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Old 5th July 2015, 05:29   #76
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Cooldudesunny, its been a long wait for Day 17 and more stories. Please take out some time to complete this epic of a travelogue.
Hi Sourabhzen, I know man and trust me i try to update as soon as i can :-|

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Hats off to you guys! All the best!
Thanks Keralite, appreciate your kind words :-)
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Old 7th July 2015, 09:51   #77
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Day 17: Dubrovnik to Macedonia via Montenegro and Albania
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dubrovniktown.jpg

Today was going to be another long day on the road, 7+ hours on the road and we were going to cross Montenegro and Albania. From Cavtat we were going to drive into Dubrovnik, check out the famous fortress and then carry on towards Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dubrovniktomacedonia.png

We were kind of confused if we should break our journey in Albania or carry on till Lake Ohrid, Macedonia! Reading about Albania made us kill the idea of stopping over, online reviews were as vibrant as one would find about certain cities of India ;-)

Drive towards Dubrovnik was very beautiful, all the houses in Dubrovnik had white walls and red tops which gave this town an amazingly beautiful and distinctive looks. Initially we had planned to stop here for a while and check out the fortress but the rate at which the traffic was moving, and since we could almost circle the fortress wall in the car itself, we decided to keep on moving.



London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-dubrovniktownmore.jpg

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Once out of Dubrovnik, we were in Montenegro in no time. Since we had selected the coastal route, the views throughout were breathtaking and we had to literally strangle our urge of stopping every now and then.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-towardsmacedonia.jpg









By the time we entered Albania it had already started to get dark, and the look and feel of Albanian towns was justifying all the reviews we had read online.

We were done with the Albanian Riviera and had started ascending uphill. Soon it was pitch dark and the road was getting narrower and narrower, soon it was wide enough to accommodate one big vehicle. The tarmac was good and smooth which kind of was instigating the racer in me but my dear Aarti, who is scared of winding roads that too downhill made sure that racer in me never woke up. This downhill road had endless twists and turns and Aarti also mentioned that it was termed quite a dangerous road!

We finally made the decent and were happily cruising towards the Albania-Macedonia border, when it started raining quite heavily. Narrow roads, twists & turns, heavy rains, all these factors had collectively effected our cruising speed and by the time we made it to the border, it was already close to 10 PM.

We were happy that we were almost an hour away from our hotel, however we forgot that we would need car insurance to enter Macedonia and it was already 10 PM and the lady who issued insurance at the border had already left for her house!

Thanks to the nice border officials, they called the insurance lady and she agreed to come back to her border office, provided we paid additional money towards her taxi charges! Off course we had no plans of spending the night at the border, so we instantaneously agreed and in another hour or so we were on our way towards the Hotel.

Now the GPS decided not to point us towards the exact Hotel location, so after trying some guess work and trying to figure out the instructions we had for the Hotel, we decided to hire a taxi to guide us to this address. We followed this taxi guy towards the Hotel which was right in front of Lake Ohrid, paid him and checked in. We both were feeling exhausted with the twists and turns Albania had in store for us, so we gave in to the urge and called it a day.
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Old 11th July 2015, 09:36   #78
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Awesome!!! Awesome!!! Awesome!!! Can't wait to read next updates
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Old 16th July 2015, 07:58   #79
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Originally Posted by devendradesh View Post
Awesome!!! Awesome!!! Awesome!!! Can't wait to read next updates
Thanks Devendradesh :-)
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Old 16th July 2015, 08:27   #80
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Day 18: Chillin in Macedonia
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiposinglakeohridmacedonia.jpg

It was a beautiful, bright and clear morning that we woke up too. Had heard a lot about Lake Ohrid, so the curosity made both of jump out of our beds early, get ready, pack our bags and we were out in a jiffy.

