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.

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Montenegro or Crna Gora in Serbian. I have to confess that I didn’t know where the name comes from, I only knew that it meant ˝Black Mountain˝. I didn’t really see black mountains though. In Montenegro the mountains were green. Everything was green. Green valleys, green peaks, green forests, green fields.. Green, green, green in all possible shades and shapes.

The Via Dinarica trail leads you from National Park to National Park, it connects one stunning piece of nature after another. Day after day I slept high up in the mountains. Just a few little towns along the way, but other than that, it’s mountains mountains mountains. Karst mountains. Mountains covered with white rocks and colorful flowers. Steep cliffs, sweet hills, impressive peaks and a lot of cattle. Sheep mostly.

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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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