GIVI Magazine - Dicembre 2022

Per raggiungere il confine con la Grecia e la meta successiva - l’antico borgo di Monodendri - è necessario attraversare un fiume utilizzando un ponte mobile e, successivamente, un percorso immerso tra gole e montagne. Un vero spettacolo per gli occhi! Seguono, il giorno seguente, la visita alla cittadina turistica di Kalambaka e alle “Meteore”, 24 monasteri costruiti su rocce molto alte e isolate, che sembrano quasi fluttuare in aria. Foto di rito e via verso Afissos, località turistica sulla costa del golfo Pegaseo. In questa pacifica e curatissima cittadina i viaggiatori trascorrono l’ultima notte prima del ritorno in traghetto da Igoumenitsa la sera successiva, senza rinunciare a godersi la giornata conclusiva tra splendidi panorami, una sosta nel centro di montagna Elati e una birra sul lungomare di Sivota. Dopo questa esperienza, la promessa è quella di “scappare” tutti insieme almeno una volta l’anno! Se vuoi saperne di più sul viaggio dei “Giamboretti” vai all’articolo dedicato sul GIVI Explorer: MOTIVATION: to go on a motorcycle adventure again because it had been too long! PARTICIPANTS AND MOTORCYCLES: two Yamaha Ténéré bikes (Salvatore and Cristian), an Africa Twin (Marco), a Triumph Scrambler XE (Daniele), and a Ducati Multistrada V2S (Gianni) THE TRIP IN NUMBERS: 3 countries in 7 days The trip we’re about to tell you about has simple ingredients: 5 friends, 5 two-wheelers, a whole lot of passion, and just a smidgen of insanity. A week to “disconnect” amidst breathtaking landscapes and... delicious fried food! “Giamboretti”: that’s what the stars of this story call themselves. Lifelong friends, they come from all over Italy and share two passions: travel and motorcycles. Since their last adventure together through the Tunisian desert, Cristian, Gianni, Daniele, Marco, and Salvatore have decided that it was finally time to get back into (good) old habits. So, in March of this year, they set off for South-east Europe to tackle a 7-day itinerary that included Albania, Macedonia and Greece. Sunday, March 20, late afternoon, Port of Bari. After an overnight ferry crossing, “our” motorcycle travellers reached the city of Durrës in the early morning, an Albanian regional capital with ancient origins that was once the setting of epic battles. With the entry paperwork out of the way, the group immediately started travelling again to reach the first real destination on their itinerary: Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. “Coming together again after several years was really emotional for us all, but we had to get that synergy back, which proved no problem after the first few miles.” Getting to the Macedonian border and the city of Ohrid is easy: asphalt roads in good condition, sunshine, and stunning hinterland. The afternoon stop is Galičica National Park, which includes a pass at an altitude of about 1,200 metres, a thrilling prospect were it not for the “road closed due to snow” sign blocking their access. Intrepid and perhaps a little mad, our 5 travellers decide to venture on for a few kilometres anyway before realising they had no choice but to turn around and head to their next destination, the city of Berat in Albania, which would be followed by a visit to the natural baths of Llixhat and Bënjës in Permet, considered to be amongst the most healing in Europe. To get to the hot springs, they had to tackle a pretty demanding off-road climb, surrounded by the uniquely wild landscape of the Balkans, with their snowy peaks. The next stop was Vlorë, a picturesque coastal city that is constantly expanding, not to mention the setting-off point for our travellers to reach – along the coastal road – the winding and stunning Llogara Pass, which exceeds 1,000 metres in altitude and is nestled within the Akroceraunian Mountains, surrounded by the lush Mediterranean scrub. Leaving the mountains behind, the route included a stop in Sarandë and then Ksamil, tourist destinations that are particularly popular during the summer. It’s right here that the group indulged in a well-earned seafood lunch for just a few euros. “I think it was the best fried fish I’ve ever had in my life.” To reach the border with Greece and their next destination – the ancient village of Monodendri – they had to cross a river using a movable bridge and then embark on a route surrounded by gorges and mountains, a true marvel to behold! This was followed the next day by a visit to the tourist town of Kalambaka and to the “Meteora”, 24 monasteries, built on extremely high and isolated rocks, which almost seem to float in the air. After a customary photo, they were off towards Afissos, a tourist town on the coast of the Pegasetic Gulf. It is in this peaceful, well-maintained town where our travellers spent their last night before their return ferry trip from Igoumenitsa the next evening, without failing to enjoy their last day with the stunning landscapes, a stop in the mountain town of Elati and a beer on the Sivota waterfront. After this experience, they promised to “get away” together at least once a year! If you’d like to find out more about the “Giamboretti’s” trip, check out this article on GIVI Explorer BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE BALKANS 21 Givi Magazine December 2022