DAYS 1-7: London to Thessaloniki

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NEWS FROM THE ROAD...

DAY 7 – Saturday Dec 12 ’09

From an Englishman Abroad, Teacher Dude’s Grill & BBQ (with a picture that may or may not be the Mayor):

“The Viva Palestina convoy which is taking supplies from Britain to Gaza overland reached Thessaloniki today. Tomorrow the 80 odd vehicles will be at the White Tower [MAP]from 10.30 onwards before going on to Turkey.”

10pm: Warmth and comfort tonight…

Thessaloniki: Greece as you never saw on summer hols! In a sports hall. Much warmer than canvas. Tomorrow we parade thru city. Very proud – @YorktoGaza *Newspaper report about Y2G crew member…*

5pm: Night stop in Thessaloniki…

Staying the nite in a sports centre. Mayor of Thessaloniki welcomes convoy n media coverage. Covered 500km today n more vhculr casualties. – @zhat

Lots of pics from: Malaysia’s Perdana4Peace, Swansea Ladies & Joti2Gaza on the first 7 days, “Vans, plans and solidarity

4pm: Heading into Thessaloniki for a reception with the Mayor…

Convoy travelling together for the first time as we enter Thessa for reception with Mayor & we lose half of them. How we made it to Greece? … – @Pal_S_Campaign

i am currently sitting in front of a group of Irish Catholic kids who drove all the way from Ireland because they say, “what’s happening in Palestine is exactly what happened to Ireland.” Islamic brotherhood that! – @juanajaafar

10am: More from Greece…

Beautiful, treacherous moutainside snow. Very grateful not 2 b camping tonight! Hope everyone makes it ok to Thessaloniki. – @Joti2Gaza

9am: Bad weather DRIVE SAFE!

Driving thru low cloud over the mountains, now severe weather warning received. Hope to make it out before snowstorms hit. – @Joti2Gaza

8am: Already in the snowy mountains, West meets East?

Going through snowstorm in Greece. With fog and ice on the road. Lovely. – @Pal_S_Campaign

Pindus mtns. Fog. We’re above snow-line. 5 mile diversion for fuel. Small cafe. Left the West behind? – @YorktoGaza

7am: Looking forward to the night stop… have you heard the WORD?:

Greece is the word! Actually its the country. Heading for Veroia and then further onto Thessaloniki where convoy expected for a civic r(eception) – @zhat

Greece is the WORD!! Viva Palestina convoy is now in magnificent Greece!! – @georgegalloway

6am: The Superfast ferry will entered Igoumenitsa harbour at 5.30am…

Crossed Adriatic overnight, now heading into Greek mountains towards Theselonika, where Mayor and stadium accommodation await… – @Joti2Gaza

Vehicles all leaving the ferry, fueling up and heading for Thessaloniki – @Pal_S_Campaign

DAY 6 – Friday Dec 11 ’09

8pm: More to warm the heart…

Had first group mtg on ferry since London-only now appreciating diversity of people-from all walks of life-uniting in solidarity with Gaza – @Pal_S_Campaign

5pm: The convoy is getting longer!

We hear at a morale boost mtg on deck that 60 more vehicles may join us at Istanbul, Turkish support added to what we expect from the USA. – @YorktoGaza

3pm: The boat is Superfast and luxurious…

Updating fr the first time from the luxury of a real keyboard! On ship bound for Greece and got several hourse to kill. – @zhat

Hours to kill? Why not watch the documentary of Convoy #1…

2pm: Press conference done (send the link if you have it) sailing the Adriatic to Greece:

We are all aboard our vessel that will carry us to Greece! We thank the people of Italy for such a wonderful departure! Greece here we come! – @georgegalloway

… excitement all round on having access to beds and shower on ferry! – @viva_palestina

Safe on board. We have cabins! Arrivaderci Italia, kalos ilthate Hellatha. We’re bonding, the whole convoy. Big ship… smooth crossing? – @YorktoGaza

On the way to greece now. Ciao for next 20hrs as no connection from the Adriatic. – @zhat

11am: The Convoy is prepping their sea legs for the Superfast 15.5hr crossing to Greece:

Everyone has bought their ferry tickets – heading off to port in Ancona for our ferry at 13.30. Press conference organised by Italian activist at 12.30 – excitement all round on having access to beds and shower on ferry! – @Pal_S_Campaign

DAY 5 – Thursday Dec 10 ’09

Overnight stop in Ancona. The Convoy’s ferry leaves Ancona Friday afternoon arriving in Igoumenitsa, Greece on Saturday morning.

