JEFFS BUS TOUR–THE GREAT ART CAPER

I was window shopping in October 2013 in Shkodra, Albania.  I came across an artist who’s style I really liked

LOCAL ARTIST WHO IS PAINTING MY PICTURE

SHKODRA, ALBANIA

LOCAL ARTIST WHO IS PAINTING MY PICTURE

Montenegro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really loved the bike vibe of Shkodra and wanted to capture it.  So I sat on a park bench taking photos of people biking.  I captured the image I wanted.

 

 

SHKODER BICYCLING IMAGE So I took this photo to the artist and he agreed to paint this scene.  I had be-friended the owner of the Hostel where I was staying and asked him to pay the artist the other half and ship me the painting.  It was going to take a week and I had already been here a week.  Months went by, I heard nothing. I called Tonin (hostel owner) and he then  sent me a photo of the painting, but not the painting. It’s been 10 months and still no painting.  I’ve begged him to return the artwork to the artist, he says he will, but it never arrives.  I finally tell Tonin I’m going to call the police, I got his attention then, but still no painting.  It’s been 3 months since the artist agreed to take back the painting, so by the time Tonin finally decides that I’m not going to give up about getting the painting, he takes it back to the artist.  The artist now refuses to accept it, holy shit, I was so close. Tonin informs me of the situation and says the painting is at the Hostel.  So I make plans to go to Albania and retrieve MY painting.  I promise Natasa that if I don’t get the painting, I will let it go. I plan to sleep on the bus to Dubrovnik, Croatia, rent a car there and drive to Albania, get painting and drive back and catch next bus back to Slovenia.

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WAITING ALONE IN ZAGREB, CROATIA BUS DEPOT (free WiFi)

The bus stops for food and the bathroom.  I’m half asleep but can’t beleive what I’m looking at.

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ANIMALS STUFFED AND DRESSED.

No one sits in the seats above the engine, maybe not a comfortable  seat, but one great bed.  The bus is 45 mins late to Dubrovnik.  I grab the shuttle to the airport (that’s where the rental car is).  I’m on the road for my 4 hour journey to Albania.  With in 15 minutes the traffic is diverted to another road.

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CARS LINED UP AT MONTENEGRO BORDER CROSSING

 

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WAITING ISN’T ALL BAD

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WAITING ISN’T THAT FUN, FOR EVERYONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a small border crossing, so they only have 2 people checking passports.  So I’m losing time, I was hoping to be in Shkodra by noon.  I had seen this ferry last time through here, it cuts 30km off your trip.  I load the car on and hope to save some time.                   IMG_0639 It didn’t help that much, I finally arrive about 4pm to the Hostel.  To my surprise, the painting is nowhere to be found.  I emailed Tonin 3 days before and told him I would be here Sunday to get it, but no painting.  The hostel host speaks no English, none.  But he get’s I’m pissed, I kick the wicker table and put my foot through it.  Now, I’ve got Tonin on the phone and he says the painting will be there in 2 hours,  I’m so pissed.  I leave the Hostel and go looking for some Policemen.  It doesn’t take long.  They take me back to police headquarters to file a complaint against Tonin.  There’s a guy at the police station telling me I’ve been conned and should forget about it and go home.  It’s over,only after I leave, without the painting. I drive the head detective to a Restaurant, where the owner speaks English and Albanian.  We get the whole convoluted story told.  I give the detective Tonin’s phone number and he calls him.  Within a 1/2 hour the painting was brought to our table by Tonin’s dad.  In turn Tonin’s dad wants to have me arrested for damaging his table.  Everyone looked at him and asked him to leave.  The detective didn’t want me to take his photo, getting my painting. I eat my dinner at the San Francisco restaurant.  By this time the sun  is down but it’s still somewhat light out.  I’ve got a 3-4 hour drive back to Dubrovnik, crossing 3 countries. I had to show my passport 14 times on this trip. I return the car back to the airport and take the shuttle bus to the bus station.  It’s 2 am now, no bus till 7 am. IMG_0647 I opt to sleep on the bus platform (I’m not alone) The lights were bright but I laid my head in the shadow.  I actually slept some.  IMG_0660I got my bench seat bed again, I didn’t do one tourist thing, this trip was strictly business.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

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Thanks for reading Jeffsbustour

Jeff

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HUNGARY IS A BICYCLIST PARADISE PART 2

 

                                        VIEW FROM OUR CAMPSITE IN VESZPREM  IMG_0435I’m leaving Veszprem a little confused at what we saw?  We were there for a Sunday-Monday visit.  Some museums were closed both days?   We still saw a lot of interesting stuff, plus  It’s a beautiful city.

