warm day on the beach, and to avoid any conversation I aimed for the tent to hide. Of course he followed. Xavier was around but sneakily left me to my own devices as I didn't managed to get away from the salesman, I'm just too nice I guess. So, it all ended up with us talking for about half an hour, in Italian(!!) but he was from Pakistan so I think I understood him better then a normal fast speaking real Italian. And he gave me a bracelet. He felt I needed it more then he needed money, him being all fascinated about our trip and life choice. Hm.

Italian traffic can be challenging, especially here on the west north coast. And it goes slow..feels slower since many of the driver talk and whistle at you through the rolled down window..and you just want to get away..But can't complain about compliments..or?

At this point we lost one another, but luckily not too long. For some strange reason we are still carrying two Norwegian telephones so we can text each other in emergencies.



#reise #travel #cycling #sykling #trening #changeyourlife #italy #italia #eurovelo8  #cily #xavier

Have you heard about Asti?

We arrived Asti  Saturday midday.- had a stop outside a shop to have a snack before entering the town itself and to make a plan what to do. Had a chat with a man who told us there was a festival going on. Federico from Couchsurfing had invited us to stay for the weekend, and as we have been going non stop since Treviso we were very happy to have a break. In a house. With a shower.

One of the most famous events held in Asti is the famous Palio di Asti, in which all the old town wards, called "Rioni" and "Borghi" plus nearby towns compete in a bare-back horse race. This event recalls a victory in battle versus the rival city Alba, during the Middle Ages after the victorious battle a race was held around Alba's walls, from then on every year in Asti. Asti's Palio is the oldest recorded one in Italy, and in modern times is held in the triangular Piazza Alfieri preceded by a medieval pageant through the old town on the 3rd Sunday of September.(wiki)

All this cute little kids parading..

Something had gone wrong someplace in the planning so Federico didn't believe we were arriving today. He had said he was in a parade and could meet us afterwards, and when we texted where we were waiting nothing happened. And we waited some more. In the end we decided to ride to the address he had given us, which was a bit outside town, and on the way it started pouring! We didn't mind too much because we knew we would eventually stay inside for the night. The place we came to was apparently not his house, but a guesthouse, so we hung outside using their WIFI to try to get a hold of Federico; skype, mail, sms, telephone. Without luck. Some hours later he showed up in a car, explaining he 'd left his phone home, thinking we wouldn't come. But, bygones, now we were taken to a huge mansion on top of a small hill; his father and aunt lived there, himself living in Torino, but inviting couchsurfers whenever he would be in Asti. We were not really fireworks, too tired from the travels, but I guess we made some sense before falling asleep.

Federico showing us all of the 'has-been-a-huge-wine-production-cellar'

The next morning we woke up to a big change, Federico and his father were going to Milan for the day so we had to leave within the hour; wow, big surprise, but what can you do? You have to be flexible using these kinds of arrangements. But we managed to squeeze in a picture of the mansion:

Questa mia casa! noot...

After this unexpected turn we were quite confused. We drove back to Asti but didn't feel too much in the mood for the parades and action. We found a bench in the park, sat down, and fell asleep. Waking up, life seemed easier again but I had enough of this town. I managed to talk Xavier into leaving the same afternoon, and aiming for the coast: But first we had to do some more climbing. It went colder the higher we got, and we camped in the garden of an empty house.

The tiny village where we camped. Met a nice lady who filled our water bottles for the night, and my Italian was again tested  when she wanted to know our story:)

Look at all these grapes..we are in the Piedmont district!

Is it Mont Blanc? Or is the Dolomites?

The picture was taken because we have a friend with that name :)

The proud feeling you get when you understand you have crossed another country from one side to the other is unexplainable..!

FINALLY! We have reached the coast again!! And after a lot of climbing we are surprised/treated with a 15 km downhill! I kid you not!! So we had crossed from east to west and are rolling into the town of Savona. We celebrated by going to the beach and watching the sunset, and as a man came to tell us that no camping was legal on the beach we said: 'eh? we are not planning on staying here?! 'But truth is, we moved the bikes a bit further and hid on a secret empty beach, put up the tent and went super tired to sleep. And then we heard coming from next door: DUNK DUNK DUNK - a night club 5 meters away, behind the fence. Hahahaha.




#reise #travel #cycling #fitness #helse #italia #asti #savona #healthyliving #vegan #cily #xavier

The midlands of Italy

We started early morning from Federica's house in Treviso. Decided to skip the cycle route along the river Po (has to be another time!) and went directly for the faster way across the country. It's mid September and as I told you before it would be terrible to get stuck with cold winter weather, so we feel we have to rush a little, at least over to the west coast of Italy; we are still not sure how to get there. But we have decided to pass Vicenza and Verona before we make any further decisions.

We found the streets very nice and efficient, and the weather is still like a nice hot summer day in Norway

My wish to visit Juliet Capulet's house in Verona quickly was cancelled as we entered the suburbs, the city was much much bigger then I thought!  And as usual, when we enter cities that size we just want to get out - right away! The movie called 'Juliet's letter' gave the impression of being a sweet, nice and small town, but haha, not that we saw:)

We were surprised by how easy we were riding and how super fast we got to Verona, so I had done some research and wanted to take a route passing Lago di Garda; here's a funny sign we found at the small tourist town Peschiera del Garda:

So pretty, and I thought very peaceful. Water always make me peaceful, so we made  our lunch stop here, in the middle of all the tourists.

Xavier meditating on the water

Me flying over the lake

At this point we feel on top of the world, the kilometers are flying, sun, perfect roads. We have gotten a lot of couchsurfing invitations in Torino and the plan is to go there and stay for some days. Then Xavier sees a sign saying MILANO. And whatdoyouknow? He says 'we are soooo close it would be stupid not to go there', so after a lot back and forth I agree we'd go. It's only 50km 'detour'.

We make a camp outside Milano to be prepared to enter the city early morning. Then we will have a chance to get out before the evening.

We had to search for some time, but in the end we found a hidden spot just next to the road we would continue in the morning.

The next morning starts pretty cloudy. As we are rolling towards Milano (it takes forever to get through the suburbs!) the rain gets heavier and heavier, we get colder and wetter by the kilometer. Finally we reach the airport and some nice cycling paths, the planes swooshing right over our heads into  landing - scary but interesting to see from this angle. Under other less rainy circumstances I would have loved to stay for a while to experience more of this, but being in an almost lousy mood due to the weather we head for downtown.

It's strange how quickly we forget how miserable it is when it's raining, we are soaked and cold to the bone

This requires some 'force majeure': we head for a caf, something hot to drink and a bite, waiting for the weather to clear up. It's still only about 9am!

And our patience pays off: a few hours later the hammering rain stops and we can dare going outside again. It's been air-conditioned inside so we are still cold, but at least we were able to take off (most) of the wet gear.

So, ready for one of most known and famous fashion cities of the world:

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world's oldest shopping malls. Housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy.It was designed in 1861 and built byGiuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.(Wiki):

We are still rolling our bikes around, and I have borrowed Xavier's 'duck suit' because I'm still cold after the morning. Fashionable, eh?

Xavier posing to be VERY fashionable, with lots of (empty) fashion shopping bags. Are you convinced?

So comes the BIGGEST and BEST surprise in a long time: As we are making or way out of Milano in the afternoon we bump into a BIKE PATH!! A totally super, amazing, well-built BIKE PATH! Which is going our direction! Weee!!

Back in the normal cycling gear, the sun is back and we follow the bike path - we make a lunch stop and take time to dry our gear

It's easy to follow the path and it all goes very well for about 30km, and just outside Abbiatogresso we (of course) make a wrong turn. I was gloating of my excellent understanding of Italian and my non stressed verbal communication with a race cyclist when I asked for directions towards Casale Monferrato that I forgot to be attentive to the correct turn-off, and we kept riding and riding on this wonderful bike path. Xavier is far in front of me at this point, I'm still cycling with a big happy smile because of this un-expected turn in our route that I didn't 'wake up' before I noticed the sunset the wrong place...What? The sun is not supposed to be there? Heeeh?? This is not WEST? Trying to catch up with Xavier, to let him know this boring piece of information. Well, nothing else to do then get off the bike path, go partly back, ask some people and go.all.the.way.back.to.(almost)Abbiatogresso.

We found a shop where we first went shopping for comfort food, then none- caringly popping the tent up in the carpark. The staff saw us as they left the building, but they didn't care either.

Next morning we woke up 5.40 as the garbage truck came. They gave us fruit.

Ever since we left Athens we have been looking for the bike path EuroVelo 8, which is excisting online but apperently not for real. We rode into Casale Monferrato, starting to get a bit weary after the fast riding from Treviso, and decided to park the bikes and spend the afternoon. I walked into the Tourist Information to check out some maps and were greeted by the most wonderfully confused oldish ladies working there, I think they must have been volunteering - like a work placement for elderly/retired. Anyway, they started, literally, running around to find bike maps for me (none of them actually were for bikes) and map over the region I asked for (none of them actually were from the region I asked for) until I tried to point out to them that what I was looking for was something like the map hanging next to the entrance door. They were both like ??? !!! and tore it down, and handed it to me. IT WAS A REAL CYCLING MAP, AND IT WAS CALLED EUROVELO 8!!! The first live proof this route excist, and it's in my hands - by coincidence!!! Hahahahahhahah!!!

The famous map, or at leas at part of it. Only this region of the EV8, but better then nothing :)

After all this talking about this fantastic map, we realize it's so touristy that it takes you around all sorts of places to show you everything; this also includes ups and downs and ups and downs; well, interesting enough if you're travelling light and WANT to see all thise attractions, but we are not quite there. Yet.


And down.

After all this up and down action and sightseeing, we are meeting the deadline with the night so we roll into a tiny village and look for a place to check internet and find a shop. We end up at the local hangout, a community center filled with people of all age - it's aperitivo time (isn't it always in this country?!)

As we look for a place to discretely put up our tent a man approached us - I was worried he came to throw us away from the public area, but he invited us to stay there instead:) He even made a call to the mayor to say that he had allowed us to camp there. I always sleep much better knowing it's approved by the locals.

The local hang-out, internet caf, pool -table, community center; all-in-one


The next morning we have changed plans again, the EV8 is no fun, we aim for Asti - a guy has invited us to come and visit him(through couchsurfing)

Xavier incredibly impressed by the size of the apples at the marked in Asti



#reise #travel #cycling #sykling #fitness #helse #ev8 #eurovelo8 # changeyourlife #italy #asti #milan #cily #xavier

Finally here!

