Mike and Shelley go to Europe and ride around some

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AMEretired, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    R440 down the middle of Bosnia to Sarajevo is great! You have already been down the coast no?
  2. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Nope not yet heading south on this trip. I will look at that Road and thank you.
    Mike
  3. Umbrianissimo

    Umbrianissimo Adventurer

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    Mike,

    Just a few days left; hope you are feeling settled and ready for the trip and the ride. We're off to Italy for three weeks on the 15th of sept, and I'm already getting the pre-trip list-making-agitation thing going. We'll be doing train travel this time, so I'll be looking forward to your posts about your latest trip. Inspiring!
  4. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks, hope you have a great trip. I look forward to your thoughts on travel Italy as we will be , assuming all goes well , there in a year or so.

    Seriously ready to get moving!! Arriving Zagreb Sept. 5th.

    Here are my basic thoughts for this trip.
    Back to Croatia we go, first stop Zagreb.
    From Wikipedia
    "The area known today as Croatia was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period. Fossils of Neanderthals dating to the middle Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in northern Croatia. Croatia first appeared as two duchies in the 7th century, the Duchy of Croatia and the Duchy of Pannonian Croatia, which were united and elevated into the Kingdom of Croatia which lasted from 925 until 1918."

    From Zagreb.com
    "Zagreb’s history dates back to the Roman times when the urban settlement of Andautonia, inhabited the location of modern Ščitarjevo. The name Zagreb first came into existence in 1904 with the founding of the Zagreb bishopric of Kaptol. In 1242, it became a free royal town and in 1851 it had it's own Mayor, Janko Kamauf. In 1945, Zagreb was declared the capital of Croatia. Today Zagreb is the highest populated and the biggest city in Croatia."

    Too much history, too many stories, too much conflict, too much space to absorb in such a short time. The best we can hope for is to look, listen, respect all and absorb as best we can. Fine, we will ride, have already ridden, a ton of great roads, meet lots of folks, eat, drink, walk, hike, smile and laugh, perhaps shed a tear, stub a toe or 2 and finally get into the sea. In other words just LIVE in our time there :D
    Mike
  5. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Goodbye Calgary
    Hello Croatia
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    September 5 to 9 in Zagreb
    Once again we stayed at Lobagola B&B. Once again Dooby and the staff were excellent. All our needs were met as were the needs of our Sella.
    I continue to recommend Lobagola to one and all. We REALLY recommend them.
    So, what to do for a few days?
    Nikola Tesla Technical Museum | Museums in Zagreb, Croatia

    Aircraft,, vintage cars, an 80-year-old snowmobile, a World War II mini-submarine, 19th-century fire engines and a Dubrovnik tram from 1912. There's also a small planetarium, flanked by a life-size model of an unmanned Soviet moon-roving vehicle, and a similarly true-to-life copy of the American Mercury programme space capsules of the early Sixties. The section dedicated to Nikola Tesla illustrates just how advanced this turn-of-the-century pioneer of electricity generation and radio transmission actually was. Daily demonstrations in his laboratory involve a short lecture during which some of his inventions are put through their paces.

    WOW. We were not prepared for the depth of this museum.
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    A nice display of fire fighting equipment.
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    One serious wine press!!

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    Like this!!

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    Not too sure about this.

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    And much more. This is a Tesla lab. Very cool.
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  6. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    We were fortunate to spend a morning with a marvelous man who is also a falconer.
    So, meet Schpella (spelling is questionable) the Harris hawk.



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    Photo bombed by a Harris hawk !!!!
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  7. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    September 10.Time to ride !!
    Sella had returned and spent the night communing with bikes from other cultures.
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    Time to say farewell to Dooby and Lobagola. Perhaps we will meet again. We would like that.

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    We wanted to shorten the day a bit by slabbing for an hour or so.

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    Bloody good thing we did a s the next section got a bit long


    We were delayed by a few small Glinas (lost, re-routing, stops, fuel).

    Sella in travel attire.
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    Lunch in Otocac was excellent.

