BLOG | Biking from Skopje to Mostar via Durmitor National Park

After almost three months in North Macedonia it was time to leave the country. Literary, because my tourist visa would expire after ninety days. I choose to head towards Kosovo, partly because I wanted to leave the option open to go for a hike in Prokletije, but mostly because I wanted to ride through Durmitor National Park. Although I was still far from light weight packed, I felt ready to give the mountains another chance while biking from Skopje to Mostar. This blog post describes…Continue Reading “Biking from Skopje to Mostar via Durmitor National Park”

BLOG | Ski Hut Gorica, looking back on three months in Mavrovo National Park

The 5th of May I arrived in Mavrovi Anovi, at Ski Hut Gorica to be precise. This mountain lodge has been my home base for May, June and July. In the first place I helped out with the usual things like cleaning and making the beds, helping guests to find their way around and providing them with information to have them explore Mavrovo National Park. But there were also quite a bunch of other jobs such as painting furniture, building lockers and gardening for example….Continue Reading “Work Away at Ski Hut Gorica, how I spent my time”

BLOG | Biking from Sarajevo to Mavrovo

Left Sarajevo in the rain, woke up in snow. It’s May, but in the mountains it feels like Spring is still asleep. Alright, then I have another excuse to find myself an easier road. Not that I don’t like mountains, I love them, but it’s damn though and I’m not properly equipped. Or actually, I’m over-equipped with non-biking related equipment. I’m heavy and slow and a tiny little bit in a hurry, because the second week of May I hope to be able to help…Continue Reading “Biking from Sarajevo to Mavrovo, cruising canyons”

BLOG | Biking from Zagreb to Sarajevo | Bosnian Border at Novi Grad

Hey there, it’s adventure time. I’m biking from Zagreb to Sarajevo and further on to Macedonia, Skihut Gorica in Mavrovi Anovi to be precise. This year I’ll travel to only a few locations in the Balkans, because I’d like to spend more time in one place. Visit friends, pick up rock climbing and write. But I also want to learn about organic farming and fishing, do volunteer work and learn to speak the language like I did in Zagreb. As long as the weather allows…Continue Reading “Biking from Zagreb to Sarajevo, I choose rivers”

BLOG | Moj najbolji Vikend

In class we had to write an “essay” about our favourite, or best, weekend. Although it’s not even 150 words, it is my first story in Croatian. Thought it would be fun to share. Moj najbolji vikend Svake godine organiziram avanturu za moj rođendan. Ovo je moj najbolji vikend u godini. Ove godine sam išla na kampiranje s prijateljima. Negdje u šumi u Nizozemskoj našli smo mjesto gdje smo smjeli napraviti vatru. Moj rođendan je u siječnju, ali ove godine nije bilo hladno. Prvo smo…Continue Reading “Moj najbolji vikend”

BLOG | Life in Zagreb

At the end of the month I’d like to look back on what I’ve done, on how I felt and what was on my mind. While scrolling through the photos, I immediately got a smile on my face. I like Zagreb. It’s been almost two months since I left the Netherlands and although I thought I didn’t do much, except for learning Croatian, it turned out that I explored quite a bit. So, here’s a photo journal about my life in Zagreb and an unorganized…Continue Reading “Life in Zagreb, two months in Croatia’s capital city”

BLOG | Back to School | City Talk, Zagreb

Dobro došli. Welcome. Doći, argh a ći-verb. Došla sam? Išla, mogla, željela, mislila, gledala – the lala’s and sams dance around the class room. My head is spinning. All verbs I know have changed. Meet the Croatian language. It takes a while for me to realize we’re gonna do the past tense. Excitement, let’s do this. “Bila sam u Sarajev… uhh”, static place, lokativ, ending on -o = srednji rod… u. “Bila sam u Sarajevu.” I was in Sarajevo. Kada? When? I want to say…Continue Reading “Back to School”

BLOG | Hello Zagreb | THE VIEW

When I open my eyes it’s dark, but I know we arrived in Zagreb. Hello Zagreb! The bus waits for a traffic light, when I look to the right I see McDonald’s and the casino. My eyes search for the church, the church on the opposite side of the building I live. Found it. It’s not the prettiest neighbourhood in Zagreb, but I’m excited to be back. Even though I only live and lived here for a few months, it feels like “my” neighbourhood. And…Continue Reading “Hello Zagreb”