11pm: Heart warming solidarity in Ancona

Camping at small town above Ancona. Pizza party. Made gd friends of owner & family – happy occasion. Ordinary folk doing the super-ordinary@YorktoGaza

Dinner donated by brothers of E-group. Extra blankets donated by Mohammed of C4. Solidarity in action! Ferry 2 Greece 2moro. – @Joti2Gaza

7pm: Enjoy the pizza tonight and chatting to the locals, rest up and we’ll see you tomorrow!

From volleyball on Rimini beach 2 stadium car park in Ancona. No facilities. Cold, dark, grumpy, but a nice man just offered some food. Viva! – @Joti2Gaza

4pm: Ciao Ancona!

Convoy has landed in port Ancona! Our multi-coloured vehicles and songs are making everyone stand to attention and :)! – @georgegalloway

Spotted?

Having a slow day? Try and spot the Convoy on AutoStrade’s webcams along the A14 motorway: Bologna > Rimini > Ancona.

2pm: After lunch stops in Rimini, the Convoy is making its way along the coast to Ancona – but YorktoGaza have already made it!

At Ancona! 24 hrs before ferry so we hope to dry the tent (our breath made ice crystals), eat pizza and chat to the locals about our mission – @YorktoGaza

PressTV report, “Viva Palestina convoy reaches Italy”:

South African radio interview with Kevin Ovenden

8am: The services and a warm Italian welcome…

Had the whole convoy together last night as we took over a service station outside Bologna. Everyone bonding and we are on schedule :-)@YorktoGaza

The people of Italy are wonderful and we are grateful for their support! Convoy will be on the move shortly… – @georgegalloway

5am: After a 5am wakeup:

Ice on the tent this morn: does that mean a flood in the tent bag later? Passing Ancona now. Pizza in Rimini for lunch :)@Joti2Gaza

Day 5 starts with a 300km run via Bologna to Ancona then the Convoy hops on a ferry for the 15.5-hour sailing to Greece…

NEWS…Safe Journey, Viva Palestina” – Stuart Littlewood has wishes for the convoy, a letter to Haniyeh and a new book, ‘Radio Free Palestine‘.

DAY 4 – Wednesday Dec 9 ’09

9pm: Overnight stop at Modena services:

Parked at Modena, S of Verona. Bradford‘s Muktar providing a curry. Big park, HGVs on one side, VP on the other, trucks hooting in support – @YorktoGaza

6pm: Wrap up warm tonight!

Past Verona now and heading south. One more hour to Modena. Beautiful stars in a clear sky means v cold camping 2nite! – @Joti2Gaza

4pm: YorktoGaza’s first stop in Italy…

Arriva, arriva! First stop Italia! Sunset on mountain tops. Horns toot in support. Only 150 odd miles to go before we camp. – @YorktoGaza

3pm: The signoras from Swansea are pushing on…

Heading south through the bella Italian Alps. Poor little bus feeling the strain, but we’re determined 2 deliver her 2 Gaza! – @Joti2Gaza

1pm: Tweets are coming thick and fast today… leading group crosses into Italy, passing Verona onto Modena…

Leaving Austria soon. Beautiful. Sun shining. Our vehicle leading – works better. Will camp Italy tonight // At the foot of the Brenner, pit stop, prayer stop, grey Danube beside us. – @YorktoGaza

12pm: Ciao Italia!

VIVA ITALIA!!! Convoy has arrived in Italy!!!! Bellissimo!!!! – @georgegalloway

Sunshine in Italy – will be picking up medical aid from our Italian friends as we make our way to Ancona. Stopping at Modena. – @viva_palestina

11am: Passing through the Alps

nearly in Modena now via Verona. In the Alps now and its beautiful – @CorktoGaza

Police problems on Austrian roads – fines for overweight vhcls, first aid kit, etc etc! Heading for Verona fair – @viva_palestina

9am: Rise and shine!

