Friday 17 December 2010

Athens to London - Log #025# - (Strasbourg-London)

This is the image I faced while exiting the Hostel to kick off the last leg of this trip to London. I feared that snow would have covered all roads, but luckily that was not the case.

Dawn in Strasbourg.

River Rhine, the Hostel was located just 1 Km from the German borders, you could essentially walk into Germany.

This is a memorial erected in 2008 just after the last two survivors of the Great War passed away.

The Battle of Verdum resulted in more than a quarter of a million battlefield deaths (163,000 French and 143,000 German combatants) plus at least half a million wounded.

Verdun was the longest battle and one of the most devastating in the First World War and more generally in human history.

Verdun was primarily an artillery battle : a total of about 40 million artillery shells were exchanged by both sides, leaving behind millions of overlapping shell craters that are still partly visible today.  


The Battle of Verdun  was fought behind these fences. Brothers in Arms fought on these fields.

Approaching Calais, just 100Km more, snow starts retreating.

Dover,UK photographed from the ferry's deck.

Back home the snow has covered Bow,London.

Daily Distance: 785 Km
Total Distance: 1911 Km
Soundtrack: Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms

Vassilis Themelidis

Athens to London - Log #024# - (Milan-Swiss Alps-Strasbourg)

The day started with a spectacular fall.

Tyres got trapped into Tram rails causing loss of balance and a fall that was cushioned by the protection plastic pads of the uniform. The side luggage also created a buffer zone that saved my foot from getting trapped beneath the motorcycle.

Just a few bruises and a massive kick of adrenaline which works much better than caffeine.  


Viale Monte Santo where the fall happened. Luckily no gear broken.

On my way to the Swiss Alps.

Little Italian villages near Como just before the Swiss borders into the Italian part of Switzerland.

Crossing the borders from Italy into Switzerland.

My Translalp before of the Alps.

Into the Alps and just before of one of these massive Swiss tunnels. One of these is 56 Km long.

Really tempted to go through Zurich where a dear friend lives but I have to race to London.

Swiss villages snowed under, on one of the several lakes lying under the Alps.

Stop for lunch.

Just 82Km to Basel.

Basel's river Rhine.

The borders between the French and and the German side of Basel. Basel is actually bordering both Germany and France.

Well into France heading to Strasbourg.

Strasbourg by night well lit to celebrate Christmas.

Ill River that flows into Rhine.

Petite France is a neighbourhood in Strasbourg.

The name "Petite-France" (Gerberviertel in German) was conferred by the former German inhabitants not for architectonical reasons, but because of the numerous prostitutes working there in the Middle Ages — prostitution used to be known in Germany as "the French business".

Also, syphilis often contracted in that specific area was then known as Franzosenkrankheit ("French disease").


Its medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings in the Petite-France district alongside the Ill.

The Place Kl├ęber is the central square of Strasbourg and pictured is the L'Aubette a palace built in the 17th century.

The main commercial street of Strasbourg. 

The first modern newspaper was published in Strasbourg in 1605, when Johann Carolus received the permission by the City of Strasbourg to print and distribute a weekly journal written in German by reporters from several central European cities. Source//Wikipedia

StrasbourgCathedral of Our Lady.
The city is chiefly known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock.

Strasbourg Cathedral on which construction began in the twelfth century, was completed in 1439 (though only the north tower was built) and became the World's Tallest Building, surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza. A few years later, Johannes Gutenberg created the first European moveable type printing press in Strasbourg. Source//Wikipedia

Trivial info: In July 1518, an incident known as the Dancing Plague of 1518 struck residents of Strasbourg. Around 400 people were afflicted with dancing mania and danced constantly for weeks, most of them eventually dying from heart attack, stroke or exhaustion.

Daily Distance: 476 Km
Total Distance: 1116 Km
Soundtrack: Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the dark

Vassilis Themelidis