On the way to Veszprem we missed the bike path turn off,  so we took the main road, later meeting up with the bike path. Were riding back using the whole bike path back to the lake, which for me, was some of the nicest bike path I’ve ever ridden!  WOW!

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THE BIKE PATH WAS PAVED AND THE ROAD? GRAVEL WITH NO CARS.

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THE BIKE PATH WAS TRULY AMAZING but TOO SHORT

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CAN YOU PRONOUNCE THE CITIES NAME? (19 letters)

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ROMANTIC CAMPING

We were able to get tables and chairs at almost every campground.  Having a chair and table to cook on was great.

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CAMPING IN GRANDMAS YARD

WE COULD ONLY GET A TABLE, NO CHAIRS.

TINA-cleaning our last nights chairs. Super Hero

TINA-cleaning our last nights chairs. Super Hero

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TEXTING AND BREAKFAST

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LOTS OF THE RESTAURANTS GAVE A 10 percent DISCOUNT TO BIKERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i hadn’t swam as much as I would have liked.  It rained some and was cool. Finally we  stayed again at a lakeside campground.  It’s day 5 and I’m finally going swimming, I’m 3 meters from the water and I step on a bee and get stung, that hurt.  Then we got a campground with a pool.  I swam for about 10 minutes….

STANDING ROOM ONLY………………..THEN 25 KIDS FROM FRANCE SHOWED UP, STANDING ROOM ONLY

WE MADE IT! (& still laughing)

WE MADE IT AND ARE STILL LAUGHING TOGETHER

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We have a day off in KESZTHELY.  Sara and Tina want to lay on the beach, Natasa & I are going to HEVIZ, where the largest mineral bath in Europe is.  Were on the bikes again, but no gear, we can fly.

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THE BIKE PATHS ARE AWESOME AND AMAZING. TO THE MINERAL “LAKE”

A HOUSE ALONG THE BIKE PATH TO OUR CAMPGROUND

Natasa and I went to the KItch Museum in Keszthely.  There’s more PHOTOS

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IV’E HEARD OF GIVING, BUT TAKING.

All in all it was a great trip, it was their first bike tour, everyone did great.  So great, were going to Prague in 10 days,  Thanks for reading and hopefully you’re encouraged to try bike touring as a means of travel. It really is the best.                                                                           DON’T FORGET TO RIDE YOUR BIKE ANY CHANCE YOU CAN, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE.

JEFF

HUNGARY PHOTOS HERE                                                                                                                   MORE HUNGARY PHOTOS  

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HUNGARY IS A BICYCLISTS PARADISE, PART I

It’s summer vacation time and Natasa has 2 weeks off. I suggest biking in Hungary?, she says OK.  Weeks of planning and Budapest and Lake Balaton here we come. Natasa’s daughter Sara her friend Tina, Natasa and me, that’s 3 girls and me, I’ll survive, I must.

READY, STEADY, GO (Billy Idol)

READY, STEADY, GO (Billy Idol)

I DROVE (the whole trip) YET I WAS STILL ABLE TO TAKE THIS PHOTO OF THIS COOL OVERPASS

Budapest has been putting bike lanes “everywhere”, they currently have 200 km of bike lanes. They say Budapest is 13th Most Bike Friendly City in the World, let’s find out.

I read about Ecseri, Europe’s largest antique flea market that’s in Budapest, a must visit. After spending time In Kadikoy, Istanbul’s open market, they are  great for a local cultural experience. We ride our bikes, mostly on bike lanes, for an hour and end up way out of town. No market anywhere? I spent nearly the whole day looking for this market, nothing. I was told it closed 6 months ago, then the tourist office gave me the same directions to it WTF! I was obsessed at finding it, I split from the group to go looking for it, nothing. I’m already coming back to Budapest.  IMG_0252THIS IS THE MAP TO THE MARKET, WHERE WE RODE TO AND THEN THE ADDRESS THAT THE TOURIST OFFICE GAVE ME. IT HAD US GOING AROUND THE BLOCK, THE WHOLE THING IS A MYSTERY. The next day we rode a huge circle around Budapest, hitting all the tourist attractions. ST. STEPHENS CHURCH, was first on the list. IMG_0258I THOUGHT THE OUTSIDE STONE AND MARBLE WORK WERE THE NICEST PART OF THE CHURCH

The PARLIMENT BUILDING, was the most prominent building along the river. IMG_0262                                                       GUARDED BY ONE GUY?

