12 January 2018
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00:00
Charles DiBella
17 January 2018
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05:32
Charles DiBella
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Charles DiBella 17.01.2018 05:27:56
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07:35
Charles DiBella
Airbus 320 Phnom Penh to Singapore ... 49 USD ... many empty seats.
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10:04
Charles DiBella
Arrived at Singapore airport.
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21:38
Charles DiBella
BullionStar (early AM, not open yet).
21:39
Silver at BullionStar - through the window - early morning, was not open yet.
18 January 2018
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00:07
Charles DiBella
BullionStar ... 1.50 USD bus ride from airport.
00:08
Free meals, all day, everyday. Not the best, but a man would not starve here by any means, and would never need to pay. No ceremonies or anything. Just walk in and eat.
00:09
Cambodia should post signs like this ...
00:10
Do not get sick and "throw up" at this restaurant or you will be charged 50 dollars.
00:11
When you get rich, take me to stay at this hotel, and we can go swimming in the rooftop pool.
00:11
Uptown Dorm - 2 minute walk from BullionStar.
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04:00
Charles DiBella
Very easy to come here by plane, go to BullionStar, and buy a kilo. Can stay overnight at this dorm I am at now for 15 usd per night. Only 2 minute walk from BullionStar. Bus ride from airport to here is 1.50 USD.
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04:09
Charles DiBella
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Charles DiBella 18.01.2018 03:50:35
Compared to Cambodia, sociological engineers, in whatever formal informal role they take, are more thoughtful and advanced in their thinking.

This is much more a society of laws, and for the most part, reasonable laws, designed to reflect a higher quality of life and standard of living.
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04:09
Charles DiBella
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Charles DiBella 18.01.2018 04:09:22
I went to the pagoda to eat for free. They have free food everyday, all day. At this dorm the food is free too, but limited. But what I see of the menus around, the food is cheap enough. An experienced grocery/market shopper should pay no more than in Phnom Penh. This is a land of wealth and abundance.
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04:22
Charles DiBella
Choice of foods to eat at the dorm ... sugary jams, jellies, peanut butture and chocolate butter ... they also have two toasters for making toast, coffee and tea.
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05:06
Charles DiBella
Flight information - Singapore to Athens

--

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&num=100&q=tr712+flight
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06:19
Charles DiBella
Possible place to stay in Athens?

https://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/78184
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18:53
Charles DiBella
If you can find affordable housing, I feel Singapore is otherwise a very affordable place to live.

Quality of urban life is high, and mass transit is cheap and exceptional.
19 January 2018
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02:40
Charles DiBella
Dorm - Uptown Hostel, just around the corner from BullionStar. Safe, secure lockers. Good experience. About 15 usd -
lower prices than Athens Greece.
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03:25
Charles DiBella
I heard no loud or obnoxious public displays of music or entertainment.

I heard no loud autos, motorcycles, or transport vehicles.

I hear the faint sound of emergency vehicle siren once.

You think that's good?

Here is the best part.

No burning of trash, charcoal cooking fires, or fires of any kind whatsoever.

Singapore is a very tolerable urban center in which to live, and it is cheap if you can afford the rent.

Yes, there are many expensive shops and restaurants, but for locals who know the market, I think they spend very little.

Mass transit is excellent and cheap.

Again, I ate for free at the pagoda.

For tourists, this place is a ripoff.
03:26
Entry door to the Uptown dorm ...
03:37
Rental bikes are everywhere. Rental scooters are also popular. Locals also use scooters. Of course everywhere is clean and
litter free.
03:43
Banking and financial center for Asia (along with Hong Kong). Also a major world shipping port.
03:46
Only way to afford to stay there is to charge it to Rithy.
03:48
The 'quay' ... a waterway from the ocean that traverses into downtown. Many expensive clubs, store and restaurants are along the quay.
03:52
Seems everyone speaks English. All road signs and business signs and advertising is in English.
03:52
Along the Clarke Quay, downtown Singapore.
03:59
Flying Scoot to Athens in about 8 hours ... waiting.
04:03
Has to be one of the finest modern airports in the world.
04:16
Concerning the nature of the local people - of course they are not the same as Cambodians, as we all know there is no where else in the world like Cambodia.

They are more reserved, which means they are not as open or talkative, and willing to talk to strangers about anything.

I try to say hello to working people as I walk along, but they seem surprised that some stranger would say hello to them.

It seems smiling works the best, but I definately cannot employ the same levels of social interaction here as I can in Phnom Penh.

I feel that I cannot grab at strangers or touch people here, whereas in Cambodia, no problem.

I am still wearing a kroma, and without a hat this afternoon, I had to tie it around my head as a sweat band.

I walked many kilometers yesterday and today, and it is hot and humid during midday - there also seems to be short midday showers.

If I had a bicycle, I feel for sure I could camp in hidden places that I would find, but being on foot is rather difficult.

After walking several hours, my legs and feet hurt badly, but not because of the shoes, which are in fact very comfortable.

After a good night's rest though, I feel fresh to walk again, so it is a matter of endurance.
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06:08
Charles DiBella
3.50 usd ... airport food.
06:10
Looks better in real life ...
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23:54
Charles DiBella
Arrived @ Athens
20 January 2018
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03:51
Charles DiBella
http://www.zeushostel.com

9 euro per night
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09:46
Charles DiBella
No one here ... bad reviews at hostelworld.com

But it is not a bad place. Could be managed better to triple their income.
09:49
09:50
09:52
My bed for the night.
09:53
2 bunks, 4 beds, only me.
09:56
I'd like to take over management.
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10:19
Charles DiBella
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20:08
Charles DiBella
Sure. I want to show how easy it is for you to travel. If you can get a visa into the country, with my techniques you can live just as cheap almost anywhere.

The total cost for one-way plane fare here from Phnom Penh (through Singapore) was under 300 USD. Sometimes round-trip tickets can be cheaper than two one-way tickets, but I like the freedom of one-way travel.

Here are some more observations about Athens:

Money changers have a game where they say they must "charge a commission", and then they try to take 10% more from you, so you must be aware of this game and shop around for honest money changers. There should be no add-on commissions, only the price advertised as it is in Cambodia.

There are many poor people on the streets, mostly men of all ages, and some women, but I have not seen poor street children.

Some will sit on the sidewalk with a cup wishing for you to deposit money.

I was approached unexpectedly by a middle aged woman begging for change who looked terrible. From appearances, I would surmise she was a drug user and part-time prostitute.

At first she began to speak to me in Greek, and then switched to broken English. with her story of needing money for the grocery store.

Why she needed money was not the issue, because what she really needed was "street counseling", that is, someone with wisdom to talk to about her problems so she can work her way out of them.

I saw other homeless who were more adept at living on the street, and some are feed very good (and it seems regularly) with leftovers.

Since I would not be in a position to provide street counseling here and at this time, I will have some change ready next time I go walking.

My rule is to never pull out money unexpectedly on a chance encounter with a beggar - I always plan in advance.

The reason is that you could be a "mark".

The game works like this ... one person will approach you asking for money, while another (possibly an accomplice) is watching from a distance to see where exactly you keep your money. My money was in a bag I was carrying, that might easily be snatched if someone was stalking me.

Anyway, I have personal protective rules for being on the streets and protecting myself from potential trouble, and pulling out money is something I do only with planning and forethought.

Another thing I have noticed is that most people wear dark clothing. It's either black, dark blue, dark green, but very little color and almost no one dresses in a colorful manner.

Although in Cambodia people also dress very similar, they wear brighter colors and the women especially will wear colorful clothes.

Many of the women here seem to be dressing as if they are in some sort of competition to be fashion models. The amount of money, effort, and energy that goes into creating an image for women to somehow look special or fashionable to me is absurd and the sign of a sick civilization.
20:14
The price of food at the market is exceptionally cheap, much cheaper than Cambodia, but the prices for street food and in restaurants is much higher.

For example, we can buy "corn on the cob" from a street vendor in Cambodia for 1000 riel (about .2 euro), but here the same corn is not .2 euro, but 2 euro).

So market food is cheap, better and more diverse here than in Cambodia, but eating out is much more expensive here.

If you only eat fresh fruits and vegetables from the market, the cost is extremely low - often only 5000 riel for a kilo (one euro, or 1.25 USD).
20:28
20:28
21 January 2018
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00:51
Charles DiBella
There are many poor and homeless here, but I am in the city center, and the worst part of the city.

Homeless people often settle in places where there are tourists, I feel because it is a social and political statement, and also because that is where the free food and handouts can be more easily found.

There is free food to be found here too.

I came across a plastic bag full of stale sandwiches and pastries left out for anyone to take.

Afterwards I watched as an old man picked up the whole bag as he walked by.
00:55
To experience a city or locality, you must experience the culture and the ordinary people.

It is not at all about staying in hotels, eating at fine restaurants, and visiting all the popular tourist attractions.

To experience a culture and people you must begin to use their language, which means to communicate with them directly.

This always begins with learning how to pronounce basic friendly greetings..
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03:25
Charles DiBella
Budget report: yesterday I spent 6 eur on bus from airport to city center, 2 eur on fresh fruits, and 9 eur on bed. How do you make the euro sign with telegram? One euro = 5000 riel
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05:18
Charles DiBella
Loving Family
Akadimias 95, Athina 106 77, Greece
+30 21 0330 6200

https://goo.gl/maps/f3kfGgf5Sr72
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05:19
Charles DiBella
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Charles DiBella 21.01.2018 05:08:58
Cheapest prices found yet ... coffee is terrible, but the water was good.
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05:56
Charles DiBella
Sitting right here now .... I think it's the top.

Amazing how strong my legs and heart is ... my damaged leg does not pose much of a problem ...

https://goo.gl/maps/U1P3KnqzdcJ2

Not sure how many kilometers I walk in a day now, but each day I do more and grow stronger. Definitely not the same or even similar to my biking experiences.
06:01
Only one in Greece to wear a kroma and monk's cap.
06:03
The nearby hill ...
06:09
Landing area at the top ... 3 pm here.
06:09
Above - three views from the top. Graffiti covers all of Greece. Basically a display of rebellion and a disrespect for what we've built as a civilization.
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08:52
Charles DiBella
08:53
08:54
I went back to the Loving Family Cafe, and noticed the sign above the store. I always imagined a place like this as a means for helping the poor. This is a good thing.
08:59
They don't give away food for free, but do their best to provide food and drink for as low a price as possible.

I believe this to be a better approach for many people who are not looking for free handouts.

To pay a little for that which they receive helps a poor and struglling person maintain some of their dignity, and that's important.

Read their little message above the menu ...
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11:58
Charles DiBella
I am a rural person, not an urban person, but I do enjoy urban exploration, so Athens is not a long term stop for me, but rather a temporary amusement and learning adventure.

Maybe I will come back someday with someone and dig deeper, but urban areas are primarily based on consumption and not production.

And in speaking of production, I mean food production, such as farming and growing things that are good for you, in a clean and natural enviroment.

Nevertheless, when a person travels and arrives to a new place, often they will see opportunities that exist which are not openly evident to those who are local.

When I look at the magnificient empty real estate here, along with the huge and never ending amount of tourism, I see investment opportunities, but I also imagine that the government is taxing the land and business owners to upper their limits.

For an outsider to do any business successfully within a foreign land, there is a need for a young, ambitious and trustworthy local partner (or partners).

If I were deeply interested in doing business in Greece (or anywhere), this is what I would need, and this is exactly what the big-money investors are looking for when they consider doing business within Cambodia.
22 January 2018
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02:49
Charles DiBella
Food is so abundant, delicious and cheap - one can eat like a king here, and many do.

I see they use plastic bags, but for a poor country, I see no litter or plastic bags blowing around everywhere.

People seem to dispose of their trash properly.

I see no use of styrofoam, no trash fires or open fires, and no one is cooking with charcoal.

Just the same, there are poor people everywhere, and no one seems to be driving big, expensive SUV's or luxury cars.

This experience definately reflects misplaced values of the well-to-do in Cambodia.

If Cambodia will ever change, it will be up to true leaders of the generation that is about 30 years old now.

The older generation has already proven it does not want or cannot change, and if this generation does not institute positive change, it's highly unlikely their younger brothers and sisters will do it.

So with all Cambodia's wealth and abundance, why can't they clean up their world?

They've grown content with filth and pollution of every sort, and so they accept it as a natural state of being among themselves.
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10:15
Charles DiBella
Another beggar approached me today, this time at the bus terminal. He had a nice "soft con" that he used, but it was an old game of which I was familiar.

I have a rule - when people ask for money, I don't give it to them, but I do give to people who don't ask.

