South of Balkan
The trevel described and photographed on this web site was organized from some associations of the town Vignate and Cassina de' Pecchi, near Milan. The route was created by Marco and the main
theme of the journey were the ortodox monasteries in the south Balkans. 55 persons participated to this adventure plus the bus driver.
Everything started on Thursday, 15th May at 4 a.m. in front of the Vignate's church. Our double-decker bus was waiting! First, we went to pick up the other participants who were not from Vignate and then we went to Bari where we were embarked on the ferry for the Greece around 5 p.m. The day after, around 6 a.m. (greek time, an hour more then in Italy) we arrived in the port of Igoumenitsa and we continued towards Meteore. After the overnight stay, we moved toward Thessaloniki, where we stayed for three nights. Then we undertook two trips: one to admire the Month Athos and the other dedicated to the visit of Rila monastery in Bulgaria. Tuesday, 20th May, we left Greece for Macedonia, where we overnight stayed, actually we stayed on the lake Ohrid, near the namesake city. The day after we moved to Albania and going through Elbasan and Tirana, we arrived in Durres from where we took, in the late afternoon, the ferry for Ancona (it was 22th May, the last day of our tour). There, around 2 p.m. we started our final part of the journey toward our homes where we arrived at the dinner time.
Here you can see a map of our route. We covered almost 3200 km by bus, of which 1500 in Italy. These last was made on the motorway, reason why was easier of the Balcans routes where motorways are not so diffused and the normal roads are too slow. Besides, we made 1000 km by the sea with two ferries going and leaving. We slept in three different hotels and two nights on the ferries, reason why our journey was very dynamic but also very amusing.
On the right side of this site you can find the links which will bring you to the other pages of places we visited and you can also read descriptions, a sort of journey's diary. There are also photos, curiosity and some information of the places we visited. Many things happened during the trip, some more interesting for everyone, others more intimate and related to individual characters. Obviously, on the latter I limited myself to my experiences and those of my wife. In addition, some people have decided to share some moments of their own with all of us, and for that I can only say a big thank you. Feeling part of the group, even if only for 7 days, is a very nice thing, especially for me who am not very social and do not have many friends. Here they all seemed to be friends, ready to help, to chat, or to share a glass of good Greek wine.
10 years agoA few days ago, I am writing this at the end of May, it has been 10 years since this wonderful trip to the Balkans; a beautiful anniversary that I want to refresh and relive. The organization that designed and created this very entertaining but also educational trip still exists and prepares the trip every year. A long, rich and challenging journey like this one, has not been organized for many years for objective reasons. It will probably never happen again. The blame can be found in the exorbitant number of years the participants carry on their backs. Everyone remained loyal to the group, but unfortunately some were no longer able to participate. The necessary generational shift missed, that is, no new members, younger ones who could give a new impetus to the seniors of the group.
You can view this site in two other languages
Sud dei Balcani (in Italian) | Jug Balkana (in Croatian)