Not since the day before going to Athens I've had a feeling like this; butterflies in my stomach, a feeling of going back in time to take part in something extra ordinary. A touch of the past, the glory, the romance.

The evening before going to Venice I felt I had a big smile on my face, and, to be honest, i found it a bit difficult to fall asleep.

O sole mio - I'm not kidding, they do!

I did not get disappointed, already on the train ride in to the penninsula the magic of beauty struck me, this IS extra ordinary, something out of a fairytale book; all the water, the scenery, the house fasades. So SPECIAL in all kind of ways! 117 small islands!

Romantic? No, just posing.

Even in September there are crowds in Venice. Tourists, tourists, tourists. If you want to move FAST you will go MAD.

Someones moving out of a building. This is the moving boat - not so easy without streets always, but it looks soo fun!

Everything is expencive here, of course, but we managed to find a cheaper grocery shop and brought a picnic to one of the side channels. and whattayaknow? That was one of the main roads all gondolas came through - we got the EXTREME close up look and entertainment, without paying the 100euros :D

Burger King in Venice. I had to use the bathroom, and usually its free. Here you have to buy something to get a code for the door. Hm.

Xavier feeding a seagull. The seagull tasting Xaviers finger. 

As you come out of the train station, this is the first view. Gosj, it is really amazing!

We spent the whole day in Venice, but left before dark. I wasn't quite sure if I was 'finished' with Venice, there was still a feeling in my stomach that I want to see MORE of this beautiful special town, so when we surprisingly get a SECOND chance to visit with Federica a few days later, and stay to see the sunset, I was happy. We got to see the locals places, since we went with Federica who's been living there and two friends of her:)

Check out the menu!!

Cruise ships all around. Had to make a photo of this one since it said Norwegian. Of course.



#reise #travel #cycling #sykling #venezia #venice #cily #xavier

Yoga Day in Treviso!

We are aiming for Venice, and I have been checking the internet  for the EuroVelo 8 route. By experience  we know there is actually no bike path but just a suggested less trafficy road  which takes us around and about all kind of detours so quickly we decide to follow the direct main road which is not so bad after all. Getting closer to Venice we check the map to see where Federica is living. You remember Federica? She picked us up in her car outside Rijeka when we were hitchhiking back to Split to pick up the bikes. She invited us to come and stay with her in Treviso which is not so far from Venice. It would be nice to see her again and have a few days of rest.

The totally absurd thing happens: I have been texting Federica to say we are coming the day after, and asking for her address. The roads are so easy ridable that before we know it we are in the outskirts of Treviso so we stop at a McDonalds to go online to get the GPS and check her whatsapp answer. The Italian McDonalds do have free wifi, but you need an Italian phone number to register. Good to know, we can't use it in this country. So we ride to a shopping mall a few minutes away to check the wifi there, they usually have free access at these malls. Xavier goes to the toilet and I sit at a bench, log on and start writing Federica; I feel the presence of someone standing next to me looking at me and I feel annoyed as I think someone is asking me to leave or whatever..I look up and Federica is in front of me! Whaaat?! What are the chances of us meeting like this? She said she'd never come to this place before, but her mother is visiting and needed something from a shop there..haha, small world?!

Absurd thing #2: Her mother is visiting from Germany..after talking some time it turns out she actually lives almost next door to my sister, and she works at an Italian Ice Cream parlour we have been visiting many times!!

Federica posing outside her house

Our plan to stay a few nights crashes, it is so nice to be here, so relaxed and Federicas roomie has all sorts of interesting instruments! Here I am trying my talent on this fascinating string instrument -

We spend the first 3 nights in our tent in her garden since her mother has the guestroom. The first day we spend resting, the second day we catch the train to Venice (there will be a post about this later). I try to google the next few steps on our trip to see how we are doing with time. It's almost mid-september and the last thing we want to is to get stuck in the cold mountains somewhere, or get into a flood or something..BUT, big surprise, Italy is different then we thought, and we have a much shorter and easier trip in front of us so we decide to stay a few days more :D

Jean Luca is a Napoli fan - so he is posing with his flag; FORZA NAPOLI: we had a fun Friday evening home made pizza night to make sure we really felt like we were in Italy (have I told you how much I love this country??)

By the time we are ready to get back on the road again we get to know there is a YOGA DAY in Treviso..and it would be okay to visit to see what they are up to in Italy with their yoga so we decide to stay, one more day:

A lwhole are in town ONLY for yoga and the yogis.Very inspiring. Free, just as it should be.


After 5 nights at Federica we are ready to continue..AVANTI!


#helse #fitness #yoga #trening #sykling #changeyourlife #italy #treviso #eurovelo8 #ev8 #cily #xavier

Passing Slovenia into Italy

We left Pula well rested and continued up the coast towards Slovenia. We are getting quite excited to cross into a new country,not because we don't like Croatia, but because we are running out of croatian konu and look forwards to get to Euroland ;) (I thought I'd never say that)And we have been 1 month in Croatia now, time to hear a new language;)

A photo taken outside Novigrad, we took the obvious camp again, in the middle of the city park, worked super!

Slovenia next: As soon as we crossed the border we were on a perfect bike path! It was so enjoyable to be thought of and we stayed on a great and well built path all the way towards Italy.It's unfortunately not far, less then 30km, but we stop in Koper to have a swim at least.

Informative map of the bike paths in the area, 100 points to Slovenia ;)

Several tunnels, used to be for the train built in the beginning of the 1900s.

Still great weather, and we find figs and grapes on the way-

..and get invited for a cooldown at this couples house, from Ljubjana, their weekend house.

We are still on the bike path, and decide to spend the night there. Too tired to continue after our stop with the couple.

The surprise was big as we woke up in the middle of the night by rain - but a clever idea came to me; we had been picking up a new beach tent  from someone who apperently left it since they finished their holiday, and I thought it would be perfect for covering our not waterproof tent - AND IT WORKED!!

The next morning as 6.00 we looked right into the big head of a big happy dog, with an older man greeting' Buon giorno!' Great, we are just about 1km from the border, and the man invites us home to have a shower. My Italian gets to be practised, at last.After kindly turning down the offer of a morning coffee we roll into Italy and Trieste.

What't the first smell of Italy? Yes, coffee :D

Hey! Check out that building!

Gelato, gelato, gelato. Can we eat know, not only talk about it??

We spent the day in Trieste, not so voluntarely for my sake, but Xavier found a bike shop and wanted to check a zillion things.And he has been talking about the special shoes and pedals for about two years now, so. I. Patiently. Wait.

He didn't find shoes, but bought a new chain which still doesn't help much because he needs to change the whole plate(chain plate?) But as we left, we got hungry and stopped at a small tourist beach next to a huge castle called the Miramar. And of course the sunset got us too fast so we had to roll the bikes further to find a place to sleep before it got too dark. We didn't manage, and we were suddenly stuck on the mainstreet without seeing anything, no lights on neither the bikes or street lamps. And no possible bush to put the tent up in, or anything! Panic!

We were high on a cliff, so there were some steep streets down to residential private properties, but we had no choice. We found a car port, with two warning signs of private parking. Xavier was ok with it, but I had a feeling I should at least try to talk to someone about us beeing there, and in the end I found a woman calling her cat - she said the people were not home, so we could try. Excellent. It's almost like getting approval. So at 1AM when I woke up with carlights in my face, and a security guard shining his flashlight at me, I could at least say: 'Parlato con la signora in casa, dice ok' Well at least he understood me and left us alone. Just imagine having to pack up and leave at night, terrible!

The camp. Legally illegal.

The next morning at 6.15 she, Miria,  came  to invite us for a shower, and breakfast. We got the real Italian breakfast with dolce and coffee...we agreed on decaf but Pierluigi filled some real one in it as well, to make sure we managed the steep steep hill up to the main road again.

And they shipped us off with a bottle of their home made wine.

We continue west, towards Venice. Xavier finally found a bike shop with the special shoes on sale, and ended up with clip sandals for 40euros. Just as the salesman had mantled the clips underneath, the soles start to mold. What to do? He gave him another new pair as well!

PS. Twice he's been ending up underneath the bike, in the road, because of this fancy special equipment, what can I say? Shouldn't they come with a special warning or something; do not try this with heavy load, or something?!

A life in nature. Always recommended. We had a very early night and slept like babies.


#reise #travel #helse #trening #sykling #changeyourlife #ev8 #eurovelo8 #italy #trieste #cily #xavier

Undercover bikers in Pula..

Getting closer to Rijeka in the northern part of Croatia, an important decision is to be made: should we shortcut and go straight to Trieste in Italy? Buuut, there will be mountains to climb again..Or go around the little penninsula along the coast..? 77km versus 220km..hmmmm, tough one.

People we talk to suggest the direct route, but they have no idea do they? How it is to cycle with about 50kilos of luggage on the bike? Uphill? The next few days we leave it open, but do loads of carb-loading, you know, just in case :)

Not a place we slept, but the name fits our blog

After having spent the night outside Rijeka, we continue riding the coast towards the final turn we have to make a decision..we squeeze in another food shopping splash out stop to prepare for the climb, jump in the sea as often as possible before leaving the coast for a few days...aaand....what happens?

In the turn- off, Xavier turns to me and says; 'what are we doing?? Why do something we don't want to do, just to get somewhere faster? What's that about? We can go slow and easy, and be on the coast - everyday!' My thought exactly:

WHAT a good decision, the roads are easy, the scenery beautiful. A lot of tourism, it reminds sort of like the Riviera and Deauville at the same time, with the buildings and all.But we don't mind, and all is wonderful!

This is the view from the tower of an abandon villa Xavier wants to come back to some day.

We googled it online and there is apperently a courtcase around the existence of the building..soo sad.

As we rolled into Pula, the big city around here, we rested some hours in the park. I met a very nice and interested Swedish couple who were forced to spend their holiday here waiting for their car to be repaired after someone crashed into them and drove off. Now they were staying in their camping car outside Lidl shop, excepting the new terms of having a beach/camping holiday. Hi to you guys, hope things worked out for you <3 - and yes, please make contact, who knows, maybe we will run that yoga retreat soon!

Anyway, we learned that there was a big Croatia Biker week coming up, with free camping, hehe, so we decided to get into the mode of beeing Bikers, not cyclists :P

Trying out my bikerbabe pose -

And it worked- we were excepted:

We stayed in Pula, at the bikers festival, for 4 nights, and spent the time resting and one short day of sightseeing.

Whilst at a post office, I notice they sell a lot of these products, actually all over Croatia you can find these kind of grave lights and candles, but I started to wonder, at the post office??

And as we were looking through a local book shop, I found one book in NORWEGIAN? I was so surprised I had to buy it, luckily it was the cheapest one there, probably because noone could read it, haha. I read it over the next two days, and I cried like, all the time. I just get too involved when I'm reading.

Nice camping spot the last two nights in Pula, the first two nights we for some reason spent next to the toilets. Hm.

Look! Cranes with LEDlights!!

The biker festival got a bit too intense for me, so I found some peace otherwise.

Yoga can be done anywhere -

Also a way to do backbends and inversions ;)

#reise #travel #helse #yoga #meditasjon #changeyourlife #sykling #ev8 #eurovelo8 #pula #croatia #bikercamp #cily #xavier

The Second Part:

Waking up on the parking lot outside Ana Ban's mothers flat in Split. We were lucky to finally get our bikes out even thought the mother had left for her holidays, the brother made it to town to open the garage door so we could get our stuff. Thanks again Ana, you are a lifesaver! Since it was already dark when we got the bikes we had to camp outside the flats, us in one tent and Federica in hers :) We figured there was no way we could hide so we decided to be as obvious as possible- we just put up the tents in one of the parking spaces next to Federicas Italian registered car. And yes, people noticed. All night we heared people laughing outside, making photos...of us, or the tents that is.So Ana, if you hear anything, yes it's us they're talking about, and yes, its YOUR friends <3

Not obvious at all or what?

Being back on the road again feels good, we got up early to pack all things back to where they belong, and said bye to Federica with the aim of seeing her again in Treviso in September. She would be continuing to Sarajevo but back to Italy before we would make it there. We still go slowly, we have calculated another 6-8 weeks on the road, riding almost every day. We follow the coast, the roads are good, and not too busy. The third day we bump into two Brazilian girls who just started cycling from Zadar. They were doing street art and had figured it was a good idea to travel the coast of Croatia where all the tourists are. They seemed a bit new to the whole camping thing so we offered them to hang around us for the night.They gladly accepted after their night show in a traffic circle. We set up the camp behind some wooden pallets behind a shopping mall, the evening beeing warm and nice. Shortly into the night I woke up with a feeling of stress! Yes, I had heard some rain drops on the tent roof..For those who follow our blog, you know our tent is not water proof, so it is EXTREMELY bad if it starts raining. We hoped it wouldn't be much, but, nope, it started raining as if we were in Bergen - not much sleep that night, we crawled into the middle of the tent like on a deserted dry island with sharks attacking us from all sides, but still, the stuff got wet. And you don't sleep well when you're stressed and trying to keep your things and valuables dry in the middle of the tent, underneath you.

Being on the road again, after a cycle break of 5 weeks.

The next morning we said bye to the girls and went to dry out outside a shop, with a little comforting hot vanilla drink.

We are travelling from Split to Zadar, and then continuing towards Rijeka in the north of Croatia. That means we have the sea next to us all the time, well, almost all the time. Our planned estimated kilometer a day crashes, it's too much wind, of course head wind. A lot of the time we have to get off the bikes to push them, not only uphills, but other times too. It's too dangerous to trust your strenght when the wind suddenly comes from the sides and forces you into the street where the cars are driving fast fast. But we have time:

Xavier finds a bit of heaven in the side- of -the -street figs

The whole area is full of these signs

The third night we find the same forrest camp we found with Federica some nights before

With this beautiful view for our evening meal-

One of the good things with travelling slow is that you notice more. A lot more. And it's easier to stop when you see something interesting. This particular morning Xavier stopped and said, hey, there's 10 Euros! And as he said it I saw another one! AND ANOTHER ONE!! And would you believe it? This went on for some time, so we ended up with 9 -nine! 10 euro bills, not bad before 9 o'clock in the morning?! We still wonder about what actually happened, they were with about 5-10 meter distance between them..?!

This means our budget gets a bit higher and we treat ourselves pizza dinners at restaurants along the coast when it's too dry to cook ourselves..there are signs everywhere asking people to remember the dry climate and take care of the forest.

We are traveling north, and Xavier feels more and more like we are in Italy:

Even thought we are not in Italy, the nature, the food and the drinks seem to be inspired at least. And by the way, its amazing what you can buy in the shops, good natural foods, drinks and good value!

A morning photo as I am cleaning up for the day, we camped by the beach hiding on a working site. We always get up early early so there's never an issue.


#reise #travel #sykling #cycling #changeyourlife #backtonature #followyourdream #EV8 #eurovelo8 #croatia #cily #xavier


Bergen to Split

It's close to a month since we left the sun in Croatia to head up to Bergen for the teacher trainig course and to celebrate family stuff. And we are sure missing the sun, the sea and the good feelings of (almost) carefree travel. We were unsure how we would get back to Split but generally agreed to hitchhike but we would catch public transport if it was too difficult.... Well we did not bother defining what TOO difficult was so after good start getting a lift straight away with Kingsley, a Ghanaian living in Norway for over 20 years, who had not lost his sense of "African brotherliness", so he saw us and picked us up immediately. After a lot of funny talks about the similarities and differences between Africa and Scandinavia, he dropped us off in Germany near Hamburg.

Very soon after we got a lift with a super friendly Tunisian-German couple (possibly suggesting that when there is an african spirit there is a good sense of togetherness!) who took us to exactly the same gas station outside Gttingen as we had waited for Kay to pick us up when we arrived from Berlin just a month earlier. Some co-incidence. From there we got a lift with Thomas Rohr, an automation technician, who thought nothing of driving 1100KM to work that day! He was very nice and friendly and once we knew all about his family, 2 children, work that took him all over the world from India to the mega chocolate factories run by Lidl in Germany that send out over 70 container trucks of chocolate every day!! We told him all about our travels and he dropped us off near Karlsruhe by about 20.30 that evening. Not bad we had made it from North Denmark to South Germany in one day.

But now the test of our meditative (or maybe just our sheer resilience ) was about to begin. 3 days to cover about 240km, moving an average of 80km a day! We kept ourselves busy by returning empty drink bottles for cash at the fuel stations and

making a "Fun food fund" we called the "Pfand kasse" (Pfand is the word for bottle deposit in German). Well the Pfand kasse made us about 25euro (not much) but a mountain in terms of the Zen like patience we needed to sit all the hours of the day except when we were not tenting in the rest areas.

A group people going on a hike in the swiss alps who picke us up and made a lot of conversation in 80Km!

A very kind Austrian buisnessman who took us to the border of Salzburg.

Our camp site and hiking spot for about 20hours, just 2km from the German-Austrian border.

Renounced after many hours of rain, we set up chairs IN the service station area and relaxed with a free blanket we got from an ambulance crew.

We had a dangerously funny ride into Austria with a very kind, heavily tattooed lady, with her 2 young daughters who drove in the rain at 120Km/h while reading and I-pad for directions and her 12 years old daughter did the gear changes ! Well we learnt a lot about trust on this lift. Next was Sigmund pulling over by the side of the road high up in the Austrian mountains. He was an ambulance driver heading all the way to Croatia, by himself in a large 1991Volvo station wagon. "Its your lucky day!" he said as we jumped in and drove off into Slovenia to the sound of "Die Fantastischen Vier " (a Hip-Hop band from Stuttgart, that was popular in the 80's and had a sound surprisingly like the Beastie Boys). He was totally Chilled and dropped us off near Rijeka. Well now we were pretty road weary and were beginning to argue if it was a mistake not to catch a train the rest of the way (we were now in a remote service station on the motorway and so had no way out but hitching further).

We managed to contain most of our mutual blame and " Low and Behold!" out of a VW Golf came an Italian Lady saying " I can take you to Split, I'm going there..... But can YOU drive my car?". She had had a premonition that a friendly couple would help her to get to Split as she was nervously exhausted from driving all day out of Italy in the midst of Italian fast drivers pumped full of espresso! It must have been our lucky day for sure. We just hit it off, camped 2 nights together, one on the coast 3m from the sea and then the second in the middle of a carpark in front of the door of the appartment block where we had left our bikes. Thanks Federica, and see you again soon!

Some grooming, on the stairs outside the flat where the bikes were locked. This is a residential are in the middle of Split, where we camped with Federica (sitting on stairs).

Happy with Federica and take out pizza in Split old town. What a trip!


#reise #travel #hitchhiking #split #cily #xavier

It's a small world

We are going to a small village of 15000 inhabitants in the middle of Germany for a birthday party. We have never heard about this place and it was quite difficult hitchhiking there..haha, but nothing is too complicated if you really want/need it, and we had plenty of time. 

Xavier has another old time friend living in Germany who told us years ago that it was somewhere in the middle of the country, and - of course - this turns out to be the SAME village! What are the odds??!

Thank you Richard, and enjoy the Trans Siberian railway!

The weather has been great in Witzenhausen, we have been having great fun! We stayed with Kay and his family, went swimming, shopping, and when Xavier spent some extra time with Thomas (the birthday boy) I watched movies with Kay and having deep conversations about life and how to live it..;)

Two good friends :)

Making new friends is always wonderful :D

A small world..two friends of Xaviers..meetings from different times, different countries..now in the same town, at the same time.

The big birthday was spent outdoor with lots of food, drink and games..of course I had to make a quiz about the birthday boy..:-D

Happy big birthday Thomas!!!

Everyone helps with cooking

..and some volunteer to test the drinks :P

No party without PING PONG

Witzenhausen is a very beautiful place

..with statues to climb!

The time has come to move on, going north..Will we manage to hitchhike all the way? In time for our next deadline??

In a bush outside Hamburg..

Sooo relaxed about hitchhiking..



#reise #travel #hitchhiking #germany #denmark #adventure #changeyourlife #summer #cily #xavier




Really? Berlin??!

What to do when you have some spare time before your next deadline? That's the luxury problem we had. After 3 nights in Mnchen we got on the Autobahn entrance going north and half heartedly aimed for Berlin to visit a friend..and whatdoyouknow?! A man walked over to us (me reading the paper sitting on the ground and Xavier standing some distance away) and invited us to join him ALL THE WAY TO BERLIN! About 600km! Thank you Eckhart we really enjoyed your company :-D

Staying in Berlin, 3 nights with Judith and Max, talking about life, relations, future..spending hours and hours walking around, soaking up the atmosphere and changes of Berlin since last time we visited. More and more people have turned into zombies we notice. Hard to swallow. Younger and younger lifes chosen to be destroyed. 

