Day 1,450: All The Old Turks

Thu 20.12.12: So arrived at Istanbul international bus station bang on 8am and then started the usually fun (but not fun today because it was cold, damp and my feet still hadn’t dried off from the day before) process of finding me a bus goin’ en-eeee-where. Turkey has dozens of bus companies going to every corner of the country and much of Europe. Greece was quickly struck from the list as the buses only seemed to leave at night and it would take 10 hours just to get to Thessaloniki, not even half way to Igoumenitsa. The other option then was to take a bus to Germany. As I didn’t have a map with me (and there wasn’t one on the wall in the office) I figured that Düsseldorf might be a good option. The bus would take 40 hours and arrive around 7am on Friday…

Continue Reading Day 1,450: All The Old Turks

VIDEO: Last Exit To Serbia! (2007)

In the summer of 2007, myself and Stanley "Stan" Stanrydt, two grown men with the mentality of 13 year olds, set out on an epic journey across the heart of Europe in search of music, beer, broads and a decent sausage. In a Mazda sportscar we christened 'Traci Lords' (she was underage but could still squeeze us both in), we shot through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Croatia in order to arrive in Novi Sad, Serbia, for the rather epic Exit Music Festival, held in an ancient fort on the Danube river. There we watched the likes of the Beastie Boys and many other bands that I vaguely don't remember. After four days of drunken debauchery, we sobered up and decided to take the long way round back to the UK. So we went to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dubrovnik…

Continue Reading VIDEO: Last Exit To Serbia! (2007)

Day 402: Don’t Stop Believin’

06.02.10: The last two blogs aren't true. I just made them up. Sorry, it would have ruined the surprise. Here's what really happened... When I was in Cyprus last Tuesday, I discovered that it would take two weeks from the date of application for my visa for my next country (Libya) to come through. I had not been made aware of this earlier (annoyingly enough) – I thought I was just going to pick it up at the border. This meant that no matter what I did in the next couple of weeks, I couldn't continue with my journey. I might as well pick up the visas for Libya, Algeria and Central Asia from London myself. I might as well... Why the hell not, eh? It's still part of the journey, it's still in the spirit of The Odyssey; I can't enter the kingdom of the…

Continue Reading Day 402: Don’t Stop Believin’

Day 400: I Say Sir, Beer!

04.02.10: I could have done without the 3am border crossing, it was unnecessarily cold outside – why couldn't they come to us? There was only about ten people on the whole bloomin' train. Well soon enough we were moving again and I fell fast asleep. In the morning, I had a couple of hours to kill in Sofia before getting on the next train to Belgrade so I sat down at a bakery and ate as many sausage rolls as I could stuff in my face... sausage rolls being somewhat of a rarity in Africa and the Middle East so smoke 'em, smoke 'em, smoke 'em, if you've got 'em. The train to Belgrade was, again, fairly empty, and so I had no company for the day. Soon my laptop batteries were dead and I was left twiddling my thumbs, not wanting to read the only…

Continue Reading Day 400: I Say Sir, Beer!

Day 121: The Swines!

01.05.09: What transpired to be an incredibly long day, started in Thessaloniki before dawn. It was raining hard and John and I took far too long getting off the train, so we found ourselves shunted into the goods yard and having to walk the five-hundred meters back to the station like a pair of divs. I had a few hours to mooch about, say hello to the Aegean Sea and drink an overpriced coffee (I needed the toilet and McDonald's was closed) before returning to the station to hop on the train to Skopje (pronounced Skopia, by the way). Incidentally, on the off-chance that the girl from Canada with the hotpants - whom I helped get the coach to Athens because no domestic trains were running - is reading this, when you ask for somebody's help and they give it, try saying thank you next time,…

Continue Reading Day 121: The Swines!

Day 120: The Doctor Will Sue You Now

30.04.09: The lovely girl in the hotel reception made me a packed lunch and before I knew it, I was on the 5am train back to Bucharest. Once there, I went on a MISSION to find a charger for my camcorder... and it was mission successful! Got to drive past Ceausescu's ridiculously big palace in a taxi - yep, it's kinda ridiculous, but I guess I've got some begrudging respect for the fact that the bonkers mad dictator what got shot on Christmas Day, didn't go for your typical concrete shopping-mall affair that Eastern Europeans seem to love even more than us idiots in the West. Righty-right, onto a train and got to spend the day in a carriage with a Romanian guy called John who was on his way to Athens. I, on the other hand, was on my way to Thessaloniki in Greece, passing…

Continue Reading Day 120: The Doctor Will Sue You Now