Everyday someone has approached me asking for directions and speaking in Greek. I must look like a local to some.

I don't know what else to do here but to walk and occassionally eat something. Twice I enjoyed a slice of spinach and cheese pie.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanakopita

Coffee drinks are extremely popular, yet I feel the price for coffee is way out of proportion to other things. To spend 2 to 3 dollars for a simple small cup of black coffee seems ridiculous to me.

I see so many people everywhere drinking the unhealthy sweetened iced coffee drinks.

I am not finding anything here for me, or anything productive for me to do here. Seems like a waste of time.

Although the landscape is fairly clean of litter and debris, there is graffiti everywhere. This too seems like such a senseless act, a waste of time, talent and paint. In reading some of the messages, one can see how there is disagreement between the groups.

It is such a childish act. They rebel against the ways of society but they want to enjoy all the benefits that society can give them.

If they were serious about rebelling against society, they would be doing some serious destruction using fire and explosives. But instead they go around spraying painted messages everywhere.

This world does not seem to be getting better.
23 January 2018
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00:27
Charles DiBella
I need a simple, quiet rural retreat where I can be productive working with building or repairing a house, or even learning permaculture.
00:29
Urban life seems futile to me. The majority of people are either sick, dead or suicidal. There are smokers everywhere. This is not a healthy environment for any right minded human being.

There are needle using drug addicts everywhere, especially at night where all sorts of crazy people come out.

I see a few bike riders, and they seem to be the best the human species has to offer here.
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00:57
Charles DiBella
Success - I found a regular medium size coffee with milk for 0.60 € ... at the Loving Family ...

So much abundance ... such a wide assortment of everything in the marketplace ... and most everything is so inexpensive even compared to Cambodia.

The exception is restaurants ... although there are food stands everywhere with baked goods, and some of this prepared food is fairly inexpensive.

If one only bought basic food items and prepared their meals at home, life would be very affordable.
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02:49
Charles DiBella
02:51
Photo standing here:

https://goo.gl/maps/oDFSfWP2Q1Q2
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03:12
Charles DiBella
03:25
03:26
03:28
03:29
Three shots above standing here:

https://maps.google.com/?q=37.972310,23.727901
03:38
03:39
03:40
Many feral cats here all over Athens ... but they are big and fat ... they eat well. People leave out food and water for them. Stray dogs are big and fat too ...
03:51
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04:17
Charles DiBella
04:17
04:20
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04:38
Charles DiBella
Here now in meditation - the prison of Socrates ... below showing the view from his prison door, but I don't imagine he could look outside so easily as it appears there was a roof and outbuilding over the door.

Socrates was an interesting and notable historical figure who openly spoke out against the leadership of the day.

https://maps.google.com/?cid=14447463038252517422
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04:56
Charles DiBella
Prison of Socrates ...
04:56
View from Socrates' prison door ...
04:56
Close up of Acropolis from Socrates' prison door ...
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05:26
Charles DiBella
05:26
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06:54
Charles DiBella
Today's thoughts and reflections:

One thing I've noticed about the Athens skyline, is that there are no skyscrapers at all. This is interesting, as it reflects that there are city planners in the background working to preserve a certain character to the city.

Today I was again approached by a few beggars. There seems to be no short supply of beggars to be found in this city.

Shop owners and market stall vendors are often very outgoing. As you are walking by, if you even glance at their merchandise, they will speak to you in anticipation of a sale.

In the open market, vendors are often shouting out words often to seemingly no one, but sometimes to each others.

People often speak very loud and shout to each other here, which is not the case in Asia.

Nowadays, in this modern era of the cellphone, I often see people walking down the street shouting to themselves.

It can be annoying, such as when you find a quiet place to sit in a park, and someone comes to sit nearby and shout into their cellphone.

Life on earth before the cellphone was more civilized, refined, respectful.
07:01
Concerning business, if I were to manage any sort of hostel, it would be a rural eco-community technomad center as we one we visualized for the mango farm project.

I can see other business opportunities, such as an ebay and Amazon store marketing antique goods to a USA market.

There are so many antiques for sale here which I imagine could be bought fairly cheap. If one could set up a bulk shipping channel from Athens to the US, I would imagine a good profit could be made.

Such would be a life of living, working and doing business in Athens as a buying of antique odds and ends, shipping them to the US, and advertising them on the Internet.

I mentioned the many things I do not like about urban life, but urban walking, especially in a city like Athens, can be very interesting because you never know what you will find around the next corner.

Today, as you can see from the photos above, I went deeper into the tourist areas, and found many quiet parks full of trees.

Although this is not the busy tourist season, I imagine there would be much more people around when the weather is warm and tourist season is in full swing.
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07:03
Charles DiBella
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07:08
Charles DiBella
Concerning the link above:

If you have time to browse through some of these listing, and notice something where a 62 year old single English speaking may be useful, let me know what you've found.

I need to get out of this urban area soon, and would like to enjoy some nature while at the same time being productive helping someone out.

But Greece isn't the only possibility; Albania would work too.

I only have three months to spend in the EU, and Albania does not count as time spent in the EU.

In addition to Greece, I must also spend time in Italy and Czech, so I can't stay in Greece too long.
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09:18
Charles DiBella
First time to go out walking at night.
09:24
09:36
I bought some wine ... 500 ml red Greek wine, less than 2 usd ... 1.46 € (on sale) ... delicious ... very good to drink. I will buy another before leaving Athens.
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11:21
Charles DiBella
An Android application ... not sure how accurate it is.
24 January 2018
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05:12
Charles DiBella
Here now ...
Very windy and cold!

Temple Place of Fortune Goddess

https://goo.gl/maps/ogjGapq497s
05:14
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06:03
Charles DiBella
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06:35
Charles DiBella
06:36
06:42
06:43
06:44
06:44
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Charles DiBella
07:02
07:02
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08:29
Charles DiBella
Nine photos above ... Athens Cemetery ... located on the map here:

https://maps.google.com/?cid=14817362828592737991
08:37
I will share more of my thoughts on homelessness and beggars soon.
08:37
Rithy, is this the kind of car you would get?
08:46
08:53
The walking has helped, but it would be nice to have two good legs and shoes that were specifically designed for walking.
09:02
I blend in fine with the locals. Seems several times a day strangers on the street begin to speak with me as if I understand Greek.

When I explain that I only speak English they are intrigued, and I can see they know a little English but sense they feel they are not proficient enough to carry on a conversation.

Always it is a cordial and pleasant encounter.

Cambodia is much more of an English speaking country than Greece.
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09:22
Charles DiBella
This comment on urban noise in Athens ...

There are places to go, such as the cemetary where I was today, and very large parks to get away from the people and the noise.

In the parks the air is fresh and clean, not only because there are no fires here, but because there are many trees to filter the air.

In Phnom Penh there was absolutely no escape from the noise and air pollution, so I am much more happy, healthy and content to be here.

Concerning noise, there are loud and piercing emergency vehicle sirens, road construction noise, general motor vehicle noise (alarms and horns), but most annoying and obnoxious of all, loud motorbike exhausts.

The loud motorbikes are the easiest to control and the most unnecessary of all the noise, and so they are a complete and total nusiance.

But here there is no loud music or Ultra-Low-Frequency (ULF) bass amplifier noise as there is in the United States and in Asia.

ULF noise is omni-directional, and penetrates most all substances, and therefore nearly impossible to block or deflect.

It's a relief to be away from the ULF noise, which unbeknowst to most, is very stressful and damaging to the human condition.
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09:48
Charles DiBella
25 January 2018
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00:27
Charles DiBella
National Library - presently closed and relocated ...
27 January 2018
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07:33
Charles DiBella
StayIng in my 9 € dorm room alot because of the cold ... the view from the window. No snow, but I am always cold. The good thing is that there are few tourists and no crowds.
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07:59
Charles DiBella
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Charles DiBella
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Charles DiBella
28 January 2018
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01:23
Charles DiBella
Stinky Guy moved into our dorm room last night, and he snores, so I moved out this morning.

On the move with backpack and at the main train station now.

Where to go? What to do?
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02:50
Charles DiBella
http://www.volunteersbase.com/europe/albania

I wrote to this guy ... he wrote back.

He says he is in Finland now and won't be available until March or April.
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03:34
Charles DiBella
Checked into another dorm.

1€ less and seems much better in several ways ...

Good for the stinky snoring man to motivate me to leave.

Now I can explore this area of Athens for a while.

Much better situation as it appears so far.
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07:15
Charles DiBella
07:15
30 January 2018
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03:37
Charles DiBella
I started out walking fine, but now everyday after only about one kilometer my knee really begins to hurt badly.

I am not going to be able to walk much.
03:49
31 January 2018
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04:42
Charles DiBella
This is perfect daytime weather
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09:48
Charles DiBella
Just the area where I live now ... sign on refugee center next door to Zorbas Hotel. Sounds like an exciting weekend ahead ...
1 February 2018
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01:41
Charles DiBella
01:43
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02:30
Charles DiBella
2 February 2018
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01:13
Charles DiBella
Value of USD is falling in relation to the euro ...
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18:08
Charles DiBella
Border Crossing Kakavia - Ktismata

Crossing the border from Greece to Albania now by night bus.

https://goo.gl/maps/rtLCJfFM2YN2
3 February 2018
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01:51
Charles DiBella
Arrived Tirana, Albania.

A very different city & people.

No graffiti, no loud noises, people seem very subdued.

Have yet to meet anyone speaking English.

Arrived at a hostel, but no one is here - no one, but I am using their wifi.

Waiting patiently - cold and dreary outside.

Fewer smokers, the people are quieter, women still trying to be fashionable.
01:51
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19:05
Charles DiBella
This "Cozy Hostel" is small, exclusive, and very well managed.

It appears they will not allow just anyone who shows up to live here, and that the owner must approve you.

It is more as sharing a home with people, as several are here for longer terms.

Two brothers are owners of the flat, but they do not live here, rather they employ a young man (20 years old) to live here as a guest, and also a cleaning lady arrives daily.

It gives me a dream to build a similar situation for travelers on our land, and manage it in a similar style, for exclusive long term guests.
19:14
I believe every business should have an "ideas" box or a place where suggestions from guests can be submitted.

This place only needs a few simple improvements to make it near perfect.

The rate is 7 euro per night, and I could stay for a long time, but I believe I would becomed bored of Tirana soon.

Also, it is cold and rainy outside. The rains are not like Cambodian rains of course, rather it is just a light rain that seems to go on and on with mild winds and cloudy skies.

It will be nice to see some clear skies here.

I suppose it would have been better weather if I stayed in Athens, but I felt like moving on, and also I need to limit my time in the EU because I am only allowed to stay 90 days out of every 180 days.
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23:11
Charles DiBella
It is for mountain weather of this latitude. Sea and ocean currents, as well as elevations and latitude affect climate and weather.
4 February 2018
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04:44
Charles DiBella
160€ but tires need replacing.

Continental road tires, 25 usd each.

Original Shimano 400 CX groupo throughout, including hubs. 700 cm wheels, presta valves.

1996 vintage, frame made in France.
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05:28
Charles DiBella
I am considering to buy this bicycle. I walked around the used bicycle district of Tirana yesterday and today, and this was the most suitable I have seen so far.

But now I have shown the photo to another second hand dealer who says he can give a better deal.

Tomorrow I will go to his shop to see what he has brought in for me.

In addition, I will discuss private sellers as an option with a local man here at the dorm.
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08:01
Charles DiBella
Wide view from hostel terrace. Clouds, cold, rain, some sun in between.
08:02
Zoom view from hostel terrace. Notice mountain in background.

Even though there is a main street below, it is quiet and peaceful here.
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21:07
Charles DiBella
Thoughts on beggars and begging:

Mainly I see gypsy beggar women on the street, both young and old, often with a child as a prop, but not as many as I saw in Athens (there are many more beggars of all kinds in Athens).

The gypsy women seem to involve their whole family, teaching their children how to beg, often aggressively.

Albanian people seem to have pride, and do not beg, as it seems Albanian men would rather have something to sell.

Albanian women do not beg.

Cambodia does not have so many beggars as these countries, and Cambodian beggars behave differently.

Cambodia had more beggars years ago, as it was like a sport for the kids to beg from the tourists, and Cambodian government discourages begging as it is bad for the national image and for tourism.

Nowadays, since I rarely go to tourist areas, the only beggars I see in Cambodia would be obviously disabled, and would typically only find beggars at the market on Buddhist holy days.

I don't believe in public street begging as a means of charity or helping people in need.

During my years as homeless person, I knew several people who did what we called "pan-handling", or street begging.

