De geit van Vukov Konak, in Vučja Luka

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"
Maglić_marking_via_dinarica_white_trail_suha_prijevor_sutjeska_bosna_i_hercegovina

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!)"

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"
Blidinje NP, BiH

To this day the Balkans and especially Bosnia Herzegovina is unknown territory for many outdoor people. It remains a blind spot within Europe and the outdoor community. It is still associated with war and poverty instead of the beautiful, wild and untamed nature and mountains. I cannot deny the scars of the past are still well visible in some areas. You will surely see houses in ruins, abandoned villages and warning signs for landmines, but the Balkans nowadays are anything but a bleak and unsafe place to be. I have always experienced exactly the opposite.

Continue Reading "Via Dinarica, an inspired trail through the Dinaric Alps"
BLOG | FiveFingers and sandals

A couple of years ago, I started taking feet photos. I stole this idea of a couple of friends who jokingly took photos of their feet instead of landscapes and the atmosphere. They added texts such as “feet in Limburg”, “feet at Lowlands” (a Dutch music festival), “feet at the camp site”, “feet in the pub”.  This was before the rise of Facebook and long before the selfie hype. This is also before I got into the barefoot-, FiveFingers and sandals-stuff.

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It’s not just a trail and it’s not just a project. The Via Dinarica inspired me to move, to make a change, to keep on going. It’s not about the finishline, it’s the journey that counts. My ‘Dinarica’ journey started on the 8th of november when I opened my diary and started writing again. “Brainstorm. Walking the trail. Alone. Summer 2016. Blog. Share & Inspire. Connecting Naturally. What’s my mission? What do I want? And why? How am I going to do this? Promote – Vision – Via Dinarica – Passion – the Balkans. Authenticity. Who am I?” I don’t know the destination and I can hardly see the path. But I’m getting there, I’ll find the courage to explore and to enjoy. Want to follow along?

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My_project

My plan is to walk the VIA DINARICA white trail this summer. It is a challenge and a new adventure, but I mostly look at it as a journey. A hike through the Dinaric Alps from Albania to Slovenia which I want to complete wearing minimal FiveFinger shoes. It’s my goal to support the Via Dinarica initiative.

With this long distance hiking trail they form a natural and cultural corridor, they connect the countries of former Yugoslavia and give the economy a new boost.

Continue Reading "My project"