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ABA The Balkan Adventure

Sunday, September 25, 2022 | Axel Gert Schneider / Stefan Sykora | Europe

Welcom on Day 12: Belgrad to Slavonski Brod

Day 11: Niš to Belgrad
Day 10: Skopje to Niš
Day 9: Mavrovo-Lake to Skopje
Day 7: Bajram Curri to Prizren 100 km Curves in one peace
Day 6: Day 6: Kolašin to Bajram Curri
Day 5: Sarajevo to Kolašin- One of my favourite Days on this tour
Day 4: Sarajevo Guided City Tour with Stefan and Axel
Day 3: Let's go to Sarajevo
Day 2: We will get in touch with the beautiful National Park of Plitvice
Balkan Adventure here we come

Welcome to the Balkan Adventure with Stefan and Axel

 

In the next 14 Day's we will discover the heart of the Balkan on motorcycle- but for that we will need some motorcycle and that why is Stefan taking care of it and will bring them all the way down to Zagreb on a trailer.

I just come directly from Barcelona frome a nice tour in the Pyrenees and we will meet in Zagreb.

 

 

 

 

That is what we gone do in the next 14 Day’s

Welcome to day 1

After arriving of both Tourguides in Zagreb we will prepare today the bikes and the meeting room for our briefing, where we will welcome our new group of riders.

We both looking forward to meet our adventure's group of riders mixed out of Brazil and USA riders.

So let's get ready for the adventure of the Balkan and if you have never thought about to ride here!?

Just follow our blog and maybe that is something for to

Welcome to Zagreb- a big heart full city is our start in this tour
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
A warm welcome to start the tour at the restaurant “Maklini I Lata” in Zagreb.
Everybody’s excited and hungry - we’ll, let the adventure begin

Day 2: Zagreb to Plitvice

What a view - after the weather forecast we have been so lucky that it was try all day long
The small little villages along the way made us sometimes feel like we step back in time - but the charm of this places is just unique
Quick photo stop at a Greek catholic neo-Byzantine church. It was built about the 18-20 century and it’s a architecture revival movement of Byzantine style, way back between the 5.th to the 11.th century.
It’s lunchtime. Welcome to Rastoke, the historical core of Slunj.
Ione, Raimundo and Perry are looking forward to see the old part of the town, but before .....ready to go for lunch.

Welcome to the highlight of the day - Plitvice

 

after the ride vom Zagreb through the green heaven of north Croatia- Stefan and I have been switching 

 

So we went into the national park to discover the beautiful place of Plitvice sooooo we had another little briefing where we explained why this place is so special!!!

If you like to know why just come on tour with us

Axel is in his element, a very cool shot briefing about the formation of the areas nature, before we go and explore the magic of Plitvicer Lakes
one of the many paths who connect the hidden treasures of the different levels....go and get exited....
Step by Step, bit by bit, Stone by stone, brick by brick.....
Yeah, the pack is rocking. Short cut through a cave, a little exercise is always welcome after a day of riding.
Lady Ione, Lord Raimundo and Wander the Knight....looking for some new properties, maybe in Europe
Where ever you walk - you see the Cristal clear water
I think Wander enjoying the trip. That`s how a pleased man looks like.
Our path through the park
That is our bunch of riders on the Balkan Adventure
Some hiking has been done today at the park

Day 3: Plitvicer Seen to Sarajevo

Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Welcome to Day 3: Plitvicer Seen to Sarajevo  and we gone ride 400 km

Our first big day of this Tour and because of this we started today a little bit earlier. So the early bird catches the worm….

After a good power Breakfast at the 16 Lakes Hotel we started our day as usually with a daily briefing where we got ready for the first Boarder crossing to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Soon we reached the Boarder and after this short stop over there we went for an Bosnian Coffee (is like a Turkish coffee) but you should not say it loud.

From there on, we followed the Una river with the crystal clear water which was surrounded by the green valley. The scenery of our ride was breathtaking and if you pay attention while you riding you see some old fortress along the way on the top of the mountain. Later on we climbed up the mountains so that we got the chance for an view over the Una Canyon and once again it was just great – the weather in combination with the road the river and this valleys where we have been riding through – you cold tell by the smile in the faces of the group that this has been the right place to travel.

After a long stretch in the morning, it was time for lunch, so we picked a restaurant on the River by Jace. After we had recharged our battery’s, we went on because Sarajevo our Goal for today was still 160 km away.

All in one we had a great day and we did our first 400 km day – so let´s see what the next day´s will bring.