I read everywhere that I had to ride around MARGARET ISLAND,it was just OK. A nice ride but not worth a picture, not one. I saw a post card with a picture of the  FISHERMEN’S BASTION,  it looked like a must visit, at the top of the Buda side of town, in the CASTLE DISTRICT. IMG_0273[1]                      THIS IS THE MATTHIAS CHURCH, (check out the roof). I took some photos for some tourist then I asked them to take our photo. IMG_0266[1]                                                   OUR FIRST GROUP PHOTO 

We had an apartment with a full kitchen, so we headed to the FARMERS MARKET. I read a Paris-Budapest comparison, they said the food was cheap in Budapest, and they’re right. It’s hardly worth cooking. Hungarians spend 1/3 of their income on food, Americans?      6-10%.  Americans spend the least portion of their money on food compared to the rest of the world, yet 1 in 7 people get food aid. 

IMG_0256INTERESTING PIZZA TOPPINGS, HEATED IN THAT CLAY OVEN (hehind Natasa) The Danube River separated Buda from Pest, that’s where the name Budapest came from, the combing of the two parts of town. There are 14 BRIDGES IN BUDAPEST IMG_0240                                               THIS IS AT ONE END OF THE CHAIN BRIDGE

The CHAIN BRIDGE was the first bridge across the Danube River.   IMG_0294[1]               IT’S AN INTERESTING DESIGN, IT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT BICYCLE CHAIN.

Natasa likes to walk, so a walking we will go, to see what we’ll see?  America has several  major sports, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey and minor leagues of all these sports too.  So when I saw this sign, I was reminded that there are other things going on in the world besides America. IMG_0282[1]       SHOWING ALL MY FAVORITE SPORTS? I RECOGNIZE GOLF & TENNIS, THAT’S IT.

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My feet were hurting me, so we opted for a bicycle taxi tour.  I had tried to find the Art Nouveau apartment blocks earlier on our tour bike, but no.  He took us there and more. IMG_0286[1]

U.S. EMBASSY ENTRANCE IMG_0290[1]                                                 PHOTO WITH RONALD REAGAN,

We had 3 days in Budapest, not enough, but enough to know we’re coming back.  It’s only a   4 1/2 hour drive from Skofja Loka.  We biked and ate and ate and biked.  Time to head to Lake Balaton and do some real bike touring (with gear). Natasa has just 2 weeks off and sometimes it’s hard to get into vacation mode.IMG_0309[1]                                 BUT I’M DOING MY BEST TO HELP, LAKESIDE (pretty easy)

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THEY WELCOMED AMERICANS, BUT I JUST HAPPEN TO BE THE ONLY ONE, SO FAR, THIS YEAR

We’ve got 10 days to tour around Lake Balaton, by bicycle.  We added some side trips, away from the lake.  The area is famous for wine and hot springs, good combo!  Hungary has over 400 hot springs and the largest one in Europe, which we plan to visit at the end of our trip.

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IT LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT RAIN, BUT IT’S NOT REALLY COLD (NATASA?)

I’m wearing my Portland Bike Jersey, within the first 10 minutes of the trip, we meet a couple from Portland.  They are riding with their folks,, who were from Seattle.  I’m so excited when I see another touring cyclist, I try to high 5 him.  He just looks at me, like what am I trying to do?  The more we ride, I get it now,  you would be high 5-ing all day.  There were families, boy scout type groups, young gen x,y & z, and older, everyone was  touring, it was so cool.  We finally camped with some bike touring people on the 6th day.  I couldn’t figure where they were all camping?  When I bike toured the Mediterranean, there were so few cycling tourist that you rode and camped when met someone. Carolyn, Tyler, Vincent we all had great times.

WERE IN WINE COUNTRY

WERE IN WINE COUNTRY

THE STONE HOUSES WERE AWESOME.

THE STONE HOUSES WERE AWESOME.

