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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
Balkans by din kvite russer on 26 April 2007 6:08pm
 
Me and a friend of mine are planning to visit the Balkans sometime perhaps in September, for a couple of weeks. I've been to Croatia before, but only on the seaside, so we're thinking Bosnia-Serbia-Montenegro... So I'm collecting any advice on where best to go, what transport (are trains good?), etc.

Also, on the boring side, there's the paperwork... I have a Russian passport with a UK student visa (which for some reason doesn't even allow travel to other Schengen countries), and my friend's Italian. So any idea what documents we might need?

Thanks a lot,
din kvite russer
 
Re: Balkans by tucsonmike on 28 April 2007 2:09am
 
"The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier." Otto von Bismarck.

My surrogate Uncle Piotr in Poland updated that to a single American soldier.

I would not agree. Now that the Balkans are "safer," it would be interesting. Wish I could help you with the travel info.
 
Re: Balkans by din kvite russer on 30 April 2007 4:47pm
 
Interesting quote: in a way it's right, what with all the efforts to pacify the region... Still dunno if interefering 10 years ago was a good idea.
But yes, it should be worth seeing.
 
Re: Balkans by BRANKA on 1 May 2007 10:07pm
 
The problem is that a lot of people don't understand and of course underestimate Balkans. I can only imagine what kind of opinion west has on balkan people. You say that the Balkans are «safer» now. They have been safe for years! And the efforts to pacify the region, yes, such efforts! Ah, I don't want to go there, to politics and all that comes with it… it just makes me angry!

Anyway, I'm glad that there is an interes for this regions, and I'll be glad to help you.
First of all, Balkan is a big place, so what country (town) would be your start point? I' ve been to Bosnia many times, and all I can say is Sarajevo and Mostar. I love Sarajevo, people, town… beautiful spirit and Mostar and it's famous bridge. From there you could go down to Dubrovnik (Croatia) and from there to Montenegro (must see Kotor, Budva, St. Stefan, Herceg Novi (coast)). Now for Serbia, I've been to Belgrade, and Novi Sad (festival Exit). I don't know what to recomend you more except town Nis. I'm sorry that you decited not to visit Craotia again. Our coast is not everything we've got. Zagreb, Osijek, Varazdin.. and many more towns are worth seeing. For the paperwork I don't know, but whit russian passport I don't see the problem but to be on a safe side, you check it out.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me.

Branka
 
Re: Balkans by din kvite russer on 2 May 2007 12:12am
 
Branka - thanks very much!!!
I think the general opinion about the Balkans is just... that people don't really know what's going on.
As for the safety concerns, I suppose it's different in different spots. Croatia certainly doesn't seem the least bit "scary".

We're still deciding on where to start and where to go... Sorry for leaving out Croatia - I'd like to come back and see the rest of it sometime - only this time, time is very limited.
Mostar is definitely on the route (the gymnasium there has recently joined the network of schools both me&my friend/travel-mate have been to so we really want to visit them).
Thanks for all the town suggestions - guess we just need to have an evening's sit down with a map and internet...

For now, "hvala" once more :)
 
Re: Balkans by Worldwide Update on 2 May 2007 8:05pm
 
Din kvite russer, I know it seems lazy to answer your question by providing a link, but the website is question is simply wonderful and will probably help you find out what you're most interested in. Here's the link:

http://www.balkanology.com/

The site is run by a traveler from Dublin, BTW.
 
Re: Balkans by din kvite russer on 3 May 2007 2:00pm
 
thanks a lot!!
Branka, here's a more specific question - what are the trains like? On land, is it better to go by coach or train?
 
Re: Balkans by peripatetically on 3 May 2007 3:07pm
 
Hi Guys! I visited the old 6-republic Yugoslavia back in the mid 80's and loved every minute I was there. I didn;t feel the least bit like it was dangerous.

I saw Montenegro, just a stone's throw from Albania, all along the coast to the north and then went inland. The environment and peples, architecture were differnt all along the way. Whenever I think back on that trip or look at the photos and my purchases from there, I recount very fond memories.
 
Re: Balkans by BRANKA on 6 May 2007 1:28am
 
Hi din kvite russer !

Well, hmmm… both of them will get you there! They are not so bad, some trains are older, some are new. Same thing with coaches. Don't expect too much, something hi-tech. It always depends in what country you are, for example: train Zagreb- Belgrade, very nice, clean, on time. Train from Belgrade to Skopje- hell journey, old train, 4 hour delay. In cases like these, coach is much more reliable. What would be better- you will probably need boath to travel around, prices are quite reasonable, connections bettween citys are regular, you will meet a lot of people. Balkans, most of them, love to talk, so it won't be boring. I really can't answer you with a normal answer, can I? Hope I helped you in some way. When you come here, you will see that most of things here, including life, is still easy going.

peripatetically, come again, it not so far away!
 
Re: Balkans by peripatetically on 17 May 2007 2:00pm
 
Branka, I'd love to return someday. I really had the best time! We went to Split and so many wonderful places., Bled, Plitvice and Korcula were gorgeous too, and the FOOD! WOW, just scrumptious. The people couldn't have been friendlier either.
 



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