BLOG | Crazy Early Spring

At the end of the month I like to look back on where I’ve been and what I’ve done. On how I felt and what was on my mind. I could have posted these photos on Instagram, but I didn’t. Usually February is a bit of a difficult month, it’s not green yet, it’s still cold and the sunrise is terribly late. This year was different though. No, not the sunrise, no. But it was warm and sunny. There were blue skies, nature started to…Continue Reading “Crazy early spring & a microadventure”

BLOG | Trebevic Tales | Up and down

Here I am again, back on my blog and I got another (by the time I post it) old update for you. Here’s the fourth and last part of my Trebević work-away adventure: Trebević Tales #4 “UP and DOWN”. The second half of January It took a while to write this post, because I wasn’t sure what to share and what not. I still don’t know, but what I do know is that I started my blog with the idea to write about what I…Continue Reading “UP and DOWN ~ Trebević Tales #4”

BLOG | SNOWED in

It has been over a month since my last update, but before I move on to new stories, I’d like to write the third part of my “Trebević Tales” series, the episode where we got snowed in. Or snowed out actually. Anyhow. Let me see, I think my last update stopped somewhere on the way down. Down to town. Yes. After almost two weeks on Trebević mountain I desperately needed a shower – wash and brush my hair, that kind of stuff. So, together with…Continue Reading “Snowed in ~ Trebević Tales #3”

BLOG | Mountain Life

The first week on Trebević felt like one big weekend. There were people coming up for tea or coffee, for a warm meal, for a beer or something stronger. There were people spending the night at the hut, there was another volunteer from Brazil and there was a New Year’s Eve party and a New Year’s Day hike. Busy winter holidays. The second week brought some snow, nothing major, but enough to cover Trebević with a fresh white blanket. So so beautiful. Every moment of…Continue Reading “Mountain Life ~ Trebević Tales #2”

BLOG | Trebević Tales

“What are you doing for Christmas? Where will you be at New Year’s Eve? Do you have plans for your birthday?” Same questions every year. More or less same answer every year. “Don’t know, I’ll see.” For me the holidays aren’t anything special. I’d be totally fine hanging out in a hut, shovelling snow, making fire, walk a little, read a little. But to be honest this year I did feel like spending time with friends. Maybe I could do this walking, fire- making and…Continue Reading “The Wild One & Me ~ Trebević Tales #1”

BLOG | The Island of Pag, Rab and Učka Nature Park

Bura, Jugo, Bura, Jugo, Bura and there’s the Jugo again. Jugo brings clouds and rain from Italy, Bura blows it with a good dose of freezing cold air all away. In between it’s calm. So serene. Although I’m constantly checking the weather, it’s actually not bad at all. It’s exactly what I wished the winter to be like. Fresh air, clear skies and a whole lot of quietness. I learned that my tent can’t do wind, but even that’s okay. Just have to be a…Continue Reading “Island of Pag and Rab & Učka Nature Park”

BLOG | Krka National Park with Krka river, Croatia

One more mountain to go. One more mountain before the trail would turn flat and take me to Krka National Park, Vransko jezero and eventually back to the coast. Bittersweet. I love those mountains, don’t want them to end. At the same time it’s getting harder and harder, colder and most of all, windier. But okay, that’s the season. I will give my best. And if my best isn’t good enough, I will come back another time. In Klis I camped on the side of…Continue Reading “Kozjak mountain, Krka National Park & the coast”

BLOG | Mostar, Omiška Dinara and Mosor mountain

On Biokovo it suddenly got cold. Cold, but still sunny. “Little Bura is coming” someone said. Bura, wind from the North can be tricky so I decided to go to Mostar to pick up warm clothes and new shoes before heading on to Omiška Dinara. Smart move, because on my way down my sandals ánd my FiveFingers fell apart. Even without Bura it would have been impossible to continue. Time to dust of those thumbs and get myself a ride to town. Mostar from above…Continue Reading “Mostar, Omiška Dinara & Mosor mountain”

