Next trip: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania

It’ time for another Balkan trip.

This is the first time that I am posting my tentative itinerary before I travel, in the hope to solicit advice from locals or fellow travelers, learn about interesting stories/places/people to write about, find somebody for a hike in the mountains or even to find places to stay. Here is my Couchsurfing profile with plenty of reviews, so that you can be sure that I am an easy and friendly guest and that I can reward you with travel stories that will change your life for the better (or at least entertain you for a few hours).

23 October 2014 – Timișoara, Romania

This will be my first time in Timișoara, which several Romanians have advertised to me as their country’s most beautiful city. I’ll only have one day though, because the next morning I continue to Serbia by train.

Timisoara

24 October 2014 – Belgrade, Serbia

I was in Belgrade in February 2009 when the city was covered in snow and ice. It was so cold that I couldn’t spend much time outside. This time, I will have only one day because I will fly to Montenegro early next morning. (In 2009 I stayed at Hotel Moskva, the grand building on the postcard, but it seems to have become unaffordably expensive since then. Or maybe I was still rich back then.)

belgrade old postcard

25-27 October 2014 – Podgorica, Montenegro

On Sunday, 26 October 2014, I will take part in the half marathon from Danilovgrad to Podgorica. The day before and the day after, I will be in Podgorica as well, although I might have to spend the day after running 21 km in bed or a bathtub instead of seeing much of the city. After such a physical endeavor, I am usually limping for two days.

Podgorica

from 28 October – Montenegro

And then I will explore Montenegro. This is the part which I haven’t planned in detail yet. I won’t have a car, so I will have to rely on trains and buses or the kindness of others.

I definitely want to visit Cetinje. I like these smaller towns, especially if they once were the historical capital. They usually have a lot of the old grandeur left, but are less crowded or busy than the current capital (although I am aware that the President resides in Cetinje again).

My biggest dream is to go to Mrtvica Canyon for a whole day of hiking.

Mrtvica canyon

But I know it’s hard to get there, so I am looking for someone who wants to go there as well or who would borrow/rent me a car for a day. I was thinking of staying at Kolašin to have a base in the mountains.

The Biogradska Gora National Park is enticing as well, but it too would require a car.

I would also like walk from Kotor to Tivat, across Vrmac, which looks like a doable hike (15 km).

From Tivat I will fly back to Belgrade. (I haven’t decided on the date yet, and at this time of year I hope that I can simply pop up at the airport and find a seat.) Originally I had planned to return to Serbia with the famous and fantastic Bar-Belgrade Railway to enjoy the spectacular views and to get off at some smaller cities in Serbia. But it seems that due to the floods in summer 2014, it is currently rerouted in Serbia and the service only runs at night. – I am still in Eastern Europe until May 2015 and I hope I will have another chance for this scenic journey after the track will be repaired.

2 or 3 days – Shkodër and Lake Komani, Albania

This summer I spent a wonderful week in Albania, but I didn’t have time to go to the north of the country. Thus, I plan to visit Shkodër on this trip and spend a relaxing day on the ferry on Lake Komani.

ferry Lake Komani

I know it’s a long trip – and I still have to make it back from Belgrade to Târgu Mureș, but it may be the last chance for a long trip before winter.

(Hier gibt es die Reiseankündigung auf Deutsch. Allerdings werde ich unterwegs wohl nur die englische Fassung aktualisieren, falls ich überhaupt dazu komme.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Albania, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Next trip: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania

  1. albaniatania says:

    Hi… You may find it difficult finding a ferry at Lake Komani at this time of year. I think the tourist boats only run until the end of Sept. But there are still local boats that plough up and down the river. By the way, if you haven’t done Thethi yet and you’re up in Shkoder then I highly recommend it. Any hotel in Shkoder will be able to get you in touch with drivers heading into Theth.

    • I was hoping for one of the local boats, in particular the one which looks like a bus converted into a ferry.

