The last few weeks through the Balkans have been absolutely crazy! It started in Albania with a wild chase by 3 gigantic shepherd dogs with a bloody end, which almost meant the end of this trip. It continued in Albanian and Greek hospitals and with a few mechanical problems on the bike, but from then on it was actually only upwards.
The Balkans is scenically fantastic! Soooo many mountains, breathtaking roads on the Mediterranean coast, gorges, forests and lakes, just fantastic. And above all it has hardly any tourists! In addition, I saw many run-down villages, abandoned gas stations, vehicles that would already be in museums here, questionable road conditions, flourishing cities and much more. The people are mostly poor, but seem to be happy with the few things they have and are very warm and hospitable. I couldn't quite always identify the food, but it usually tasted good... :)
Since the countries here are relatively small, I came every few days to enjoy a mountain tour to country highlights through wild mountain landscapes.
Now I'm in Croatia, more or less back in civilization. With my "better half" I just spend a few quiet days on an island near Split. It was really funny - almost boring - to wake up twice in the same place. The last time this happened to me was in Stockholm about 25 countries ago. Now, when I stop for a moment, I realize only slowly how intense and eventful the last weeks and months have been and I suspect that it will take quite a while until I have really processed everything.
In any case, here I am preparing for the very last stage of this project, which will take me to the highest peaks of the Alpine countries (Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Liechtestein, Italy, France, Switzerland). Whether I will be able to complete this trip as planned in just under 3 weeks (early August) on Mont Blanc is not yet clear, as the conditions on the highest mountain in the Alps (or depending on your view of all of Europe) are quite catastrophic right now, but we'll see....
Until then, the best way to follow me for daily updates is on Instagram!
Adventurer and athlete, soon bikepacking through europe, climbing the highest mountain and visiting the most beautiful cities in every of the 47 countries!