Stay tuned if you like to hear more about our Adventure Tour down in the Balkan

 

Stefan and Axel

 

 

First Stop of the Day - It's Time for a Bosnian Coffee -
I would say that's a nice place to drink coffee
Una Canyon
Ione and Soraya enjoying the view of the Una Canyon.
Just the right temperature for riding and a landscape to knock you off your feet.

Day 4: Restday Sarajevo

Day 4: Guided City Tour with Stefan and Axel

Here we GO again and this time it means we go by feet!!!

 

Today is our Rest day where we discover the town of Sarajevo by feet. Because it is a Rest day, so we decided to sleep a little bit longer meet at the reception where we start our Guided City Tour of Sarajevo with Stefan and Axel.

 

Before I start to describe the day: I got to say that already this couple of kilometers changed a lot – The Towns the traffic all the interaction with the locals has been different to Croatia where we start our journey. I don´t mean that the people are unfriendly now – no, to switch from Christians to Moslems is quite an impressive change. Now it feels like a real adventure and on top there`s the history part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

In Sarajevo you will get all opportunities to step back and forward in time. The houses and people tell you the story of the past without words. When you start the tour like we did, on the Latin bridge and walk over to the Library, you`ll see all the Tourist with the cameras which make every 2 meters a picture, but if you look at the houses on the 2. or 3. Floor you recognize still the marks of the Yugoslavian war with all the bullet marks. You could say Tourist meets history on a interesting way.

After the first story’s about this two places, we went to the Bazar where we lingered throuth copper street with all the little craftsman’s shops where you can see live, how they make all this art of copper plates cups……..

 

On the way out off the street we turned right to go to the Sebije fountain, which is famous for: When you drink some water of the Fountain, you will return to Sarajevo, whenever that will be. 

So we will see if that happens to one of our Groupe – For Stefan and me is the chance quite big because this Tour is worth it to ride again.

 

After a sip of Water, we went on towards the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque, which is one of the oldest Mosque of Bosnia (around 1530). Our tour brought us later to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Market Hall and the eternal Flame. That are just some examples of the tour what we did today – but if you are here you should definitely dive into the streets and discover the life of Sarajevo because the life in the Balkan is in the coffee stores and all the Restaurants.

 

I have been here before, but this City is something special and will ever be.

Tomorrow as a little spoiler we will ride to one of my favorite places on this Tour – which one you will read here tomorrow.

 

So have a good day, Stefan and me will be here tomorrow again with some stunning pictures.

Good morning everybody. It's rest day and we would like to show you a little bit of Sarajevo. As usual, Axel gives a quick briefing, and off we go.....
@ the famous Latin Bridge or also known as the Princips Bridge. That was the place of the assassination from 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Bridge was first build in 1565 made out of wood, flooded in 1791 and the reconstruction, now made of stone was between 1798 till 1799.
Sarajevos city hall - Vijećnica, build by Architecture Alexander Wittel from Austria in 1892 - 94 is one of the best known Buildings in Town. The Idols for creating such a nice building you will find back in time - at the 14.th century of Egypt architecture. The Sultan - Hassan - Mosque and the Kait - Bay - Mosque from Kairo stands model for it. Now its the University Library of Sarajevo.
Ken likes the fortress up the mountains......are you also looking for some summer house in Europe?
Lingering through the old core of Sarajevo, here we`re at the copper street.
Shopping, Bosnien Coffee and a lot to look at it - maybe some more shopping
Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque
Cathedral Srca Isusova
The end of our city tour - the eternal flame, is a memorial to the Military and civilian victims of WWII, dedicated on 6 April 1946. The memorial was distend by architect Juraj Neidhardt. He was an Austro-Hungarian architect, teacher, urban planner and writer.

Day 5: Sarajevo to Kolašin

Stefan on the way through the Dormitor National Park

One of my favorite days at the Balkan Adventure!!!!!

 

Why!? Simply because this day got everything what you need to be happy.

 

The start of the day has been as usually that means we have been on the bikes at 8:45.

And so, the journey began – first we had to get out of Sarajevo what is always a kind of challenging but after this we have been pleased all day long with winding roads in a breathtaking landscape.

The Highlight of the Day has been for sure the Durmitor Natinal Park and the Tara Canyon.

When you ride up from the Piva Hover up to the Durmitor Park the Roads and the Landscape let you forget already everything from your normal live – here in Montenegro on this ride there is no place to think about problems and other thinks – That’s the day where you will be totally switch from work to vacation. So welcome to your Balkan Adventure vacation with Edelweiss Bike Travel. I know I rase the bare quite high, but I like this tour a lot. It is impressive how the Landscape, the people and the culture are changing along the way.

