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”.Continue Reading "Exploring Shar Mountain, a photo story"
Although it’s very efficient to send your packages by bus instead of using the regular post service, travelling by bus can be challenging in Croatia. To avoid a long, complicated (maybe impossible) bus ride from Zagreb to Buško jezero, I decided to start hiking in Knin. I wanted to cross Dinara, Troglav and Kamešnica all the way through the mountains. The difficult logistics with public transport are more or less part of the adventure, but I would deal with that on my way back, I thought. That this relatively simple bus ride from Zagreb to Knin turned into a scandal is a sad, but unfortunately true story.Continue Reading "How a simple bus ride from Zagreb to Knin turned into a scandal"
It’s 00.27 my backpack is packed, GPS is up to date, launched my podcast and after this blog post I’m ready too. Ready for a little hike. Tomorrow I take the bus to Knin from where I hit the trail to Dinara. Gone hiking. Although I hiked across the entire Dinaric Alps, I haven’t been on Dinara yet. Or well, I was on the mountain, but not on the peak. A peak, the peak. Something to do with bad weather. I Thought it would be a nice way to open this years hiking season. Hiking Dinara. And when already I’m there, I might as well continue on the trail to Troglav and Kamešnica.Continue Reading "Gone hiking. Dinara, here I come! (+ my first podcast)"
“Eva, what is your website about?” Isn’t that obvious? I would say. Apparently it isn’t. The more I think of it, the more I realize that perhaps it’s hard to get indeed. To get what it’s ALL about. Because I don’t know neither. A personal blog, a life and adventure journal. Inspired by Via Dinarica, I started to explore. It’s shows a journey. The journey of me, following my path. Step by step. One step at the time. Sometimes I can hardly see the path, but that’s part of the process. The process called life.Continue Reading "What it’s all about, let me explain"
I’m super super excited! Yes, I’ve got a new hiking adventure coming up, but that’s not all. I’ve been (and still am) looking for ways to share my journey with the virtual world. Of course I have my blog and recently I started to vlog as well. BUT I wanted more. Wanted something different…Continue Reading "Coming up: Between two Worlds Podcast"
I’m on my hands and knees. Can’t see a thing. Sytske is gone. It’s steep, I have absolutely no grip. I’m sliding. “SYTSKE!” I shout. Nothing. Slowly I crawl up. And slide down again. Oempfff. Not what I imagined…Continue Reading "Snowshoeing on Velebit"
Last summer I walked a new long distance trail through the Balkans, the Via Dinarica White Trail. A route that finds its way along countless different mountain ranges, ridges, cliffs, canyons, valleys, rivers, lakes and prominent peaks in the Dinaric Alps, Europe’s largest karst field. Hiking Via Dinarica. A great hike, a beautiful journey and an unforgettable adventure.Continue Reading "Hiking Via Dinarica, crossing the Balkans on foot"
What to do with Christmas and New Year Eve… Same question every year.. Well, since I’m not home or walking home for Christmas, I thought it would be best to escape the city and plan a little trip to the mountains. Apparently I’m not the only one who liked the idea of getting away, my oldest friend from Amsterdam, Caroline, flew to Sarajevo and accompanied me on this beautiful, but freezing cold winter holiday in the Bosnian mountains. The great thing about Sarajevo is that within thirty minutes you’re in a complete different world. Vukov Konak, a traditional Bosnian Mountain Inn, was the destination.Continue Reading "Into the White"
After I hiked more than 1200K through 4 different countries and added another 300K in Slovenia. The original Via Dinarica White Trail follows the Javorniki mountain range from Snežnik to Postojna. Although the forest up there is one of a kind, I decided to spend a bit more time in Slovenia, made a detour and set out an more ˝scenic route˝ through the beautiful Green Karst landscape. The last part of my Via Dinarica journey started in Ilirska Bistrica from where I headed back into the mountains, to Mašun, Sviščakih and Snežnik. I was blessed with fantastic weather. Cold, sunny and colorful. Autumn at its best.Continue Reading "Slovenia’s Secrets: Green Karst"
The Via Dinarica is a trail that is still in progress, only in Bosnia and Herzegovina the White Trail is officially open. In the other four countries the route is a combination of old existing trails that all together form a corridor through the Dinarides. With a distance of almost 600 kilometers, the Croatian section covers the largest part of the Via Dinarica. An absolutely beautiful stretch through the incredible Croatian karst mountains.Continue Reading "Incredible Croatian Karst"
Now I’m finished with the Croatian part of the Via Dinarica White Trail and looking back on the (almost) two months I spend in this beautiful country, I realize that Velebit made a huge impression in me. I can’t really explain why, so that’s why I will make a photo essay before I try to write about it…Continue Reading "Velebitski Planinarski Put"
I met Mårten at Trnovačko jezero in Montenegro. We were both travelling alone, hiking. After a coffee and a chat, we decided to cross the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina together. A great hike,Continue Reading "The aesthetics of travelling"
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares – Petula Clark
Jeej, I got company! No, she is not really an hiker or outdoorsie type, but she is my oldest friend… Why is everybody asking? When are you a hiker? What is a real hiker? Are there any rules? Hmm, I think I actually don’t really care. After almost 900K of solo-hiking, my BFF Caroline joined me in Starigrad, super exiting. New company, new spirit, new challenges. New ADVENTURE. Paklenica, here we come!Continue Reading "4 Days in Paklenica NP"
I’m afraid of dogs as long as I can remember. Most of the time they just bark, I know that, but they still scare me. At night, when I’m camping near a village,Continue Reading "Another “lud pas”"
Prenj is absolutely one of my favorites along the Via Dinarica White Trail. Not just because of its ridiculously beautiful vistas and views, mostly because Prenj was a place where I had a good dose of fun. With two guys from Tuzla who I met on Boračko campsite, I hiked from Boračko Jezero up to the mountain hut Jezerce. A great new hut on a fantastic location. Perfect place to spend the night. Or two. I really enjoyed the company of the Tuzla-boyz and the weather was extremely good. There was not really a reason to rush on, so I decided to join them on a day-hike to Zelena Glava and stay an extra night at PD Jezerce before I went further on my own.Continue Reading "Planet Prenj"
Sunday I was supposed to meet some friends from Sarajevo at Boračko Jezero. Rewinding time! Instead I got wind up in thorny plants when I tried to take a short cut. Lost on the Via Dinarica. This is my story about what happened on the descent through the Rakitnica Canyon.Continue Reading "Lost on the Via Dinarica, short cut vs wild nature"
Many many wild plants were in my way. If I had known which I could eat, I perhaps would appreciate them more. I’m a city girl, but I’m getting more and more used to the wilderness. Still most of the time, the plants are in my way. Wilderness. Wild Balkans. Of course I also feel thankful that nature actually allows me here. When it’s wild and rough, completely overgrown it shows who is the boss. And that is absolutely not me!Continue Reading "WILD BALKANS: nature versus mankind, what do they teach me?"
