Greek stories will have to wait a little longer. I have had to stop on the way to recap after 75 days in the Balkans.
I’ve crossed Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albanian, an area of the world with an exciting recent history that aroused my emotions and that offered a lot to discover. I’ve lived part of it’s history, hike to snow covered mountains, motorcycled around an island, kayaked down rivers with isolated canyons, driven on impossible roads, I’ve gotten into valleys I’ve never wanted to leave and still when I close my eyes I see that night when thousands of fireflies hovered not realizing the menacing thunderstorm that was in the background.
I’ve also seen it’s cities; fortified, monumental, forgotten, cosmopolitan, reconstructed, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, communist, chaotic, European, glamorous, old and modern. There’s such a variety that crowds you. In them I’ve seen the beginning of the change from west in a way that sometimes disorientated me.
These memories make me happy with my decision to visit the Balkans and not start my silk road journey as is traditionally written “From Istanbul to Xiam”.
My Balkan experience has been all the more special because of it’s people. They don’t see you as a stranger but as a guest and they really show you what the word “hospitality” means.
Although I’ve seen many places where I would love to stay longer I must continue to the countries with Ancient Civilizations and much more history, Greece, Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, central Asia. I keep walking east with a different perspective after my Balkan experience.