They viewed pan-handling more as sport than anything else, and most were very skilled at optimizing their success.

Money acquired through pan-handling was typically always used for "beer money" as they would say, meaning to buy alcohol at the store.

A blind person begging, or a man with no hands might need to beg, because they have extreme limitations for what they can do, but an able bodied person has no legitimate need to beg on the streets.

If a person can see, has two good hands, then there is always something to do, even if it is to pick through garbage, which is an activity I explored for several years in order to understand the true nature of poverty.

Even if you have no legs, but you can see, and have two good hands, then you can make bracelets and jewelry to sell, do wood carvings, make crafts, or something creative and constructive.

There is no need to beg except that it is an easy way to gather cash to use for whatever you want.
CD
21:58
Charles DiBella
I went to sit in a Catholic church this morning for simple quiet solitary meditation.

There were two beggars outside at the entrance, and no one was inside but one man sitting.

Within five minutes the man approached me to offer a gift of a small silver-plated crucifix, attempting to explain and insist that this was a gift.

For all I knew, this was a gypsy man, and those were his family members outside begging at the entrance way.

But not wanting to refuse a gift freely given, I look at him and did not speak a word as if I didn't understand him.

(This is a sanctuary of a Catholic church, and not a place for business or open conversation.)

Soon I understand he was trying to ask me for a gift of 500 LEK, basically 4 EUR, but still insisting the crucifix was a gift.

This all took place inside the sanctuary of the church, and so I remain silent looking perplexed.

I had gone into the church wanting only to be left alone to sit in quiet contemplative meditation for a hour or so.

It was clear he did not speak or understand English, so rather than speak at all, I simply stood up and walked out without saying a word, leaving his silver-plated crucifix behind.

To me, I see this sort of behaviour as a set-up, or in a word, entrapment.

I must ask myself, how many times a day does this man engage in this sort of behavior, and how many other similar sort of beggar games does he use on people?

I don't believe in begging, because if I were so poor, I would be a simple, humble garbage picker.

I don't make this statement in theory, because I have already tested myself and proven the garbage picker way of life does work.

Even as I walk the streets now, I quickly and discretely glance into garbage bins to see if there are useful discards of value, and often I do see good recycleables.

I was that way in Cambodia, always observing the level of wasteful discards available from modern society.

I feel street beggars are lazy, and looking for an easy way to make money, and I have known quite a few street beggars personally.

I have much more respect for garbage pickers, and would give a garbage picker money unsolicited before giving a soliciting street beggar money.

Consider an 8 hour work day, with the right gentile approach, with one successful hit per hour at 5 EUR per hour, that is very good daily earnings for an unproductive life of begging.

With any street beggar who approaches me, I don't know what their game is, and I have no reason to believe or trust them, no matter what they say.

In addition, begging at a church is pretty low, when the church congregation itself should be helping the poor.

Cambodian beggars rarely if ever would do their begging at the temple, rather they would do their begging at the market or at tourist attractions.

If a beggar goes to the temple, the monks or the lay people are typically there to help with food or other simple daily needs as it is for the life of a monk.

There is more than enough abundance in the world right now for everyone to find satisfaction.

The earth is still producing bountifully, and commerce exists on both a large and small scale everywhere.

Exceptions to this would be in a war zone, extreme drought, crop failure and such.

Begging is a disease of the mind, a rejection of one's own power of personal productivity.
5 February 2018
CD
03:12
Charles DiBella
They really make an effort to be creative with their simple architecturial designs. Clear blue skies this morning ...
03:15
A government building of some kind ...
03:16
"Stop making stupid people famous" ... the city is not completely free of graffiti. A good message.
03:19
A big man-made lake, with a lakeside park. This photo is showing the dam with some brutalist architecture in the background.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutalist_architecture
03:23
Looking the other way at the dam where you can see the suburb development and rolling hills in the background. Blue skies ...
03:25
This is the lakeside park:
Great Park of Tirana

https://goo.gl/maps/SZFHpKPhZHU2
03:26
Tirana is only now transforming into a bicycle city. The locals appreciate bicycles, and you can see the young and old riding bicycles. Actually, I see more older people on bikes than younger people, but many people ride bikes.
03:28
The government has invested heavily in the park, and I can see how it contributes greatly to the quality of life here.
03:29
Monday morning with many older people out walking for exercize, and some younger people too.

The park has many different sorts of recreation facilities.

This park seems like the best of Tirana.
03:29
The rolling hills and suburbs ...

These hills are to the southwest, whereas to the northeast are much higher mountains with snow caps.
03:30
Fountain of water, lakeside.

If you have a body of water on your land, consider the principles of water aeration.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_aeration
03:30
Good idea for Cambodia.

Litter - Plastic - Metal - Organic

Blue - Green - Yellow - Red

Located where the children learn and play.

If you can't teach this generation, consider teaching the next.
03:35
Somewhat brutalist architecture.
03:36
Pyramid of Tirana
Tirana, Albania

https://goo.gl/maps/HGjGQYx43pA2

Definately brutalist.
03:37
Breakfast after morning walk. Sunflower nut bread, full loaf, very fresh, 100 LEK, about 4500 reil. 100 grams of butter, 2500 reil.
CD
07:24
Charles DiBella
I bought a bike - 200 USD plus 35 USD extra for a stronger rear rack and a good lock.

One more night at the hostel, and I will pick it up tomorrow.
07:31
It is an aluminum frame Peugeot touring model with some nice features.

I will show more detailed shots tomorrow.

With a tent, I could start cycling up to Prague soon and easily arrive in time to meet you.

There are bound to be some cold and wet nights ahead.

Tonight is my last night at the hostel, and I will begin bicycle touring tomorrow camping as much as possible.

It's still cold at night, and it rains, so we'll see how it goes.

I may need additional camping gear to be comfortable.

My plan is to stay near to the coast until the spring weather sets in.

Albanian Rainbow Gathering planned for mid-March, and may leave Albania for Italy by ferry boat around April 1st.
CD
08:09
Charles DiBella
I knew the protests were scheduled, but since I don't like crowds or protests, and because I don't care to take sides, I had no reason to stick around but to take photos.

Protests are typically ugly events no matter what they're about.

The event was scheduled to happen right in the area where I was staying.

News & photos:

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=athens+protest+2018
6 February 2018
CD
00:00
Charles DiBella
"Albania is generally speaking one of the safest countries in Europe to cycle around and people will often stop in their cars and ask you if you need help or offer you food and drink ... the Albanian people are the most hospitable I have met anywhere in Europe in my +25 years of roaming the globe."

http://travellingclaus.com/cycling-albania/
CD
06:31
Charles DiBella
A monument at
Martyr's Cemetery
located here ...
https://maps.google.com/?cid=15158657264857646588
CD
10:00
Charles DiBella
I am in this village - Ndroqi
Not sure where to sleep yet.

https://goo.gl/maps/RuvGmKshWd32
10:10
Broom commonly used for street and outdoor sweeping - zoom in and take a look.
10:12
New highway near Tirana East Gate Mall - I see much future development planned. The growth and development in Albania is just beginning.
10:18
A cool bus for sale ...
10:19
Let's get one ...
CD
12:31
Charles DiBella
I found a campsite after 2 hours walking and riding in the dark. Thoughts and photos tomorrow.
7 February 2018
CD
06:45
Charles DiBella
It was an enlightening experience; I dreamed I was homeless and freezing in the night.

I had to get out of my bag and urinate 4 times; the 1st time was the most difficult decision.
06:48
A foreboding structure at night, sitting high upon a hill, but I did not sense there were ghosts.

For this kind of camping at this time of year, I need a much better sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
06:50
Location of first night of camping in Albania:

Google map:
https://goo.gl/maps/YpyaxUa3C232
06:50
Here is last night's home from a distance - was actually happy to find it.

Everything would have been just fine if I had a warmer sleeping bag and a sleeping pad; a tent wouldn't have been needed.
CD
09:49
Charles DiBella
It is raining here, and I have not found a good camp spot, so tonight I am staying at Hostel Durrës, located here:

https://goo.gl/maps/Pu2Hof7JC5H2

It is a good place for 7 eur.

From what I have seen of Durrës so far, I like it enough to retire here. The cost of living is very, very low, almost unbelievable even compared to Cambodia.
CD
13:26
Charles DiBella
8 February 2018
CD
01:12
Charles DiBella
This place sits on a very valuable piece of real estate in the heart of the city.

The free breakfast was minimal, but adequate and satisfying.
CD
01:59
Charles DiBella
There has been much capital investment into the building, such as an investment into double-pane thermal doors and windows, but there is also an extreme lack of maintenance.
02:03
The existing staff is very polite and conscientious, but I am afraid they know nothing about plumbing, wordworking or construction - important skills for good and proper management.
02:16
Zoom in - that's a woodstove heater, warming up the main common area, burning real wood, and very effective.

So I decided to stay another night.
CD
07:05
Charles DiBella
Some background information on the school.

https://www.teachaway.com/institutions/albanian-college-durres
07:05
Albanian College Durres first opened in 2014, and currently has 230 students ranging from Early Years 1 - Grade 12.
07:07
Wikipedia article on the city of Durrës ...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durrës
07:09
It is a fairly tranquil place, at least this time of year.

Motorists are not acting aggressively, playing with their horns or blasting loud music.

Very few sirens or other urban annoyances.
07:10
The Durrës Castle was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius (~500 BC) who made the city one of the most fortified on the Adriatic sea.
07:11
Looking out to one of the several piers into the Adriatic sea.

Overall, the biking infrastructure is half-way in place, with great future potential.
07:11
Durrës is a bike friendly city, but like Cambodia, cyclists must be awake and aware of the hazards.

Motorists seem to always yield to "soft traffic".

I have yet to see one cyclist with a helmet.
CD
07:48
Charles DiBella
Regarding the price of real estate - I am still looking into it and will gather more data soon.

There seems to be much unrecognized business opportunity, I would presume due to a lack of knowledge of effective marketing techniques.

It's a traditional "old-school" type of place that seems not yet to have awakened to it's future potential in the international marketplace.

Seems to me like great place to open a start-up incubator and co-working space.

Like Cambodia, students here seem eager to learn.

Concerning tranquility, right now it's great, but I would imagine "high season" turns this place into a completely different world.

Rows and rows of empty condominiums along the coast (check Google satellite) I imagine owned by wealthy foreigners who only come here to vacation when it's warm.
CD
08:11
Charles DiBella
When I ride around, I do a sociological experiment where I say hello to strangers in order to gauge their responsiveness to spoken English.

Young kids in their mid-teens are most receptive, saying hello back to me with some additional words and phrases.

Many of the older people, say over 35, want to speak English with me but cannot.

Often they will know Italian, Spanish or French.

Many young people, say under 30, speak English, especially those in the city and who are working where tourists frequent.

But overall English fluency is much greater in Cambodia.
9 February 2018
CD
05:06
Charles DiBella
Shoreline north of Durrës.

https://goo.gl/maps/QwcsSufr5TT2
CD
05:41
Charles DiBella
Ancient great wall of Durrës.
05:43
Entryway through the old great wall of Durrës.
10 February 2018
CD
00:05
Charles DiBella
A Catholic church in Durrës

https://goo.gl/maps/wB2kxnmUe4A2
11 February 2018
CD
06:35
Charles DiBella
170 grams, canned tuna in oil, imported from Thailand - 80 cents, 3200 reil - it's okay.
12 February 2018
CD
00:11
Charles DiBella
For 4 days it's been cold and wet, a world I'm not used to yet.

Been stuck inside for the most part, but discovered the hostel roof top.

View looking down to the front entry gate ...
00:15
Turning a bit to my left, another view from the rooftop to the north ... city square, prime real estate.
00:18
Turning a bit more to my left, you can see the mosque.
00:19
Looking to the west, and a view of the hostel rooftop deck. Multi-million dollar properties ... must be flooded with tourists during high-season. The trick for business is riding out the low-season.
00:29
The same high-rise building (left), on a different day, from another perspective, also showing the ancient amphitheatre in the foreground.
00:30
From the hostel roof again, a view to the south ... zoom in and take a look at that roof construction ... not much to do on cold and rainy days. Looking forward to bicycle touring again.
CD
10:33
Charles DiBella
13 February 2018
CD
02:38
Charles DiBella
CD
04:07
Charles DiBella
Just a note for clarity:

In time, I will delete everyone's comments on the blog, so understand it is nothing personal.

I will always reply directly to your comments in a personal message, and/or make clarifications on the blog if you asked a question.

The purpose of the blog is to only be a personal trip archive, so it is best to be personal and comment direct to me.