EVERYONE HAD A FENCE YARD, SOME WERE PRETTY AWESOME

EVERYONE HAD A FENCED YARD, SOME WERE PRETTY AWESOME

Check out these houses with a traditional  “GREEN”roof.

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LOOKS LIKE A WIG OR SOMETHING? A STAR WARS HELMET?

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THEIR PUTTING ON A NEW “GREEN” ROOF.

THEY DON'T LAST FOREVER!

THEY DON’T LAST FOREVER!

We avoided the BIG campgrounds, instead opted for Grandmas renting out their yards.  We got ALL our laundry done for $2.  Camping cost about 5 or 6 Euro per person.

CAMPING NEXT TO THE ZOO IN VESZPREM

CAMPING NEXT TO THE ZOO IN VESZPREM, with POOL.

Sara and Tina wanted to go to the Zoo so we went out for lunch and bike toured around VESZPREM 

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THE PORTIONS ARE HUGE HERE, WE USED THE LEFTOVERS FOR DINNER FOR EVERYONE, 6 MEALS FROM 2.  HUNGARY RANKS #8 ON THE WORLD OVERWEIGHT SCALE. (I know why.)

I LIKE PICTURES OF SIGNS AND BEAUTIFUL WOMEN.

I LIKE PICTURES OF SIGNS AND BEAUTIFUL WOMEN.

OUR FIRST "SELFIE" PHOTO, TAKEN AT A CHURCH GARDEN IN VESZPREM

OUR FIRST “SELFIE” PHOTO, TAKEN AT A CHURCH GARDEN IN VESZPREM.

LEAVING VESZPREM

LEAVING VESZPREM

Not before making a stop at the local art gallery to check out the “BIKE” art. (more art photos)IMG_0445[3]

 

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I heard that 20% of working adults in Hungary wanted to leave in the next year to find work. Hence the painting.

I thought I could make this one post, no way.  It’s going to be 2 parts.

Thanks for  reading, Jeff

MORE HUNGARY PHOTOS HERE

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"EVERY PEDAL STRIKES A BLOW FOR FREEDOM"

“EVERY PEDAL STRIKES A BLOW FOR FREEDOM”

 

WELCOME BACK TO AMERICA & AMERICA WELCOMES NATASA

I called a friend and asked to spend a few days, she had to check with her husband. I felt some pressure to find a place, so I called my neighbors. They just finished their new
AIR B & B apartment. This was one of the best places I stayed in the past year.
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I WORKED IN TRADE FOR MY ACCOMMODATIONS (Thank You Alex, Sara and Caitlin)

MY LITTLE GEO METRO
There are many reasons to love America and just as many to hate it. My first day driving in my Geo Metro I was tailgated within 2 meters (6 ft.) by no other than a Hummer. There are so many needs in the world and the planet can’t absorb anymore excessive living. The American Hummer is an example of one of the many capitalistic excesses that makes me hate America. There’s a saying “If you want to drive a Hummer, join the Army”
HUMMER-BUMMER
I have season tickets to Portland’s NBA team the Portland Trail Blazers. I made the last game of the season and the Blazers made the playoffs for the first time in years!, more games.

IT'S ALWAYS FUN TIMES WITH STEVE AT THE BLAZER GAMES.

IT’S ALWAYS FUN TIMES WITH STEVE AT THE BLAZER GAMES.

It’s fun to go to games with the other Steve too!

A PRE-GAME WARM UP WITH STEVE IS ALWAYS A HIT!

My accommodations were across the street from my house. My house was being occupied for 2 more weeks. This gave me an opportunity to power wash, do weeding, trimming and mowing.

Hiring "local" spanish speaking workers

Hiring “local” spanish speaking workers

The garden is huge and requires a lot of work. I have apple trees, fig, plums, kiwi, pears, lots of blueberries, strawberries, currants, gooseberries, grapes. Plus there’s a huge vegetable garden area. It’s been a great opportunity to take a break for all the responsibility of a house and yard, (to be continued).

Blueberries, Pears, Apples and Currents

I wrote a story about having a cyst on my testical last Sept. They said it would go away on it’s own, nope. So I opted for surgery, a two-fer: remove the cyst & a vasectomy.

