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”
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.Continue Reading "Back to School"
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.Continue Reading "Gut feeling, being lucky and 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 mountainhut 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. This will be another place I sooner or later come back to.Continue Reading "Staring at the Sea"
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 too small to express myself the way I do in Dutch. Therefore trail reports in English are a great way to learn.Continue Reading "DAY 123: About making miles and killing kilometers"
After a fairly late start I left Popova Shapka, crossed the ski piste and walked the makadamroad to Bogovinjsko Ezero. This route goes more or less parallel of the hiking trail to Titov vrv. It’s way less demanding and much more “in the fields”. And thus there are sheep. Heaps of sheep.Continue Reading "Heaps of sheep, dangerous dogs & one brown bear"
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.Continue Reading "Bears on the road"
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.Continue Reading "Worst night ever"
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.Continue Reading "Mud & Mist on the Jahorina Trail Run Track"
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"
“I’m on my way to Slovenia. Hitchhiking the last bit, it’s raining cats and dogs…” Jep, I’m cheating. Either I had to walk 80kmContinue Reading "The third option…"
My mind is somewhere else, I’m daydreaming, not thinking of anything at all. An easy hike on a forest road and then suddenly there is something brown, something big coming out of the bushes. O o. It steps right in front of me on my path.Continue Reading "Whaaah, I just saw a bear!"
Velika Kapela. This part is something special. You’re just a little ride away from the coast and even closer to the mountains. In between there are hills, forests and small villages.Continue Reading "Another day on the road"
Avoiding the bad parts of the trail sounded like an easy way out. Cheating maybe. Skip the “not ready to hike yet” sections and continue with the nice parts…
“No way! That can’t be…” There was a couple hiking towards me that looked exactly like Sean and Lois. “Ohhh, it would be great to see them again” and IContinue Reading "HikeVibes! "
“What is Ivine Vodice like?”
“Well, it is not as beautiful as this place”, the guy said while pointing at planinarsko sklonište Struge.
“Let’s say it is dirty, really dirty. But you’ll survive.”
“Great.” I looked at Caroline and saw a worried look in her eyes. Struge is a great place, but beautiful is a big word.
I’m almost back in track. After a week not hiking, just hitchhiking, I looked forward to go up into the mountains again. “But it will rain on Monday.” “I don’t care, rain is not my worst enemy. I’m from The Netherlands..”Continue Reading "Bloody Bura"
I had a plan, I had maps, descriptions from other hikers and of course my GPS. It didn’t seem difficult to go to the top of Dinara, just a long “climb”. I had enough time, more than enough water and a plan that gave me the opportunity to spend an extra day on the mountain. Mountain Dinara. The only problem was that I was tired…Continue Reading "Dinara, to climb or not to climb"
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”"
“Bare in mind that you have still some challenging sections, particularly the descend from Prenj.” That was not the first time someone warned me for this part. Of course this became a big thing in my head. How difficult would it be? What if I can’t make it? What if I loose the trail again?
I felt nervous. It really took some time before I could enjoy the hiking.Continue Reading "Descend from Prenj"
“Don’t miss Prenj!” I certainly didn’t want to, so I stayed as long as the weather forecast let me. Four days, yeahh!Continue Reading "Prenj party"
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?"