Category archives: Mountains

My Favorite Ridges in the Balkans

Vlahinja

There’s  something magical about mountain ridges. Ever since I came to the region I think it’s the steep and sharp karst ridges that have caught my imagination. You can’t get to them immediately and most of the time you have to make a real effort get there. Once there they greet you with endless views and dizzying height from all sides. To me ridge walking naturally lends itself to planning. I Look at them from a distance and my mind automatically starts plotting out a route along the slender knife like edges leading up to a peak or into the distance.

On Mosor, in Croatia lies the first ridge that caught my imagination in the region.  Just behind Split, the dry rocky outcrops of Mosor, provide one of the most stunning and dramatic views of the deep blue Adriatic and the rough Croatian hinterlands. It’s hot and unforgiving but my oh my what sights to soak in.

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Going nowhere slowly

In the past few days all I could think of was what I was going to do and where I was going? Today’s ride changed it all. It took me a good part of the day to really start to enjoy myself.

Scenic route

I decided to take the scenic route. Villager had told me that I only had about 7km of gravel road along the top of the canyon. Sadly or luckily I forgot to ask in what state the road was? I ended up pushing my bike up through rough gravel patches and thinking why am I doing this again? And then my thoughts ended. Here at the edge of Komarnica canyon I started noticing everything around me.

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Bike Chich Bike

Durmitor

Unable to go over the higher passes of Durmitor due to the snow, I was left with the only other option and to follow several canyons leading up to the plateau beneath the impressive peaks of Durmitor and the town of Zabljak.

Can’t help it but by now the emptiness and isolated nature of mountains around Durmitor are becoming one of my recurring themes. The ride was stunning, taking me into Durmitor National Park via a long plateau of highland meadows and old Yugoslav monuments. I’d have stayed a while longer had the clouds not closed in and hurried me along to the town of Zabljak.

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Biking up the Tara

Day two in Herceg  Novi and  I’m stuck on the coast while waiting for a thunder and lightning storm to pass over. Torrential style rains accompanied by a strong  wind make it almost impossible to set off. Or that’s what I keep telling myself ;) There is only one thing left to do, and that is wait and share some of my impressions from my descent from Zabljak to Biogradska Gora.

It’s an interesting stretch up along the Tara canyon. You can see that tourism is picking up here. Scattered along the roadside are various information boards about cultural and natural sights in the region. I’d normally just drive past them, but this time decided to make a few detours. They turned out to be surprisingly fun.
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Into the High Country

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The summer blog is back in action! My name is Katie, and I’m the seasonal intern for Green Visions this year. I study Global Finance and Trade at the Korbel School of International Studies in Denver, Colorado, but my background is in environmental science and conservation, which originally drew me to Green Visions. I’m from Lexington, Kentucky, I enjoy long walks in the woods, good cheese, and funky yoga classes.

I help Green Visions with social media and outreach initiatives to get the word out about the Balkans, because they’re stunning, vibrant, and much less traveled than their Western European neighbors. To help with that, I’d like to post information and stories of unique places in Bosnia that visitors can find during their adventures here.

Green Visions offers a biweekly trip to Bosnia’s highest inhabited town, Lukomir, for 40 euros a person. The town is nestled high in the hills at 1500 meters on the western slope of Bjelasnica Mountain, above the Rakitnica River Canyon, which is one of the main tributaries to the Neretva. The water of the Rakitnica cannot be seen from the cliffs alongside Lukomir, but its influence is evidenced from the winding valley scoured out from millenniums of water erosion. The dendritic pattern of the valley below inspires folk lore of dragons, and if you happen to be a fan of Game of Thrones, Lukomir and the surrounding geography has that, “north of the wall” feel.
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