BEFORE SURGERY, I WAS LAUGHING, LIKE NORMAL

 

AFTER SURGERY? TAKING THE DOCTORS ADVICE, “PUT IT ON ICE”

 

LIVING ROOM “RECOVERY ROOM” (NOT TOO BAD)

Since the plane landed in America I’ve been working 8-10-12 hour days, everyday. I didn’t have time to even meet people for coffee, sorry. I was able to attend several Blazer games. The Blazers hadn’t been in the 2nd round of the playoffs in 14 years. This amazing shot by Damian Lillard is unforgettable and put them in the second round (facing the Spurs)(Spurs won the championship).

ARRON & I SAW THE BEST GAME IN 14 YEARS, THAT SHOT WILL GO DOWN IN BLAZER HISTORY.   UPDATE: voted NBA game of the year.

How do I pay for all of this? I own 4 apartments, bought 25 years ago, with that and cheap living, the party is on. Still there is no “free” money. Apartments require maintenance and lots of it. I power washed, painted, fixed plumbing and sealed the driveway. Since I was only going to be in America for 6 weeks, I had to kick ass!
But when one of your good friends is Matt, you have an awesome worker and things get done.

LOADING UP THE GEO AND TRAILER, EVERYONE IS WORKING HARD.

 

HARD WORK DESERVES HARD PLAY, BLAZER GAME AND BUFFETT DINNER

NATASA COMES TO AMERICA
My friend Hans, hooked us up with Delta Buddy Passes, that made it possible for her to come visit.

SPECIAL DELIVERY

She said she wanted to help.

WERE WORKING ON THE APARTMENTS


I think I over worked her? she couldn’t even walk by the end of the day.

NATASA GOT TO VISIT THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, BROKEN, JUST LIKE SLOVENIAS

DIAGNOSIS: Too much plane riding and sleeping on airport couches. She’ll recover.
Natasa had never had Sushi, so we must visit Takahashi
mine and my good friend Mike Nealy’s favorite place.

WERE HAVING A GREAT TIME (aren’t we Natasa?) DON’T LIKE SUSHI?

We go visit WASHINGTON PARK ROSE GARDEN after dinner.

YES, SHE’S LEANING ON ME, SHE CAN STILL HARDLY WALK

If your visiting Portland, you must have desert at PAPA HAYDN. The owners use to be my customers, I ate here all the time.

CHOCOLATE WITH RASPBERRY AND CHOCOLATE MINT PIE.

Friends have been asking Natasa “have you done anything fun? what have you seen?” We’ve been working hard, “work first, play later?.” Were having a BBQ party to meet Natasa on Saturday, we better do something fun, NOW.
We start with,

BREAKFAST AT TIMBERLINE LODGE ON MT. HOOD.
I’ve skied and snowboarded here the past 20 years. Lot’s of great memories.
After a filling breakfast, we headed to Parkdale to visit the HUTSON MUSEUM. The Hutson family donated a lifetime of collecting and rocks was one of their favorite things to collect and mine too.

A TRIP TO PARKDALE ISN’T COMPLETE UNTIL YOU’VE HAD HUCKLEBERRY ICE CREAM

It was quite entertaining watching all the pick-up trucks, all had dogs on board when they drove by.
Then we headed to LOST LAKE, one of my favorite places to bike tour to in Oregon.

NATASA CATCHES BIG FOOT (WOODY)

We brought the bicycles with us, so I guess we have to ride them. We ride the Mosier Tunnels that follows the Columbia Gorge.

We then head to Oregon’s number one “natural” tourist attraction, MULTNOMAH FALLS.

WE HIKED TO THE UPPER BRIDGE (I had to)

It’s getting dark, but there’s still enough light to visit the VISTA HOUSE ON CROWN POINT
It’s time for some Mexican food. After 14 hours of being a tourist, now Natasa has seen some parts of Oregon. Were ready for the BBQ party now, with stories.
We head down to Portland’s Farmers Market. to buy supplies for the BBQ party.

BUYING MULTI-COLORED POTATOES FOR VEGI-SKEWERS

My friends want to meet Nastasa so the BBQ party is an all in one, food, fun and friends.

DAT, MANS THE BBQ, THANKS DAT

THIS IS LONNIE BRUHN THE COMEDIAN, NATASA, BARB, KIM AND JILL DANDY.

