Our next goal was Sarajevo. Seventeen year after the siege ended the small metropolis is living its renaissance. Old town and the city center had been restored and cafeterias were full. We took three hour excursion to grim history of the 1990´s. After that party mood was gone and we spend Saturday night riding to Montenegro. Roads in Bosnia and Montenegro were twisted and in good shape. And the scenery was stunning.
Ten years ago I served 12 months in Finnish Army as a peacekeeper in Kosovo. That was our reason to turn away from magnificent coastline of Montenegro and head to nostalgic trip to the youngest state in Europe. Country and its economy has developed a lot in ten years, but there still lots to do.
Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is one of hidden gems of former Yugoslavia. We spend some days sunbathing, hiking and strolling around in the town and nearby. Also the small villages on the shores of lake are worth visit.
On the other side of the lake lies one of the most interesting countries of Europe, Albania. It took over an hour to found a hotel from Korce, the biggest town in eastern Albania. After the dusk fell, the town was dark. Only light to main street came from restaurants and shops. Eating out felt like dining at store window, but I guess that wasn´t strange for the Albanians. Even dentist worked under bright lights behind glass!
Albanian roads were not that bad except Sh 65 from Leskovik to Greek border. The road began from the backyard of an apartment house and was like dried river. Minna was not so excited as I was and we didn´t get any pics with mud in the air.
In Greece we took a small detour to watch amazing scenery and monasteries in Meteora. Our most important task in Greece though was bike service. We changed rear tyre, chain, sprockets and bearings in Pro Bike Thessaloniki. I can recommend those to everybody riding in the area!
Border crossing from Greece to Turkey took over six hours, because Greek authorities were on strike. Luckily sun was shining! In Istanbul we spent some days, enjoyed and got frustrated to megapolis. Spent a great night with adventurers of Istanbul motorbike club and did some shopping in Grand Bazaar.