On August 5th, 2008 Pera Baity and I set out to explore the Balkans. We were riding antique Russian motorcycles; mine is a 50’s vintage M72 and Pera’s on a 1960’s Ural M61. The journey would take us over three thousand kilometers through five countries.
This is the first segment of a three part video documenting the journey: starting from my home in Varna, Bulgaria we ride south down the Black Sea coast and through southern Bulgaria. After crossing the Greek border at Svilengrad we spend a night in Orestiada then continue south to the Aegean Sea where we stop in Alexandroupoli, then continue east to Kavala and finally into Giannitsa, at the foot of the Pindus Mountains.
The second video follows our travels through the Vlach villages of Greece. Picking up from part I in Giannitsa, we travel into the mountains to visit Livadia and Ano Grammatiko. From there we head south again, strolling through the historic quarter of Veria and then down to Argyropouli. After this we head east once more to Metsovo -where we see “historical tourism” at its peak- and finally circle back north to find a political rally in Samarina.
This is the third and final segment: we ride north to Albania and follow the Vjosë river to Përmet. From there we travel northeast, stopping to visit the Kamenicë Tumulus before a rough road in Korçë and Lake Ohrid at the border of Albania and Macedonia (FYROM).
In Macedonia we spend the night in Struga, then visit Kruševo, site of the 1903 Illinden Uprising. From there we continue east across Macedonia and Bulgaria visiting Prilep, Peshtera and Chirpan before crossing the Stara Planina mountains and joining a huge bike rally in Veliko Turnovo. After a brief return home, I meet back up with Pera in Bucharest and we ride to the Communist Sidecar rally in Dambul Morii, Transylvania region.