BLOG | BIOKOVO Hiking Trail, Sveti Ilija from the other side

There are moments I feel proud and thankful at the same time. Proud of where I am. Thankful that I can be where I am. The Via Dinarica website writes that the Blue Trail after the Baćinska lakes, the most southern part of the Biokovo Hiking Trail, is neglected and therefor not hikable. I had to walk the Jadranska magistrala, the main coastal road. Not my first choice, so I decided to be stubborn and check out the state of the hiking trail. Turned out…Continue Reading “Baćinska jezera, beaches & Biokovo”

BLOG | The area of Dubrovnik, island Mljet and Pelješac peninsula

It’s all about the mindset, but how to set your mind when you’re hiking the last leg of a trail which is still 900 kilometres? It’s not like I’m almost done, while at the same time it’s the last part. Also, the word mindset implies that I’m in control of my mind. I whish. Or maybe not? In reality my mind is influenced by how I feel just as much as the other way around. My solution: try not to think too much, just hike….Continue Reading “The area of Dubrovnik, island Mljet and Pelješac peninsula”

BLOG | Gut feeling, being lucky and the sea

When I camp in front of a church I usually feel comfortable. It can go two ways. The positive scenario is that being around people, near a village for example, gives me the idea to be protected. The other scenario is that people with bad intentions know where to find me. You never know for sure in which scenario you’ll end up in, but I kind of learned to trust my gut feeling. And that got me pretty far. At the same time I often…Continue Reading “Gut feeling, being lucky and the sea”

BLOG | Staring at the Sea

From Vrbanj I went down to the sea. To Herceg Novi. With pain in my heart I skipped Subra’s amphitheatre. Too much wind. A warm wind, but still too windy to go for an exposed klettersteig-hike-climb. At mountain hut Vratlo I was in doubt, maybe I could try to go from there. But no, that wouldn’t be the same. I mean, I could hike to the peak of Subra, but I would still miss the spectacular climb and that’s what this stage is all about….Continue Reading “Staring at the Sea”

BLOG | Primorska Planinarska Transverzala Montenegro

I’m not much of a mile-maker, but last few weeks I’ve been walking in circles, exploring, climbing, bouldering, jeep touring and most of all: I’ve been chilling so much that I’m up for some real long distance hiking again. I want to get back to my hiking rhythm. EAT SLEEP HIKE REPEAT. Also, if I want to finish all Via Dinarica trails this year, I’d better get on moving, because days are rapidly getting shorter. Via Egnatia Thought it would be nice to hike the…Continue Reading “EAT SLEEP HIKE REPEAT”

BLOG | DAY 123: About making miles and killing kilometers

Lately I’ve been reading trail reports of some of this years Via Dinarica hikers. Megan and Brittanie for example. I love to read about their experiences, how they hike it, how they like it – or not – and how they write about it. Both these girls write about how they feel just as much as they write about the trail itself. That’s what I like and probably what I’m trying to do myself. I’m struggling with finding words in English though. My vocabulary is…Continue Reading “DAY 123: About making miles and killing kilometers”

BLOG | On my own again

The last night of our boulder trip we camped near Treskavec monastery, a brilliant place. Actually it was my last night, the rest of the crew stayed, but I felt ready to continue hiking. To be on my own again. From the monastery I followed an easy going hiking trail down to Prilep. I snapped tons of photos, stopped and stared more than I walked. In a way Pelagonija reminded me of Mojave desert, but without Joshua trees. And slightly smaller. Nevertheless, an impressive landscape….Continue Reading “On my own again”

BLOG | Bouldering in Prilep, North Macedonia

The flow took me to Prilep, a town in South Macedonia. Prilep is known for its tobacco and beer and for the boulders. Although I already had an idea what awaited me because I watched the 2014 Petzl Roc Trip video about bouldering in Prilep, but these mountains, these rocks, they left me speechless. Someone said “it’s like a giant randomly dumped huge stones on a mountain” – so true. There are stones everywhere. “Keien” I would say in Dutch, boulders it probably is in…Continue Reading “Bouldering in Prilep, North Macedonia”

BLOG | Sightseeing Ohrid | Early morning

Now I’m in Ohrid I of course want to do some sightseeing. I want to, but at the same time I don’t. I find it hard to switch. It’s almost stressful. I probably do it all wrong, I just walk and walk and and then discover that I missed the most popular sight. Ohrid old town I did get an impression and I did like Ohrid old town a lot. Had a nice chat with a man that has a A. den Doolaard exhibition. I…Continue Reading “Walking around lake Ohrid”