And the view that awaited us was indeed breathtaking, it is one of Europe's deepest and oldest lakes and was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiposingmacedonia.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-akhillakeohridmacedonia.jpg

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There was a nice restaurant opposite to the lake, once we had quinched our thirst for the natural beauty we realized we had tummy too that needed to be fed! I couldn't hear my tummy but the voices from my wife's had started to shape into acts of voilence and a smart husband is one who knows when to act ;-)

So, in a snap of fingers we were inside the restaurant and Aarti was going thru the menu. The guy serving us was porbably one of the nicest we met in the whole journey. Food was nice as well, we couldn't finish all of it so packed the rest.

I had to spend around an hour on my work related tasks as there was some urgency, we dint had much data left on our phones so parked Dhanno in the parking area of our hotel and thanked the free internet.

The hotel we stayed in Macedonia was:

Hotel Villa Dislievski
Kej Marshal Tito br.68a,
Ohrid
6000, MK

Then after checking out the main market, we were back on the road towards Meteora. It was a 4 hour journey and we were really excited as we were going to spend quite some time in Greece.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-macedoniagreece.png



London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-pitstopmacedonia.jpg
Pitstop on the way

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-macedoniarangeroverfillingscreenwashliquid.jpg
Filling up the screen liquid
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Old 30th July 2015, 10:45   #81
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Day 19: Greece (Meteora)
[Written By Akhil]


London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiakhilinmeteora.png

It got pretty late before we could reach our hotel in Meteora, last few hours were spent on the zig-zag mountain roads. If you guys remember, this is something i like but Aarti no so much! So, i had to drive slower than usual and to top it all, we got lost as well. Aarti called up the hotel lady but that did not help much.

GPS was also pointing to nowhere, we continued downhill (listened to common sense) and in few minutes we were at our destination.

We stayed at:

Guesthouse Papastathis
Kastraki, Meteora,
Kalambaka 22013,
Greece
Phone +302432077782

It was nice clean hotel, and the host was nice as well. In addition to us, there were quite few other guests as well. I guess it was a busy period! We were tired but had a little catch to do with work before we could call it a day. Internet in the room was not strong enough, so we had to sit at the reception area to finish our work.

As you guys already know Meteora is a UNESCO site, there is another interesting fact about this place:

Towards the end of James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only", Bond is sent to Meteora, Greece to retrieve a stolen "ATAC" system that could be misused for controlling British military submarines. There the fiendish villain Kristatos hangs out in his unreachable lair, holding a young girl, a hopeful Olympic ice skater, who is being sequestered by her coach and an evil sponsor, who has a small computer device that controls the U.S. nuclear submarine fleet’s missiles. The lair is actually the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, known in the movie as the Monastery of Saint Cyril, the most isolated of all the monasteries. It is also perhaps the one with the most striking location, set on a huge standalone pinnacle, with an incredible view of the valley and city of Kalambaka below.

For the Meteora shoots, a Greek bishop was paid to allow filming in the monasteries, but the uninformed Eastern Orthodox monks were mostly critical of production rolling in their installations. After a trial in the Greek Supreme Court, it was decided that the monks' only property were the interiors – the exteriors and surrounding landscapes were from the local government. In protest, the monks remained shut inside the monasteries during the shooting, and tried to sabotage production as much as possible, hanging their washing out of their windows and covering the principal monastery with plastic bunting and flags to spoil the shots, and placing oil drums to prevent the film crew from landing helicopters. The production team solved the problem with back lighting, matte paintings, and building both a similar scenographic monastery on a nearby unoccupied rock, and a monastery set in Pinewood.

We woke up to an amazing view of Meteora and beautiful town of Kalambaka. It was a bright, sunny day and this is what we wished for :-)

Lady of the hotel had an amazing breakfast ready, Aarti really relished it. There was still some work pending so before we could start exploring Meteora, we absorbed some Vitamin D while trying to finish the pending work.



We finished our work, packed the bags, stuffed them in the RR and put our tourist caps on :-)

Of all the monesteries in Meteora we decided to visit St. Nicholas Anapausas Monastery. After parking the RR on the road, it was a small trek up the hill. You can hear Aarti huffing and puffing on the way up, but the view from the top was good enough to charge her back up.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-saintnicholasanapausasmonastery1.jpg

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London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-saintnicholasanapausasmonastery5.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-saintnicholasanapausasmonastery6.jpg









Meteora was on our wish list and we are so glad we had this covered in our trip.

