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

Thailand Travel Planning

Thailand Travel Planning is the summary of my two-month trip to Thailand during the winter/ spring of 2019 (mid-February to mid-April). The pace of traveling was medium, meaning: I had a tourist visa which allowed me to stay in Thailand for a limited amount of time (60 days) to get my above-mentioned visa, I had to show a round-trip plane ticket to the Thailand Embassy in Bucharest so it didn't worth to cancel it and to extend my stay in Thailand for one more month (the maximum period a tourist can get a visa in Thailand is 90 days) I couldn't go Read More...

The best Sibiu city walk in the medieval town, Romania

The three medieval squares of the old medieval town are the best place to start the Sibiu city walk.  - Huet Square (it is the religious square of the town with the evangelical church): located at the outskirts/periphery of the Upper Town, it is formed on the route of the first enclosure of fortification (wood and earth fortification from the late XIIth century); here stands the first chapel in the city, then the Romanesque basilica with cemetery around (place of refuge for people in case of emergency), in the meanwhile around the church appearing other buildings erected on the ruins of Read More...

Balkan Countries Travel Photos

Horses on the road from Leskovik to ÇarshovëThe photos in 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-HX300, 20.1MP. Subscribe to my travel diaries here. Macedonia Albania Kosovo Read More...

The return to Macedonia - Kumanovo, Skopje, and Kratovo

Kratovo - generous lunch at Etno House ShancevaHow I decided to go to Kumanovo? On the 2nd of August, I had to be in Macedonia, in the small town of Kratovo. There, I had promised to Stevce Donevski to write an article about his traditional guest house, Etno House Shanceva. I had another week left until then and had to do something during that time. Eventually, I chose to go through the northern part of Macedonia - 3 days at Nate in Kumanovo and 2 days at Robbie in Skopje. The first day in Kumanovo Short Description: I crossed the border between Kosovo and Macedonia, then headed to Kumanovo. In Read More...

10 days in Kosovo - the capital of Pristina

Gracanica Monastery, near Pristina - the bell towerThe first day in Pristina Short Description. I left the Rugova Valley, and in the capital of Pristina, I met Julie for lunch. In the evening, I went to Brixhita’s house. Long Description As soon as I left the Rugova Valley, I finnaly had internet signal. Thus I found out that in Pristina, I would no longer stay at Leonita’s place, but at Brixhita’s apartment. And for lunch, I would meet Julie from Australia. I had a hard time finding a parking place in the Kosovan capital, but I somehow managed to find a place and meet Julie. Julie was from Australia, where she Read More...

10 days in Kosovo - Peja and the Rugova Valley

Rugova Valley and GorgesFrom Prizren to the Rugova Valley, passing Gjakova Short Description. On my way from Prizren to Peja and the Rugova Valley, I stopped in the small town of Gjakova, then at the Visoki Dečani Monastery, where I had the opportunity to drink juice with NATO soldiers. In the afternoon, I went to Peja, where I strolled the bazaar and the tourist promenade. Long Description It was not easy to exit Prizren because the GPS had repeated errors. Eventually, I found the road to Peja - one of the three big cities of Kosovo. In the little town of Gjakova, I completely got 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...

10 Days in Kosovo - Prizren and around

Prizren's Fortress - the view of the town (left side is the Sinan Pasha Mosque)How I decided to go to Prizren? Actually, I intended to go back to Tirana to check my car in a Dacia service because some red lights blinked on my car’s dashboard. The car’s manual only said „urgently go to a service” - something I had procrastinated to do for the past ten days. As I was leaving Shkodër, Linda (the owner of the Ledgenda Camping) talked with her husband, Franz, and sent me to Service Auto Ellite. At the car service, they scanned my car on a computer and then we took a road test. Eventually, they inflated my tires 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...

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