If you check the archive, you can see there are no comments from anyone because they're always deleted.

The trip archive appears much cleaner, neater, easier to read and reference without these sideline commentary discussions.

This way it is better when I invite a new person to the group, which I do from time to time as I travel along and meet new people.

You can still feel free to comment directly on the blog, just understand that I will reply directly and eventually delete your comment.

(This is why I created the blog as a discussion group and not as an announcement group.)
15 February 2018
CD
10:04
Charles DiBella
Only bikeshop I could find ...
10:05
Pump 3 usd ... tube 2.50 usd ... patches and glue 2.50 usd ... need this stuff ... just in case.
CD
10:54
Charles DiBella
Coast north of Durres ...
CD
11:26
Charles DiBella
Snow and mountains in the background ...
16 February 2018
CD
05:44
Charles DiBella
Back in Tirana ... nice ride, if you take the side roads ...
05:48
Would be great if weather is always this nice ... not hot, but cool ...
CD
06:06
Charles DiBella
Skanderbeg Statue ... looks cold up there in the mountains ...
CD
09:47
Charles DiBella
Look like campsite is right here tonight ...

https://maps.google.com/?q=41.312505,19.830742
CD
10:37
Charles DiBella
I ride bike and wild camp because it keeps me strong, keeps me from growing old, and keeps my mind sharp.

I do not consider what I do extreme; there are others my age far better and stronger.

Let's hope there's no rain tonight.
17 February 2018
CD
01:23
Charles DiBella
CD
04:34
Charles DiBella
Much more difficult to live in a land without pagodas.

Where do you use the toilet, take a bath, do laundry, simply stop for a short break?

Buddhist society will endure when western societies fail, simply because there is more concern for the travelling Buddha.
CD
05:35
Charles DiBella
What really strikes me upon my return to western civilization is their obsession with clothes and fashion.

Many strong addictions - tobacco, of course, the killer and telltale sign of a dying soul, but there are also obsessions with coffee and gambling.

The women are obsessed with their appearance and fashion, while the men are addicted to tobacco (nicotine), coffee (caffeine), and gambling (gaming).

Society appears completely superficial.

It's not just a little, it's everywhere, and they are breeding there children to be just like them.
05:43
A Frenchman told me, so as the United States goes, Europe goes.

Better to to work on that eco-community while there is still a chance.

https://youtu.be/Z7Gc1bv-Mj4
CD
06:02
Charles DiBella
The men use cars instead of clothes, and so many have the purebreds dogs. Everyone is into status and conspicuous consumption.
06:07
Then there are the homeless hidden about and in the open.
06:11
CD
06:42
Charles DiBella
Mother Teresa Church
CD
08:44
Charles DiBella
18 February 2018
CD
05:14
Charles DiBella
Last night, cold, but not as bad as previous night. Tonight, staying at All Stars Hostel ... more rain and cold in the forecast ... paid 2 nights ... and then ...

https://goo.gl/maps/BnR1Qv38Umq
21 February 2018
CD
02:08
Charles DiBella
CD
03:29
Charles DiBella
CD
03:54
Charles DiBella
03:55
CD
04:24
Charles DiBella
22 February 2018
CD
10:58
Charles DiBella
Today I climbed some hills as I attempted to ride a large circular loop through the southern hills.
CD
11:14
Charles DiBella
11:14
11:20
11:20
CD
12:00
Charles DiBella
12:02
12:02
12:04
12:04
12:05
12:05
12:05
12:06
12:06
12:09
12:09
12:10
12:10
12:12
12:14
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12:16
12:17
12:18
12:19
12:20
12:21
12:26
CD
13:11
Charles DiBella
When there are sunny days, it is an adventure to go anywhere, always something to discover.

Many places to find are not listed on maps.

Best means of exploration is by bicycle, ready for wild camping.

With GPS and smartphone, world is at your fingertips.

No higher level of freedom.
23 February 2018
CD
06:16
Charles DiBella
06:17
Video message
Not included, change data exporting settings to download.
00:32, 1.7 MB
CD
09:49
Charles DiBella
09:57
09:59
10:00
10:02
10:03
10:04
10:05
Caves to be explored.

Probably made many years ago as some sort of defense strategy.

Cave explorers would be happy to know about these because they are not on any maps.
10:05
10:06
10:07
10:11
10:11
10:12
10:12
10:12
10:14
10:14
10:16
10:17
10:19
10:29
Nice location; no one there.

Very quiet and peaceful; great camping

Impossible to get to this location with 4 wheels.

Need off road vehicle this time of year.

Needed to walk, push, pull and carry bicycle.

From the hilltop, you can see the valleys from the two sides of the "mountain".

These are not real mountains I'm climbing today, only hills.

The two caves are not listed on Google map, and they appear to be deep.

I think they are a great project for Rithy, Sela or Panha to explore.

Does not look as people go into these caves often.

Who knows what stories and mysteries they hold.

The walls are solid granite.
CD
10:44
Charles DiBella
It's a loop road which has not yet been connected for automobile traffic, but will be within 5 to 10 years.
10:49
This is a key junction from the map above; roads only passable this time of year on foot, mule, maybe dirt bike.

https://goo.gl/maps/dPuuzpBQfj52

Below is the view looking down across Tirana from this 4 way junction point.
10:59
Another panoramic view of Tirana lake park.
24 February 2018
CD
08:40
Charles DiBella
Snow capped mountains.
08:45
Arts community.
08:46
Good downhill (and uphill) cycling opportunities in Tirana.
25 February 2018
CD
05:40
Charles DiBella
05:47
Brown is eggplant wrap, red is sweet pepper wrap.

It's not too spicy.

Seasoned (marinated) with oil and vinegar.

Some garlic, not hot.

Traditional, served cold with beer or wine.

Cost is usd 3.50 per kilo, take home.

Made by old and industrious women who own independent food shops offering traditional specialties.
CD
06:43
Charles DiBella
I am not riding long distance kilometers at this time.

It is rainy and cold weather, with some days of sunshine in between.

For now I am doing exploratory runs up and through nearby loop roads through the foothills.

Steep hills and sometimes must push bicycle.

Sometimes mud roads only passable on foot and carry bike.

Objective is to reach summit.

Next plan, follow river to it's source in the mountains visiting villages along the way.

Still need to buy rain and warmth supplies before departure from this hostel.

Dorm bed costs usd 9.40 per night; it's the bed (rent) that takes all the money.

Biggest expense is always bed, but once camp season comes, should get by on usd 5 per day anywhere.

Bike riding and camping is free.
06:57
Blues Brothers.
06:59
Miniature used-rare bookstore at bus stop, presently closed, book titles (spines) displayed in windows on all four sides.

Unique 24 hour inventory display.
26 February 2018
CD
23:21
Charles DiBella
This is where I slept last night.
27 February 2018
CD
06:06
Charles DiBella
Just a stopping place in the rain and cold.
CD
06:31
Charles DiBella
Eight puppies in a hay barn. Mother and father dogs discovered me after a while and barked through the night. Hay barns are best for cold weather sleeping. Decaying hay generates heat & soft.
CD
06:48
Charles DiBella
41.514145,19.689882
Geo-coordinates - hay barn. Warm and soft, but still a little too cold. Better than empty concrete construction site.
CD
08:03
Charles DiBella
Tent, made in China 18.80 usd, the poles alone are worth the price. Tent retains much heat in the cold, but never use it with rain or snow. Always under a roof.
28 February 2018
CD
03:32
Charles DiBella
Snow covered fields.
CD
04:03
Charles DiBella
Some people have big and luxurious stone houses.
T
04:23
Thavry
Snow
CD
04:37
Charles DiBella
.94 x 400 usd
3.75 one kilo
CD
05:06
Charles DiBella
Snow covered mountains.
CD
08:27
Charles DiBella
Snow covered fields.
CD
09:01
Charles DiBella
Crossing a mountain pass to Shkodra, looking back toward Lezhe.
CD
23:30
Charles DiBella
Sleep in a concrete shell of a building .... well below 0 degrees, maybe -5 degrees ... self-teaching how to stay warm while carrying the minimum equipment.
1 March 2018
CD
01:53
Charles DiBella
Google street view, summertime.

https://goo.gl/maps/LvioNeUkh9t
CD
02:26
Charles DiBella
Gateway to Prague ... wide shot above ... cold ... 1 degree C at 10 am
02:26
This old guy is strong. Not a good photo, but he is sawing the logs by moving his arms and back up and down instead of pushing and pulling the saw back and forth. His saw is stationary.
CD
03:41
Charles DiBella
Checked in for the night - 5 €

https://goo.gl/maps/XbX98hWR3Eq
CD
05:42
Charles DiBella
George Bush Statue. Yesterday in Fushë Krujë ...

https://maps.google.com/?cid=3296090515175338060
05:46
Solid granite chair, 2000 euro
05:48
Mother Teresa (Albanian Saint) and Skanderbeg (Albanian Liberator Hero), 1000 euro for both.
05:52
05:54
05:54
05:54
2 March 2018
CD
23:13
Charles DiBella
The hostel experience is one of volunteers arriving early and agreeing to stay and help out for the season, or part of the season.

Arrive very early in the low season and anyone gets a seat.

I just happened upon the experience where one can work to stay anywhere as long as you arrive early in the low season.
3 March 2018
CD
03:52
Charles DiBella
CD
04:48
Charles DiBella
CD
05:48
Charles DiBella
Buna's Bridge
Shkodër

https://goo.gl/maps/93Tu4jdFiFL2
05:55
CD
07:11
Charles DiBella
07:16
CD
07:36
Charles DiBella
CD
09:57
Charles DiBella
Camp tonight, rain, not too cold, on the lakeshore.
CD
23:42
Charles DiBella
4 March 2018
CD
11:18
Charles DiBella
Today about 70 km with good weather ... camping now.
CD
23:05
Charles DiBella
Bridge destroyed in December.
5 March 2018
CD
08:45
Charles DiBella
I have decided special rain gear is necessary. No umbrella.
7 March 2018
CD
04:54
Charles DiBella
CD
05:44
Charles DiBella
I am here now.

Pushimi i Shoferit

It is just a junction point.

https://goo.gl/maps/7kwWkZqMJEn
CD
07:25
Charles DiBella
Alternate route
near Vajkan

https://goo.gl/maps/ekwJVj3uBiz
CD
09:14
Charles DiBella
Abandoned site, near Fier.
09:16
8 March 2018
CD
04:43
Charles DiBella
The wall ruins of the ancient city of Aulon

Map - here now.
Vlorë

https://maps.google.com/?cid=2264059514771285899&hl=en&gl=us
10 March 2018
CD
23:16
Charles DiBella
12 March 2018
CD
01:51
Charles DiBella
Low battery.
Flat tire this am.
13 March 2018
CD
10:45
Charles DiBella
Second night alone ...
15 March 2018
CD
00:50
Charles DiBella
Fresh water spring.
CD
01:59
Charles DiBella
20 March 2018
CD
01:42
Charles DiBella
Arrived Sarandë 6 am ... after 7 nights on the beach.
01:45
Going to stay at a hostel tonight, so I will have power to telecommunicate.

Definitely need a charging system to keep in touch. 3g is everywhere, but battery power is limited.
CD
03:07
Charles DiBella
View from dorm room (3rd floor).

Beni's hostel
Sarandë

https://goo.gl/maps/wVgU2aWD7bq

4.5 € per night.
CD
05:24
Charles DiBella
CD
06:15
Charles DiBella
Some photos and commentary from last week - my beach location from about 1 km away.

Bunac Beach
06:17
A few days ago... Bunac beach
06:19
6 nights here ... plus another nearby. Last night was very wet and windy.
CD
11:11
Charles DiBella
The route - elevations ... many switchbacks.

This segment I just completed was very challenging - well over 3000 meters climbed.

http://www.mapmyride.com/al/vlore-vlore/vlora-saranda-route-61705986
11:20
Sunshine, exercize, fresh air, peace, quiet, solitude all serve to rejuventate my health.

The trick will be to find a place where I can have all of these year 'round.

The road from Vlorë to Sarandë is incredibly difficult, but lovely.

Many kilometers were spend pushing the bike up hills.

I really enjoyed being away from people, vehicles, dogs, music ... everything.

At the beach, there were absolutely no human annoyances; only shepherd and goat herder passing by once per day.

Of course, the air is pure and fresh. Only problem with that particular location was the absence of trees.

There was a fresh water spring at the campsite.