Once we were done with the monestery, it was time to enjoy some local cuisine. There are lots of local restaurants in the area and food is really nice and delicious.

It was already past lunch time and our next stop Thessaloniki was 3 hours away. Before we could get out of Meteora, the astounding beauty of the place made us stop quite a times and we made the most of these moments.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-onwayfrommeteoratothessaloniki6.jpg

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London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-meteoralocalfood.jpg





We were back on the road, the sun was on its way down and the roads were getting lonlier. Road in Greece are pretty good, they might not be wide enough but the tarmac is plain and smooth.

By the time we reached our hotel in Thessaloniki, it was close to midnight. We parked our RR, took out all the stuff that we would need for the morning flight to Santorini and checked in.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-meteoratothessaloniki.png
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Old 1st August 2015, 16:03   #82
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by cooldudesunny View Post
Day 7: Switzerland (Contd…)


What an epic trip it must have been! Could you please complete this travelogue, please, at your own convenience? I am really curious to know what happened next? I am too planning, actually dreaming of doing a cross country road trip. Could you let us know how much did it cost including fuel, toll and everything else?

Last edited by moralfibre : 1st August 2015 at 16:25. Reason: Do not quote an entire large post. Please only quote relevant bits.
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Old 3rd August 2015, 11:57   #83
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

This was one of those threads which I was keenly following. All I can say is "Take a Bow"!! I hope you reach Jammu like the way you have planned.

Now that I can ask, I was always curious to know how you're managing the monitory aspects of the trip? Are you re-creating the Oceans series in every country?
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Old 4th August 2015, 00:40   #84
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Great going buddy. This is simply awesome. This is my first post on the forum and me being a total travel freak, simply couldn't resist myself from replying to this wonderful thread. The whole narrative has been very well supported with picturesque photographs and videography. During the course of reading I got nostalgic a number of times as it reminded me of my cross country drives and travels in the country. Your endeavour is definitely a motivational fuel for the petrolheads of this forum. Just too eager to read your complete experience. Keep posting.
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Old 7th August 2015, 20:53   #85
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Congrats on completing such an epic journey and thanks for patiently sharing with us..It's highly motivating to see journeys like this, it inspires and provides confidence to get out and explore, hope I can complete such an awesome journey at some point before leaving this wonderful planet!
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Old 30th August 2015, 05:27   #86
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by rohitchandra21 View Post
What an epic trip it must have been! Could you please complete this travelogue, please, at your own convenience? I am really curious to know what happened next? I am too planning, actually dreaming of doing a cross country road trip. Could you let us know how much did it cost including fuel, toll and everything else?
Indeed Rohit, we are so glad we did this trip. I apologize for not been able to update this thread as frequently as i wish i could.

Money wise it can cost you anywhere between 10 - 25 Lacs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil_KP View Post
This was one of those threads which I was keenly following. All I can say is "Take a Bow"!! I hope you reach Jammu like the way you have planned.

Now that I can ask, I was always curious to know how you're managing the monitory aspects of the trip? Are you re-creating the Oceans series in every country?
Thanks Devil. Trip did end up as planned. he he .. Not really, since we had been planning it for an year everything was arranged for before we entered any country. Obviously exceptions are always there ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssambyal1980 View Post
Great going buddy. This is simply awesome. This is my first post on the forum and me being a total travel freak, simply couldn't resist myself from replying to this wonderful thread. The whole narrative has been very well supported with picturesque photographs and videography. During the course of reading I got nostalgic a number of times as it reminded me of my cross country drives and travels in the country. Your endeavour is definitely a motivational fuel for the petrolheads of this forum. Just too eager to read your complete experience. Keep posting.
Thanks S. Sambyal, really appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm. I will try my best to update the thread as frequently as i could.