Early start today so we can get to Modena before dark. Snow in Austria. – @Pal_S_Campaign

YorktoGazas Ambulance

YorktoGaza's Ambulance

Swansea Action for Palestine has some great pictures of Life on the Road….

YorktoGaza will lead the show on Day 4:

“Our ambulance will be the lead vehicle in their group [today]. I think that’s a promotion!” – @YorktoGaza

DAY 3 – Tuesday Dec 8 ’09

7pm: Overnight stop in Kiefersfelden… Joti2Gaza tells us what the Convoy can look forward to:

… Mountains, tent and real food 2nite (and shower) – @Joti2Gaza

Camped on a circular mound under a tree on border of Germ & Aust. We love our tent! 200 miles nearer Gaza. Supper soon. Peace now… for us – @YorktoGaza

… about to set up the tent for the night, brrrr! Meeting loads of great people and doing lots of driving! – @CorktoGaza

Tomorrow it’s auf wiedersehen Germany and onward to Austria and Italy – GOOD NIGHT!

4pm: the final Bristol vehicle joins up:

After an exhausting 24 hour non-stop drive the final vehicle from the Bristol convoy has caught up with the rest of the VP Convoy!!!!! – @viva_palestina

12pm: The hills are alive with the Sound of a Convoy…
Road to Salzburg

Heading into the Alps towards Salzberg ahead of the rest of the convoy – mountains absolutely stunning! – @Pal_S_Campaign

11am: Leaving Esslingsen for Munich and then onto Kiefersfelden:

Fun night with big tent at 2 am nr Stuttgart & 3 guests dry in the rain. Eggs & tea. Now to Munich. – @YorktoGaza

Cold, wet and noisy (near airport) camping last night in Germany but spirits high. Driving towards Kiefersfelden today – @Pal_S_Campaign

Read Tweets from the Convoy at: @ReadingPSC/vp3

DAY 2 – Monday Dec 7 ’09

10pm: night stop in Esslingsen, Germany – GOOD NIGHT!

Waiting for all the vehicles to catch up to us at our stop in Esslingsen in southern Germany. A few tyre issues and breakdown – @Pal_S_Campaign

Today’s lesson: a convoy is only as fast as its slowest vehicle. Up a big hill. In the rain. On a long and very German road. – @Joti2Gaza

… Going to try big new tent unless site is concrete – @YorktoGaza

5pm: from Ruqayyah of PSC:

Driving non-stop to make sure we reach Southern Germany for our night stop. – @Pal_S_Campaign

12pm: the latest from Joti2Gaza:

Spent the night in a Belgian carpark. Freezing! Had a great reception from some friendly locals. Now heading for Stuttgart via Luxemburg. – @Joti2Gaza

There’s precious little media coverage of the Convoy, PressTV talked to George Galloway:

Galloway’s comment came as an international aid convoy the Viva Palestina is scheduled to take humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip from London, marking the first year anniversary of Israel’s three-week war on the Gazans. – read more…

DAY 1 – Sunday Dec 6 ’09

Noam Chomsky‘s words of support for the Convoy:

To everyone taking part in the third Viva convoy I wish you all the very best of luck, and your efforts for the people in Gaza just warms my heart. You bring hope, solidarity, peace and love from right across the world. I am with you all the way in spirit. – via Student Respect

In the (Italian) news, Periodico Italiano: “The Viva Palestina convoy leaves London – 3000 miles to go

Some pictures from the London send-off on Elliot & Dave’s Flickr… and more from @gloucester2gaza:

7pm: Convoy member Joti2Gaza from Swansea has some pictures from Folkestone on Flickr (even George Galloway made an appearance) and has been Tweeting from the Channel:

Turns out that chemicals used in car valeting are also used in bomb-making. Just had a serious going over at the tunnel’s border control. – @Joti2Gaza

10am: Sunday Sendoff
Due to logistical difficulties, not all of the vehicles going to Gaza will be coming into Central London for a send off on Sunday morning. Those driving the 15 ambulances dedicated to the memory of those killed during Israel’s assault on Gaza last December/January whilst on duty will attend a photo call and mini send off for supporters, families, and media outlets. This will take place on the Embankment between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge at 10am.

Kevin Ovenden’s interview on PressTV’s Rattansi & Ridley show…

WANT MORE?

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