SHANNON AND MATT, NEWLYWEDS

The party was great fun, thank you to all of those who were able to attend.
The next day it’s a beautiful day in Portland and there’s no better way to see Portland (and the world), than by bicycle. I was a bicycle tour guide in Portland and took Natasa on my City Tour.

GOOD TOURIST

 

WERE GIVING IT OUR BEST EFFORT

 

WE MAKE A RETURN VISIT TO THE ROSE GARDEN

 

NATASA’S CATCHING PORTLAND’S BIKE CULTURE FEVER

I really wanted to take Natasa on one of my favorite rides, the BANKS-VERNONIA TRAIL. Due to time constraints (or working too much) there wasn’t time to ride the trail. I thought visiting Vernonia by car then heading to the coast gave us an opportunity to do 2 fun things.

THE CAMPING AT THE LAKE IS PRIVATE AND CAR-FREE.

I knew the people who ran the museum and got them to open it up, just for us.

LOTS OF LOGGING HISTORY AND INTERESTING LOCAL HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

After breakfast and coffee at the Black Bear Cafe, we head to the Oregon Coast.
The first place we visit is the ASTORIA COLUMN.

We bought wooden airplanes that you can throw off from the top.

MY PLANE FLY FOREVER (almost)

We had our bicycles (again), so we headed to FORT STEVENS BIKE PATHS If you visit the Oregon Coast be sure to visit Fort Stevens, it’s a full day of activities. We didn’t see everything, so we’ll be back.

VIEW PLATFORM

We head down to Seaside (tourist beach town) then to Cannon Beach and see the famous HAYSTACK ROCK.
Another 14 hour day of sightseeing and adventures. We have one last party, Strawberries and Ice Cream.
PHOTOS
Thanks for reading
Jeff
NEST? WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING IN SKOFJA LOKA?

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT JEFF’S BIKE TOUR?

The last blog post was from the Netherlands, getting ready to head for America, after a year of adventure travel..
A lot has happened in the last 9 weeks. I worked for 4 weeks, maintaining (painting, fixing plumbing and misc. stuff) at the apartments I own. Natasa came to help, and do some sightseeing too! for 2 weeks. We visited Mt. Hood, biked around Portland and visited the coast. We both felt like we were in Portland a month together. I got to eat my fill of Mexican food, so did Natasa! Most of the photos I took were on my I-phone, that broke. I went to have it repaired, it went downhill from there. I left town with my phone/camera in parts. But the good news is that, it’s fixed and my neighbor sent me the photos via dropbox. I will be updating Jeff’s Bike Tour blog with photos and stories, very soon.
But in Short:
I’m living the dream life, right now. I’m in love with Natasa, we are so fun together. I’m Mr. Mom, shopping, cooking, washing windows, patio gardening and learning the history of SKOFJA LOKA. I plan to do walking and biking tours, very soon. Were doing some research regarding opening a yogurt shop too, stay tuned.
IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE
Jeff

WELCOME BACK TO THE NETHERLANDS

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FLYING SLOVENIA TO NETHERLANDS
I arrived here in Amsterdam April 14, 2013 and am departing April 14, 2014 from Amsterdam. I decided to come a few days early, that may have been a mistake? The entire downtown is booked, except the very high end. ALL the AirB&B accommodations were booked too. I found a room in The Hague, at HOTEL STUDIO. A super clean and friendly place and only a 45 minutes from Amsterdam.
I’m in the Netherlands? So rent a bike and find a coffee shop.

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THE PRE-ROLLS COME WITH TOBACCO. WHY?

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I RODE UP AND DOWN THE BOARDWALK
The Hotel/Hostel backed up to the park

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I TOLD HER I ALREADY HAVE A GIRL FRIEND
The biking thing is for real here. I saw lots of people of all ages, sexes, and attire riding to their destination, amazing you can survive without a car given the proper facilities.

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THEY WERE COLLECTING WOOD- BY CARGO BIKE!
I took some fun Bike Photos:

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NEON BIKE LIGHT IN BIKE RENTAL SHOP

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I ALSO SAW A BIKE WITH AN ATTACHED SURF-BOARD RACK

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NICE LITTLE SET-UP

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PINK CRUISER
I could hardly walk down the sidewalk because of all the parked bicycles.

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THESE BIKES WERE TAGGED FOR REMOVAL
Hostel’s are great for saving money, because you can cook a few meals at “home.”