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    BUT, also serious and sad as the reminders of what this beautiful part of the world has endured are never far away.
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    What REALLY slowed us down was this .
    The Mali Alan pass out of Sveti Rok toward Zadar.
  8. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Mali Alan Pass is a mountain pass located in the southern part of the Velebit Mountains (Croatia), at an elevation of 1,045m above sea level.

    Velebit is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski Vrh at 1757 m. The range forms a part of the Dinaric Alps and is located along the Adriatic coast. The route to Mali Alan Pass (or Halan) starts in a small city named Korenica. The road starts as narrow paved road, and after crossing Sveti Rok tunnel, it turns into gravel.

    It’s highly recommended to stay always in the trail, because the zone is very dangerous offside the path. The whole area was frontline during the war and the Croatian authorities have posted several signs along the road, warning the danger of mines
  9. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Aaarg. Sorry about the multiple posts, sometimes this tablet and I do not get along well.
    Anyway.
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    Mali Alan is beautiful, although a bit challenging on a fully loaded Vstrom with pillion (at least for me)

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    I was quite looking forward viewing and sharing the GoPro video which I believe would have been quite good if there was a card in the camera.
    I cannot Friggin believe I did that, CRAP !!!&&&@$%"

    We did complete the crossing and arrived Zadar Diklo to a warm greeting and cold beer.
    Dinner, more beer, and a bit of a walk ended day one of riding.
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    The next couple of days would be spent relaxing in Diklo and finally being able fo swim in the sea.

    Attached Files:

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  10. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sella, Shelley and I will miss Diklo. Sella in particular as she still had her cover.
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    This gentleman and his family were our hosts in Diklo. They were simply perfect.

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    Next stop would be Klek Croatia. A small seaside town with a permanent population of 230.

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    Otocac, a beautiful town on route to Klek turned out to be a good lunch spot, but crap, tourist trap!! We ran
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    The ride along the coast on the road to Klek on a beautiful sunny day.

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  11. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    This is the view from our deck in Klek looking north to Komarna. Certainly the view is great but the other bit is really quite interesting.

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    The tip of land on the left is BIH (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The land across is in Croatia.The construction in view is the new bridge being constructed by Croatia. The bridge, when completed, will give Croatia territorial continuity and eliminate the need to cross a section of BIH to access the South West of Croatia.
    From Wikipedia
    Pelješac Bridge (Croatian: Pelješki most) is a bridge currently under construction in Croatia, whose construction first started in 2007 and was later halted. The purpose of the bridge is to achieve territorial continuity of the Republic of Croatia; namely, by connecting the southern exclave comprising the bulk of Dubrovnik-Neretva County with the remainder of the Croatian mainland. The bridge achieves this by spanning the Pelješac Channel between Komarna on the mainland and the peninsula of Pelješac, thereby passing entirely through Croatian territory and circumventing any border crossings with neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum.

    Amid political controversies at home and with Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as financial difficulties following the 2008 global financial crisis, construction was halted in 2012. On 30 July 2018 construction re-commenced, and is set to be completed by the end of 2022.

    The bridge, which will span the water separating a peninsula in the disconnected region with the village of Komarna and the rest of Croatia, is the first time that a project funded largely with European Union money has been won by a Chinese firm.

    You can see from the picture that the border crossing at Neum will be easily bypassed, making our life as travelers easier and cheaper.
    I suppose that history will reveal the true impact of the project.

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    Klek turned out to be a great little town to use as base for a few days.
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    Except, of course, for the douchebag who stole Sella's cover.%&%$#@
    We were concerned that they might return for Sella the next night so our host blocked her in with a car at night.
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    Now, poor Sella, the only cover we could find was for a scooter and she is really a bit embarrassed.
    Sellaphant
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  12. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    do you have a disc alarm, tie the cover to it by cable.
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  13. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    A day ride was in order. Up to Metkovic to the border crossing, purchase insurance for BIH as we would need it later anyway, then back through Neum.

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    The section from Metkovic to Neum was interesting. Narrow and rough but quite scenic.