We on the other hand are fit for action; we slept well, ate well and are very glad we had this oportunity to visit Judith who we have been volunteering with in Greece last year:

A super positiv change since last time we were here; an insane campaign of veganisme has taken control over the city! EVERYWHERE you see posters and signs about vegan eating, living, wearing..a dream come true! But, its sort of 'ramming' it down peoples throats and can go the total opposite direction. Hope not, its good to have options for all. PS. Prices are double since last time we were here!

Flee market with Judith and Hannah, a typical Berlin activity I guess


The obligatory posing with Dirndl & virtual beer mugs 

Breakfast with Judith and her brother Max before leaving Berlin..hitchhiking southwest. 





#reise #travel #hitchhiking #vegan #changeyourlife #ittakescourage #adventurelife #berlin #cily #xavier

Mnchen to .......?

Yes, we spent three days in Mnchen. We borrowed some bikes from our host to move around and first stop was the BMW Welt; fancy cars and engines, so well-made, free and full of helpful people that it was pure joy to visit!

We hung out in the city, looking at the old town and the must-see clock tower at the Rathaus with its amazing music and performance! Of course we were on a mission to find a special thing as usual and in the end we actually got it!

Thanks to our host Mihai and the other couchsurfers from Colorado; Erin and Zane! We enjoyed the evening of watching Beerfest and Eurotrip, haha!

#reise #travel #mnchen #ittakescourage #changeyourlife #hitchhiking #cily #xavier

Where are we??

Okay, this will be interesting. The camera drowned last week as we were making underwater photos (yeeees it is a water proof camera, yeees it's supposed to survive and yees we have done it before.) Anyway, we are hoping it will recover but for now there is no camera..aiaiai..

Anyway, I told you next month will be without the bikes and we are hitchhiking.  But we decide to start by bus to get to an easier place, we got cheap tickets with FLIXBUS for euro 39. We left Split at 18.15 in a very comfortable air conditioned bus with wifi and plugs, mentally trying to prepare for the change to come. At 21.15 we stop at some random place further up the coast and who else but Victoria and Jonas walk in??!! OMG. 

We tried to sleep on the bus, anyone who's tried that know it's not REALLY working..your neck is in pain, your legs halfway stretched into someone elses back, your tail bone screaming. Not to forget that the driver puts on the full light at every stop to wake up the people who are getting off. Interesting anyway, I like it. And as a yogi it's easier to find a comfortable sleeping position, so as we rolled into our city at 7.30 we were quite okay. Here we will stay for three nights, and say bye to Victoria and Jonas who will continue with the next bus.

This is the land with our favourite shops and products, and nice prices. The weather is cold and rainy..it's our first cold and rain since we left Xanthi! What a change, we travel light, not much clothes and in flipflops!

Today we will borrow some bikes and ride into town..can you tell us where we are?? ;-)

#reise #travel #changeyourlife #ittakescourage #adventurelife #split #flixbus #cily #xavier

A place to stay in Split?

How can we have such luck?? We have spent 1 week for free in a big luxury penthouse flat 50 meters from the beach, with this great sea view, FOR FREE!! What started as a couchsurfing request for a few days has turned into a beach holiday, with Split city just 15 minutes away! We are forever and ever greatful for your extremely nice offer Rouslan <3

He even takes time to make you breakfast; his special Ukrainian pancakes!

Do you want to stay here as well? Send Rouslan an e-mail HERE, mention our names and get a discount! Please click HERE for more about the place


Well hello there, Ms Vic!

We are in Split!

The wonderful news is that Rouslan, our host on couchsurfing, gave us a whole penthouse flat for ourselves! Seaview, big, bright and  a total luxury for us- 50 meters from the sea!! We are in heaven :)

What was meant to be 3 nights has now been 6 nights, hehe, we just can't leave this place..

Our friend Vic is starting her holiday from Split, together with her boyfriend Jonas, so we thought; why not try to meet since we are in the neighbourhood? And me managed, we had three afternoons/evenings together, they came to our great penthouse flat (must say all the time, yes) and we had dinners, sunbathing, swimming, walks, watched EURO football in the bar and spent a joyful  time together, with lots of walks down the memory lane :p . It's been too long since we met up last, and this was not a bad place for our 'reunion' -..


The super team back together!

Split skyline..from our balcony

Everyone for a night swim


Sunset outside our house..


Having dinner!


Vic and Xavier blending in on the Split beach (?)


But now things are changing, we will leave our bikes here for a month. We will leave today, but this time hitchhiking again. What are we up to? Follow us!



#reise #travel #sykling #ycycling #split #changeyourlife #adventuretravel #ittakescourage #cily #xavier

Bosnia; swoop in -swoop out

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Bosnia!

Absurdly enough, Bosnia has managed to squeeze in a coastline of 20 km! And we have seen it all :)


The country has only 20 kilometres of coastline, around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, although surrounded by Croatian peninsulas it is possible to get to the middle of the Adriatic from Neum. By United Nations law, Bosnia has a right of passage to the outer sea

We spent the day in the sea, in the city of Neum


We met Benjamin from Switzerland who is WALKING to India

As we arrivied Bosnia in the morning, we decided to find a nice calm caf in the only town we were passing (Neum) so we could do some office work..we had no idea what currency or how much the prices were, but we quickly figured; no rules whatshowever :) you can pay in ANY currency, coins, paper whatever. And it's DIRTcheap. Our tea was 75cents.

We leave the caf after some hours and head down to the beach, which is full of people. Still we manage to find a good place to rest for the day. We met Benjamin who is walking to India, and shared a good conversation with him about the ups and downs of being on the road and also sharing tips and stories. Xavier and Benjamin were observed by two young girls who hung around them like bees ( I watched them from my pink donut in the sea) and as soon as they had a stop in their conversation they asked to get photos with them, haha :) They were superstars of the day!

By the evening we were back in Croatia and found a nice camping spot on a hill overlooking the sea. If caravans can camp these places why can't we? The next morning we actually observed a man sleeping in the front seat of a Norwegian registered car as well. Didn't look too comfy.
A rest stop, view point and toilets.

W e still have some days before we 'have' to be in Split so we travel like snails..visiting A LOT of different beaches: we even find a local specialized oil shop, of course we have to buy some before taking our breakfast/lunch on the bench outside..


Xavier fueling his body with some good oil!



A very intereting town is Omis, and this is also where we meet the first struggle with returning bottles for money. Who could have kown it would be that difficult to be environmently aware and friendly?? IT IS WITHOUT DOUBT THE MOST HARDHEADED AND DIFFICULT COUNTRY I HAVE EVER BEEN TO when it comes to this. They almost look at you with hate in their eyes as soon as they realize you want to return bottles. We don't know, but it's seems they understand it as we are STEALING money from their shops. This has happened all over Croatia, but now it reached a climax: in the end we had to FIGHT to get the return money. We have read the governmental recycling law from 2006 and have to point this out and almost threaten the workers to follow the rules. We have observed a lot of tourists who just give up, and throw it in the bin. What help is that? Can someone please make the shop workers understand the concept?!



The night before we are meeting up with Victoria in Split we get a confirmation for a couchsurfing request, just outside Split and we can come in the morning..around 6am. Perfect! The last place we sleep is in the marina about 7km from his house, we hang around getting to talk with the locals. When it gets dark we pop up the tent and sleeeeep. (The night before we had slept on a city beach pretending we were still hanging out in our 'festival'tent, many people swim far into the evening so noone should react. Still I don't sleep much, too much noise and I feel we are doing something illegal. We pack up on leave already at 5am, so we were pretty much exhausted)

Xavier ready to go the few kilometers to our host in Split - we are looking forward to the first shower in 3 weeks!




#reise #travel #sykling #cycling #eurovelo8 #ev8 #croatia #bosnia #changeyourlife #adventuretravel #ittakescourage #cily #xavier

Game of thrones? Here?

Hello again! I forgot to tell you about my first accident on this trip! The last day in Albania I wanted to tip my chair away from my bag to pick it up whilst still sitting on it -but it fell with full power back on my foot! Studpid I know, but just one of those incidents..My poor second toe('index toe;)) got all the weight on the tip and the pain was so insane I almost threw up! This resulted in me wearing flipflpos all the time, even when riding. This picture is taken over a week later and now 16 days later its just totally black. And dead, getting ready to fall off I hope (not the toe itself!)


Not to mention Xaviers close -up combat with one of the many stray dogs(!) - in Greece this time. He is usually riding too fast for the dogs to catch him, they keep on waiting for me but I have learned a trick; I just stop and they stop and lose interest right away: anyway, this time the dog didn't give up hunting Xavier down the street and in the end managed to get a big taste of his leg. After this Xavier stops as well.

We got closer to the border between Montenegro and Croatia and were looking for a place to camp before crossing, I like to enter a new country in the mornings for some reason, but suddely we were actually out of Montenegro. I mean, we had to go through the border post so we knew, but we didn't have a choice since we didn't find a camp spot before. Just up the road we found a hidden spot behind a closed down duty free shop and camped there. We were quite hidden, but a man in a car stopped for a long time in the main street looking at us, it was a bit freaky, but eventually he left. In the morning something dawned on me; 'Xavier, did you notice something strange with the border crossing yesterday?' '..Noo?' 'Did we actually see a welcome to Croatia sign?' Haha, we had spent the night in No man's land, between Montenegro and Croatia, that's probably why the man in the car (bordercontrolperson?) was checking what the #%& we were doing..It's not easy with all these countries and crossings, it gets mixed up.Well actually, as we crossed from Albania to Montenegro we delivered the passports through one of the windows in a booth (Albania) and we got them back through the next door window (Montenegro) so it's not really our fault we might get confused :p


Xavier and a Montenegro mooing cow close to the border

So finally in the morning we came to the Croatian border. It's hot, it's early and we are back in the EU. Here I must squeeze in an apology to the people who have been sending me text messages and trying to call; I am not answering outside the EU, the prices are too high. I have a Norwegian mobile with a prepaid card and it costs 10 NOK per minute to answer and 4NOK to send a sms. So, sorry, I'm on a budget.