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NATASA’S HOMEMADE TROPICAL GRANOLA, VIETNAMESE COFFEE, KIWI AND YOGURT, MMMMMM
I would have liked to stay at this hostel one more night but I booked one night in Amsterdam. It was OK, nothing to bag about, they had a bed. I was 5 minutes from the red light district (didn’t go) and 20 minutes from the airport.
It was a last minute opportunity, thanks to my dear friend Hans, I got to ride in the business class section. Man they eat good up here!
I know I had a different NEXT? topic, (it’s coming). I thought the photos of the Netherlands were worthy of a post.
Thanks for reading.
Jeff

NETHERLAND PHOTOS
NEXT? BACK IN THE USA

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Back in Bangkok-(worlds biggest market) and back in Slovenia

After 10 hours of work, I had this blog within 5 minutes of being finished, thanks to WordPress updates, the whole thing was erased. So I’m going to try and not lose this one.
Goodbye Cambodia, Hello Thailand (for the 3rd time in 3 months.)

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STOPPED JUST LONG ENOUGH TO GET THIS PHOTO AND NOT LONG ENOUGH TO GET ARRESTED (coffee and souvenirs in the white bag)
How road weary am I? I paid $500, to change my flight, to be back with Natasa in Slovenia, 2 weeks early. 11 months on the road is a long time. I couldn’t get a flight till Sunday night which means I can visit Thailand’s, CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET.
I saw a cool bike T-shirt in Cambodia, Where did you get it? The Chatuchak Weekend Market, I’m going for sure.
I grab a local bus, as we get closer, I see lots of rocks and gems on the sidewalks (my favorite).

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NICE LAPIS ( I bought a large specimen)

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THIS GUY AND HIS OFFERINGS WERE QUITE INTERESTING
The Market is HUGE, 35 acres with approximately 15,000 business’s, MARKET PHOTOS.
There are the Nike, Levi. Gap etc, knock offs. But there are many independent artist and crafts people’s merchandise too.

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THIS WAS THE FUNNIEST T-SHIRT (they didn’t have my size:()
There were lots of bicycle themed T-shirts, which I found to be a little confusing. Bangkok’s horrendous traffic and poor air quality tend to make bicycling quite dangerous and very unhealthy.

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THE WOMEN TOLD ME HER SON DID THIS DESIGN
This next T-shirt is for my X-boss, who had the nerve to call me lazy! Really? I just finished nearly a year of adventure travel, which was very hard work. I also planned and worked hard for 2 years to be able to have a work-free year.

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MAYBE IF HE PUT DOWN THE BONG LONG ENOUGH, HE COULD WORK SMART INSTEAD OF HARD TOO?
The street food in Bangkok is good and quite cheap. I’ve been eating fresh papaya, pineapple, watermelon, and more daily. Just because it’s a bike business, doesn’t mean it’s good.

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THE GUY WAS GRABBING ONE OF THE DRIED HANGING SQUID, ROLLING IT IN THE PRESS AND BBQing THEM (no thanks)
The claim is that it’s the world’s largest weekend market, I believe it. If you see something you like buy it. The chances of finding that stall again is nearly impossible. I saw some bicycle pillow cases I really liked, but decided not to buy them. I walked a little ways and stopped while I still knew the way back,

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YEP I BOUGHT THEM AND THEY’RE “VERY” POPULAR IN SLOVENIA
I’ve been eating and shopping for nearly 8 hours, my feet are killing me. I grab the bus back to my hotel.

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YEP, I’M GETTING A LITTLE CRAZY AND BORED ON MY LAST DAY IN BANGKOK.
My plane doesn’t leave till midnight, but I must check out of my hotel at noon, That’s 10 hours wandering around Bangkok. I decide that for $20 ($2 hr.) I’m going to keep the room. I tell the hotel I have a friend coming into
Bangkok (a lie). I’m actually going to find someone to give my paid room to. I find a Swedish guy, he says “this is the best thing to happen on my trip.” Glad I could be part of it. We collaborate our stories, I introduce the Swede to the hotel, “as my long lost friend”, it works. I give him the keys and get the mini-bus to the airport.
I board the plane and notice I’m in the “baby” section. I guess that’s what I get for changing my flight.

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SEVERAL BABY BEDS ARE HANGING FROM THE WALLS, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
I’m back in Slovenia, no more fresh pineapple or $4 massages.