Montenegro or Crna Gora in Serbian. I have to confess that I didn’t know where the name comes from, I only know that it means ˝Black Mountain˝. I didn’t really see black mountains though. The mountains of Montenegro were green. Everything was green. Green valleys, green peaks, green forests, green fields… Green, green, green in all possible shades and shapes.Continue Reading "Magnificent Mountains of Montenegro"
Two weeks on the trail surrounded by mountains, flowers, cattle and flies. I’m hiking on my own (da, sama). I carry everything I need in my backpack and I’m free to go where ever I feel like going. I try to stick to the white trail, but sometimes the weather, the conditions of the route or people on the Via Dinarica change my plans a bit… It’s a fantastic journey and there is much more to come!Continue Reading "The GOOD, bad & ugly (people on the Via Dinarica)"
The Via Dinarica White Trail officially ends in Albania, in the highest part of the Dinaric mountains, but I decided to start there. Surrounded by pointy sharp peaks and deep, green valleys it had been challenging, but stunning. Although there are only three stages in Albania, it took me a week to get to the Montenegrin mountains.Continue Reading "Amazing Albanian Alps"
A few weeks ago while I was still in Amsterdam, I saw a post on the Terra Dinarica Facebook page about a guesthouse named Vukov Konak. They were looking for volunteers to help them during the summer season. Of course my plan was (and still is) to hike the White Trail, but I couldn’t help clicking and scrolling down Vukov Konaks page.Continue Reading "Hiking on the Green Trail to Vukov Konak"
Two weeks ago I got an invitation to go to Sutjeska national park. I knew a part of the White trail was being marked again, but had no idea how that would be done. In the car on the way to Tjentište it turned out no one really knew what the idea was other than helping out with marking the trail. At the parkinglot of hotel Mladost a whole group of people gathered. No one knew exactly what they were supposed to do, but they were all very excited. And patiently waiting for instructions. Polako polako…Continue Reading "Polako polako (that’s how you mark a new trail!)"
There are many reasons to write this story. It was a wonderful experience that I would like to share, not only by telling friends, but also in words written down. Maybe it’s me trying to show my gratitude, because I was overwhelmed by these warm, friendly people and I didn’t understand why I deserved that. Somehow I seem to end up in situations like this where it’s me leaving with a gift while I was the one in need of help.Continue Reading "Dragana"
Maggie is a girl I met in Sarajevo during the Via Dinarica Networking Conference. On her blog Backroad Balkans she writes about her eclectic adventuresContinue Reading "I Move with the Earth"
Dobro jutro! While kneeled down in front of my guest bed rummaging through my bag I suddenly feel two small arms around my shoulders and a small body pressed against my back. The eight-year-old girl whose room I’m sharing this week, has come to hug me good morning and disappears as suddenly as she came in.
When I’m left alone in the room after the hug, I feel my heart pounding, my stomach fluttering and my eyes water. Soon tears stream down my cheeks. A liquid smile through every fibre of my body. And at the same time pain, a subdued haze that I could call sadness. It is something that is hard to explain, but for me maybe the most valuable feeling there is. Experiencing extremes, let it wash over you, influence each other and reinforce. Connecting.
I’m staying at a young couple’s house in Sarajevo. For a few of days I am a part of their lives and they are a part of mine. At first their daughter looked at me with suspicion when she saw my bags next to her bed. A stranger speaking a different language and sleeping in her bed, she didn’t seem to know what to make of that.Continue Reading "Princess of the Mountains"
While cycling up a tough mountain in Una National Park last summer, I came across a group of touring Bosnians. Just like any other passers-by, they wondered why on earth I was travelling on my own, by bike. It struck me that they didn’t ask why I chose to spend my holiday in Bosnia or the Balkans, but why I didn’t just take a car. Explaining my passion for cycling and solo travelling remains difficult, and perhaps it’s a cultural difference.Continue Reading "Sarajevo; a Concrete Gem Amidst Mighty Mountains"
After a night on an airplane, a transfer and another flight I arrived at Sarajevo airport mid morning. As forecasted it was a rainy day with low clouds so I did not see any mountains. Somewhat disappointed and tired from travelling I tried to figure out my next move, but before I could worry about where to go next I saw a girl with a sign reading: “ Eva Smeele Via Dinarica.” Smiling I went over and introduced myself.Continue Reading "Between Two Worlds"