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.
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.
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.
Over the past week I’ve slowly increased the distances I biked. It felt right Yesterday’s 110km from Ostrog Monastery to Herceg Novi was long, tiering and at the same time exhilarating.
Long stretches with gentle inclines in an empty landscape under the scorching sun, gave me enough time to be with me. I needed to do this trip and take some time to establish my own rhythms and find out what’s really important to me.
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.
National Geographic Traveler magazine has recognized the Via Dinarica mega-hiking trail and cultural corridor—an eight-country route that spans the Western Balkans—as one of its “ Best of the World ” destinations for 2017. The NGT story, which includes 21 of the most interesting places on the planet to experience adventure and authenticity, makes the point that trekkers along the Via Dinarica have the chance to “sleep in remote mountain shelters along the Adriatic Sea, atop the region’s highest peaks, and above the continent’s deepest gorge.”
We’re excited for Green Visions to be mentioned in both the online and magazine versions of the “ Best of the World ” destinations for 2017 story. Not only do we feel proud to be part of the Via Dinarica movement, but there is something that touches us deeply since we’re doing it together with Via Dinarica Alliance and many other partners from the entire Western Balkans, including Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia.
“What was once a contentious region has become the planet’s most exciting cross-border destination. ‘The Via Dinarica has replaced politics with nature’, and ‘What could be more beautiful?’”
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.
We’ve been busy since 2010 developing and promoting the Via Dinarica long distance trail(8 countries, 2,000km, and 20+ national parks). It’s really this year that the Via Dinarica has started to exponentially take off. More and more travelers, outdoor adventure and media companies are exploring both the Via Dinarica trail and the eight countries in Western Balkans region. The region as a destination has grown up and the Via Dinarica and the Via Dinarica Alliance have played an important part in making this happen.
To highlight our involvement, Green Visions together with an Alliance of regional outdoor adventure companies committed to developing and promoting the Via Dinarica have created a cool looking Via Dinarica Alliance Brochure for 2017 with information about the Via Dinarica trail, trips and partners. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to another exciting season in 2017.