I have been traveling considering that 2006.


In the final eight years I have wandered a lot, I cannot complain. I have managed to make the airplane my second household, to go in and out of nations with worn out suitcases and stamped passports if that is not quite wonderful, then I do not know what is. Traveling (in all its types) is my life, and I really feel immeasurably fortunate.


Considering that 2006, it is been days, it is been years I’ve swept the globe (ok, I could have missed a couple of spots) and, till a month ago, I somehow felt that a takeoff was important for me to get in a travel mood. You know, airports, gates, verify-ins, taxiing, takeoffs, and all these fascinating routines.


It turned out that I was incorrect. 


Since I had in no way seasoned a Road Trip.


On our way to Thessaloniki



The Road Trip resembled NONE of the trips I had created till then, either by boat, or plane, or bicycle. A road trip is a life knowledge it is carefree, unscheduled, unique, option, tricky, but also wonderful. It has its pros and its cons its mishaps and its surprises it is fascinating, and it will make you reconsider your views on traveling. I, as well, reconsidered a lot.


It is an knowledge you have to attempt, at least when in your life. 


And this is coming from somebody who sprained her ankle on the initial day and however didn’t shed heart, but decided to reside the trip to the fullest. This is coming from somebody who had in no way begun a journey without having initial booking for hotels and accommodation. And however, on this trip she only booked accommodation for the initial 3 nights. And she’s glad she did, for the reason that that is the essence of such a trip to be on the road. And no matter how organized you feel you are, some strategy will generally get reversed – but you will like it. 


Ahead of I start my diary from my road trip to Montenegro and Croatia, I want to inform you that I am preparing a particular tribute to each and every location, with tips and strategies, so that you go ready. I will also clarify the pros and cons, the expenses, and the strategies for a trip like this. You will recognize that there are other, extra fascinating options for your trip and your trip, apart from the usual ones. And one particular day you will go on a road your self, if you haven’t completed so currently. I bet it will not be difficult to convince you, so remain focused, and spend focus to this diary.





9 Days 

A lot more than three.200 km 

7 nations: Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia &amp Herzegovina, Republic of Kosovo, and Republic of Macedonia 

17 cities / villages: Thessaloniki, Elbasan, Tirana, Bar, Budva, Sutomore, Petrovac, Muo, Kotor, Perast, Dubrovnik, Split, Korcula, Lumbarda, Ulcinij, Prizren, Skopje. 

The world’s greatest firm with me. 






Friday, eight August 2014 

Route: Athens – Thessaloniki

Distance: 505 km


The initial day was, in essence, the trip from Athens to Thessaloniki. 

Considering that the trip to Montenegro was anticipated to be a lengthy one particular, we had to split the distance, and an overnight cease was important. You could remain at Kastoria, which is closer to the border, but for me Thessaloniki was a one particular-way street. I do not have a lot to recount from that initial day, except that my anticipation was good. 

Recommendations of the Day:


1. You ought to problem a green card for the car or truck, and have all its documents in order, just before you start your journey. 

two. Have your passports and identification cards checked, and generally carry a nicely-equipped healthcare kit in your suitcase. NON-NEGOTIABLE.

three. After in Thessaloniki, if hungry, have a “sandwich” with souvlaki, or gyros, or pork on a skewer, or a wrap it does not matter what you contact it, as lengthy as you make confident it is one particular of these gigantic ones with ketchup and mustard (alternatively of sauce), so that you do not get hungry once again till late subsequent day for the reason that the subsequent day is going to be a difficult one particular. 




DAY two


Saturday, 9 August 2014 

Route: Thessaloniki – Kotor

Distance: 668 km


On Saturday morning, we left Thessaloniki and headed towards Kotor, the wonderful town in Montenegro exactly where we would be staying for the evening. You can make this route either via Albania, or via Skopje and Kosovo. We decided to go by way of Albania and pick out the other route on our way back. At the border soon after Krystallopigi the queue of automobiles run for extra than 3 kilometers. Oops! What now?


Subsequent to the borders Greece-Albania


What ever they inform you about the queues at the borders, you can in no way predict the delay. At these borders, nonetheless, if you have a European Union passport, you can reduce to the front of the line and cross comparatively rapid. Nearly all of the automobiles have been Albanian, so I guess they had to go via unique procedures. In any case, the torment lasted only for half an hour. The route inside Albania, nonetheless, was an even larger torment. 


If you have not driven in Albania, you will not know what I am speaking about, and my description will not do justice to the reality – but right here it goes:


Speed limit 50, police blocks virtually each 3 kilometers, weddings, honking, caravans in the middle of the street, dirty back roads it took us roughly 7 hours to cover a mere 320 kilometers. Albanians drive quite recklessly, I ought to say, regardless of the harsh police measures.


We traveled across the complete nation, and if there’s one particular factor we perhaps enjoyed was Lake Ohrid. You have to go via the lake location anyway and drive on a terrible back road, complete of stones and dust at 30 km an hour. There ought to be some purpose they left the route about the lake in that situation. Elbasan was subsequent on our way, then Tirana, and then, we ultimately created it to the subsequent border. Typical waiting time right here: 20 minutes.



The Lake Ohrid

The Lake Ohrid


The immediate you cross the borders, the scenery modifications fully. Montenegro is this outstanding, green, and beautiful nation that reminded me of Greece. It smells of the sea and of careless abandon. The routes look so familiar, as if I have been back household once again. 


And just just before our arrival at Kotor, a fast cease for a selfie, overlooking the bay and the sunset. Beautiful! So I set the timer on the camera and run to take position, but I in no way created it there I fell, I hurt myself, I got a limp, I cried, I ached, I looked for frozen peas to soothe the discomfort, and all the when I was asking yourself how I could continue my journey. So we reached Kotor (for which I am preparing a particular report, for the reason that it is such a gem) and I was stranded sitting on a bench with my frozen peas against my ankle, with no camera in sight to capture the moment, except only for a gasping mobile telephone, which came up with this:


Welcome to Montenegro!




Me, an ankle strain, some frozen peas and a leopard.


The Old City was specifically how I would have imagined it, if I had identified what to count on. You see, Kotor, had only slipped into our road trip as a rest cease, for we had not even anticipated how good it would be. I owe Kotor a second take a look at for the reason that it was major, and I didn’t have time to wander its streets the way I wanted to. Life and journeys, nonetheless, are complete of mishaps, and even even though this modest accident was the largest and most painful mishap of the journey, it could, in the finish, have offered me the chance to rethink the notion of flexibility:

You cannot even step foot out of your residence without having it.


The Key Gate – Old City of Kotor


A glass of wine was a ought to.

My camera was on fire the subsequent morning in Kotor. I have ready an complete photo album.


Recommendations of the Day: 


1. Arm your self with patience, “bougatsa” pastry, and bottles of water from Thessaloniki, for the lengthy journey ahead. 

two. Make confident you make it to Kotor just before sunset, have a glass of neighborhood wine, stroll the old city by evening, and finish up in some street someplace listening to reside jazz. Properly, you couldn’t contact what I did walking, specifically, but what does it matter…

three. Consume fried calamari, stuffed with prosciutto and cheese. Trust me. 


Turn the web page, and Day three will be waiting for you 



To be continued…


Wanna study extra? Verify my Road Trip stories right here

**Translation from Greek to English: Maria Coveou 


Maria Kalymnou

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