A Travellerspoint blog

1986 - Europe by double decker bus (Part 4 - The Balkans)

Turkey, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.

View 1986 Canada & 1986 Western Europe on nzhamsta's travel map.

Wednesday 4 June - An early start for the border crossing into Turkey. Drove to Gallipoli. We visited a number of the cemeteries and spent most of the afternoon there. I was on dinner duty and managed eventually to turn out something tasty but not much of it.

Chunuk Bair.

The trenches at Chunuk Bair.

Lone Pine.

Thursday 5 June - We went back to the Gallipoli sites, including ANZAC Cove, Plugge's Plateau (a hard climb but superb views) and a small museum. After lunch, we drove to Istanbul. There are lots of hills that the bus struggled with, boiling over at one stage.

Plugge's Plateau.


Camel overheating on the hills around Istanbul.

Friday 6 June - A tour of Istanbul, including Topkapi Palace (now a museum), the Pudding Club (featured in movie "Midnight Express"), a carpet factory / showroom and so on. We went out for dinner which included belly dancing, folk dancing afterwards.

The entrance to Topkapi Palace.

The Blue Mosque.

The belly dancers.

Folk dancers.

Saturday 7 June - More sightseeing around Istanbul. The Blue Mosque, Santa Sophia, Grand Bazaar, etc. After a morning of trekking around the city and a long bus ride back, the really nice swimming pool at camp site was appreciated. More World Cup soccer on TV (Mexico 1, Paraguay 1).

A market in the city.

The Blue Mosque.

Sunday 8 June - An early start for a long drive from Istanbul to Sofia in Bulgaria. We had a flat tyre on motorway in Bulgaria to which the police arrived very quickly. We did struggle to explain why, when we a flat front tyre, we were taking off the back wheel. The camp site was picturesque but the facilities were revolting.

A flat tyre in Bulgaria.

Monday 9 June - Sightseeing in Sofia. There is not much to see, a nice cathedral, an interesting changing of guard. We then drove to border with Yugoslavia (another long effort) and carried on driving until midnight.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

The changing of the guard outside a memorial.

Still changing the guard.

Tuesday 10 June - A long day driving through Yugoslavia (what are now the countries of Serbia and Montenegro) via the city of Titograd (now known as Podgorica). The road was very winding and bumpy but with spectacular scenery. We arrived in Dubrovnik about 4:00 pm. Quiet night.

The Yugoslav coast.

Wednesday 11 June - Into Dubrovnik for some sightseeing including walking around city walls. Afternoon back at camp. It is shame that only five years after these pictures were taken they were bombing the crap out of the place.

The Pile Gate.

The city centre.

The view from the walls of Dubrovnik.

Thursday 12 June - We then drove from Dubrovnik up the Dalmatian coast to Split. This is an interesting place with lots of Roman ruins. Water pistols were purchased which are fun for an hour or so but not for several days. We carried onto and camped in Zadar. Things on the bus were getting a bit tense due to one guy being a complete and utter dickhead. He was the main instigator with the water pistols and would not stop when asked. Justin, the tour manager did his nut at everyone for their behaviour and for not helping each other. The dickhead was very close to being thrown off the trip at this point but he pulled his head in (did not last very long unfortunately) and was allowed to remain.

Posted by nzhamsta 13:00 Archived in Bulgaria

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