Adriatic Amble Overview
- 4 Countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro
- Visit the cascading Plitvice Lakes
- See, first-hand, war scarred Sarajevo's bright comeback
- Enjoy a free day in the "Jewel of the Adriatic"—historic Dubrovnik
- Discover historic cities: Mostar & Zadar
- View the tremendous vistas @ the Bay of Kotor, along the Adriatic sea, and in the impressive mountains of the Balkans
say “i am going to europe” to a friend and vienna, paris, rome, the alps, or the hills of tuscany likely pop to their mind. yet there is “another” europe, that of the eastern countries which, hidden for decades behind the iron curtain, are now part of, or vying for membership in, the european union.
真人网址the beauty of the balkans is not simply its natural splendor, but also the relative obscurity it has with tourists. while sunbathers are 20 deep on the italian side of the adriatic, the croatian side boasts nearly empty beaches, lightly trafficked roads, and villages where you will be the first “outsider” to come through in the past 3 days.
Move away from the mainstream
riding through inland croatia is a step back in time. the only bikes you are likely to encounter are other foreigners who, like you, are discovering the interior for the first time.
occasionally it is a good thing to admit to being a tourist by stopping at those “must see” places. thus an overnight in plitvice, on the edge of croatia’s world famous national park, offers a special treat. here 16 lakes cascade from one into another, creating a magical effect.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
真人网址ancient water mills on the pliva river
formerly the frontier with the near east, bosnia was settled well before the romans arrived in the 1st century and has seen tribes, armies, and populations migrating, settling, and moving on over the centuries.
真人网址banja luka is the second largest city in bosnia and herzegovina and the de facto capital of its republika srpska entity. it is the traditional center of the densely-forested bosanska krajina region of northwestern bosnia. our travels to and from there offer an excellent sampling of the rural side of this lovely country.
Dynamic, durable Sarajevo
two decades ago, the bosnian war overwhelmed the balkans and led to extensive suffering during the longest siege of a city in modern times. following 44 months of daily tragedy, sarajevo has bounced back.
真人网址the renewal of the city means we can discover the new, as well as the old. sarajevo has developed a multi faceted culture. it is, besides jerusalem, the only city in the world which houses a catholic cathedral, an orthodox church, a muslim mosque and a jewish synagogue all within walking distance of each other. a double-overnight stay here allows time to investigate the turbulent history of this busy town in detail.
Mostar, a town divided
departing sarajevo the routes generally follow the neretva river, the largest river on the eastern adriatic. this same water flows under mostar’s famous old bridge, the symbolic meeting point of the eastern and western civilizations.
真人网址the neretva river, at mostar, bosnia and herzegovina
mostar, post-war, reflects some of the significant changes that have taken place in bosnia in recent memory. today the old bridge splits the town’s population along ethnic lines. a mix of east and west comes together here in every aspect of life—the cuisine, the architecture, and the people themselves.
montenegró is an ancient land, re-envisioned in the guise of a newly-formed european country that is helping to mold thousands of years of cultural, architectural and culinary traditions into a geographical space of unprecedented natural beauty.
the national geographic traveler is spot-on listing this lovely little country as one of the 50 places that must be visited in a lifetime.
a view of kotor bay from lovćen
by modern standards montenegrin roads are ‘undeveloped,’ which means that they still amble through the countryside, wind through an occassional village, and follow the ancient routes. riding through europe’s most rugged mountains requires frequent stops to enjoy the grandeur of jaw-dropping vistas stacked one upon another.
the mountains, and the delightful curves that go along with traveling through them, take us to the coast for the first of many days on the shores of the adriatic. descending from the high peaks a hint of breathtaking kotor bay pops into view now and again.
Dubrovnik—A jewel of the Adriatic
真人网址eventually the peaks give way and the horizon fills with the sea on our way to a perfect double overnight in dubrovnik.
during the middle ages, centuries of trade turned dubrovnik into an international powerhouse which, along with its ally ancona, rivaled and kept in check the venetians. skilled diplomacy, rather than military might, was the path the croats used to gain access to ports throughout the old world.
真人网址when the seafaring tourists leave to board their ships the city takes on a very different air and the magic of history takes over. it is then, after the masses depart, that we offer a walking tour of the city led by a local guide.
exploring a high mountain road in croatia on a bmw r1200gs
Towering mountains, serene seashores
真人网址let’s set the scene for the next few days—mountains, seashore, small fishing villages, beaches and amusing riding. imagine riding to over a mile above sea level less than three and a half miles from the shoreline. yes, these are serious mountains!
On to Pag Island
真人网址beach tours mean freedom, which requires choices. picking a route north to pag presents difficulties. choose an inland route and enjoy great little roads, pass through tiny villages with populations in the two digits, and marvel at the ruggedness of the terrain. or take the coast route, stopping here and there to explore centuries old villages such as zadar.
真人网址the beauty of slovenia is equaled by the riding
Bid “zbogom” (goodbye) to Croatia and “Pozdravljeni še enkrat真人网址” (hello, again) to Slovenia. What was so different two weeks ago somehow feels familiar today. The surprise of “What’s around the corner?” continues even on this, the last riding day. Predjama Castle, the fortified home of the robber Baron Leuger, is built directly in the mouth of a cave. Right to our final destination—back where we began this great adventure, the riding, scenery and surprises don’t end!