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    Off to Ston to walk the walls .
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    We passed through the Neum border crossing(s) several times and were asked for papers only once.
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    We walked the walls from Mali Ston to Ston.
    Had a water fix.
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    And back to Mali Ston for:
    A cat fix.
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    And dinner !!!!!
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    Tuna

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    Black Risotto

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    Really quite a good day.

    Dubrovnik the next day not so much.
    We ran around looking for a new cover for Sella. Lots of traffic, no parking, stores that used to be, low sugar.
    Too many people, many, MANY too many.
    And this was not the busy season.
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    We took care of the low food problem.
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    Walked a bit and came across this guy. Working the crowd, happy as anything, deserves every cent he makes.

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    Took a couple of pictures and RAN
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    We were in Croatia for a total of 41 days. We are very fond of Croatia and its people.[​IMG]
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  14. Dalmatino

    Dalmatino Been here awhile

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    Hey guys glad to see you're back at it and having fun!
    I'm in Drayton Valley topping up the piggy bank lol.
    When you're back and before I bugger off, we must get together for a beverage!
    Play safe and enjoy!
    V...

    Oh, and look what's going to Croatia next year Mike :D
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  15. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    Back across the border for a short visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would certainly have liked to stay longer, but alas, not possible.

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    Well, may as well be comfortable. This place is amazing.

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    We were seriously spoiled here.

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    And so was Sella, the owner removed their car to donate the space to her. Amazing.

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    There is great beauty here, unimaginable really, considering the recent history of the city.

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    And cats.

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    We sat on the deck sipping wine, taking in the tranquility and listening to the call to prayer.

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    We enjoyed a bit of a magical evening. Shelley deserves those , all of those, always.

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    The famous bridge of Mostar at night.

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    And during the day

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    Quite a difference from what it looked like during the war.

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    Crooked bridge

    On the Radobolja River, near to where it joins the Neretva, close to the Old Bridge, stands the Crooked Bridge, a miniature version of The Old Bridge -Stari Most. Built in 1558, eight years prior to the more famous Old Bridge, it is believed to have been built as a trial attempt for the following, more daring, construction. Destroyed in 2001 by the river flooding, it has recently been rebuilt.
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    Turkish coffee can be had pretty much anywhere in Mostar but the quality will vary.
    Café Alma, however, takes great pride in their coffee.

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    But, the past is never far from the surface here.
    The war history is sad and horrible with terrible damage done between 1992 to 1994 including the destruction of the Stari Most bridge. The famous bridge that millions cross today is a modern reconstruction.

    Some chunks of the destroyed bridge can be found on the banks of the river.
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    We signed up for a free walking tour of Mostar thinking not much would come of it, after all its just a tourist town right. We were very very wrong.
    It was Haris' first tour and he was bloody excellent. Haris told us how life was as a child during the siege.
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    He spent some time discussing the history and politics of the area, the difficulty getting anything done in such a complex , multi-layered political system and touched on the tension existing today. He feels that, with the young generation, there is hope. Excellent if sad and sobering.

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    All too soon we had to leave.
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  16. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    great town Mostar!
  17. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    After an all too short stay in Bosnia & Herzegovina it was time to move on to Montenegro.
    We had planned to ride directly to Zabljak, stay there overnight, proceeding the next day but the weather intervened. As the weather in Zabljak was crap for a couple of days we redirected to Kotor a day early.
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    The ride to Kotor was a mixed bag, a very wet mixed bag, the border crossing into Montenegro was no exception. On the one hand was the border officer who waved a car out of the way and directed us to park under the overhang out of the rain and on the other the Green Card insurance chap who charged us 20 € for insurance when, later and dryer, we checked the paper and it should have been 10 €. Live and learn.



    Cold and tired, waiting for directions to our VRBO.

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    A kind stranger intervened, helping us to contact our accommodation as we experienced a sim card failure on entering Montenegro. Settled in and warm we were rewarded with this view from our deck !! Life's good. We sorted the phone crap later.
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    And this!! The lion of Kotor in lights.