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NATASA LIKES TO SAY “THIS IS REAL LIFE”, SHOPPING, COOKING, AND DOING DISHES! JUST CALL ME “MR. MOM”
The local tourist office has generously loaned me an electric bike. I’ve been exploring potential bike tour routes. I had a doctors appointment in a nearby village.

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THERE ARE BIKE PATHS THAT CUT THROUGH FARMERS FIELDS, (used by skaters, joggers and walkers too)
I had driven to Kranj with Natasa, but never biked. The advantage of biking is discovering the car-free pedestrian areas.

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THE OWNER TOOK THE PHOTO AND TOLD ME HE DESIGNED THE SIGN (English on one side and Slovenian on the other)

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THE FARMERS HAVE BEEN SPREADING “ORGANIC” FERTILIZER, WHEW!
There are many roads (bike paths) from town that lead to the areas mountains. I’m re-earning my professional “bike walker” credentials. I walked several kilometers to reach the top.

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THE MOUNTAINS DIVERSITY IS STUNNING AND AMAZING, THERE’S FARMING, LOGGING AND RECREATION ALL COEXISTING

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THE LEAVES AREN’T ON THE TREES YET, IT FEELS SO OPEN AND SUNNY IN THE FOREST

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AT THE TOP, ONE OF THE MANY CHURCHES THAT DOT THE HILLS AND VILLAGES AROUND SLOVENIA

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ONCE I HIT THE ASPHALT, FAST WAS THE NAME OF THE GAME
Natasa’s writes me an email-“Can you walk 12 km?” What? There’s a Slovenian coast hike that her friends invited us to come along. Slovenia had a severe ice and wind storm this winter. Driving to the hike we passed an area that every tree had it’s top broken off, plus numerous fallen trees.

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THESE ARE STORM DAMAGED TREES FROM ONE OF MY BIKE RIDES
There was 1500 people on the walk and they were feeding us food and wine every 2 or 3 kilometers, but no Porta-Potties

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NATASA USED THE MENS BATHROOM AT A GAS STATION (the women’s line was too long)
There were lines at every food station, most people waited patiently, but not everyone. People were constantly cutting in line, enough (I thought). So this guy walks past everyone in line and cuts in, yep, I went over and asked him to wait in line like everyone else. He didn’t like it very much, but whatever, he didn’t get his food ahead of us. Happy Hiking
.

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EVERYONE SPOKE SOME ENGLISH, HVALA (thank you)
Natasa put in a new deck last summer, by fall, it was black with mold. I bleached it in December and again last week.

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TREATING THE DECK WITH “DECK OIL”
While on one of my many bike rides I saw some interesting lumber lying in front of a mill. We arranged to buy some and I made planters for the deck.

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NATASA IS PLANTING “EVER-BEARING” STRAWBERRIES

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MORE STRAWBERRIES AND LETTUCE
Natasa is a hard worker (so am I), but you still have to have some fun.

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I TOOK HER TO THE TOP OF A LOCAL MOUNTAIN THAT SHE HAD NEVER BEEN TO.

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SKOFJA LOKA IS THE VILLAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PHOTO
I came across an interesting article, listing the 20 MOST PEACEFUL COUNTRIES.

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SLOVENIA CAME IN AT #4 MOST PEACEFUL COUNTRY
I’m currently in Slovenia, heading back to Portland April 14. It’s hard to believe that the year of travel is finished. It’s been awesome, the blog has been fun too. There have been 14,800 views (as of today) from
98 different countries. I’ve gotten 190 comments, basically from the same 7 people (thank you). Lots of people have said they read my blog, but they never leave a comment? It’s nearly the last time that lurkers can leave a comment. You know who you are and so do I, your comments are being formally requested. I also really want to hear from people who are not from the U.S.A.
Natasa is coming to Portland May 18-31 we will be living at my empty house. My pots, pans and dishes are in boxes. This is your opportunity to invite us to dinner, brunch, lunch or breakfast the 2 weeks she’s here, sign -up soon!
Thanks for reading & commenting
Jeff
THAILAND PHOTOS recent photos at end of album
SLOVENIAN PHOTOS recent photos at end of album
NEXT? EPIPHANIES, INSIGHTS AND AWAKENINGS AFTER A YEAR OF TRAVEL

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