The whole experience led me to consider buying a sailboat and living out at sea.
11:29
Scenes along the way ...
11:29
Nice camping when it's not raining.
11:30
Snow caps ...
11:30
Switchbacks ...
11:33
Another campsite, at the top.
11:34
Campsite above was located behind this abandoned complex.
11:36
Another campsite along the way.
11:38
Scenes ...
11:39
Road scene ...
11:39
An abandoned building I stayed in while passing through Durrës. A very cold night.
11:42
Abandoned industrial chimneys.
11:45
Old bomb shelter exposed in the hillside.
27 March 2018
CD
03:27
Charles DiBella
I am leaving this hostel now and beginning my bicycle tour again.
CD
06:37
Charles DiBella
Water is streaming from the mountain and hillsides everywhere. It will all dry up in the hot summer.
CD
10:12
Charles DiBella
Abandoned and derelict building to be often found, many are the result of previous communist dictator regime.

Others are long unfinished projects.
10:12
This lake is isolated.
28 March 2018
CD
03:24
Charles DiBella
03:24
CD
04:58
Charles DiBella
04:59
04:59
04:59
04:59
CD
08:25
Charles DiBella
CD
09:50
Charles DiBella
09:51
CD
11:21
Charles DiBella
29 March 2018
CD
00:02
Charles DiBella
One of the best campsites, but cold last night.
00:05
View from tent ...
CD
04:15
Charles DiBella
The road up to my campsite.
CD
11:45
Charles DiBella
From the other side of the valley now, looking down on Gjirokaster.
11:45
Great bikeways in Gjirokaster ... a very nice and beautiful location.
11:45
11:45
11:45
11:45
11:46
30 March 2018
CD
04:37
Charles DiBella
Very comfortable to sleep on hay.
CD
05:16
Charles DiBella
CD
23:59
Charles DiBella
31 March 2018
CD
00:21
Charles DiBella
00:21
Good roads and bikeways, very scenic. Advise you to come come in the early spring as now, just after the last bad storm or cold wave.
00:21
Campsite, tent not up yet. Stream (spring) in background with olive trees around.
00:21
Nice bikepath along the highway ...
00:21
Tepelene bridge ...
CD
07:21
Charles DiBella
Sheltered from high winds ... near Fier.

https://goo.gl/maps/MRL7YV8Nuun
07:21
A quiet abandoned location with no one around.
07:21
A cooling tower ... close up.
07:22
Abandoned electricity plant.

https://goo.gl/maps/ZjERXmjYRek
CD
23:09
Charles DiBella
Sleep here, a guest, inside coffee bar.

https://goo.gl/maps/tuMEK5xCs9Q2
1 April 2018
CD
01:14
Charles DiBella
Military defense tunnels on nearby hilltop - Patos ....

https://goo.gl/maps/T17JshkKCZ32
01:14
Inside one of the many military defense tunnels on the hilltop ....
CD
23:09
Charles DiBella
23:10
23:10
5 April 2018
CD
03:59
Charles DiBella
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/europe/albanian-opposition-blocks-roads-in-anti-government-protest/2018/04/05/75a383dc-38af-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html

Just went through the center of this .... police let me pass ... peaceful ... much traffic at standstill .... business and economy slows down ..
7 April 2018
CD
01:13
Charles DiBella
CD
01:14
Charles DiBella
CD
Charles DiBella 07.04.2018 01:06:06
CD
03:07
Charles DiBella
top of hill overlooking Tirane ...

https://goo.gl/maps/FWkkHCe4Ntq
CD
04:31
Charles DiBella
Some sort of protest ... in Tirane ...
CD
04:57
Charles DiBella
Bike Doctor
Tirana, Albania

https://goo.gl/maps/kDyWTd4jy9w
CD
10:08
Charles DiBella
10:08
10:08
10:08
10:08
CD
10:30
Charles DiBella
10:41
I am in the middle of nowhere, but it is very scenic. People actually live in Dajt ... houses way up the side of the hill.
8 April 2018
CD
01:18
Charles DiBella
Last night's camp spot near Dajt ...
CD
06:34
Charles DiBella
Tonight at hostel in Tirane ... need to do laundry and take hot shower ...
9 April 2018
CD
06:39
Charles DiBella
On the road again ...
CD
08:12
Charles DiBella
Presently here ... where I will camp.
08:14
Behind me now ... I was here at this same spot about a month ago ... but did not camp then.
08:15
Crazy deep dark caves and tunnels everywhere in Albania ...
CD
08:57
Charles DiBella
Kos and sardines ...
CD
09:43
Charles DiBella
Solitude with 270 degree views, and pine trees ...
09:45
Ready for campfire tonight ...
CD
10:10
Charles DiBella
20 dollar China tent has performed well ... over about 30 nights so far ... it just requires that one be gentle with it ...
CD
11:00
Charles DiBella
If I can locate a source for drinking water, I could stay a long time. It sounds like there is a stream down below ...
11 April 2018
CD
01:55
Charles DiBella
Spent 2 nights camping at the site above. Now making my way toward Durrës to ride ferry to Bari, Italy.

In Bari, I will meet with my older brother (74) John, who will be vacationing there with his family. I don't believe I've seen John for 20 years ...
CD
02:04
Charles DiBella
CD
Charles DiBella 16.01.2018 19:32:54
My brother John and his wife Ann, Athens, 2006
CD
05:59
Charles DiBella
Back in Durrës again, for the fourth time.
12 April 2018
CD
04:31
Charles DiBella
New bottom bracket
8 usd installed
04:31
Bike shop
Rruga Glaukia, Durrës

https://maps.google.com/?q=41.326052,19.455532
13 April 2018
CD
05:06
Charles DiBella
Checked into Durrës hostel for tonight. Will work on Koompi document, wash clothes, last night in Albania before boarding ferry to Italy. Same Durrës hostel as before.
05:08
As before, Hostel Durrës, located here:

https://goo.gl/maps/Pu2Hof7JC5H2

Hostel price up from 7 € previously, to 9 € now.
05:11
Changed 100 usd to 81.00 euro ... 1.23 exchange rate.
14 April 2018
CD
11:21
Charles DiBella
Boarding ferry to Italy ...
T
11:37
Thavry
11:37
I'm in Stockholm at the moment.
T
11:53
Thavry
Things are expensive here.
CD
12:08
Charles DiBella
Is it cold? Albania must be the most inexpensive place in the world.
12:08
Leaving port in 2 hours. Outdoor deck seat. Might be cold and wet ...
T
12:12
Thavry
Very cold for may weather I ever experienced while in Czech
12:12
But very refreshing after being in a hot country for long time.
12:15
8:15pm still light.
CD
12:34
Charles DiBella
We are in the same time zone, but you are so far north.
T
12:35
Thavry
12:35
Still icy lakes and snow
CD
15:20
Charles DiBella
Finally leaving port - 80 minutes late.
15:32
Going to lose cell service soon - until I buy new simm card in Italy ...
17 April 2018
CD
03:03
Charles DiBella
Arrive Bari, Italy
03:03
The port ... cloudy day.
03:03
Campsite in Alberobello District.

2 nights
03:03
Masseria Papaperta
Alberobello, Italy

https://goo.gl/maps/QUJ72q9rvDk
03:05
Here now:
Noci, Italy

https://goo.gl/maps/vnjJQfCrtfC2

Nice outdoor market.
AB
03:15
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist)
Enjoying the food?
03:29
Alberobello is beautiful.
CD
04:08
Charles DiBella
Alberobello - very unusual for sure. Can't afford to eat in restaurants ... but did have one restaurant meal with my brother. Excellent, of course, with red wine.
04:10
Leaving Noci now.
18 April 2018
CD
03:48
Charles DiBella
03:48
T
04:09
Thavry
04:09
Leaving Sweden today.
CD
08:34
Charles DiBella
CD
Charles DiBella 18.04.2018 06:24:42
08:34
AB
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist) 18.04.2018 06:26:04
they buy gold and silver, they would pay more than

anybody else !
08:34
CD
Charles DiBella 18.04.2018 08:34:24
A cyclist could make a fortune in Italy collecting hubcaps from the side of the road and reselling them internationally.
19 April 2018
CD
04:13
Charles DiBella
CD
04:44
Charles DiBella
More road kill in Italy than I've seen anywhere, mostly cats.

Italians are big into roadside dumping, even though there are recycling and trash receptacles in all urban areas.
LK
04:46
Leak Kheang
Wow look so beautiful
04:48
Teacher
CD
05:09
Charles DiBella
CD
05:40
Charles DiBella
I will post more flowers for you .... they are everywhere .... springtime.
05:41
CD
07:42
Charles DiBella
CD
08:40
Charles DiBella
Full day riding into strong winds ... note wind power farm.
08:40
CD
11:29
Charles DiBella
20 April 2018
CD
01:04
Charles DiBella
CD
01:45
Charles DiBella
01:46
Two old woman demanded I leave their vacant land immediately. First time this ever happened anywhere in the world.
CD
02:37
Charles DiBella
Some Italian people are unwelcoming in many respects.
02:37
That's why the youth reject the church - they see their elders as hypocrites ....
02:38
02:38
CD
03:25
Charles DiBella
You must always be on edge with Italians, because one may strike at you at any moment.
03:25
Riding into strong headwinds all day is more tiring than riding through mountains ...
03:25
03:25
03:31
03:33
Italy prostitutes sit along the roadside where truckers pass by. Surprised how common this is, and police simply pass by.
CD
03:58
Charles DiBella
This lady was evidently just recently picked up. I just past 3 of them beneath an overpass. Dark skin, most likely immigrants.
03:58
04:10
04:11
This is where they stop to have their fun.
CD
07:20
Charles DiBella
Leading out to the sea, boats tied to a train overpass ...
07:20
Huge abandoned complex ...
07:20
07:21
07:21
07:21
07:21
CD
08:01
Charles DiBella
A huge abandoned hotel resort ....
08:01
08:01
CD
13:04
Charles DiBella
21 April 2018
CD
00:51
Charles DiBella
00:53
Packed up for the morning and ready to go .... camp near cell tower overlooking sea ...
CD
01:37
Charles DiBella
01:37
01:37
01:37
01:37
01:37
CD
02:36
Charles DiBella
Many Italians are not friendly, not welcoming to strangers.

The black immigrants are friendly - I just interviewed one from Ghana ...
02:36
He has been in Italy 6 months, and feels Italians are racist ... a very gentle and respectful man.
02:36
He receives 70€ a month, plus a bed and daily meals of pasta. He's waiting for his papers so he can move on to another EU nation.

He left from a Liberian port by boat with many others to arrive in Sicily, and the government transported him here.
02:36
CD
02:55
Charles DiBella
Morning coffee - homemade stove, liquid fuel.
02:55
02:55
02:57
CD
06:10
Charles DiBella
No one on earth more important than an Italian behind the wheel of an automobile.
CD
07:25
Charles DiBella
Google maps walking route, excellent for finding quiet routes ....
07:25
Trail along the sea ....
07:25
A really long old sea wall .... goes on for
07:25
07:25
07:25
07:25
CD
12:21
Charles DiBella
Had puncture (thorn) rear tire about 5:30 pm. Determined no need for tire levers, use skewers. Also carry two tubes.

Determined in this area and season, must have camp by 7:30 pm.