So if you see the pictures where we have been today and you will ride with us one day this tour you will understand what Stefan and I mean.

And now I would say we let some pictures speak for them self so that you get a slightly impression of our Day.

 

Stefan and Axel over and out for today.

The ladies are always a good add to a picture
We`re riding along the Piva river at best conditions and almost no traffic. Good way to start the day.

Look at the colour of the Piva lake 

It is such a perfect day!!!!

Maybe now you know, why I love this riding day.

On top of the national park The Valley is wide open and doesn't matter where you look it is just breathtaking- how beautiful Mother Nature can be - and to discover this on top of an bike is like the the sherrie on top of an icecream.

 

i can't get enough from this place 

Sometimes you got to stop, because this Nature is breathtaking
Or it could be just because of the exercises up there in the mountains.
Along The Way at Dormitory National Park
Gerry didn`t recognize, that even here you have "Paparazzi". We`re almost at the top of the pass.
The Road through this Park and on top this Landscape is a pleasure

Day 6: Kolašin to Bajram Curri

Riding on Day 6: means up and down through forest and al the small little villages

Day 6: Kolašin to Bajram Curri 

 

One Day 3 Countries – That will be our ride for today.

 

To leave Montenegro is not easy, because the Landscape is so wonderful that you like to stay but on the other hand you don´t know what we will see today

The ride through the woods of Montenegro on the start of the day over two passes has been a real pleasure even if the road has been challenging but it showed us the countryside of Montenegro. Later on we were crossing the first Boarder of today – Here We Come Kosovo –

 

Shortly after the boarder and close to the big City of Peje we had lunch and it`s been also halftime of our ride. After lunch we had to ride through Peje, what was a little challenge - mostly, because the driving style of the people over here – but this time it was relaxed so that we kept on going towards Albania where we`ll sleep tonight.

The Landscape along the way has been changing all day long: from the green forest in the mountains of Montenegro to the flat landscape of Peje. On the end here in Albania we have been back in the mountains.

 

Well well well – that was our Day 6 on this Tour.

Tomorrow is the Theme of the day: Curves Curves Curves 

So what that means you will see tomorrow here

 

Stefan and Axel

Axel is praying to get into Kosovo......the praying was answered and so we could ride on....
It's lunch time. That's what I call a fresh menu.....

Day 7: Bajram Curri to Prizren - 100 km Curves non stop

Day 7: Bajram Curri to Prizren 100 km Curves in one peace

 

Theme of the Day!!!: Curves Curves Curves

 

But before – bad news, more or less – the weather forecast said last night that it will be raining all day long. So in the morning Stefan and I opened the window and.... surprise surprise it was not raining.

But it changed soon. After the briefing it started, and it was time to proof, if the rain cloth was worth the money. The first stop was at the Fierzës Lake with a stunning view. As we moved on, we could see how the bad weather has been coming closer and closer and suddenly it reached us. But even this could not take happiness away from this impressive road along the lake. After the first 50 km, there has been the first coffee stop where we escaped from the rain for a while and enjoyed a Brazilian Coffee. Sooooooo time to move on 50 km of curvy roads has to be still ridden. And so we did!!!

The day himself was for sure one more highlight of this tour even if it was raining.

After 100 km of curves roads , it was time for lunch, and I promise, you need one after this ride!!!! The rest of the way was easy to ride, and we arrived a little bit earlier as normal at the hotel. 

My guess: Our riders will never forget this 100 km

Now we hope that the weather will be getting better, so that we can walk in the town of Prizren. The old part of the town is nice and the bars with there terrasse welcome you to stay for a while – dangerous 

That was our Day 7 at the Balkan

Stefan and Axel

 

 

Just the beginning of the 100 km challenge. At the bottom of the bulk damm, where the journey begins and the strait roads are gone.
The first turns been managed. Ahhh by the way, the bulk damm of the Drin river was constructed by the Albanians, it's 152 meters hight and also the biggest dam of Albania

Day 8: Prizren to the Lake of Mavrovo

Day 8: Prizren to the Lake of Mavrovo

 

Theme of the day: Rain, Rain and some more Rain

 

We started today like we finished yesterday - more liquid sunshine. After a short briefing and putting on some rain gear, we had to run through the traffic jungle of Prizren. Because we stared quite early the traffic wasn’t too bad and so we made our way out of town very quick.

 

The first stop was the Monument of the Kosovo Liberation Army - UCK (Ushtria Çlirimtore e Kosovës) were Axel gave a lot of interesting details about the history - in the pouring rain.

