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.

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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 my friends in Mavrovi Anovi by looking after their house while they’re gone. And thus, I tried to find a relatively easy, but still very scenic route from Sarajevo to Mavrovo.

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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 I’ll use my bike as transport. I sort have a route, but I have no idea what I’m capable off. Guess I’ll find out along the way.

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At the end of the month I like to look back on what I’ve done and where I’ve been. On how I felt and what was on my mind. It turned out that my Instagram pictures actually give a pretty good impression. So, I decided to put them together in a blog post. Here’s November where I stayed two weeks in Sarajevo before I took my bike for a ride to the Croatian coast. An exciting month full of social stuff, warm showers, blue skies and new opportunities. Scroll down to find out more!

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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.

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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.

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Day 45 – 1st of August, 2015

It’s late in the afternoon, I should be looking for a good place to set up my camp before the dogs will wake up from their siesta and start to terrorise me. But the sun is still incredibly warm and I’m in a lazy mood. Lazy and dreamy. I’m gently pedalling my way through the beautiful mountain landscape near Drvar.

When suddenly a car passes by and stops right in front of me, I immediately wake up.

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BLOG | Biking from Amsterdam to the Balkans

I had two months off, two months to bike. What shall I do? Where shall I go? One thing I knew for sure, I wouldn’t follow rivers, this time. Neither would I be heading towards a sea… I’ve always wanted to go to Istanbul, but I never succeeded. Would I, could I this time? From Amsterdam to Istanbul, biking the highest route through the mountains. In two months… UP&down, UP&down. The game was on, just like the sun. Bikini biking. Bikram biking. UP&down, UP&down. Biking the HIGH route from Amsterdam to Istanbul the Balkans.

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