Km done: 1471 km
Daily Average: 74 km
Days in YU: 20
Days on the Bike: 18
Altitude climbed: 13130m
Average Altitude: 730m
nights in the Tent: 16
nights in Houses: 4
Breakdowns: 0
Daily Average: 11,70€

After Bulgaria there is the next Adventure ahead of me:

Yugoslavia, or what left of it...

04.09.2014 - 24.09.14

the War in the Nineties left marks, not only in the Landscape or on the Facades of the Houses also in the Peoples Mind and Soul. So i had to travel through five Counties on my way through a Country that was united under the Name Yugoslavia before the War...

The Development of the Countries is very different. So Croatia is already Member of EU and it´s Economy stabil you can´t say this about a Country like Kosovo.

But one after the other...

Coming from Bulgaria i crossed Serbia in one Day to reach the next Border: Kosovo. It wash´t my Plan to visit it so i was not really orientated what is going on there as i gave my pass for the Stamp. Short after the Border i was welcomed at a Gasstation and stayed there for my first night in the Country. Although nobody could speak english or German there it was a nice Evening and a quiet Night and a perfect Start into a new Country
Ongoing i saw only new Houses along the Street and a lot of Shops. After the War the International Community organized the building of 50.000 Houses and so you can´t (except of Graves and Memorials) see anything left of the conflict. It seems that everybody is selling something, you have countless Shops (and Carwash´s)
The Economy is related to the Money of the Kosovarians working in Europe and their Money they brought back. By the Way Kosovo is (according to official european Informations) the biggest Gateway to Europe for Hard Drugs. This Blackmarket gives the Society a big declination. Big expensive cars can be seen a lot on the Streets... based to the unsolved Situation (the Independency is not accepted from all Countries (first of all Serbia)) It´s difficult for them to Travel. I got a lot of wishful Faces when we talk about Travelling around... apart from that they don´t have the Money to Travel.....

I took a nice roundtrip over Prizren in the South and Pece in the West before i was heading to the North towards Mitrovica.
The City is well known for their two Parts divided by the River. in the South the Kosovo-Albanians are living and in the North the Serbs. As i arrived in the Evening the Differences are bright to see. The South is lively and bright lighted and as you cross the (by italian Carabinieris protected) Bridge its getting darker and much more silent. Stark Cut. the Serbs opened the Pavement of the road and blocked it. Always in Fear of Attacks from the other side..
My way led me along the River Ibar through the serbian Part of Kosovo north to the Border with Serbia. There are Roadblockades on the Way and the KFOR is patrolling with armored Vehicles. Strange Area...

Back in Serbia i followed the Ibar in his beautiful Valley, visited the Studenica Monastery and arrived in Kragujevac the next Day. The city is the Hometown of the Serbian Guys i met in Romania on the Transfagarassaran Road. A big Welcome and a nice Evening before i build up my tent next to the Camping Car of one of them. He is doing the Nightwatch at a fairground and so i slept next to a carousel... very Special :-)

The Colleagues of Nicola are awaiting me in the next City and so i had (after a nice evening with them) company on my next day ride... The road leads west to Bosnia and we followed little roads along a river. At the End it went up the Hills and i crossed the only Passroad on my whole trip in Serbia.

Arriving in Bosnia was also special. After passing the Sign „Welcome to Bosnia-Hercegovina“ there was a second one that welcomes me in the Serbian republic... The Serbs in Bosnia live in their own Territory with own Administration. There you see that the conflict is not resolved, just pacified... They will be no friends in the next time. This takes a lot of Time... To much happened in the History

The ride to Sarajevo is again very beautiful. Through Valleys and Gorges the Road leads through the Country and at the End i rode on a old Railroad-Track that used as a road through a gorge and black Tunnels. Fascinating
Arriving in Sarajevo was fine. The city is embedded in Hills and especially when the call of the almost 300 Minaretts sounds through the Valley it´s like another world. The Oldtown is an Old Basar and still has it´s muslimic Touch. Walking through it is very special. The other Side of Sarajevo is the marks from War. The Hills around the Town are covered with Cemeteries full of the victims of the 3 Years of Siege through the Serbian Army. 15.000 People died in this Time. Snipers and Artillery did their deadly work. You can see the marks in the whole town... A dark chapter in the History of the City.

My next Target was Mostar.

It got famous for it´s during the war destroyed historic bridge and is a good example for the Problems of Bosnia. The Town was divided in two Parts during the War and the demolition of the historic Bridge was the symbolic Highpoint of it. The Frontline is still visible and Ruins along this Street are telling their story. All over the Town there are burnt out Houses and marks from Bullets and Shells... The Bridge was reconstructed with the Help of international Money and looks like nothing happened but the Marks in the Mind and Soul of the People will take more time to heal... The City worths a visit and is cause of the near to croatian Coast totally crowded in the Afternoons...

After Mostar it was Time for the Coast! a Dayride away there is the Adriatic Coast with all the beautiful beaches. After three Weeks of changeable Weather i like to enjoy some warmth... But as life goes it was raining the most of the Time along the Coast and there was better Weather in the Backcountry of Montenegro...

The South of Croatia is famous for one Thing: Dubrovnik! As Main Touristic Hotspot i wanted to take a view on it... The Coast is a very expensive Part and so i speeded up to get through it. The weather makes it easy and so i went fast. In Dubrovnik it was just a ´in, ride around, out-Visit and then i went on to Montenegro.

In Montenegro my main focus was on the Fjord of Kotor. A beautiful Bay surrounded by almost 2000m high Mountains. On the following Day we took a Road that enters the Mountains in a lot of Hairpins and offers beautiful views of the Fjord. I did it like the Days before together with Emelie and Jeremie. From the Top we went down through the Hills to the Skadarsko Jezero, the biggest Lake in the Balkans.

The Day along the Lake was cause Breathtaking cause of two Reasons: First the Road leads us through the Hills and never was flat. The second one was the View. It is such a beautiful Place, it was definitive a Highlight of my Journey till now...

At the End of the Lake i get also to the End of Montenegro and so to the End of this Story...

I stayed almost 3 weeks in this Countries and get a lot of Hospitality. Nice People who where happy to get a visit from a guy from western Europe on a Bike.
I could also see that the conflict out of the nineties is not over, just pacified. The Problems are still existing, one one side it´s Serbia not accepting the independency of Kosovo, on the other side that the Serbs have (almost)their own State in Bosnia... And the (Drug-)Crimes in Kosovo is also a big issue. It will take years or better decades to solve this things.

The Landscape in this region is fantastic. Deep Valleys surrounded by high Mountains and nice and breathtaking roads made the ride delightful. The other side of this Landscape is that there is mostly just one Road leading from one place to another. So the cars and i have to share it... Most of the Time it went fine ;-)

I think i will come back to visit the parts that didn´t fit in my plans this time. Also to meet again the People i visited this time.