Anyway, the man in the booth hardly looked at our passport/ID card, but there were some other border guys hanging around watching how another border police man was more or less dismantling an Albanian car whilst the three men from the car patiently waited for him to find all or nothing..(we didn't stick around to see the outcome) Now we got talked to again, by one of the hanging around men; he reacted to Xavier's appearance:'don't you know this a border crossing?! You cannot wear that! You should be wearing shirt and pants!'  What the heck?!! It's 30something degrees and Xavier is usually riding in his shorts, now he's trying to handle holding and maneuvering the bike and Bob to put on his shirt AND get out of the way of the cars behind us. Not easy. I try with an understandingly uplifting joke to ease the tension, no reaction from the border guy. He shipped us off without a smile. Welcome to Croatia.


Back in the EU. Croatia, the land of tourists.

WIKIPEDIA: Tourism is traditionally a notable source of income, particularly during the summer months, but also more recently during the winter months as well, due to an increase in popularity of snow sports such as skiing. With over 14 million tourists annually, tourism generates revenue in excess of euros8 billion.  Croatia is ranked among the top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world, and was voted world's top tourism destination in 2005 by Lonely Planet.


We ride towards Dubrovnik. About 19km outside we pass the airport and I get the idea to make a stop to see if there are any planes from Norway landing soon; it's a popular holiday destination and maybe we will meet someone we know? A plane from Oslo landed 10 minutes later, but then we just lost interest and left.

We reach Dubrovnik early afternoon after a lot of climbing. As we reached what seemed to be the top, we saw Dubrovnik far far down there. Tempting to just pass the town all together to avoid the hard work climbing up again, but we wish to make a stop here. It's pretty:

Oh man! People everywhere! Cars, traffic, people, people and more people, and we park the bikes and sit down in the middle of a square next to the old town wall. Xavier goes to get some currency, croatian konu, and I watch the bikes. A man sitting next to me is curious about the solar panel I use for charging my phone and we start talking; it turns out he has a sales stand and he suddenly pulls out a pair of golden sandals he wants to give me! Perfect! I have been looking for something like that for some time :)


Xavier and the nice man with the golden sandals


Now it's time to hit the beach! But we got a bit too hot on the way and made a stop in a marina area, where we made a picknic in the park. Suddenly a couple came up to us and started speaking Norwegian - they saw Bob and his flag and wanted to make contact, and complimented us for living like this -thank you, it's really inspiring to meet people like you, who fully give your support and smiles! I wish i would have remembered to make a photo, I can only blame the heat I guess ;) And thank you so much for your water funding, it has been very much appreciated and needed!!

Dubrovnik has alot of tourists. But also a lot of beaches. We try to find a place that fits both us and the bikes without stress and in the end we find a place on the little penninsula which is built up of camping and hotel resorts:



I found a pink donut in the water by the marina! And no, there was no little kid crying having lost it, I triple checked!


To see life upsidedown is always benefitial




We ended up camping here behind the changing rooms. I was a bit uncomfortable with it but it turned out fine


..and who can resist this sunset?

We go to bed late and get up very early so noone will see us 'camping' and in the morning we are normal beach people again, works surprisingly well. We still automatically wake up at 5am anyway and get time to go for a walk and wait for the grocery shop to open at 7am, do yoga AND swim before anyone comes to work! In the afternoon we leave the bikes and go to explore the old town of Dubrovnik:


Xavier walked through the city wall, to see another beach.

It's not been easy following all the series people watch these days, but we HAVE heard about Game of Thrones, yes, but I have never seen what it is, and did not know that this is the big thing here in Dubrovnik. So I was a bit confused when I saw all these 'medival'looking figures walking around:



And everywhere people tried to sell us Game of Throne walks, in all kinds of packages. This is probably not news to you fans, but if you are real hard core fans you can go to Dubrovnik and really sink into the feeling of being a part of the show.

'Dubrovnik was the main filming location in Croatia for King?s Landing, a fictional city in Game of Thrones, the famous television series based on the series of fantasy novels ?A Song of Ice and Fire? and distributed by HBO. For those who have seen the series and are passionate about it, a visit to Dubrovnik will become a beautiful dj vu because of the way in which it was so well integrated into the setting of the series.'


We have a sunset chillout at the neighbour resort who are advertising with DJ's, ballett and Circe de soleil performance, I am not going to bother telling you anything about it besides it was awkward, sexist and nothing to write home about. I just wanted to leave but hung in because Xavier likes  these chillout DJ sessions. And the sofa was comfy


We leave Dubrovnik 5 am the following morning. Now we go slower then ever, we stil have 1 week before our meeting in Split and we take the opportunity to visit more beaches, beautiful places, and I keep on thinking about suggesting this and this place to family members. Of course it gets totally mixed up after some time. But one place stands out, Slano, for the nice mixture of things to do, see and both a small town center and the extended beach area which is perfect for families with small kids. We have a nice encounter with the girl at the tourist information who is doing her research in local  food, culture and environmental awareness, and we ill in a VERY detailed questionaire (which was right up our alley btw)
We talked a little about the last war and ex- Yugoslavia and this place had been bombed to almost nothing so the people who remembered where not that into the Serbs(who are a big part of the tourist crowd in Croatia..bummer)


I had to make a photo of the dominant 'new'built hotel after the war. Not really, eh, fitting in..  is it.


Selfies on the bridge



Xavier starts climbing the trees at this point..he has observed some Caroub trees, yummi!!


Should be enough for some time..?




The Great wall of China? No, a smaller one in Croatia.



BOB is looking like a summer beachparty animal these days!



#reise #travel #sykling #cycling #changeyourlife #montenegro #croatia #gameofthrones #dubrovnik #adventuretravel #cily #xavier


We would definitely recommend all to go to Albania, they have a reputation of too much organized crime but the changes are about to happen. Albania wants to apply for a EU memerbership and therefore the 'cleaning up' of the country has started. We saw a lot of police controlling the roads, especially from the southern border towards the city of Fier. We were told the area around Gjirokaster was the hard core drug crime scene, and this is also where I counted 50% of the cars were Mercedeses. The roads are good this stretch, nice for cyclists since there is a big shoulder all the way. But worth noting the high rate of traffic casualties! Everywhere we see memorials with dates and pictures, and lots of flowers, on the side of the road, its quite tragic and a good reminder to take it easy and watch out! So please take care if you go!


Selfie in the park in Tirana

The coolest flag!

The last beach we visited before leaving Albania, a big tourist town named Shengjin.

As we got closer to Montenegro this road shoulder disappeared, but somehow there still was space for us; its very intens to ride so focused all the time so when it gets too bad we just roll into one of the many gas stations for a break. It's needed anyway, for water refill. The people working at the many coffee shops/restaurants along the side take pity on us and hand out free ice cold bottles of water. Thank you all!!The temperature holds a steady 45C these days, and we are constantently soaked in sweat and urge a lot of water!

As we kept looking towards the Montenegro horizon it dawned on me; Montenegro...Montenegro..Hey, wait a minute; MONTENEGRO! That means BLACK MOUNTAINS right??! Oh man, more climbing??

The last morning in Albania we had to stop cycling already at 8.30 in the morning..too hot to do anything else. Here it's worth mentioning that the bakeries in Albania are wonderful! We had a last morning crazy eat out with dirt cheap prices, big slices of cake was about 60 cents just to give you an idea..  We decide to weer of the EuroVelo 8 to get to the coast of Montenegro as soon as possible instead of going via the capital Podgorica as suggested in the EuroVelo route.

We left the last town Shkoder and rode towards the Montenegro border..before we knew it we were there! My usual worry crossing borders did not appear this time;  with a good explanation though: A few kilometers down the road I managed to choke on an insect flying into my mouth, and as I don't appreciate insects just flying into my mouth I started to caugh and before I knew it I was standing, still holding my bike, and puking for several minutes! U R K. I hate puking! (well who doesn't) A dose of old water melon left overs later we were ready to cross the border; me lovely as ever; a nice mixture of tears, snot and puke over my face, haha:)


Our first camping spot in Montenegro, after last night's bad placing (on the work site in a town)we were super happy to get a peaceful night of rest. In the middle of nowhere.

The roads are very good, and we don't have to climb any mountains! Montenegro is wonderful for cyclists! You still have the beautiful mountains to look at, and the beauty grows the more we realise WE DON'T HAVE TO CLIMB!! My niece had done a school project about this country and kept on telling my how FILLED with mountains it is, true enough Ellabel, but it didn't effect us :) JIPPI!!
Riding by the coast through Montenegro..surprisingly easy!

At this point in our trip we change our cycling routine, partly because it's just too hot to ride in the day and partly because we are meeting someone in Split July 6th and 'hold' back, so no longer 70km a day, but between 30-50km a day. We get up with the sun (5am) to make some distance before it's too hot, and then we spend the full day on the beaches, a dream for me from Norway! Xavier, who by now looks like a real African brother, is spending more and more time hiding from the sun:

Xavier finding a tiny little bit of shadow and falls asleep..(buuut the sun finds him anyway)


We cook on the beach, but not so often, eating out is cheap and we manage within our budget, especially since eating in this heat is so not possible.

White Norwegian working hard  to get some proof she's been in the sun

Xavier strolled around the beach and got a free full body massage from a serbian guy working on the beach.Of course.

We only needed 3 nights in Montenegro, even taking our time.We experience the sourness of the supermarked ladies, the lack of friendliness is sad, that's the most negative about this country. Sorry, but I have to be honest. I can understand it's tedious to have tourists around all summer, but, hello? You don't have to be RUDE.

The biggest tourist town is Budva, or so it seems. We made a day stop there, and this is where we start to hear Norwegian voices around us. Noone is interested in Bob's Norwegian flag and the fact that we are from Norway, which we are used to, so I guess everyone is more or less occupied with being on holiday AWAY from Norway:)


A part of the cool Budva beach town. No cars in the area for some distance.



Xavier trying to sleep in the shadow. Norwegians by the pool behind.


..we will always have Paris..in Budva, Montenegro.

Is it Budva in the back? I'm not sure anymore..Now it's basically only beach, sun, sea. Beach, sun, sea. Repeat.


For cyclists: Do not trust other bloggers about routes, experience it yourself. Easy riding, and easy to find hidden camp spots. Some tunnels, but never longer then 300m, put on your reflective vest and bike lights and you will be fine. Take your time!


Joyful landscapes, especially when we don't have to climb!