 

The route were challenging today, because along the way, there have been a lot of construction work and so the the roads been dirty and slippery. But we made your way through and had a coffee stop to warm up and cool down for the border crossing into North Macedonia. 

 

Next stop was Tetovo, where we did some sightseeing. The beautiful painted Mosque at the river of Pena. On the pictures inside the mosque, you can see the influenze from the greek and the islamic art. It was built in 1495 and founded by 2 women. 1833 it needed a complete overhaul, only the Minarett is still the same. 

 

Slowly we`re getting hungry, so lets move on and find a restaurant, Axel knew a good spot, so we escaped from the rain again and got some nice food.

 

From here on it’s just 50 klicks to get to your destination for the night. The hotel`s on the Lake of Mavrovo, at a ski resort in the Sar & Bistra Mountains. 

The surface of the lake has 3400 acres and it’s the most extensive artificial lake of the North Macedonia.

 

So far, so good. We`re all here safe and sound and call it a day…..so let`s see what comes on next.

 

Stay tuned……

 

 

Axel and Stefan

Day 9: Mavrovo-Lake to Skopje

Day 9:Mavrovo-Lake to Skopje

Theme of the Day: A long Day with a lot impressions!!!

 

The day started better then yesterday – still some clouds but no rain!!!!

 

That is already way better than the day before. So after the daily business in the morning with breakfast briefing and co, our journey began with a nice but cold run around the other side of lake Mavrovo. A beautiful, tiny and lonely road, with shadow and some sun along the way.

 

After we came down from the ski resort of Mavrovo we took some nice sweepers and made our way to the Lake Ohrid. The surface of the lake is 2280 ft. above see level, 944 ft. deep and one of the oldest on earth - about 5 million years.

 

The chapel on the cliff called St. John and was build around 1447 before the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The Macedonian Orthodox Church is based just above the beach of Kaneo.

 

So we did a little bit of hiking and get out again through very tiny alleys, a bit challenging but as we have such good riders it wasn’t a big deal.

 

The next highlight we stepped into was the National Park Galichica with its pass called Livada. The karstic Mountains around, with the peak Magaro is up to 2254 m above see level. The park gives a home to 26 endemic animals and the population of 1644 butterflies species is something you can call unique.

 

The highest point was done, so what’s up next? Lunchtime

 

A second lake on the other side of the mountains, Prespa Lake, is linkt to the Ohrid Lake and has a island called Golem, what is the only one in Macedonia.

 

Only 200 km to go, before we reach the capital city of the country - Skopja - the other side of the coin. So far we’ve seen all the backcountry and now we`re heading into town.

 

Up on the highway we could make some miles done and quickly we reach the hotel in Skopje.

 

A nice and tasteful dinner and some of us are lingering through town to see some before it`s time for bed, because we`ll have a long ride tomorrow again - yeah it’s a adventure tour.

 

So, let’s see what’s going on tomorrow…….

 

Good night and see you later……stay tuned

 

 

Axel and Stefan

 

Goodbye Mavrovo Lake and Hello Day 9
On the way to the first sweepers of the day
Welcome to the Ohrid Lake
It feels like you are on the coastline of Italien or Spain
Last picture stop at the Ohrid Lake
What a view from up here (1600 m over see level)

Day 10: Skopje to Niš

Monastery Venerable Prohor Pchinjski

Day 10: Skopje to Niš - The winding Roads to Serbia

 

Today we will enter Serbia – The Way to the Boarder is not long, but nice and curvy. Just imagine you ride through a valley where almost no traffic is – well that has been our way to the Boarder. Weather wise we have been lucky – the sun has been shinning but because of time of the year the temperature was quite low. After the Boarder crossing there has been our first highlight of today - Monastery Venerable Prohor Pchinjski, where we get in touch with history from over 100 years. On top we had a coffee and some cake, what gave us power for the next part of the day. Frome now on until the lunch there was the theme of the day – Curves Curves and Curves!!!!

What a fun to ride over here and to climb up to the Vlasina Lake (1200m over see level). The lake himself is not only known for the good fishing spot of trout’s, he is famous for his swimming islands. And if you got a place like this!!! Why should we not make lunch over here and keep on enjoying the view. Next point on our tour: more curves!!!! On the way down you could just coasting from curve to curve – what a pleasure. This day is just so nice to ride. On the End of the day we arrived in Nis where we stay in a really nice Hotel and that in the center of the town. A good place to go out after Dinner – Why you have to find out when you are on the Tour.

