Balkans trip – august 2013
We went for a road trip through some balkan states in the summer of 2013, amazing experience and breathtaking views.
I post here some pictures and info about our journey, leaving from Italy and passing through Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia i Herzegovina and Montenegro. Because I was touring with a live music and video show we had to stop by Austria and Germany on the way home.
In Germany the syncro broken down so we arrived home two days late with a rented car. What a pain! Anyway we really enjoyed the nearly 20 days away leaving in a few square meters!
Here is the Kotor Bay, the first must-stop sightseeing point in Montenegro, arriving from Croatia. If you click on the picture you can see the full gallery.
We left Verona on the 02-08-2013 and after a night in Croatia we arrived in Bosnia and then in Montenegro.
First night in Montenegro: camping Nirvana, Kumbor, MNE – 10€
N 42.438077, E 18.591854
we stayed here, we found it randomly just before heading for the Kotor Bay, but it’s cheap, it has hot showers and sinks, and it’s very close to the seaside if you want chill out a bit!
Njegos Mausoleum in the Lovcen National Park (entrance fee 6€): 42°23’59.6″N 18°50’15.3″E
Very nice 360° sightseeing of the mountains, impressive mausoleum and location, the park itself is a desert mountain area, you can camp almost everywhere and it’s very nice!
Anyway that day we moved forward and we arrived at the Durmitor National Park, we checked out the camp sites in Zabljak and then we decided to move along the road again because they were not really what we call a nice deal: no shade and full of people!
Driving back from Zabljak we saw a sign for an “off the main road” campsite and then… yeah, it’s always worth the effort to look for something better!
We found this amazing place with nobody camping in, but two friendly bosnian families who then helped us to find out some nice spots in the surrounding areas.
We spent 95€ for 4 nights, 2 breakfasts and 1 dinner. The owners are a middle-aged couple who is very friendly and easygoing!
You can find the place here: GPS 43°05’50.9″N 19°06’49.3″E
We stopped by this restaurant named Izvor, that is on the main road to Zabljak, it is at a walking distance from our camp site. You can eat a nice selection of meat and veggies, beer and wine are good too and it’s cheap:
Today it was the first day without driving in the last 5 days, so we mainly slept and walked in the surroundings, forgetting the camera in the van bring us only these pictures for that day – in the first one you can spot the eastern-style toilet!
And a quick focus on the outdoor shower and sink offered by the campsite-please note the outdoor toilet provided was a eastern-style toilet in the wood, but without any charge you can use the western-style toilet and hot shower that are in the owner house. You probably will find the owners cooking, drinking or working in the surroundings!
Today we moved the van and we went in the surroundings area of the camping, there were a lot of things to see!
Here is the main mountain of the Durmitor group:
Me and a bivouac:
The bosnian guys at the camping told us to check out the lake Vražje (Vražje jezero – GPS: 43°05’05.9″N 19°08’38.9″E) where you can swim in it and there is just a few local families, getting tanned and reading at the shade of cars. We stayed there for almost all the afternoon, reading and walking in the area. Highly recommended!
We went to raft in the Tara Canyon. There is a lot of different companies that offer almost the same thing at the same price, we went for the one just above the Đurđevića Tara Bridge, arriving from the south (Zabljak and the Durmitor Park) is on the right.
The company offers you different deals – a soft trip and a tough one, both with lunch included or not. We went for the rough option but without the lunch, that’s why we own a campervan and not a Yaris! It came for 80€, but honestly speaking we thought it could be more interesting and breathtaking, it was instead a bit boring because the river is very flat except for some quicker parts. If you know what to expect from a genuine rafting experience you should probably ask for a better focused trip. Anyway we enjoyed the day, the Tara Canyon is beautiful and the river is really clean, the locals ask you to try to drink the river water and so we tried: I wouldn’t try the same in Italy!
Tara river from the Đurđevića Tara Bridge:
We went for a souther one day trip, visiting the Biogradska Jezera (Black Lake) National Park. The lake is really nice, completely in the woods. You can either camp there after buying a “camping ticket” in the main car park next to the lake. It really worth to walk along the lake! Anyway we went back to the camping in Zabljak.
We went then for an off road diversion that bring you on the top of the closest mountain. To find the road you only need to pass through the car park and follow the road. It’s a 30/40 mins run, it could be muddy and slippery, we were there in August and we met a family who did it with a sort of VW Passat 2WD. So it wasn’t really hard off road! When you reach the end of the carriage road you will find a really nice refuge-style bar where you can drink, eat, sleep and leave for nice hiking trips.
We left Zabljak and we arrived in Sarajevo (about 200km), passing through Sedlo Pass.
Camping OAZA in Sarajevo, 2nights 40€
some details from the city:
Museum of the Tunnel – it’s easy to find if you ask info at the tourist desk in the city – highly recommended!
Today we left Sarajevo and we headed to Austria, first stop for the night was a random town in Bosnia named Samobor. We drove 430km today and that was enough.
This is what we found after we woke up in what the night before was just a dark road in the middle of nowhere! Samobor:
We left Samobor and we arrived in Slovenia in a nice camp site where we paid 3€ at a man who came with a scooter telling he was the park chief… anyway we overnighted there and it was absolute peace, except for the mosquitos, because there’s a small creek passing by… perfect for serious BBQ session. An eastern-style toilet was present, but in bad condition, anyway useful!
Samobor – St. Poelten AUSTRIA 450km
We finally arrived in St. Poelten, we crossed very beautiful mountains but then it was completely dark and when we arrived close to the festival site the most hard thing to do was to find the right park for us. We got it and Pet spot a nice picture of the van:
St. Poelten – Hockenheim GERMANY 610km
Hockenheim – Bad Aibling, GERMANY 406km
Then we left Germany heading home but close to Munich something bad happened: Alternator broke down and the battery nearly exploded. We were unlucky and we got towed to a random VW garage. Trying to fix the problem with new alternator regulators the guy did a bad short circuit literally fucking off our chance to go home with the syncro: fuel pump and engine computer (ECU) were been fucked within a second, rev counter and alternator LED were broken too. We were very sad about it but in that moment we didn’t realized it was this dude fault. So we stayed in a very nice hotel in Bad Aibling, and after 2 nights we left the town with a hired car. 4 hours driving and we were home, what a sad end for a very impressive trip. We keep in the hearth the amazing views and people we met in Bosnia i Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia.