Dark thoughts, Macedonian mountains

The Macedonian Traverse is a hiking trail through the mountains of Western Macedonia. It runs from mountain hut Ljuboten to Crvena Voda or Ohrid if you don’t mind a roadhike at the end. Some see it as an extension of the Via Dinarica or promote it like that, but the Macedonian Traverse has an history of its own. In 1975 a bunch of Macedonian mountaineers set the trail as the “First Macedonian Traverse” or “Prva Makedonska Transverzala”. There’s a documentary of their undertaking where they (try to) hike the traverse in summer ánd winter.

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Hiking Titov Vrv

Shar mountain (Shara, Šar, Sharr, Sharri) has been on my list for years. Ever since I first read about the First Macedonian Transversal (Transferzala), a hiking trail that crosses the entire Shar mountain range, I had the wish to explore Shar mountain. I could try to describe what it looks like, but I suck at that. I don’t have the vocabulary and the words I make up probably won’t be much of a help. I’ll stick to sharing my personal experience and add a whole lot of photos to give you an impression. So here we go, here’s my “Exploring Shar Mountain Photo Story”.

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The Via Dinarica in Kosovo is an extension of the Via Dinarica White Trail that ends in Valbona, Albania. When I hiked the White Trail two years ago I had no idea about this Kosovo part, maybe it didn’t even exist yet. I don’t know. What I do know now is that it’s a super beautiful route that is definitely worth to include into your Via Dinarica journey.

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BEARS ON THE ROAD

Close to, or right underneath Rusolia mountain my eye caught two fluffy creatures. I held my breath. Oh my! Bears. I almost bumped into two bears. They were too busy playing with each other to notice me. Quickly I looked around to see where the mother was. Maybe one of them wás the mother, but they both looked small. Slowly I walked a bit backwards, started to talk and made some (not too disturbing) sounds. Nothing happened, they kept on playing.

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The Via Dinarica Green Trail in Serbia goes through the lower mountains north of the White Trail. Those lower mountains often look like hills, peaks aren’t as prominent as in Durmitor for example (or Prokletije!), but on the other hand the route often stays around the 1000 meter above sea level. In those “hills” there are many farms, villages and weekend houses, vikendica. Therefore the Green Trail in a way is much more alive.

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BLOG | Connecting the Dots, hiking in Tara National Park

Nobody said it would be easy, but I’m not looking for easy. I wanted to hike from Višegrad to Tara National Park, to the Serbian Via Dinarica Green Trail, Veliki Stolac, without making a detour on the road. Hiking beyond borders is one thing, hiking beyond overgrown border is another. My plan was to find a a route, a green line. I tried my best “connecting the dots”.

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I’m in my tent. Camping at a wonderful place next to a church in the middle of a forest. There are picnic tables, there’s water and a lot of grass. In two months there will be a guesthouse as well, but for now that building is an unfinished building. They’re working on it though. I met the guys in charge earlier, they gave me permission to put up my tent here.

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BLOG TRAILNOTES Via Dinarica Green Trail from Sarajevo to Višegrad

Jep, I’m hiking again. From Sarajevo I’m heading East on the Jahorina Trailrun Track, my version, or my interpretation of the Via Dinarica Green Trail. This June I’ll be hiking from Sarajevo to Višegrad. Those of you who  follow me on Facebook might have read these notes before, yes I’m a bit lazy. Nevertheless I hope this post is either helpful or inspiring for whoever’s thinking of hitting the trail.

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BLOG | Mud and Mist on the Jahorina Trailrun Track | Romanija mountain BOSNIA AND HERZEGONIA

In an optimistic summer-holiday-mood I got off the bus in Sarajevo. Okay, there were some thunderstorms on the road and okay, the weather forecast showed rain, rain and rain, but because of the super sunny summer weather in The Netherlands I simply couldn’t believe it would really get that bad. I had prepared myself for intense heat, packed a thick tube of sunscreen, but instead of a mercilessly fierce shining sun, I got mud and mist on the Jahorina trail run track.

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