Sometimes finding good camp in Italy is a serious struggle.
23 April 2018
CD
03:38
Charles DiBella
CD
04:00
Charles DiBella
CD
05:04
Charles DiBella
CD
07:57
Charles DiBella
CD
08:25
Charles DiBella
08:26
CD
08:49
Charles DiBella
08:49
08:49
CD
11:12
Charles DiBella
Solar farms all over Italy ...
11:12
11:12
11:13
25 April 2018
CD
05:27
Charles DiBella
Earthquake
05:27
05:27
CD
12:43
Charles DiBella
26 April 2018
CD
10:25
Charles DiBella
Top Bar Cantalupo
Via Madonna Addolorata, 72, 06031 Bevagna PG, Italy
+39 0742 361204

https://goo.gl/maps/zC6nHHiGa7H2
10:25
Charge phone 6 hours
CD
12:16
Charles DiBella
Photo taken yesterday, April 25th
27 April 2018
CD
03:50
Charles DiBella
Roads like this only found when you plot out routes using Google maps walking instructions. Would not be so nice in rainy season.
03:51
03:51
03:51
03:51
03:51
03:51
Top of the climb ....
CD
04:39
Charles DiBella
04:39
04:39
04:39
CD
05:07
Charles DiBella
05:08
05:09
05:09
05:10
05:10
05:10
CD
06:55
Charles DiBella
CD
07:54
Charles DiBella
Restaurant is easily 10 times more expensive. Same food here is cheaper than Cambodia.
07:54
Restaurants are extremely overpriced ...
07:54
CD
09:55
Charles DiBella
When an Italian sees a gray haired struggling old man pushing a loaded tour bike up a 20 % incline ....
09:55
AB
10:09
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist)
Ah ah ah
CD
10:37
Charles DiBella
CD
12:00
Charles DiBella
12:00
12:00
Camp tonight ....
12:02
Tuoro sul Trasimeno PG, Italy

https://goo.gl/maps/Acja65euD9P2
28 April 2018
JL
04:34
Jeffree Laughingman
big lake
AB
05:43
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist)
any fishing ? the place is wonderful.
CD
06:33
Charles DiBella
Need license ....
06:45
Front derrailer cable broke ....
CD
07:18
Charles DiBella
CD
10:52
Charles DiBella
10:53
Camp for the night .... 65 km from Florence ....
29 April 2018
CD
03:02
Charles DiBella
03:11
03:11
CD
04:11
Charles DiBella
Bottle of unopened champagne found on the side of the road ... I washed it off ....
HT
04:14
Honging Thorng
Check the expiration date , teacher
CD
05:11
Charles DiBella
Drank champagne, took bath, washed clothes - first time in two weeks ....
05:11
05:11
05:11
05:11
05:26
Could not find expiration date, but still worked well to make me drunk.
05:26
05:26
05:26
Clean clothes, clean body.
CD
06:11
Charles DiBella
Modern day marvels = Google maps + android device + GPS ....
06:11
And let's not forget 3g
06:15
Or bicycle technology ....
06:15
The power we have today is absolutely incredible ....
06:15
And so affordable ...
CD
08:50
Charles DiBella
High end fashion mall in the countryside ....
08:51
08:54
A place called Leccio .....
CD
10:20
Charles DiBella
Found 2 € coin on highway ...
CD
11:27
Charles DiBella
Italy waters are generally polluted.
11:41
Nice big scratch on my phone screen ... past few days a mix of bad luck and good luck.
11:47
Tonight's camp, near stream ....
11:47
11:49
19 km outside of Florence ....
11:49
T
23:12
Tom
The best way is to take a train from Prague to Hradec.

We will be back on 5th (not sure what time in the afternoon)
30 April 2018
CD
00:12
Charles DiBella
Rain last night ...
CD
02:25
Charles DiBella
Arrived Florence - my first visit to a major Italian city .... very different from all the towns and villages I've been through ...
CD
02:47
Charles DiBella
02:47
CD
03:16
Charles DiBella
Many interesting sights, but challenging to escape from the hoards of tourists everywhere .... need to determine where to sleep tonight, possibly get out of the city.
03:22
Presently above ....
CD
04:58
Charles DiBella
Bought new derrailler cable - 2 €
04:58
Bike Shop di Stefano Rotolo Scandicci


https://maps.google.com/?cid=2981749872643003698
CD
07:36
Charles DiBella
07:36
07:44
07:58
A Pyramid Structure

Ghiacciaia Delle Cascine
Firenze FI, Italy

https://goo.gl/maps/qBBSWAj19VK2
07:59
CD
08:29
Charles DiBella
Bike path
CD
09:27
Charles DiBella
09:27
Very nice large park ...
CD
09:48
Charles DiBella
CD
12:05
Charles DiBella
Homemade cookstove ..... tea & milk before sleep.
12:09
CD
23:01
Charles DiBella
12 degrees c at 7 am ....
1 May 2018
CD
00:06
Charles DiBella
A dead end, where two rivers meet, no one goes ....

Tonight's camp nearby.

Prepared the spot this am in advanced

https://goo.gl/maps/hKDTpMKdvJ62
CD
06:18
Charles DiBella
The selfie craze was way more prevalent in Albania than here, but Albania is a much more easier place for bicycle touring.

It's much easier to socialize with Albanians, restaurants and lodging are much more affordable, bathrooms are more accessible ....

However, Italian air is cleaner, and the architecture more distinctive.
06:20
Urban Italians much different than rural, as anywhere, but there are similarities, such as lack of patience and aggressive behavior.
06:23
I'll have much more social commentary when I leave Italy, and also when I have a power source.
CD
09:19
Charles DiBella
Rainy afternoon ....
CD
10:06
Charles DiBella
2 May 2018
CD
03:14
Charles DiBella
Drying out under a bridge after an all night rain ....
03:14
03:14
CD
04:36
Charles DiBella
If you work in a public park, cleaning,sorting, drying, organizing your gear, you'll notice many people looking at you, but if you are under a bridge with graffiti and litter all around, not a single person will look your way.
04:39
Dropped Pin
near Via della Nave di Brozzi, 7-5, 50142 Firenze FI, Italy

https://goo.gl/maps/1UDKRaP1BKp
CD
04:59
Charles DiBella
You appear as homeless, an undesirable, a vagrant ... they look the other way. People equate the situation to the immigrant problem, looking away in shame, disgust, or contempt. This is a pretty isolated location.
AB
05:00
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist)
yes, this happens in particularly in Italy.
CD
05:16
Charles DiBella
Took until 1:15 pm to dry out, and sun is still barely shining.
05:16
CD
06:57
Charles DiBella
06:57
CD
07:50
Charles DiBella
07:50
Currency exchange big rip off in Florence ... 100 usd for € ... first quote 53 € second quote 60 € ... finally went to internet and found webpage above ... 77 € ... I was getting 80 € when in Albania.
CD
10:02
Charles DiBella
10:02
Charging phone @ McDonalds ...
CD
12:11
Charles DiBella
Tonight, if it rains, should stay a bit more dry .... and it feels like rain.
12:11
3 May 2018
CD
01:46
The streets of Florence are filled with tourists, and this isn't even high season.

There are many wonders to see if you pay the admission price and wait in lines.

I am enjoying the nature spots along the Arno river, where the camping is not so bad as you move away from the population center.
01:52
Prices are much higher than other places I've been in Italy.

30 € a night for a dorm is an unreasonable sum for me, but that's what the market will tolerate, I guess.

This is my last day in Florence, and will note again that urban Italy is much different than touring along the Adriadic coast or through the central mountain villages.

Italy has a distinct culture and heritage, of which Italians are proud, to a fault at times.
01:52
01:53
Making coffee in my tent along the Arno river ....
CD
04:58
Charles DiBella
Under another bridge waiting for rain to stop. Not far from Flixbus stop, leaving in 12 hours.

Concerning life under bridges, people do look at you if they are safe inside of their automobile, evidently as they feel more secure.

In the meantime, I'll brew another expresso while I wait.
04:59
But still, if they're walking past under the bridge, they will not look at you.

Only derelicts hang out under bridges ... a curiosity, but only for those who feel secure.
05:08
05:08
Coffee brewing, cars passing, light rain ....
05:15
I would like to mention that I was fortunate to get such an excellent quality touring bike - a Peugeot ... specifically designed for touring, and it is a real pleasure to ride, so much so that I don't even miss my recumbent, which has it's own set of difficulties and troubles.
05:15
Front hub generator, front and rear lightning, front shocks, 700 cm wheels with 35 cm tires ... full fenders, front & rear ... aluminum frame, lugged spokes ... quality all around.
05:18
Lighting made in Germany, hub generator made in Singapore ...
05:18
21 speed with chain guard ...
05:19
05:19
High-end Nexave indexed shifters ...
05:24
Genève model ....
05:24
Would likely sell at 450 to 500 usd second-hand in Phnom Penh ...
CD
08:24
Charles DiBella
Rain is more difficult to manage than cold ... you can get warm much faster and easier than you can get dry.

Rain and cold together are the worse of all ...

Fortunately, it hasn't been so cold lately, but the rain has slowed me down and dampened the fun.
CD
09:24
Charles DiBella
These morons designed a major international bus and local tram terminal with absolutely zero shelter from the rain. None. Nowhere, except inside the cafeteria.

Overall, Italy lacks open shelter from the sun and rain.
09:24
09:24
CD
09:49
Charles DiBella
09:51
Dear Jesus,
"gimme shelter" while I am "waitin' for the bus" ...
CD
11:18
Charles DiBella
Found shelter, about 1km from bus terminal .... 5 hours yet 'till departure ....
CD
13:44
Charles DiBella
One bicycle, one luggage, one carry-on bag .... 2.5 hours before departure .... rain has stopped.
CD
23:11
Charles DiBella
Bus ... 45 minutes late
4 May 2018
CD
00:17
Charles DiBella
00:18
130 km from Munich ..
AB
01:24
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist)
Germany is far more civil.
CD
02:56
Charles DiBella
Big problem ... bicycle was not included in Flixbus ticket .... driver refusing to take the bike.

Paid 9€ extra for bike in Florence.

Stuck in Munich.
CD
09:31
Charles DiBella
09:33
You absolutely must book your bike when you book your personal transportation ticket on Flixbus ... I needed to pay 13 usd extra, and had much hassle.

Always book bike at same time with ticket.
CD
11:34
Charles DiBella
CD
12:20
Charles DiBella
camp here ....

50°05'01.8"N 14°39'37.6"E

https://maps.google.com/?q=50.083835,14.660443
CD
12:49
Charles DiBella
Spiders in the forest .... many birds singing too .....
CD
13:19
Charles DiBella
5 May 2018
CD
01:00
Charles DiBella
Clearly, Czech is better for bike touring and camping than Italy.
01:03
For food, I only spend at discount grocery outlets, such as Lidl, and only buy sale items.

So far it appears that such grocery prices are lower in Italy. This would pertain to meat, cheese, coffee ...
01:06
Czech land is more open, with many places to camp, like Albania, whereas Italy land is mostly all fenced, gated, signed, private, exclusive ...
01:08
Italy had many road racer bicycles, whereas Czech has many off road nature trails and mountain bikers.

The weather is nice this morning, my first morning in Czech.
CD
01:26
Charles DiBella
Currency exchangers can be very aggressive and pricey everywhere .... if you are asked to sign a paper before they give you your exchange, you are likely paying a very high commission.

I knew this from previous experience in Albania, and when I refused here and asked for my money back, negotiations began.

I saved about 15 usd with repeatedly refusing to sign and asking for my money back.

A very aggressive exchanger.
CD
02:08
Charles DiBella
Lesson - you should not need to sign papers to exchange cash - if you are asked to sign, you are likely paying a high exchange rate.
02:08
CD
04:05
Charles DiBella
For my way of life, I think I like Czech best so far, at least when the weather is nice.
04:05
Many trees and forests, and they're not restricted or fenced off ...
CD
05:20
Charles DiBella
Czechs are definitely more welcoming than Italians ....
05:20
They seem to have more respect for themselves, each other, and their land.

Much less smoking, very little roadside dumping or litter, and the automobile drive are far more courteous and patient than Italians.
AB
05:57
Attilio Brunelli ( postmodern anarchist)
i believe you .
Italians are the less disciplined and mannered.
CD
06:00
Charles DiBella
Near beer, 35 cents (usd) ... plus bottle deposit.
06:07
200 grams Edam cheese, 1.20 usd or about 5000 Khr ...
06:07
2 liters of water, .25 usd or 1000 khr ...
06:15
Bread roll ... 12.5 cents usd ... 500 khr ....
CD
06:46
Charles DiBella
Great bikepaths, great camping ... clean, very little litter anywhere.!
06:47
Frequent places to stop, rest, picnic ...
06:47
Czech government smarter than others when it comes to quality of life infrastructure development ...
06:48
T
07:06
Tom
Bohemia is only a western part of the Czech Republic.

Other parta are Moravia and Silesia.
07:08
CD
07:21
Charles DiBella
Crossing the Elbe River ..

Poděbrady

https://goo.gl/maps/H8FfdaFGpgr
CD
08:59
Charles DiBella
But Czech like all modern cultures does have their measured proportion of idiots on the loose one may encounter from time to time.
CD
11:41
Charles DiBella
Such lovely campsites, so easy to find ....

I'm right here for now ...

Ticks and spiders don't like sappy pine trees ....

Kosičky, Czechia

https://maps.google.com/?q=50.163314,15.551168
11:41
Cleared out a level spot for my tent ... skies are clear, most likely no rain ... and plenty of food, water and beverage on hand ....

Milk, tea, coffee, beer ....
11:56
Czech beer ... so good, less than 2000 khr (50 cents) ...
12:02
12:13
Dark chocolate, 100 grams, again less than 50 cents usd ...

The joys of camping and bike touring .... I found this wonderful blue plastic ground tarp in the recycling bin today ....