Little traffic around here, and good roads with shoulder. But be careful of those bypassing stupid drivers coming towards you!! Still a lot of memorials on the side o the roads.


Of course some work;  there are always extreme downhills to get to the beach towns, therefore also uphill on the way out to the main road.


Pretty. I think this is before Budva, and it's a monastery.


Magical sunset, hard to bring out in a  photo

The last morning in Montenegro we reach a landscape which looks like we are in a Norwegian fjord - incredible! A ferry took us across, 1euro each included the bikes, and we jumped in the water arriving the other side, it's only 8am and I feel like a mermaid: IT'S A  WONDERFUL LIFE:

Is it the Hardangerfjord?? No, it's the Kotor area in the north of  Montenegro

FERRY!! I love ferries!!


#sykling #cycling #reise #travel #montenegro #albania #Eurovelo8 #EV8 #changeyourlife #budva #adventuretravel

#cily  #xavier


We have a heard a lot of things about Albania and Albanians. For example the Albanian mafia has been implicated in 
illegal Channel crossings for refugees in Calais , France. They have been blamed for a number of shootings there.

In Greece people told us "Albania is a very dangerous country, be very careful!". Some cyclists and cycling bloggs complained about the endless mountains and climbing in Albania. We were not really sure who to trust but surely the truth could not have been much further than this. From the moment we entered the country people were relaxed and friendly. There seemed to be an air of safety from being surrounded by mountains on either side of the road almost up to Fier. Like a corridor protecting the inhabitants in the valley from any outside attackers.

Here are the photos of the 10 days it took us to cross from south to north:


The fairy tale landscape seen from the road.

The countryside is picturesque, there is a lot of agriculture and food is absolutely natural, plentiful and we did not see any farm animals locked or fenced up anywhere. Chicken and turkeys run around freely everywhere even besides the motorway. There is animal transport in the whole country sharing the road with motor traffic (there are more "S" (Special) class Mercedes -Benz vehicles according to our count, not to mention the Porsches, BMW and  basically the largest fanciest cars of any country) . As for the mafia, we were forced to stop at some point as 2 cars were parked by the road and blocking the way. One of the drivers rolled down his window and called me over with an outstretched hand. I went over to greet him and shake his hand. He placed a tennis ball sized clump of marijuana into my hand, smiled with all his teeth and said "Albania people!" then drove off. Then as the car pulled away I saw the back of this station wagon Audi full of marijuana packed in clear plastic bags. Then I realised I had just been GIVEN drugs by a dealer!


Monument to Ali Pashe , hero of Albania , in Tepelene.

One of our camping sites on the second night, leaving Gjirokaster.

The beautiful desolate scenery around us. We slept in front of the dry fountain.

A Ferrari repair shop in Fier.

Hmm maybe this redone body styling is not a Ferrari after all. 

Cily chills in a park full of men playing backgammon and chess.

Later on in Fier we checked email and read that we had been invited by the chief of the National park in Divjaike to come and stay with him and visit the national park with guided tours and bird-watching all at his invitation. We met his father who had cooked a wonderful meal for us. He gave us his uncles flat to stay in and treated us to an evening to watch the Albania-Romania, Euro2016 match.
Enea the administrative chief of Divjake National Park, is our host and show us his "Cinderella" office.
Visiting the wetlands and the traditional way of fishing by closing the estuary with fences. It is still used comercially here today.
Bird watching, pelikans nest and reproduce on an island in the Divjake National park.

A group photo to thank Enea for the tour and presentation of the park and Nature of this coastal wetland.
We stayed in a tiny village where children played volley ball on a disused plot.

We stayed somewhere between modern private houses and old communist housing blocks!

Enea's nephews and twins were delighted to meet "the cyclists" who had left their bikes in the uncles porch.

Later on we met Bledar a chef that Cily knew from Bergen as he had (unsuccessfully) tried to work in Norway for some time and Cily had helped him with the paperwork. He had vacated his main bedroom shared with his wife to let us sleep 2 days in their bed. We spent 2 with Bledar, Elona and their son Nicolas and 5 month old daughter. They showed us around the area , we spent a day in Tirana and they treated us like their oldest best friends.


Relaxing over breakfast with Bledar and family in an Eco-tourism farm near Maminas.

Some small chickens came to visit us, running wild as usual.

Cily, Bledar and his daughter Cattleya


I find a taste of Africa in "Boze" an Albanian traditional soured maize drink sweetened with sugar.

Is the prime minister inside? Cily tried to get the camera up faster, but no..

A large orthodox church in Tirana, built very much like a mosque.

The Albanian flag, here behind a giant screen, ready for the next Euro2016 match.

We spent our evening in Tirana in this stylish cafe complex, with giant football screens in the background of course, waiting for Bledy to finish working in the restaurant and drive home
Happy evening with Bledar , Elona and family.

The goodbye photo.

Albania has resisted the influx of foreign fast food franchises and supermarkets. This is A.F.C. Respect!

Resting in the tent in with over 40deg. outside.

We slept on a building site near the Montenegro border. In the morning the guard showed the water fountain to freshen up !
We waited almost all day in Shkoder waiting for the weather to cool, but by 16.00 we decided to leave for the border post anyway. Well it had not cooled down much here crossing the Buna river, the sign indicates 46deg. with 20% humidity!
Slightly cooked but crossing into Montenegro in front of a man selling figs in the evening.

What more can be said .... We can only re-iterate what Public Enemy said more than 28 years ago

"Don't believe the hype!".


#sykling #cycling #reise #travel #eurovelo8 #EV8 #albania #tirana #hotsummer #cily #xavier

Arriving Albania

This is what it looked like when we spent the night over the motorway. We stopped just before another climb so in the morning we started pushing towards Ioannina and the next country, Albania!



Looking back at Greece and the road we have climbed..


It was hot, in the middle of day, about 40 degrees. And what do we see? ANOTHER UPHILL!! I was not prepared for that, and told Xavier NO, I need a break, I need internet, I need/want a coffee! 3 days with pushing the bikes, 3 days of sweat, no shops, and now another mountain I did not even know about?? Both of us felt the same, we turned the bikes around and as a Fata Morgana the 'Star coffee shop' appeared in front of us: free wifi and the best coffee EVER. (besides you guys Leone di Mare:p)

The waiter confirmed our suspicion: about 40km of uphill more.


Thumbs up for the best 'latte' in Greece! The last cafe towards the border, and internet! I managed to make a blog post from this place, on the mobile, so it took forever. Didn't matter- I got a big latte with extra foam and sugar, hihihihi..

But SURPRISE!! It wasn't true!! After only a short uphill, there were just nice roads, straight and flat, I still have no idea why the waiter meant it would be 40km uphill, but can't complain the bride's too pretty,eh?!

We spent the night in a beautiful forest, where we cooked delicious dinner in the magical light of the sunset.



The biggest surprise was the next morning: an absolutely INSANE downhill towards the Albanian border!! I got the bike to 51,4 km/h! The downhill was about 13km long I think! So glad we are not going back up the same road..! 

At this point I am getting a bit fuzzy, I have never liked border crossings, I guess it's a hangover from when I was a child, when seeing barbed wires, machine guns, 'closed' countries..and also travelling to countries where you 'need' to respect the authorities of border police. So, anyway, I stress Xavier with this, and bug him with telling him that he NEEDS to find his passport (which of course is packed deep down in one of the bags) but he is all chill, 'I've got my French ID'. And of course: no problem, his French ID was enough!(?) Why?? Albania is not even EU?? So now I know, a French ID card is enough, even crossing European non EU country borders. Puh.


On the 'other side', finally, Albania.
The roads are so superduper that we ride 20km/h and the traffic is not bad. We are riding the main road but there is a hard shoulder for us. Feels safe and we have plenty of time to let the beauty of the landscape sink in..Albania is beautiful! The whole south is like a fairy tale, if I will ever make a fairy tale movie it will be filmed here!
We met another cyclist, an Italian journalist riding from Turin to Istanbul, writing about his trip for Italian newspapers. He had the joyful news that the roads where going to be like this all the way towards Montenegro.

The meeting with Andrea from Italiy

We make our day stop in Gjirokaster, it's reached 40 degrees again and we need to eat and cool down. We go wild at a restaurant, eating spagetti, salads, fries, bread and several cooling sodas. All for Euro 6.50= 880 Leke. Then we continue to an ice cream parlour..3 scoops each, only 200 leke = Euro 1,20. It's still hot so we look for a cafe where we can hang and wait during the hottest hours. We end up on top of a building, a hotel bar, where they watch our bikes outside while we are upstairs. The view is the coolest!

Hotel parking!





Stepping up, finding a classy hotel bar. This country is so cheap that we allow ourselves luxury.


We order strawberry shake and chocolate shake, expensive but cheap. 500leke=3euros


Gjirokaster is a part of the Eurovelo 8, so we are back on track. We walk around town to look for more food (yes we are hungry!!) and end up at a pizza place where we order a real 4 formaggi (my facourite!) salad and more sodas.1200Leke=9Euro. We don't leave before it's completely dark so we can hide our tent somewhere in town. We find a place in the outskirts protected behind a truck gas station and parking.


#cycling #sykling #travel #reise #albania #eurovelo8 #EV8 #gjirokaster #cily #xavier


Are we tired yet?

A picture gallery of the climb. The first day it was raining and we made a few stops in tavernas to wait for it to stop. We spent the night at a taverna veranda under the roof. Second day weather was perfect, not too hot since the rain had 'cleared' the intense heat and we climbed towards 1800m. Closer to the top it actually got COLD and we had to put on our rain gear to protect us from the wind and rain (local moutain top rain!) We spent the night on a the side of a small road over the motorway, not so scenic and quiet but the traffic noise stopped at least for a few hours in the middle of the night.

New friends in the mountain


The only 'traffic' this day


Still sunny and early day of pushing



It's quite a climb!

For some reason we wanted to show us pushing the bikes uphill..doesn't look uphilly tho..

Far far away we could see Meteora which we left 2 days ago


Finally! The second mountain conquered!


Suddenly it's freezing cold, rainy and strong wind..but no snow luckily


Looking back where we came from


Beautiful views...all the time



On top of the world! Downhill in front of us! 

Greeks go skiing in this place

The lucky owners of a car can use these perfect streets and tunnels. Down there. We are up here, all by ourselves, no people, no traffic.


Day 3 we climbed the last mountain and rolled down to Ioannina, the last city (and a Lidl stop!!) before the last 60km towards entering Albania.


