Bicycle touring Montenegro: crossing the mountains

Corfu, Gjirokastër, Ohrid, Prizren — in each country Jeff and I had been to before Montenegro we had an exciting cultural destination as well as good scenery. Montenegro ended up being all about the mountains. We crossed the border at Kulla Pass and descended into Rožaje.

IMG_20220429_133954_4010 by bryandkeith on flickr
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Bicycle touring Kosovo: Prizren and the Serbian Medieval Monasteries

Just like in Greece, Albania, and North Macedonia, Jeff and I only spent about a week in Kosovo. Some of these countries are pretty small, but we were also cutting corners as our route connected UNESCO sites in each country (Corfu, Gjirokastër, Ohrid; respectively, in the countries I just mentioned). Here in Kosovo it was the Medieval Serbian Monasteries.

I didn’t really know anything about Kosovo before visiting except for the war (over 20 years ago) and the NATO intervention (ongoing). It was an unexpected gem for tourists. We were welcomed with this view at the border village of Glloboçica:

20220423_160357 by bryandkeith on flickr

The climb had started before the border and continued after, but I was surprised how flat it was on the other side.

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Bicycle touring North Macedonia: Ohrid to Skopje via Bitola

Yikes, I’m falling behind quickly on this blog. My bicycle tour with Jeff is now over, but I’m not even half way through the countries we visited. We left Albania and entered North Macedonia at beautiful Lake Ohrid,

IMG_20220415_151946 by bryandkeith on flickr
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Bicycle touring southern Albania: Gjirokastër to Lake Ohrid

During my first visit to Albania, it was cold and rainy with too much snow in the mountains for fun bicycle touring up high. Those mountains looked great from below. I knew I wanted to get back and check them out. Well, Jeff and I passed through a few mountains in southern Albania, and they certainly did not disappoint. Northern Albania is supposed to be even more spectacular. Another trip?

IMG_20220410_101538 by bryandkeith on flickr

We crossed the border and holed up in a restaurant for a few hours to wait out some fairly heavy rain squalls. Oh no, this seemed familiar! Not to worry. We ended up spending about a week in Albania, and that was the most it rained.

I was still low energy from being sick so I was happy to have Jeff pull me into Gjirokastër against a headwind. We might have beat the next squall had we not stopped to take photos of this bridge:

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Bicycle touring Greece: Corfu and the Zagori villages

After the elephant destroyed my bicycle, I scrambled around a bit to get a new bicycle put together in time for my tour with Jeff. The frame, fork, and rear rack came from Germany (thank you, Seb, for the delivery!). I sourced many parts from Turkey, but the brakes and brake levers came from China (those plus the frame and fork were actually all made in Taiwan). Spokes ended up being the last hold up (half from Germany, half from Turkey). I managed to get out for a very short ride (10km?) before boxing the bike up for my flight to Corfu.

IMG_20220402_165253 by bryandkeith on flickr

Jeff from Boulder flew to Tirana and pedaled south for a couple weeks to meet me in Corfu. It’s the first bicycle tour we’ve done together. We’re about three weeks into it now, and it’s still going well.

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