So much of your equipment can be found along the way ....
12:13
No spiders, ticks or snakes here ... sunset is upon us now ... 8:14 pm here ....
6 May 2018
CD
07:11
Charles DiBella
CD
07:47
Charles DiBella
here now ...
forest cemetery ....

Hradec Kralove, Czechia

https://goo.gl/maps/jnGTLffMxqP2
CD
09:43
Charles DiBella
A wild turkey ...
09:43
These forests are an absolute treasure for this community and nation.
CD
10:41
Charles DiBella
CD
11:59
Charles DiBella
Absolutely everything we have and treasure today is derived from our natural world, yet so many are oblivious or indifferent to this world, preferring instead the artificial.
12:02
As we abuse, pollute and destroy the natural world around us, we do the same to ourselves.
7 May 2018
CD
03:17
Charles DiBella
Last night's camp ...
CD
12:42
Charles DiBella
Tom, me & Thavry meet up in Czech ...
12:43
Our precise location above.

50°09'54.3"N 15°52'29.0"E

https://maps.google.com/?q=50.165093,15.874716
12:43
Peugeot tour bike finally outfitted with panniers ...
12:43
Tom brought my panniers from Cambodia .... looks much neater, more compact, professional ...

Below - Chas & Tom with bikes .... Thavry taking photo.
CD
13:12
Charles DiBella
T
Thavry 07.05.2018 13:11:29
8 May 2018
CD
09:05
Charles DiBella
The bike tower can accommodate 116 bicycles.
09:06
There can be found similar bike tower in Taiwan.
09:06
To building itself cost around 300k USD (6mil CZK).

This tower was the first one in the EU in 2013.
09:12
This tower is partly sponsored by a EU fund and the city's public finance.

Within 2.5 year, 35k biker been using it.

35k × 0.25 = 8,750 USD revenue from parking fees.
09:14
The bike tower offers 380V power sockets for electric bikes.

Public air pump can be found there too.

Parking fee 0.25USD (5CZK) per day.
09:15
With such low fees, clearly it is a public service .
9 May 2018
CD
04:28
Charles DiBella
12:30 pm and I see the first human today ... jogging up ahead .... rain last night and today .... a working weekday.
04:29
Charles at 62 years of age ... what does someone who looks like that do for a living? @hopiland
CD
09:16
Charles DiBella
Meeting place near Tom's house, complete with automobile traffic.

Hradečnice
Hradec Králové
Czechia

https://goo.gl/maps/wBfWQcdaVry
CD
12:08
Charles DiBella
camp
50°11'24.3"N 15°52'51.4"E

https://maps.google.com/?q=50.190093,15.880931
CD
23:49
Charles DiBella
Packing up from last night -
23:53
Remember - always best to direct-message me @hopiland rather than post here .... this group is primarily an archive of my travels, and not for discussion.
10 May 2018
CD
02:01
Charles DiBella
T
Thavry 02.05.2018 09:47:29
CD
02:43
Charles DiBella
Above - here now ... small group of about 15 Czech university students ...
CD
03:22
Charles DiBella
Part of the presentation ...
With English subtitles ...

https://youtu.be/RCiXlUs6ayQ
CD
09:55
Charles DiBella
Sometimes upload speed on photos is very poor ... in such cases I need to kill the upload and try again at another time.

So if a photo is not coming through, it will eventually.
CD
12:23
Charles DiBella
8:22 pm - campsite setup.
CD
13:27
Charles DiBella
cooking fire ... for chicken.
CD
20:42
Charles DiBella
500 ml local beer (5.5%) 0.55 usd

250 mg ricotta cheese 1.15 usd

1 kg chicken leg & thigh 3 usd

sesame bread roll 0.15 usd
11 May 2018
CD
00:46
Charles DiBella
Chicken cooked up just in time, then a thunderstorm with flooding in low areas.
CD
01:15
Charles DiBella
Fortunately there was shelter nearby, or I would have been soaked.
CD
02:21
Charles DiBella
Best and cheapest natural soap solution for outdoor living ... Lanolin ... if you want to produce your own brand of natural soaps, this is your foundation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanolin
CD
15:47
Charles DiBella
Cinnamon sticks for arms and legs ... hanging from forest cemetery fence.
15:47
Good camp location last night ... with rain ... today I will try something different that I never do ... leave my tent and tarp setup while I go for groceries and wash water..
15:49
12 May 2018
CD
08:03
Charles DiBella
Thunderstorms are nice because human activity in the forests and skies disappears.

You only need to be prepared ...

Here comes the rain ...
CD
12:41
Charles DiBella
1000 km to Calais, France - that's just about a 2 week ride for me with time to play around.

Dresden
Cologne
Brussels
Calais

Can then catch ferry to the UK, which puts me out of the Schengen area.

"US citizens traveling in Schengen countrIes do not need a visa if the stay does not exceed 90 days within a 6 month period."
13 May 2018
CD
08:50
Charles DiBella
Flowers at the cemetery.
15 May 2018
CD
09:34
Charles DiBella
Washing clothes at a well.
CD
11:26
Charles DiBella
It's so peaceful, clean and beautiful here I'd like to be able to build a cabin and stay forever ...
CD
16:45
Charles DiBella
16 May 2018
CD
03:26
Charles DiBella
12 hours of light overnight rain has stopped - the forest air cannot be fresher .... very natural and peaceful surroundings ...
CD
11:23
Charles DiBella
I have decided to visit Poland before Germany.

My sim service will expire in one hour so I will be dependent upon finding wifi access for a while.
19 May 2018
CD
03:19
Charles DiBella
Where two rivers meet in Hradec Kralove ... the Elbe and the Orlice ... city center clock tower in background ...
03:20
Spanish red dry wine, 2.5 usd 0.75 liter .... 250 grams cheese, 1.5 usd ....
CD
12:02
Charles DiBella
Tomorrow I set off for Poland.

I understand Polish drivers do not respect cyclists.

We'll see ...
12:06
Czech is the most peaceful and civilized nation I have experienced in all the world so far.

Czech people display a good dose of common sense.
20 May 2018
CD
05:44
Charles DiBella
On the road again - this time to Poland. I've heard there are many small farmers still there - good.

I stopped using Google maps and switched to the Open Street Maps Android Application with the cycle routes overlay.

It seems much better.
CD
06:08
Charles DiBella
Smržov .... cycle routes bring one through beautiful and peaceful rural Czech villages.
06:14
Where children say hello "Dobry den = good day" to strangers like me.

Maybe it's my gray hair ....
CD
07:07
Charles DiBella
Every now and then, I get off the route, and the map re-calculates .... I've been on some pretty obscure roads.
CD
07:33
Charles DiBella
Unlike Italy, Czech is a very welcoming culture to strangers like me on a bicycle.

People will wave back, say hello, respond to you as if you exist.

Indeed, Italy was a nightmare, but I needed to get away first before concluding as such.
CD
09:03
Charles DiBella
Wildlife - deer, jackrabbit, squirrels ... ducks and birds, of course.
CD
09:19
Charles DiBella
Czech Saint Hubert, protector of the forest .... good health comes by living in harmony with nature.
09:19
https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.31648&lon=15.991408&z=16

OSM location link ...different than Google.

Hope it works.

Let me know ...
CD
11:10
Charles DiBella
Entering Poland now ....
11:18
The air in Poland is not as fresh .... I think they are burning coal .... I'm turning back ....
T
11:25
Tom
Poland is polluted.
CD
11:58
Charles DiBella
Tonight's campsite .... I think I'm still in Czech .... very nice location, a bit of highway noise, but it'll calm down.

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.42845&lon=16.202028&z=18
12:08
Behind me is a dense pine forest ... I'm right on the edge of the forest ....
12:17
See how nice? Thank goodness for the Velvet Revolution or I'd be in a heap of trouble right now .... Communists all over.

Time for hot tea .... Earl Grey.
CD
12:25
Charles DiBella
CD
Charles DiBella 20.05.2018 11:53:04
What say?
12:25
T
Tom 20.05.2018 11:53:34
State borders.
That is a relict right now.
CD
12:47
Charles DiBella
21 May 2018
CD
02:29
Charles DiBella
CD
04:17
Charles DiBella
I've decided to head toward Liberec, Czech ....

I can see Poland has it's own charm, but I just don't care to deal in another monetary system right now.

Furthermore, Czech system of bikepaths and forest trails is among the best in the world.

Czech is a nice country, and guess I don't want to leave just yet.
04:19
Liberec is on the Elbe river, and I'll enter Germany along the Elbe.
CD
08:53
Charles DiBella
A war memorial ....

Path of liberation
by the Red Army,
Odolov

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.52699&lon=16.0907&z=18
08:53
Polish Ham wasn't exactly what I thought it was ... 2.5 usd 455 grams .... milk, cheese, bread.
CD
09:12
Charles DiBella
A prison ....
09:13
Nature reserve
CD
09:44
Charles DiBella
Just one of many military bunkers along this beautiful desolate forest road.

Who built them and why?

Panska cesta, Strazkovice

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.541492&lon=16.06771&z=15
09:51
A nice hut with a table inside.
09:53
Map of the bunkers in the Czech Rep. and Slovakia.

http://mapa.opevneni.cz/?n=48.931465&e=17.892468&r=1a955000010&z=7&m=t&l=cz
T
09:56
Tom
Czechoslovak government built a system of border fortifications (1935 to 1938) to prevent taking important/key areas by Nazi Germany, Hungary or Poland.

These military bunkers supposed to be an effective defense until Britain, France or Soviet union could help.

There are 264 heavy blockhouses (small forts/ strongholds) and 10,014 pillboxes (in the photo you sent).


Plenty of other bunkres have not been finished.

These bunkers were never used during occupation.

Today, vast majority of bunkers are freely accessible, some heavy strongholds are rented by enthusiasts.

Some became museums.
CD
09:56
Charles DiBella
A very amazing forest road .... began at the war memorial and prison complex ... have yet to see one person after many kilometers.
CD
10:22
Charles DiBella
685 meters above sea level

Panska cesta, Strazkovice

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.548664&lon=16.05336&z=18
CD
11:33
Charles DiBella
Shelter, fire pit, plenty of wood.
11:34
Camp here ...
CD
12:12
Charles DiBella
About 500 meters climb to the south ridge one can see a huge valley with villages all the way to Poland, and the lake is also visible.

By taking forest roads I've been climbing up and down hills all day instead of riding along the valley.

But it's worth the effort.
22 May 2018
CD
02:11
Charles DiBella
Found the top --- 90 steps up now ...
02:17
Trutnov in the distance ... headed there now.
02:20
In the USA, first of all the public would never be allowed up in such a lookout tower.

Secondly, this wood carving would be stolen in no time flat.

Third, people would use it for suicide.
02:24
Tower location:

Markousovicka rozhledna

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.575104&lon=16.012423&z=18
CD
03:06
Charles DiBella
People would be going up there to sleep, get drunk, do drugs ... US Forest Service agents armed with high powered weapons would need to patrol it daily.

Land of the free, home of the brave, let freedom ring ...

Ironically, some post-Communist nations have greater freedom and quality of life.
CD
05:26
Charles DiBella
05:28
Trutnov is nice, with it's river, hills, bikepaths .... nice quiet place to retire.
05:31
On the way to Trutnov .... just past the lookout tower ....
05:32
Coffee brewing ...
CD
08:04
Charles DiBella
CD
08:44
Charles DiBella
Zlata vyhlidka

Top of another mountain.
Very long hard climb.
Paved pathway.
753 meters asl

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.625496&lon=15.758858&z=15
CD
11:01
Charles DiBella
11:01
11:02
11:02
11:02
The spring head ... dry now.
CD
11:04
Charles DiBella
CD
Charles DiBella 22.05.2018 11:00:44
CD
11:05
Charles DiBella
Above - 7 pm and just starting this climb.

It's much faster, easier and shorter to take the roads and highway along the valley.

But this is the challenge of adventure tourism.
11:17
It's not easy ...
11:20
But the views are majestic .... no less.
CD
11:38
Charles DiBella
Pilgrim Francis ....
11:38
11:39
Story about this chapel is above.
11:39
The view from the chapel ...
23 May 2018
CD
02:28
Charles DiBella
A ski lift ... overcast skies ... rain coming soon .... looking for shelter ....
CD
02:59
Charles DiBella
Last night, intermittent light showers.

Today, raining as I sit waiting in a very nice bus stop shelter at the mountain crest.

Benecko bus stop ...

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.66603&lon=15.55662&z=20

Extreme lightning and thunder very near.

I thought the flash on my camera had gone off.

Storm is moving west, over the mountain, into the valley where I am headed.

I'm concerned about muddy trails.