#sykling #reise #cycling #greece #hellas #albania #travel #cily #xavier #climbing #kakavia #ioannina

Goodbye Greece!

After spending 8 months in Greece it's time to move on. This post is for all of you out there who invited us, thank you for your kindness, helpfulness, fun times and making us feel welcome and at home! Thanks Greece for your beauty, your wonderful climate, the inviting sea and the good food! I'm not sure I can eat more greek salat in a while, I think I need a break, but for 8 months olives, oil, feta and baklava has been consumed enough for the rest of the year I think;-)

Thanks to the city of Thessaloniki; Aphrodite, Yana, Koni, Konstantinos, Mixalis, Sofie, Eleni and Gregorios! Thanks to the city of Athens; Andreas, Sofia, Vicky and her friends, Vivi and Eraj from NYSY Studio and Avocado. Thanks to the city of Xanthi/Genissea; Christos, Dimitris, Marika and Dimitris, Dimitris, Dino, Georgia, Vangelis! The rest of Greece; Nikos, Gikas, Prodremos and Elisabeth, Nikos and Niki, Radica, Elena. And a bunch of other helpers ♥♥♥YOU GUYS ROCK!!

Now we are leaving Trikala to pass Kalambaka and Meteora (jippi! Thanks to Elenas sightseeing trip we don't have to do this detour up another mountain to see Meteora!) Picking up the bikes from the garage Xaviers front tire is flat. But being in a helpful sports city a man came running towards us explaining he was the father of professional cyclists and wanted to give us a totally new tube for free and fix it in his workshop! 5 minutes later he comes back and ships us off with a smile and GOOD-BYE!



#greece #reise #travel #sykling #cycle #cily #xavier

The sweetest surprise!

We had been doing a lot of route research;  and we had cancelled the plan to go straight west over Edessa and the mountain climb into a tiny bit of Macedonia and then to Albania..again mountains. And bears! But I' d rather meet a bear than those terrible climbs!! So by the time we left Genissea we had decided to go slow and see All. Of. Greece. Again. Haha, the same route towards Athens and then towards Korinthos, Patras and finally all the coast    into Albania. I told you about the EuroVelo cycling network all over Europe? This route would cover Greece' EuroVelo 8 and 13, and it would have been perfect -if they only excisted!! Let's hope they put some energy into this in the future..when the economy gets better maybe..?


We rode into the coastal tourist town Leptokarya where we feel we are quite wellknown by now..last october we bumped into the three Swedish guys on a broken 'tri'tandem ( you can read the post HERE)  and in mai the Romanian mafia collected and donated money for us..remember? you can read the post HERE)

Hehe, anyway, this time as we came in, a shop owner told us what he thought was a much better route towards Albania. We are getting used to peoples suggestions, and thank them for their interest, and then continue with our plans anyway. But this time, this time seemed different: it will shorten the 'detour' with about 500km and we would see the area that has been 'winning' the best sight/most beautiful place in Greece! Worth it? I say yes! Aaaand not to neglect that our plan of avoiding mountains all together would not be possible after all..there are several climbs on our easy longer route as well. Standing in the middle of the same street a woman from a travel agency calls me:'hellooo! Can I speak to you?' And I think, yes, why not, time to sosialize isn't it? Nice lady, not trying to sell us anything, just eager to talk. She is from Serbia, but got a job for the summer in this agency because of her language and social skills. As Xavier came to join in it turned out her French was much much better then her English- so they had a jolly time ;-) In the end we went back to her place for lunch and got invited to spend the night! Xaviers knee is still not good and we feel this town wants us to stay so we stay. 


Radica and Xavier really hit it off! We had a very nice time with her-


Radica had a studio flat, and willingly shared her food and accommodation. A big bisous to you Radica!

We left well rested we thought, but sometimes we just feel like this:


In Larissa we are checking all the cycle shops for the Schwalbe tire, but it just is non excisting. But we got confirmed that the route over Trikala into Albania is the best, yet climby; but as they say 'it's nothing for someone like you who have travelled over 10000km already..with those bikes, heheheh'..


Day 9:

We wake up behind Lidl in Larissa. Weather seems to always be good these days and we have decided to go to Trikala and Ioannina over the 1800m high mountains. But first aim for Trikala, this has to be taken step by step in order to not loose spirit. It's going to be a lot of pushing the bikes uphill some 30km after Trikala. As we understand about 40km of uphill, that means about 3 days pushing.

Xaviers knee is still squeeking and even though the roads are nice and flat, we get off the bikes to push when it gets too painful. We have cycled 70km when we reach Trikala and we just hang in the park after been buying vegetables and fruit at the open air market.



Me hanging.

As we had been doing absolutely nothing for a few hours, just relaxing on a bench, a woman on a bike approached us. She wanted to say that she had heard about us through a friend of hers in Thessaloniki- this friend had been talking to me as she passed  on a racing bike and I remembered because you hardly see any cyclist around, and especially not women! Funny, small world. Elena invited us to stay with her, in a flat next door to hers which for the time was empty. What a treat! A soft bed, clean sheets, towels and a shower -we were in heaven!


The view from Elenas flat

After a little scrubbing and cleaning ourselves we joined Elena and her two visiting cousins for some food and TV watching; there was a sports event on TV, from Oslo, and they are all extremely interested since they turn out to be super athletes themselves! Elenas flat is filled with her prizes, medals and cups, and she is a national race cycle champion :)



Cooking at Elenas!

Girls having fun!

Suddenly we were not only staying for one night but another; we are eager to watch the annual 'veteran' athlete sports competition in the weekend, both Elena and her cousin Thanos are competing! Xavier will make a post about this later (lots of photos) That leaves us to get the 'Sunday sightseeing tour' with our wonderful host Elena! 

We start with a kickoff coffee at her friends coffee place 'Grande Caffe' in the small village of Pigi, then we drive to Pili and look at a bridge and bump into a baptism in a stone church from 1240, incredible!

At the Grande Caffe!

The old church where we got to take part in a baptism, a new little greek named Dimitris :)


Elena meditating by the waterfall/river

Old stone bridge over not so troubled water


And FINALLY: Meteora!! 

What is Meteora? I must shamingly admit that I had never heard about the place (have YOU Mama??)

Helpful WIKI says: these unique and enormous columns of rock rise precipitously from the ground. But their unusual form is not easy to explain geologically. They are not volcanic plugs of hard igneous rock typical elsewhere, but the rocks are composed of a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate. Meteora is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list (you know I LOVE them!!) More HERE











We arrived only 30 minutes before the monasteries were closing for the day and because the guard thought we were Greek we got in for free. Maybe good to know if you ever make it there?


#reise #travel #sykling #cycling #greece #hellas #meteora #eurovelo8 #eurovelo13  #EV8 #EV13 #cily #xavier #albania


Leaving Day: injury

We got up early, eager to get going. But before the final bye Dimitris came and invited us for a symbolic Greek coffee that we had on the porch, the granmother Marika kindly gave us a chocolate treat too. So our final goodbye coffee made us so high that the ride to Kavala 70km away was done without a break! Xavier pushed so hard he got his left knee injured and is still struggling 14 days later..:-)


After the coffee and chocolate


Small but dangerous

We managed to squeeze in a bike shop stop in Xanthi where we had been hoping they would have received our long wanted Schwalbe marathon tyre, but instead we were offered another coffee! OMG! By the time we made it to Kavala we both felt sick, shaky and unwell, and made a midday stop in the city center at a caf  where we treated ourselves a pie each. We have decided to go for a higher budget then usual on this trip, so now we are the king and queen over a 7euro fortune every day! After asking for a Schwalbe tyre here too (not found) we just crashed on the beach for the day.


In Kavala again, in the cafe for a fetapie treat!

This is not the Kavala beach but I guess you will get enough beach photos from this trip anyway!

We spent our first night on a small hill top overviewimg Kavala; we thought we were so clever hiding up here-little did we know it was THE nightly romantic hang out spot..all night there were cars and people and noise, and of course the usual amount of garbage left on the ground (cigarettes, beer cans..condoms..)It's not a pretty sight, and it's all over Greece: I am so proud of Norwegian's 'indoctrination' of their children to respect nature!

The day is hotter then ever, we give up cycling at 10.30 already. We found a great picnic spot with tables and benches but of course as soon as we had pulled out all the cooking equipment one of these 'cantines on wheel' van showed up; it was his place! We moved behind a wall and continued cooking.

The rest of the afternoon we spend on a deserted beach just below the 'Kantina' ; there were several shacks, tents and living spaces on the beach, but no people to be seen. We think it's like a hippi community crashing the place over the summers:




The next morning Xavier decides he wanted to take a rest day, his knee hurting too much. But he still managed to rustle up some energy to ride to the next Lidl 20 km away (remember we had done this route only three weeks ago so we know it by heart!) As we came out of the shop we met Gustav from Germany, another cyclist. And guess what!? He had been riding together with a dutch couple the past two months-the same ones we worked and lived with in Rovies where we picked olives last year! Haha small world!!

Xavier is happy resting outside Lidl, but Hellooo?? I AM NOT! It's 30something degrees and I manage to drag him with me a 2km ride down to the closest beach and 'village'..we find a quiet and cozy taverna where I can blog and check internet. The waiter is curious about us and after we tell him our story he wants to treat us drinks and coffee..even for the next day!! He offered us free sunbeds for the day and after we had rested into early evening we rolled the bikes back to a quiet street by the beach so we could fire up some dinner. Before we could even say 'the king' a man came down from his porch and invited us to eat at his place! His 'woman' had already ready a full vegan meal (!??) that's what I call luck! And we spent the night in their garden, under a roof. Thanks Nikos and Niki!!

The waiter wants us to send  info where we are in October. Hopefully in France 


Dinner at Nikos and Niki's. He speaks German with me and she English with us. 

Funny picture: the greek situation, money runs out before finishing..


Now it's time to leave the coast and go inland towards Thessaloniki..we will pass two lakes, hot thermal baths and take the same route almost as three weeks ago. But I REFUSE to do the 14% climb up the Panorama mountain so we just continue further to avoid Thessaloniki all together. Even though we should be saying hello and bye to friends there, I think they will understand it's not that easy to 'pop  in' by bikes!

Taking a midday stop we suddenly met two other cyclists, from Denmark! A nonstop talking session later we had learned they were planning to go east, in the end to settle down in Australia..big plans, let us know how it goes Isa and Alex (?)

