Prespa, Elbasan

After returning to Ohrid (btw, the road between Skopje and Ohrid provides quite some views!) I hop back on my bike and cycle in the direction of Greece. I make a little stop on the way at Prespa lake, so peaceful and calm this time of the year… And I pick up a few apples from local gardens…

I reach Elbasan through snow (only a short part of the route, luckily for me), which makes me dream of warm Greece even more. The town is a short walk and it’s the mountains around that make it a worthy place to visit. I do try to enjoy the architecture but it’s quite depressing how it is left to rot…

Po powrocie do Ohrid (a trasa między Skopje a Ohrid jest miejscami bardzo malownicza!), wsiadam z powrotem na rower i ruszam w kierunku Grecji. Po drodze warto zrobić sobie przystanek nad jeziorem…

Kotor, Montenegro

(and Herceg Novi on the way, with its lovely compact old town, just the right place for a short break)

The Bay of Kotor makes your jaw drop when you ride/drive in… And this is only the beginning. You have to check out the old town (as well as nearby small towns!), where you can find old Italian villas, cats, churches, winding little roads, cats, countless restaurant and pubs, cats, cats… And the Ladder of Kotor, the trekking trail leading above the town… Each bend of the Ladder is a beautiful view of the city and the bay, each step is a new goat jumping around. The wind is blowing, the clouds are running across the sky… Nest to the tiny church up the hill lays a donkey, waiting for you to take photos… Against the fortress wall stands a ladder and next to it it says you aren’t allowed to climb…

Sarajevo I have heard so much about the strange magnetism of the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I got off the bus and started looking for that Sarajevo magic… First the hostel disappeared in mysterious ways… I was going up and down the streets, receiving conflicting responses from random people. They were all kind nevertheless, always ready to offer a drink… I made it. Inside the hostel I met Charles, the king of hitch-hiking (and a bunch of other colourful characters, including Korean busking guitarist and Venezuelan stone dealer). And it would have been a neat place but: 1. no alcohol allowed 2. a single toilet for the whole hostel (=apartment turned into hostel) + one Kiwi backpacker with constant gastric problems. Changing the hostel. Along with Charles and a different Charles not from France we knock the door of Eternal Flame Hostel… And we are firstestest guests. New owners, Ben and Eda are still finishing up paperwork, still…

Krka

Zadar

Late October in Poland. The Autumn cool is here already, announcing the time for me to leave… And why Zadar? It’s simple – the cheapest airplane ticket that brings me to a destination that is still relatively warm. And on top of that – I had long promised myself to complete the Balkan tour (that had begun with my trip to Serbia…

It felt nice to walk the slippery stone streets among bars, shops and other spots providing tourists with all that a lazy vacation requires. It felt nice, too, sitting on Sea Organs, listening to sound compositions created by nature and captured and amplified by man made structure. And it was still nice watching all those churches, squares, parks…

But it is time to move elsewhere… But where? And by what means? Or maybe I should reconsider the idea of cycling across the Balkans? And yes, a bicycle…