I didn't sleep much last night. We arrived in the town of Alexandroupolis at about 7pm and parked up in a huge empty car park just off the sea front. Dave went for a swim before we took a stroll along the promenade returning to the van at about 9pm for a bite to eat. There were few people around - it seemed like a quiet little town.
We hadn't bargained on the hotel opposite hosting a huge wedding which didn't get going until about 10pm and the live band were still belting it out way past 4am, even a quick rain shower didn't dampen their enthusiasm to have a good time. The car park was now crammed full so we couldn't have moved if we'd wanted to. So as the old saying goes 'if you can't beat them join them' we went out for another walk at about 11pm, well past our normal bed time, to find the town had come alive with families, couples, groups of girls closely followed by groups of boys - all out walking, cycling, roller skating, buggy pushing and chatting away. The restaurants which has been completely empty earlier were now heaving with customers and the bars very lively.
It had been quite a long day as we had earlier crossed the border from Turkey to Greece through the small town of Ipsala in the Thrace region. Turkish border posts employ lots of staff all with specific roles - initial document checker, passport control, customs, final document checker and plenty of guards in between. The initial document checker person didn't tell us that campervans had to be x-rayed so having breezed through steps 1 - 3 we then had to drive back to the beginning and wait in line with all the TIR lorries. Thankfully they took pity on us and we were allowed to 'jump' the huge queue - it still took half an hour to get scanned and given the all clear though.
|We wondered whether the x-ray could have spotted Dave's broken toe!|
Having now jumped through all the hoops, although not in the correct order, we were off and crossing two long bridges over the vast marsh area that forms the 'no-mans land' border between the two countries. We passed four lots of armed guards on this section before arriving at the ramshackle Greek border post - all smiles and waves and a very quick process. Welcome to Greece.
|It's all Greek to me!|
|Big sunflower or little bird?|