Travel Journals

Here you will find the travel diaries that I write during my travels. In fact, during my travels I just take down notes and when I turn back home to Romania, I edit and publish the notes – with information and personal photos. The articles published on this page will be in English, but you can find some of my journals written in Romanian in LiterNet Magazine. Wherever you read them, I hope it will inspire you and you will travel in an authentic way. Because I strongly believe that each of us has its own, unique way of traveling. Here, in my travel journals, I share my way of travelling.

Travel Journals

Balkan Countries Travel Photos

Horses on the road from Leskovik to ÇarshovëThe photos from the Balkan Countries 2017 Gallery were taken during a two month and a half road trip through Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo, in the summer of 2017. Here, you will find photos from Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo (2017). In the future, I am planning to explore more of this region, though - the countries of former Yugoslavia (summer 2018). A general overview of this trip can bee found at Balkan Countries Travel Planning - Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo. I work with a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H300, 20.1MP. Subscribe to my travel diaries here. Macedonia Albania Read More...

Balkan Countries Travel Planning 2018 - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mont...

Balkan Countries 2018Balkan Countries Travel Planning 2018 is the summary of my three-month road trip to most of the countries of former Yugoslavia: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia during the summer of 2018 (May - August). The pace of traveling was slow, in accordance with the flexibility I had to go and stay wherever I wanted with my car. Here you can find my last Balkans Trip - the Balkan Countries Planning from 2017 - Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo. Balkan Countries Travel Planning 2018 - General Planning: Travel Planning for the road trip through the former Yugoslavian countries started a couple of Read More...

Hiking the Albanian Alps - Valbona Theth, Albania

Trek Valbona Theth: on the way to Valbona Pass (Qafa e Valbonës)The first day of the trek Valbona Theth Short description. I took a local shuttle (furgon) from Shkodër to the onboarding place on the Komani ferryboat. For four hours, we traveled by ferry on the Komani Lake until Fierza. Then, we took a car to Valbona, where we stayed overnight before the Valbona Theth hike. Long description At six o’clock in the morning, I was in front of Camping Ledgenda and waited for the shuttle for the Komani Lake Ferryboat. Felix and Christiana, two Germans who were traveling with a campervan around Southeast Europe for six months, came with the same shuttle. I had a big backpack Read More...

From Berat to Shkodër, passing Durrës and Tirana, Albania

Mesi Bridge, near ShkoderThe road toward Tirana via Durrës Short Description. I came back to the Adriatic Sea via Durrës, where I visited the ancient fortifications and the Roman amphitheater, then the insalubrious seafront. In the evening, I arrived at Alaattin's house in Tirana. Long Description I drove from the campground near Berat to the Adriatic Sea, to Durrës. Located on the outskirts of the city, the beach area was bordered by new, modern buildings painted in bright colors, with balconies overlooking the sea and numerous terraces at their ground floor. A line of palm trees flanked the main seafront promenade. Everywhere it was a holiday feel, Read More...

From Vlorë to the Ottoman town of Berat, Albania

Berat Castle - traditional Ottoman houseFrom Vlorë to Berat Short description. I left from Vlore, crossed the town of Fier, and reached the archaeological site of Apollonia. I returned to Fier and chose the best road toward Berat, where I stayed for several days. Long Description At the Adriatic Sea, a wild wind blew at Cekodhima Camping, but it was warm and the waves were mild. I slept well the previous night because this time I parked the car under the trees. Thus, I had shade in the morning and it wasn't too hot inside the car. While I was having breakfast, a dog from the campground played with me. Read More...

The Albanian coast Livadhi - Vlorë, passing Dhermi, Albania

Palase Beach - concrete bunkers built by the former communist dictator, Enver HoxhaThe first day going to Dhermi Short description. I drove down to Jal Beach and took a swim there, then stopped and walked around Vuno village. I walked to Gjipe Beach, and on my way back, I passed Dhermi village. At Palasë Beach, I tried to camp but eventually, I found a campground at Drymades Beach. Long description I left Camping Moskato and followed the sinuous road that ran along the Albanian coastline. A different mountain, canyon, perspective showed up at each bend of the road. At a crossroads, I turned left and drove down a serpentine road to Jal Beach. Unfortunately, I stayed Read More...

