Part of a cross-continental bike trip is crossing into new regions and countries. Each new country can mean a new language, currency and customs. In addition, a new country comes with a set of expectations, both from our own impressions, but also from what we read and from what neighbouring countries and the locals have to say. In many cases our preconceived expectations about a country overprepared us and we often found that traffic, road conditions, people etc. were nowhere near what we thought they would be.
Germany had quaint little villages, a world away from continous industrial areas that we had expected there to be. Albania had way better roads and better drivers than we'd read about. And Turkey was nowhere near as expensive as we were warned it would be.
Even now that we're cycling in Canada, we've had some of our preconceptions dispelled... We were expecting busy roads with fast drivers and we didn't think that we'd interact with as many people as in southeast Europe. Happily both of these fears were dispelled on our first day of cycling. In the first five kilometres, we were invited by a passing driver to stop for a drink and we were later invited to camp on the lawn of some local cyclists that we met at a roadside vegetable stand. And sticking to small country roads, we've had a pretty calm ride!
|Stopping for beers after only 5km on the road...|