In the meantime, I will brew a hot coffee with cream.
CD
08:23
Charles DiBella
Sedlo pod Dvorackami

10 km of climbing ...

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.741886&lon=15.511858&z=20

From here I'm on my second downhill run for today ....

Four hours of climbing, and try to go slow and enjoy the trip down.

I took a full bath and washed my hair in the ice cold stream.

I am living a life and doing things as I did in my early 20's, only now I have more experience, skill, and confidence.

In addition, I have better equipment and high tech mapping and communication tools.
24 May 2018
CD
06:36
Charles DiBella
In the mountains, it can be difficult to find a flat spot for camping.

Problem is compounded when you need 4 trees to string up a tarp.

Even more, if you want a campfire.
06:37
On the way - bath in the stream.

No muddy trails, just a paved developed network of forest roads.

Camping in flat lands so much easier, especially with rain.
06:37
Streams and springs all through this area.

Not many flat areas to camp.
06:37
Recycling bin ... wooden chest (pine), hanging light fixture inside, antique clear glass bottle, flower pots.
06:37
Cooking chicken on a small fire.

I carry a small cooking grill now and firestarters.
06:38
Quiet zone - No entry

Animals hibernate and they can't be disturbed here in winter.

Please don't disturb the animals by your presence and keep silent.
CD
10:35
Charles DiBella
Some sort of university student center - charging phone - in Liberec now ...

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.773067&lon=15.073156&z=19
CD
12:08
Charles DiBella
Camp
Near Wolkerova,
Stary Harcov

Can hear lion roaring in nearby zoo.

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.78033&lon=15.087726&z=19

Train terminus down below, near the zoo.

This is a scenic view height.
25 May 2018
CD
07:28
Charles DiBella
Much more social decadence and urban decay in Liberec than Hradec Kralove .... one would not think to be in the same country ... but then, depends on the neighborhood ...
26 May 2018
CD
03:55
Charles DiBella
Here is another exceptionally nice area.

Straz pod Ralskem

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.702995&lon=14.800966&z=15
27 May 2018
CD
03:39
Charles DiBella
Along the Elbe ... arrived in Dêčín ... can you see the rock climbers?

Soon there will be trouble.
03:39
A cycle camp along the Elbe ...
03:40
A typical town center .... with church and clock ...
03:40
Stream coming through the roack formation ....
03:40
Did not happen for me ...
03:40
First rainbow ...
03:41
The above photos are in reverse time sequence ....

I am presently along the Elbe in Dêčín ....
T
05:20
Thavry
I was there once.
CD
05:42
Charles DiBella
Emergency ...
05:42
Rescue ...
05:47
Climber in distress ...
CD
08:06
Charles DiBella
Taking it easy today after several difficult days .... Elbe trail is very old, well carved canyons from thousand of years of erosion.
08:15
My Position

Much warmer at this elevation. Cold at night in the mountains, but down here, very comfortable. Daytime can be hot though ....

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.839195&lon=14.221157&z=17
CD
12:15
Charles DiBella
Had barbeque, took bath, washed clothes, relaxed .... 8 pm on the euro route bikepath 2 ... entered Germany.

Elbe river canyon is magnificent.
12:15
Map along the way ... I am here.
12:17
Looking back toward Czech ...
12:21
I have one Czech crown remaining ... about 5 cents ... 200 Riel ... I spent 100 usd plus 5 euro while in Czech .... about 23 days .... Tom and Thavry were also generous and helped me out.
12:23
New language, new world ... need to find campsite soon.
29 May 2018
CD
07:05
Charles DiBella
Elbe scene ...
07:05
Climbing blocks ....
07:05
Manufacturer ....
CD
09:49
Charles DiBella
Different kinds of beer with percentage of alcohol ....
31 May 2018
CD
04:17
Charles DiBella
Charging phone -
Main library, Chemniz

https://osmand.net/go?lat=50.831043&lon=12.923162&z=19
CD
06:23
Charles DiBella
Santiago De Compostela -
3034 km.
06:26
Railway bridge
CD
08:22
Charles DiBella
deutschland-topographie.jpg (2011×2654)
1 June 2018
CD
00:26
Charles DiBella
CD
12:44
Charles DiBella
2 June 2018
CD
10:38
Charles DiBella
Campsite .... ready for rain.
10:38
Lovely forest lane ...
10:39
An old bench covered with moss ...
10:39
A forest lane.
10:39
Modern windmills ....
CD
14:12
Charles DiBella
Sleep - campsite
found 10:12 pm
Just enough light



My Position
Schmorditzer Strasse (Bahren), Nerchau
https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.250584&lon=12.775257&z=18
TM
19:28
Thida Prak Mada
So nice :)
3 June 2018
CD
02:05
Charles DiBella
A direct route east from Dresden to Cologne proved to be too hilly and mountainous, too many climbs and descents.

Therefore in Chemnitz, I decided to follow river valleys first to the north, then to the east.
02:15
River valleys have an added advantage of often being old world train routes which have been converted to recreational trails.

First I am aiming for Magdeburg, then Hanover, after that then possibly into Netherlands.
CD
13:55
Charles DiBella
4 June 2018
CD
13:27
Charles DiBella
Puncture today.

Sick and tired.

Surviving.

Need bath, laundry, beard trim, phone card ...
CD
14:32
Charles DiBella
Artwork at a fire station ...
14:32
Holidays in Germany ...
5 June 2018
CD
08:55
Charles DiBella
One dollar (usd)
CD
12:02
Charles DiBella
German standards are high, yet great retail competition even in small towns keeps prices low.

Food prices (groceries) are just fine in Germany ...
CD
12:21
Charles DiBella
Germany has good, kind, considerate people, solid infrastructure, beautiful natural lands ... nothing bad to report about Germany ... except don't trust the water.

Also, the people may be a bit overextended in debt, but I'm speculating on that point.
CD
22:49
Charles DiBella
22:49
Heating up canned soup ... 500 grams .... one dollar.
22:50
brown mustard .... 200 ml ... 45 cents.
CD
23:41
Charles DiBella
Touring partner wanted - can meet up in Germany, Netherlands, France ...
9 June 2018
07:56
Interesting sticker ...
07:57
2.99 € .... 500 grams
07:57
0.40 €
07:58
0.85 € .... 800 grams ...
CD
08:17
Charles DiBella
No sim card.
10 June 2018
CD
02:13
Charles DiBella
1.69 € ... 750 grams .... very fruity ...
02:14
0.66 €
02:14
0.69 €
02:14
0.99 €
02:28
Waterways of the Netherlands ....
CD
02:45
Charles DiBella
Will be offline for a while ...
13 June 2018
CD
08:35
Charles DiBella
Beautiful pathways ...
08:35
another lovely lane ...
08:35
The trail along the canal ... a lovely route and journey all the way.

Flat, easy .... good camping, quiet.
08:35
View from the tent while brewing coffee ...
08:35
Interesting artifact along the way.
08:36
Camp setup ... first decide where to put tent, then make fire.
08:38
Ground cloths down first ...
08:38
Then tent ...
08:38
Earl gray tea over the coals.

My fire grill .... found it.
08:38
0.85 € ... good ... 800 grams.
08:38
Not for vegetarians .... 400 grams pork steak, 1.99 €
08:39
A natural spring. Had hoped it was a hot spring, but no.
08:39
Nicely done rock work.
14 June 2018
CD
07:15
Charles DiBella
Presently charging at a public library ... edited Rithy's biography while here ... (below) ... cold and rainy outside ...

Stadtbucherei (library)
In the village of
Emmerich am Rhein

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.831104&lon=6.2385345&z=16
07:21
Rithy Thul Biography -
Cofounder of SmallWorld Cambodia

Rithy Thul is passionate about promoting small business startups in Cambodia.

Since 2008 he has personally started, cofounded, and provided assistance with the startup of over 50 different small business ventures in Cambodia.

With a focus on promoting small business success in Cambodia, in 2011 he co-founded SmallWorld Cambodia, a shared professional workspace where young progressive  individuals could pursue their business aspirations and develop their ideas.

SmallWorld Cambodia, reorganized to SmallWorld Ventures in 2017, with a focus on investing in early stage team startups, redefined their goal toward building tech startups and aligning with the green business movement.

Beyond SmallWorld Ventures, Rithy cofounded Codingate, a local software development firm specializing in mobile and web applications.

In addition, he co-founded BoomCamp, a local startup support and mentoring program.

He founded the international adventure tourism company, Toursanak Adventures, and established Corco Angel, a Cambodian based angel investors network.

Since 2016, Rithy has led a blockchain and decentralized application research and development project at SmallWorld's REDD lab.

This R&D project has an aim to apply blockchain applications to broader markets and industries.
CD
08:31
Charles DiBella
Old time restored windmill in Germany ... the day started out sunny ...
CD
09:36
Charles DiBella
Cycle to the Continent

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/vehicles/bicycles/
15 June 2018
CD
03:05
Charles DiBella
-- Sleep Wednesday June 13 --

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.836155&lon=6.5010834&z=16

-- Sleep Thursday June 14 --

raining ... found shelter in what they call a hikers hut ... (see photos) ... just 2 kilometers from the Netherlands border ... here ... Runde Strasse

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.843784&lon=6.185882&z=20
03:05
A hikers hut ....
03:06
Bacon frying in a tuna can ... not for vegans ....
03:20
An artifact ....
03:20
Hedge trimmers .... 1.75 € ....
03:20
Scissors ... 1 €
03:21
Good tea .... Earl Gray ...
03:21
Ferry to cross Rhine river ...1.80 € ... one way 5 minute ride

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.868687&lon=6.062951&z=15
CD
04:13
Charles DiBella
Revolutionary sticker ... G20 ...
CD
08:12
Charles DiBella
Mushroom, free.
08:12
Peanut butter, 500 grams, 1.69 €

Strawberry preserves, 450 grams, 0.99 €
08:12
450 grams sesame grain bread, 0.69 €

200 grams, humus, 1.09 €
17 June 2018
CD
05:22
Charles DiBella
-- Sleep Friday June 15 --

First night in the Netherlands. Germany seems to have much more forest land.

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.706585&lon=5.3993416&z=16

Food prices are low here, with much diversity and new kinds of foods, breads, deserts.

Free wifi can be found in the center of most cities and towns. Might just skip getting simm card, as they use much battery power as well as cost money.

People are fairly friendly, warm and welcoming. The population density is much greater than elsewhere. The waterways are not very clear or clean.

There is more bottle and can litter along the roads and pathways, and small motorcycles are allowed on the bikepaths. I feel this is dangerous. Many people, both young and old,are riding electric bicycles. It's a vibrant population.

I was in and out of NL in two days and one night, and am now in Belgium.

-- Sleep Saturday June 26 --

First night in Belgium

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.31669&lon=4.6028066&z=17
05:23
19 June 2018
CD
04:53
Charles DiBella
-- Sleep Sunday June 17 --

Rijsselhofpad, Kaprijke

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.229595&lon=3.5978267&z=18

Slept 'till 1 pm, on the road at 2:15 pm.

Cloudy, windy, cool, looks and feels like rain again. High humidity. Been this way since leaving Germany.

-- Sleep Monday June 18 --

Vaartdijk-Noord,
Snaaskerke

https://osmand.net/go?lat=51.173267&lon=2.8968842&z=19

Up at 8:30 am ... coffee, breakfast, packing, on the road at 10:30 am ... although my clock may need to be turned back one hour for time zone change.

Same cool and cloudy day, with headwinds. Very near the Atlantic ocean now.

Expect to leave Belgium and enter France today. Destination, Dunkirk.
04:54
-- Thoughts --

Belgians won't greet strangers. They'll stare, look away, stare again, look away, but never open their mouths with a greeting. It's not a friendly or welcoming place.

The buildings and infrastructure are not as updated or well kept as Netherlands or Germany.

Signs are that there is not as much wealth or contentment here.

There is a much higher percentage of road racing bicyclists, and motorbikes share the bicycle paths.

The motorbikes create a danger,they are noisy, and they produce emissions. There is no speed limit.

I would not want to live in a country that shares the bikepaths with motorbikes.

There is more bottle and can litter than even the Netherlands.

Some sort of traditional Belgian flute music on Sunday evenings ...

Automobile drivers are not ad courteous as previous countries.

The use and non-use of the horn by motorists toward cyclists speaks volumes about a people, as does the reduction and non reduction of speed when passing or approaching.

Belgians rarely use horns and rarely slow down.

Not so much bridge graffiti at all in Belgium, which says something about the youth.
04:54
Belgian graffiti ...
04:54
04:54
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A bicycle tunnel under the canal ...
04:55