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Originally Posted by vette8991 View Post
Congrats on completing such an epic journey and thanks for patiently sharing with us..It's highly motivating to see journeys like this, it inspires and provides confidence to get out and explore, hope I can complete such an awesome journey at some point before leaving this wonderful planet!
Thanks Vette. Our best wishes are with you, and hopefully i will be reading a similar thread initiated by you soon :-)
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Old 30th August 2015, 05:41   #87
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Day 20: Santorini (Greece)
[Written By Akhil]

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-panorama_santorini.png

Finally the day arrived Aarti had been waiting for with since time immemorial. Yes, today we were flying to Santorini and if you have a wife or a girlfriend you already know how important it is for her to tick out this place from her wish list :-)

The hotel we have been staying in had an amazing staff, even thou we were checking out they agreed to let us park the car in the hotel parking and assured us that they will take care of it as it was fully stuffed.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-thessalonikitosantorini.png

They got us a taxi and we left for the airport, it was an early morning flight and weather was just right (no sun, cloudy but pleasent).

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-boradingflightfromthessalonikitosantorini.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-flightfromthessalonikitosantorini.jpg







Aarti was as excited as she can be and was recording everything even as we proceeded to board the plan. I tried to warn her that recording might not be allowed but as any other husband i was shown my place.

It was an hour flight and we landed in Santorini. Took a taxi and got down close to the hotel. The way to hotel was a short walk and our taxi guy had assured it was very close to where he dropped us.

Unfortunately battery of both our phones was out so we have to wander a little before we could figure out entrance to the hotel. Problem is that everything is white in Santorini, when i say white its the kind of white you see in the tide advertisement!

Eventually we made it to the hotel reception and they checked us in. It was very kind on the part of the hotel guys that they upgraded us we were really impressed by the service they were providing.

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-calderaviewfromourbalconyhotelchromata3.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-calderaviewfromourbalconyhotelchromata2.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-calderaviewfromourbalconyhotelchromata.jpg

It was time to get refreshed, so making full use of the facilities in the upgraded room, we got ready to click some photos. I had some official business to take care of, so i got busy with that. After the work was over, we went out to the market for a stroll and also to experience some local cuisine.



London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiposinghotelchromatasantorini.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartiakhilsantorini.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-aartitowninthebackground.jpg

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London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-akhiltryingtocapturesunsethotelchromata.jpg

London to Jammu: With a Range Rover-santorinibeautifulsunset.jpg

Market was pretty crowded and all major food joints were pre-booked, so we decided not to wait in the long queues outside the famous ones and just find some place in any restaurant. Luckily we found space a decent restaurant and ordered our food, some salad and grilled chicken what else. If you ask me in particular, i am kind of guy who likes spicy food and i feel out of place everywhere except India and I am sure Aarti will have a different story to tell.

After we were done with the food and stroll in the market, we went back to our room and enjoyed an amazing Santorini sunset.

Tomorrow was going to be an eventful day as we were planning to explore Santorini. So, we soaked ourselves in the twilight before calling it a day.
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Old 30th October 2015, 16:38   #88
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

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Originally Posted by cooldudesunny View Post
Day 20: Santorini (Greece)
[Written By Akhil]


Tomorrow was going to be an eventful day as we were planning to explore Santorini. So, we soaked ourselves in the twilight before calling it a day.
Hello Sir,

Where have you gone missing! Its quite a long time no update on the further of the trip!
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Old 31st October 2015, 23:00   #89
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Hello Sir,

Where have you gone missing! Its quite a long time no update on the further of the trip!
Hey Buddy,

I know man, and sorry for that. Its been quite busy here and is going to stay the same for another few months. But, i am trying to get my act together and working on the Day 21 post. So, hopefully you will see that in a day or two :-)
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Old 2nd November 2015, 19:24   #90
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Default Re: London to Jammu: With a Range Rover

Man! I'm sure you guys are tired of people telling you that you guys have lived a dream! But here goes again - This, is our bucket list trip, and we plan to do it on a motorcycle (Bng - London). I would love it if you can give me a few pointers - a rough cost calculation for the vehicle & visas overall.
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