The Albanian coastline from Ksamil to Livadhi, Albania

Borsh Beach - sunbeds just perfect for my siestaTwo days spent on the Ksamil Peninsula The first day in Ksamil Short description. In the morning, I stayed in the campground and by noon, I went to the Butrint Archaeological Site. In the afternoon, I sunbathed and swam at one of the beaches near the Three Islands of Ksamil. Long description Although I still was very sleepy, the tent was too warm to sleep inside at 7.30 in the morning. Linda (the hostess) offered me an ice-coffee, which I enjoyed until noon, in the shade of an umbrella. It was very hot outside but I still went to the Butrint Lake, without Read More...

From the old town of Gjirokastra to the Ksamil Peninsula, Albania

Gjirokastra - the greenery courtyard with vines of the Mele GuesthouseThe first day in Gjirokastra Short Description. In Gjirokastra, I went to the Old Fortress and then wandered through the traditional Dunavat, Manalat, and Cfake neighborhoods. From there, I crossed a valley and came back to the fortress. Then, I walked down to the ring road of the old town through the Old Bazaar. In the afternoon, I headed to the New Bazaar, where I rambled until evening. Long Description From the balcony of my room, I had a view of Gjirokastra's old town lying at my feet. In the background, I distinguished the mountains which I had struggled to cross the previous day. Mehdi Read More...

Crossing the mountains from Korce to Gjirokastra, Albania

Korce - whitewashed houses in the old part of the townKorce. In the morning, I left Radozhda Campground (located on the shores of the Ohrid Lake). I put gas and drove to Kjafasan Pass, where the Macedonian – Albanian border lies. While I was staying in line to cross the border, I noticed two other Romanian cars stopped behind mine. Many other cars tried to skip the line and go directly to the counter. When I reached the counter, I spoke with the customs officer only using signs and the body language. Everything I could tell him in Albanian was the name of the town I was heading, "Korce." As soon Read More...

Dana Tower Hotel, Dana Village, Jordan

Dana Tower Hotel - with Nabil Nawafleh on the terrace of the hotelDana Tower Hotel - Dana Reserve and Village Dana Tower Hotel. Situated on the very edge of the Great Rift Valley, Dana is considered Jordan's largest nature reserve. Dana is on the major migratory routes between Asia, Europe, and Africa. Thus, it is the quintessence of flora and fauna species from all the three major continents. Intricate cliffs and canyons of sand, limestone, and granite strangely cut by the winds create a nearly moonlike landscape. Acacia trees twisted by drought appear among red and black cliffs, and sometimes even pink oleanders in blossom arise in the lower parts of the valleys. Read More...

Exploring the surroundings of the Ohrid Lake - Macedonia

Ohrid Lake - view from the Galicica MountainsThe eastern coast of the Ohrid Lake I drove up to Elshani, and from there I came down to Peštani. Further on I went to the museum on water from Gradište. I had lunch at a restaurant on the beach of Trpejca, overlooking the Ohrid Lake. Then I went to the St. Naum Monastery and returned to Peštani. Elena, the owner of Villa Ella exaggerated with the money, so I left the place as soon as possible. Further, I headed toward the eastern coast of the Ohrid Lake, toward the border with Albania. Lake Ohrid was among the deepest (300m deep) and Read More...

Exploring the Macedonian old town of Ohrid - Macedonia

Ohrid - Kaneo small bayThe first day in Ohrid old town I walked only through the Christian part of the old town of Ohrid. From the Upper Gate (Gorna Porta) of the fortress, I went to the citadel of Tsar Samoil on the hilltop. From there, I descended through a pine forest to the church from Plaosnik. I wandered around tangled streets on my way to St. John's Church from Kaneo. From there I came back to the town walking a suspended walkway over the waters of Lake Ohrid. I went to the cathedral of St. Sofia and then hiked up to the church of Read More...

From Prilep to Ohrid, passing Bitola - Macedonia

Bitola - the old Turkish bazaarMonasteries around Prilep A day before going to Bitola, I drove through tiny villages until I reached Zrze monastery. Then, I found a troublesome shortcut to the mountain town of Kruševo. I returned to Prilep and drove steeply up to the Varosh monastery, and then to Treskavek. In the morning, I left Prilep and went to the Zrze monastery. On my way, I passed through scenic villages, with traditional houses made of earth bricks, summer kitchen in the courtyard, and people working the field. When I reached Zrze village, I noticed that it had many stone houses, most of them pretty shabby Read More...