The Danes ( check them out on http://www.sailingthesolidsea.com/    )

and two Albanian  guys interested in the trip.
we made the night stop in a truck parking station and saw Iran license plates for the first time!

Which God are they talking about (Iranian truck above, 20 dollar US bill left) ??


We were glad to make it back to the sea again after two days inland and the idea of cycling two days and resting one felt as a good plan. We roll into another small tourist village (Makrygialos) Sunday evening finding all shops open and people talking to us everywhere! My greek is good enough to explain what we are doing. 

The weather changes and we managed to find a roof to camp underneath just as the rain starts hammering! The next morning we wake up by the sound of the fish shop opening and instead of getting mad at us the owner invites us for coffee, sweet man.

The fish arriving the fish shop.

another fish..me!!


As Xavier was doing his yoga he suddenly got some money put down at his mat, haha, maybe we should start performing??
In the evening we rolled out if town and put the tent up in a park outside Makrigialos . A german photographer Freddy Schmitt taught Xavier something about photography. (https://500px.com/search?submit=Submit+Query&q=freddy+schmitt&type=photos

He is also an animal and environmental activist please support his page https://www.facebook.com/MakrigialosPieria-Greece-Stop-murdering-innocent-animals-1470904043216887/

I love pigs <3


#reise #sykling #cycling #travel #yoga #greece #hellas #thessaloniki #cily #xavier



The final days

We made it back to Genissea just in time to celebrate the Norwegian Constitution Day. Well, celebrating and celebrating, it meant only that I got a bit emotional thinking about my people and telling everyone it was the constitution day. AND I undressed BO;, borrowed his Norwegian flag, and kept it with me eating lunch and leaving it in the soil just outside the house. Like a flag pole.

'Hipp hurra for 17 mai!!'

The next two weeks we were going through the process of leaving again, we are getting better at seeing the signals of mood changes: it's a mental process more then physical (I think) and we both get a bit 'edgy' getting closer to departure. Our plan is not quite clear yet, but we know we will be going to France, and ww'll go through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Monaco and France. The challenge is to get OUT of Greece, the mountains towards Albania are not encouraging. We 'argue' a little about the route; and I introduce catching the train to Thessaloniki for 7.50Euros. But this shortly after felt quite unreasonable since that's one of the best coastline routes and even though we just did it 3 weeks ago it's still summer, sun and beaches. Wonderful!

We finish off our work with Christos, picking cherries, tying up the cucumber plants and tomato plants. It's too hot to work between 1220 and 1720, and the season is not the best for work, we are still waiting for the vegetables to get ready so Christos can sell at the market. But yet, we are eager to get going for the summer so the plan is to leave Genissea Wednesday June 1st.


Christos is willingly posing for me, we are 'gambling' with him and 'no-kino' Dimitris. And we won!!


What are we doing?


We are picking cherries!!

We send a parcel with our work clothes to France so we have for the winter. We go through every single item that we have to discuss wheather or not to bring it on the bike..: 'Do you really need that pair of undies?? That shirt? Those shoes?' It's confronting, it's challenging, it's, eh, life on a bike. Knowing there are mountains to be climbed in Greece, in Albania, in Montenegro..and in Croatia we just heard. YOU HAVE TO CUT DOWN TO THE BASICS. Still I think we are heavy loaded, bikes and all, 40-50kg each. Jippi.

The last Sunday, Christos surprised us by taking us to some friends birthday party up in the mountains towards Bulgaria! A roadtrip! (I love those!!) He picks us up around 9am and we go for a 1 hour drive and make a coffee stop in a small and pittoresk mountain village. Our diet is changing a little in this 'waiting to leave' period and we except offers of drinking coffee (well twice..)


Christos and Xavier discussing import/export


Everything has to be documented, a super nice village up in the mountain..Stavroupolis or something..

Arriving the party village, we meet some really nice people - all having moved there to start a 'new' life in permaculture. Lots of people in the taverna, lots of food and drink. A lot vegetarian, so we eat and eat, and eat some more!! After 3 hours I feel ready to go to the car for a nap, but it's burning hot outside and the car would be cooking me in a couple of minutes unfortunately. Xavier is enjoying himself with taking photos of every single person at the party. Christos and I are waiting for the musicians to start playing, but still 2 hours after their arrival they haven't played a peep. And they look more and more drunk. Hm.


Before the taverna, we chilled out at someones house first


Looks good eh?


Christos and me still more or less awake..


We say bye and leave around 1730. A 'detour' on a mudroad not fitting the small car we are driving, we make it to the farm of one of the guest who built the place. It was meant to be a horse riding farm for tourists, but there are only horses there.No tourists.

Leaving Xavier to himself for a minute, as I turn around he has jumped on one of the surprised horses, bareback, and tried to get him to move..haha, the horse had no urge moving anywhere, and remember it's still HOT. They keep playing the control game for a good half hour until Christos is ready to go home.


Hey dude, get off me! What the what??


The horse not moving. Xavier not moving. Christos and me want to move.


But we chose a different route back down the mountain so we can pop by another special area where the nomads (Christos' ancestors) used to live, a beautiful place with special built strawbail huts.



A water stop


There are bears here?!

We wash, we pack, we clean. We plan food, the route. Prepare the bikes for the next adventure of 8 countries, and over 3000km cycling.


#sykling #reise #travel #greece #cycling #cily #xavier



New friends and arriving Genissea again


Still amazed by the Romanian 'mafias' kindness towards us, we continued a bit further, and by evening time we realized we didn't have any cooking or drinking  water left so we went up to the only house we could see and asked for some. We met the kindest family there! -the parents Prodromos and Elisabeth living there and having their son Gregorios and his wife Eleni and daughter Elpida visiting from Thessaloniki (not far away, by car that is;))


We got invited to stay in the house for the night ,had dinner, got a hot longed for bath and a nice clean soft bed. Prodromos has built the house all by himself, and they have a big green house for their household. We kindly turned down Prodromos offer of slaughtering a chicken for our evening meal.


We slept like babies and woke up to a huge breakfast made by Elisabeth, and she didn't forget to give us the chocolate treat which is so populare here in Greece- it's super yummy!


Greg and Eleni offered to take our bags to Thessaloniki and invited us to spend the night there too! What could we say but a big big yes, we had great fun with them and to visit them in Thessaloniki would be nice:)


Thank you guys!!

We finally left Thessaloniki at about 13.30 with the afternoon heat at its peak and the Greek coffee kicking in. It was a 5h climb to the top, past a military base, to a town called Panorama, its not clear if its because of the view or if every other great viewpoint in the world is named after this town. We were looking forwards to the downhill ride, but that was a dissapointment because the road is so steep that we did not risk riding it in case the heat from the brakes against the rims burst the tires on the way down (the slope is more than 15% in places).At the bottom we stopped for a Baklava in a very fancy confectionery shop and then continued riding towards the large inland lakes on the way to the sea. But we made it to the outside of the first lake and camped there where we were caught by rain in the night and woke up with our feet wet.

Leaving Greg and Elenis house in Thessaloniki


Here we go again, pushing the bikes up another hill. Excuse me; mountain.


The next day we made it to the hot springs and stopped for a piknik , we were told about a big luxury hotel complex that had been shut down and subsequently abandonned, we looked for it but did not find it. We did not go to the baths though, we continued and cycled past a Byzantine church which was rebuilt in the 1800's, made entirely of stone including a dome roof and vaulted ceilings made of uncut flat stones. A little way past this we found a LIDL shop where a gypsy family offered us some cheese and beers; we carried on all the way to the beach and spent the night in a deserted area of the beach past the main town with a life guard tower (where we pretended to be on Baywatch )and an abandonned guard post with showers and toilets. That was beautiful and we were all alone.



We passed these american archeologiests. Digging out more ruins.


Cily and the lion.

The third day we were off early and stopped at the hotsprings in Eleftheres where we were pleasantly surprised (and a little shocked that it was all abandonned) to find free hot baths and a river to swim in. We stayed as long as we could handle the heat and were asked if we wanted to stay overnight in the many abandonned holiday flats that are part of the spa complex. (Its interesting to note that the number of abandonned/disused/ruins in Greece is huge... Apparently this spa complex with treatment rooms, pools, hotel, restaurant etc. was built on grants from the European Union but most of the money was taken by local contractors and the facilities were not properly managed once built resulting in them being abandonned as un-viable!).





We continued riding to Nea Peramos where exhausted we slept by (another) abandonned building near the beach front. In the morning the municipaliy came to clear out (yet another!) abandonned shack on the beach and they gave us some 5kg of traditional greek wheat soup mix and a 1kg pot of honey .





Well, after a lot of rest and sun we made the last ride through Kavala , which was a very nice town , we stopped to buy vegetables from the Saturday morning market and took time to walk throug the whole city and take photos.









...obviously not..:p

We made it to Xanthi in the evening and after a rest stop there with some ice cream we rode into Genissea. We even had some energy left on Sunday to ride to the beach at Avdira and spend the day swimming and lying relaxing in the sun.






#reise #travel  #sykling #cycle #greece #cily #xavier




Les mer i arkivet Mai 2018 April 2017 Februar 2017
Cily and Xavier


In 2014, after about 10 years of teaching yoga in Bergen Norway, we decided to leave the city and go and find work in agriculture. We chose to travel by bicycle to reduce our enviromental impact and with no set destination we headed southwards out of Norway . We bought no special equipment and used what we had and found to travel and work. Inspired by the stories of great Norwegian explorers, we decided to travel entirely by human power, we prepare all our food and we camp wild carrying everything we need with us. This is the story of our adventures.

If you would like to sponsor or get a hold of us please write to:


The Non Ambition Tour 2014:

We decided to cross Europe on our bikes, without a concrete plan - just go.3300km later we decide to keep on rolling.This is the diary from our trip from Bergen, Norway to Perpignan, France

The Wedding Trip 2015:

No, it's not our crazy healthy honeymoon we are writing about! Cily's sister is getting married July 11th, so we head for Norway to attend the wedding outside Bergen. This time the trip is described with a different focus; we would like to share our food, our slow travel and yoga with you. 1500km.

Follow the Path 2015/16:

Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece. Greece, Greece, Greece. About 2700 km. What now? Yes, we are going towards France again; Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Monaco, France. Another 4500km.

What we have done so far:


Recent posts


Den Gronne Sykkel



What is Ahimsa?