      I have not been to Thethi, but I don’t think I will have enough time. Also, these organized tours are a bit expensive because I travel alone and therefore cannot split the costs for car/driver/guide.

      • albaniatania says:

        You’re right…. It would take at least three days to get the best out of Theth. But if you find yourself with the time, there’s a guy who drives a furgon (minibus) in daily. Everyone will know him in Shkodra. He’s awesome. And he charges 10-12 euros each way. Much more fun than a tour! Also – the local boats on Komani are fab…. You may even share the rides with a few goats!

  2. Pingback: Nächste Reise: Rumänien, Serbien, Montenegro, Albanien | Der reisende Reporter

  3. djgarcia94 says:

    Sounds like a great trip. Have you thought about doing Croatia? I’d love to visit some of their coastal cities.

  4. Pingback: What are you doing in Montenegro? | The Happy Hermit

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  6. Hello Mr. Moser, I was looking for an article about Timișoara (Johannisfeld), but you haven’t published any. :/ Are you planning to do so?

    • Hello Eddi,
      unfortunately it rained constantly when I was in Timisoara, so I didn’t take any photos. I have to say though that it has a beautiful old town. Despite the rain and roadworks going on at the time, I could see and feel the charm of what still looks like an Austro-Hungarian city.
      I should just go to Timisoara again. If only the train from Targu Mures to there didn’t take 9 hours…

      • I’ve heard the sun is always shining there, but I guess that’s a rumor. :) I am half Danube Swabian (Donauschwabe), so it would be really interesting to see what it’s like today. I have just seen picture on your website, but it definitely looks like a charming Austro-Hungarian city. You should go back and take some more pictures, very much appreciated. Indeed, train travel seems to be a big issue there….
        greetings from Chiang Mai (new base after Singapore, so much better – SG is very superficial, all about money – marching robots with dull eyes everywhere)

      • Congratulations on moving! I also prefer historical places and nature over busy cities filled with superficial robots, as you say.
        The trains in Romania are indeed very slow. I don’t even mind it that much, because this way, train journeys give me enough time to read books, but it makes it harder to go spontaneously for a day or two.

      • Almost 4 months is more than enough, even if I love the city itself, but the “atmosphere” was too much. Superficial discussions every day, not easy to connect with people. Historical places and nature are for heart & soul, cities for hedonism. I hope you are going to see Timisoara, I know that pictures can’t do justice to the experience you make while travelling and discovering, but I would be pleased about a few nice shots.

  7. …and excuse my frankness :)
    but yeah (cities = shopping, money, business, materialism, image)

    • People should only apologize for not being frank, not for being frank. :-)

      Luckily, I am quite immune to all these materialistic and superficial things. I wear my sloppy clothes, don’t go to expensive places and don’t hide my stinginess. This scares away the superficial people, so that I don’t waste much time with them. Those that still speak to me are then usually the more genuine and interesting people.

      • Hence, you don’t perpetuate the stereotype and image of a lawyer. Sloppy clothes and stinginess, why even bother talking to you. Just kidding. Quite the opposite to the one I am working with at the moment. But that’s not what I wanted to say but to make a long story short: It’s not about me not being resistant to materialism or keep pace with showing of and spending money – I don’t care. A little treat every now and then is nice, but it’s not appealing to me to spend money on expensive material things, because every $ is a “travel-dollar”. Anyway, what I wanted to say is, that it is really really hard to find decent people to connect with who think outside the square (not just about material things) and the locals hate the “rich” Ang Mo (foreigner) robots. Hard to explain, but I didn’t want to fit in poison my soul and by the way rich and stupid is a dangerous mix. But I don’t want to spam your blog comments. Sorry, I tried to keep it short.

      • Oh yes, I am one of the few cool lawyers. :-)

      • You really try to keep this image. I see.. But there cool teachers as well, no doubt. :D maybe you speak to mine in “secret lawyer cryptic language”, because he enjoys it to give me a hard time at 12am my time. Very uncool case!

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