From Skopje to Prilep, passing Kratovo - Macedonia

Kratovo - the town of bridges and towersFrom Skopje to Kratovo I stopped in Staro Nagoričane, at St. George's Church, and after that I made a detour to the megalithic observatory from Kokino. In Kuklica, I went to the Stone Dolls’ Valley and then stayed overnight in Kratovo, the town of towers and bridges. From Skopje, I turned half of the distance towards Bulgaria, passed Kumanovo and stopped in the village of Staro Nagoričane, at the old Byzantine church of St. George. Dabilo, the singer from the church’s choir and the administrator of the church, tried to explain to me the interior frescoes from the church. When I wanted to Read More...

Skopje surroundings and Mavrovo region - Macedonia

Driving through the Bistra Mountains, near MavrovoFrom Skopje to Mavrovo We went with Vasko to a car service. After that, we drove up to Mount Vodno and stopped at the Macedonian Etno Village and Saint Panteleimon Monastery in Gorno Nerezi village. In the evening, we camped on the shore of Mavrovo Lake. In the morning, we went with Vasko to a car-service to fix my car. The breaks of my car worked well. The discs had too much dust though and the mechanic had to clean them in order not to hiss anymore. We left the car in the service and went with Vasko to a cafe. There, he told Read More...

Jordan Travel Planning

Jordan Travel Planning 2017Jordan Travel Planning is the summary of my five-week trip to Jordan during the autumn of 2017 (October and a bit of November). The pace of traveling was slow, in accordance with the flexibility I had to go and stay wherever I wanted with a rented car. Jordan Travel Planning – General Planning: My travel planning for Jordan started two months before the trip. I used the Lonely Planet Guide and also read some articles about Jordan on the internet. I considered that the guide book offered me enough, very well synthesized information to plan my trip. From the guide book, I could choose the places where I Read More...

Skopje: Turkish bazaar and mountain scenery - Macedonia

Skopje (old, Turkish Bazaar - Carsija)Skopje – Turkish Bazaar and mountain scenery Skopje. In the summer of 2016, I wanted to go on a two months road trip with my car through Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo. I couldn’t go anymore to these countries, so I only went to a few Greek Islands – Thassos, Samohraki, and Lemnos. In 2017, I decided that come June, I'll be on the road in a foreign country. I stayed overnight in Calafat (at the border of Bulgaria), the following day I crossed Bulgaria (passing Sofia) and entered Macedonia through a mountain pass at Deve Bair. On my way to Skopje, I Read More...

Etno House Shancheva - Kratovo, Macedonia

Etno House Shancheva - with Stevce Donevski in front of his guesthouse from KratovoEtno House Shancheva - Kratovo town Etno House Shancheva. Kratovo was a major mining center in the Macedonian part of the Ottoman Empire. For this reason, Saxon settlers came here during the Middle Ages. Moreover, Kratovo is also known as the town of towers and bridges. The town developed in the crater of a former extinct volcano. Nowadays, it's still interspersed with defense towers and old bridges between steep valleys and different neighborhoods (Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, and Jewish). Only six of the twelve medieval towers have been preserved whilst the high-arched bridges have retained their original role and are still in use. From Read More...

Nepal Travel Photos

Tamang Heritage Trail - Day 6: Briddhim village - a local old woman I met on the roadThe photos from the Nepal Gallery were taken during a two month trip to Nepal, in the autumn of 2016. Here, you will find photos from Kathmandu, Kopan Buddhist Monastery, the Tamang Heritage Trail (Langtang National Park), Patan, Pharping, Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel, Panauti, Sauraha (Chitwan National Park), Lumbini, Tansen, Pokhara, Ghorepani Trek, Bandipur, Gorkha. A general overview of this trip can bee found at Nepal Travel Planning. I work with a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H300, 20.1MP. Subscribe to my travel diaries here. Read More...

From Pokhara back to Kathmandu - Nepal

Pokhara to Kathmandu - Gorkha: Mahadev TempleFrom Pokhara to Kathmandu After five trekking days in the Annapurna Area, I had to relax and recover in Pokhara for one day. I had no idea where I was going to stay until my departure from Nepal. In this case, I took advantage of the luxury from Pokhara’s Lakeside for the rest of the day. I ate at my favorite Tibetan restaurant, lay on a sun bed among flowers on the lakeshore, and bought a few traditional souvenirs. I had a great victory when I managed to withdraw cash from the only bank machine that accepted my Romanian card. For lunch, Read More...

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