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    We did. however, have to share at times.
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    KOTOR
    Located on a beautiful bay on the coast of Montenegro, Kotor is a city steeped in tradition and history, with remarkable scenic views. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the old city was built between the 12th and 14th centuries and is filled with medieval architecture and historic monuments. Extending over four kilometres, the city walls that have protected Kotor for centuries lead up to the fortress of Saint Ivan.
    Popular Lonely Planet's Best in Travel yearbook for 2016 has named Kotor as the number one city in the world to visit.
    However.
    UNESCO heritage sites in Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia are suffering unprecedented damage from uncontrolled mass tourism that is putting their heritage status into question.

    Besides pollution of the surrounding environment, the uncontrolled number of tourists is said to be completely overwhelming some of the sites, which could even result in them losing their prized status altogether.

    Those sites most in peril in the Western Balkans include the Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik, Byron’s famed “Pearl of the Adriatic”, and the Plitvice Lakes national park in the interior of Croatia, as well as the ancient seaside town of Kotor in Montenegro and Macedonia’s most historic city, Ohrid, as well as the nearby lake.

    We are not employed nor are we residents of Kotor thus leaving our status as tourists clear. That being said we watched what sometimes is called the curse of cruise ships or simply overtourism. Even at this late date in the tourist season (Sept. 22)you could hardly move in the old city as more and more local shops close only to re-open as knick-knack shops to service the tourist industry.
    By night, however, after all the buses and ships are gone the city becomes the gem that drew people in the first place. In the evening we were treated to a free concert in an ancient church, dined quietly on my 72nd birthday in a magic square and walked hand in hand taking in the majesty of the town, truly a marvelous experience.
    Our sincere hope is that Kotor can find a successful compromise, one that will preserve its soul.
    If the only way to preserve these historic places is for tourists to stay away I will comply, sadly.


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    We were blessed to have a great day to climb the 1300 steps up to the fortress.
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    Apparently too tempting for some.
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    Always time for a bit of fun.
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    And a fix at the cat museum on the way back.
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    One more sunny day gave us the chance to visit the Tara bridge and the fabulous Durmitor.
    Take E65 toward the tunnel out of Kotor then P22 to P1, connect to P15 and follow that and eventually connect to M6 toward Niksic. Then 762 to P5 to Zabljak and on to the Tara bridge.
    Makes an nice day ride, just don't wait too long before securing accommodation.

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    Just a bit of the climb out of Kotor.


    Built between 1937 and 1940, Djurdjevica Tara Bridge (or simply: Tara Bridge) rises 172 meters above the Tara River and the deepest canyon in Europe. When completed the bridge was the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe.
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  18. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Nice update! For me Zabljak was magical, the roads were fabulous but the weather was cold and stormy and this was in the end of May. So much to see and do in this part of the world as you have shown. Are you in Calgary now?
  19. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, what to do on your 72nd birthday? How about a little ride !!
    Starting from the Tara river bridge proceeding past Zabljak to P14, stay on that little bit of heaven until it meets E762, then on to M6 and Kotor. Being able to share this great ride with Shelley was memorable.
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    Durmitor !!!!

    From the web.
    Durmitor is a massif located in northwestern Montenegro. It is part of the Dinaric Alps. Its highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, reaches a height of 2,523 meters.
    The massif is limited by the Tara River Canyon on the north, the Piva River Canyon on the west, and by the Komarnica River Canyon on the south. To the east, the Durmitor opens to a 1,500 m (4,921 ft) high plateau, called Jezerska Površ (Plateau of Lakes). The Sinjavina mountain is located to the east of the Jezerska Površ plateau. The Durmitor is for the most part located in the Žabljak municipality.
    The massif gives its name to the national park that comprises it, which was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980.

    Nice words, BUT, they do not convey the feeling imparted by the place. Wild, serene, barren, beautiful and more.
    My photography does not do it justice.
    The Icefield parkway in Alberta, the Gap of Dunloe in Ireland and now the Durmitor in Montenegro are among the most amazing and beautiful places it has been my privilege to view. So very cool.
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    If variety is the spice of life then this day was very spicy indeed. Incredible diversity.



    A few tunnels then home


    Not a bad day.
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  20. Umbrianissimo

    Umbrianissimo Adventurer

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    Wow. Just watching this improved my mood considerably.