This report covers our outing in the Balkans region in June 2014.
The plan was to ride the back roads of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and Serbia, to return via again Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia. At least that was the plan. But we are the kind of people that meticulously plan a lot beforehand and when we’re actually on the ground, try to find the most creative ways to ignore the planning.
Last year we rode roughly the same region but Sofie’s FZ6 made the few unpaved roads we did back then not a lot of fun. And we had to pass by some places that looked really nice, because the FZ isn’t exactly made for comfortably riding those kind of road conditions. This year though, we’re back, and now we’re packing the serious stuff.
When planning this trip it took a bit of effort to convince our respective employers to grant us a little over 3 weeks for this trip. Despite objections around some arbitrary “max 3 weeks rule” we really wanted to have that time. It would allow us to make most of our time in the Balkans because we had decided to put the bikes on the car train of Deutsche Bahn to Villach in Austria, skipping a few days of boring motorway to get there on the road. Unfortunately those trains return only on Thursdays and Mondays. The Monday train would see us back home on Tuesday and back in the office on Wednesday. So, a little over 3 weeks, something to look forward to.
As for routing, we had planned a rough route on the GPS and marked a few places we’d like to visit. We tried to use unpaved roads where possible, relying on what we learned on our previous visit, Google satellite imagery and tips from locals we met at the HUBB Montenegro Meeting last year. But we were also very fortunate to receive a lot of detailed and much appreciated info from Louisdut and Gliga and the ADVrider forum.