 

So Time for dinner 

Stefan and Axel over and out

 

Day 11: Niš to Belgrad

Day 11: Niš to Belgrad

 

A long run and almost ended up in Romania

 

Another day, another ride…..we started as usual in the morning with a tasty and huge breakfast before we left Niš. The weather didn’t look to good but who cares - I’m happy when it rains, because if I’m not happy it will rain in anyway

 

If you ride out of town early in the morning it’s quite relaxed, cause there’s not much traffic und so you get through easily. We rode the backroads of northern Serbia and saw a lot of small villages and even more forrest and winding roads. The weather stayed with us and so there was no rain at all during the morning.

 

We had a photo stop just above the valley of Knjazevac before we were searching for coffee, what was a little of a challenge, but as lucky as we are we found one. With a few words of croatian, turkish, englisch and the rest with hand and feet we got what we wanted.

 

Soraya made an interaction on the fence and showed us here agility - insider

 

About lunchtime we were at the river Danube, also called Donau. It use to be the standing frontier of the roman empire and today it’s connecting 10 different eruoean countries.

The originating is in Germany „Donauesching“ and it runs through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldavia before it ends at the Black Sea in the Ukraine.

 

The Donau is so impressive, because it’s the 2nd biggest river in Europe, with the length of 2850 km (1770 miles), just in case if you want to know what’s the biggest - the Wolgau in Russia.

 

The next highlight was Golubac, a little town on the riverbank of the Donau, where you find the fortress Golubačka. Better known as the Columbaria or pigeon house. From the 14th century and it use to be the scene of the battle between the Ottomans and the Kingdom of Hungary. 

 

After all that riding and sightseeing, we got to the Motorway and made our way to Beograd were we stay for the night - if you want to know more about our adventure - stay with us und come back tomorrow.

 

Rock`n Ride the Balkans....

 

 

Axel and Stefan

Day 12: Belgrad to Slavonski Brod

Petrovardin Fortress

Welcom on Day 12: Belgrad to Slavonski Brod

 

It is almost the last Day of riding - That means mixed feelings are rising. On one hand you always looking forward to the day of riding, but on the other hand you feel that Zagrep comes closer and closer.

Anyway, so today we have to get out of one of the biggest City´s on our Tour (Belgrad) - there is always a lot of traffic - but we made it

The Day himself started cold with 15 C and later on we came down to 8 C, so i put it this way ist was verry fresh out there and on top rain clouds has been rising all over the sky.

The Highlights of today has been for sur Petrovardin Fortress where headed up with a warm coffee and enjoyed the view over teh Danub River. Shortly after the stop it was time to ride some curvy roads - so we went into a little National Park around the corner. The road was nice and all what you would wish for as a rider but it was sooooo cloudy and cold!!!! But still i like this little sidestep along the road on a Danub River.

Next stop was the Boarder crossing to Croatia what will be our last on on this Tour. After we have managed this we went to the oldest Winery of Croatia - Stari Podrum and had Lunch.

As a suprise after lunch the sun came out for some time. All in one the ride of this day, invited you to reflect all the day´s what we have been riding.

And now we are in our last Destination before we will be back in Zagrep.

 

Stefan and Axel are hungry and that why  we got to go.

 

Ps: because of the Weather today we got not that much pictures

 

 

Stari Podrum
Vukovar
That beer has been just waiting for us

Last ride, Day 13: Slavonski Brod to Zagreb

 

We are ready for take off. Last Day of riding and the weather forecast ist challenging again. But as they say, there’s no bad weather, only wrong clothes.

 

There are still some things to see and a few miles to go. At a very early start in the morning we took off, had a coffee stop in Lipik to warm up a little bit just before we went to see the Lipizzaner Horses.

 

Just before the lunch break we stopped in Jasenovac for the sightseeing of the memorial and the concentration camp from WW2.

 

We still could manage to stay dry and we`re looking forward to keep it like that. So the last thing to see was the Fortress of Sisak before we finally reached Zagreb.

 

Everybody’s back safe and sound and so we went for a last Dinner all together - all together ?

No one is missing - ahhhhh its Axel, because he had to leave us a little bit earlier to catch his next flight. He’s on the run to Roma, where he’s having the next tour……interested? So check it out.

 

Myself will go tomorrow to Split and do also another Tour called the Pearls of the Adrica Sea.

 

Once again, thank you all so much for the great time we spent together and hope so see you soon on the next tour.

 

Keep calm and ride on.

 

 

Axel and Stefan

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Perry Cogburn
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 09:45

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