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Published: September 21st 2018
We departed Sarajevo before sunrise on a very cold morning (-7) as we made our way through the beautiful snow covered mountains toward the Serbian border, it was so beautiful that we had to stop and take a few photographs of the moon illuminating the snow covered mountain pastures and throw a snowball or two. As was wound our way through the mountains we followed the pretty River Drin gorge to the city of Visegrad before crossing the Serb border near the Tara National Park. Here we had something of a dilemma I wanted to head south through Kosovo to the bear sanctuary near Pristina but this would lengthen the journey and there was no guarantee we would get there before it closed, so we continued on towards Nis.
The journey through southern Serbia was often picturesque, we passed through a number of towns as we skirted the Kosovo border all were quite nondescript. We stopped for lunch at a very good restaurant in or near Novi Pazar, my pizza was excellent. We turned south here heading towards the Macedonian border, the roads are undergoing major upgrades so it was slow at times and we soon realised we wouldn't make
it to the sanctuary as it gets dark early this time of year. I was disappointed that we didn't at least drive into Kosovo.
About 5pm we crossed back into Macedonia the distance to the capital is short but we didn't expect a pack of dogs to be sitting in the middle of the freeway, Shane tried his best to avoid them but one peeled off and ran straight into the front left hand bumper, by the time we pulled over the whole pack had vanished, we could only hope that the animal was ok. Our trusty Skoda was a bit of a mess it was necessary to pull off a piece of bumper that was dragging under the car apart, apart from that all was ok. A short time later we stopped at a service station to fill the tank and make a hotel booking using their wifi, we found a pleasant place right on the edge of the old town. After checking in we wandered around the city centre admiring the massive amount of the work the country has undertaken in restoring its historic heart in recent years and at vast cost, before wandering into the medieval
centre for one quiet drink.
The next morning I wandered off into the old town to get rid of some currency and to take a few photos, I was going to visit the fortress that dominates this pleasant city, but I ran out of time, the other boys went up there while I was doing my thing though. When I got back we checked out and headed to the airport. I had not paid a cent for the vehicle yet and we had smashed up the front but the rental company didn't care so I paid the agreed amount and we headed through customs for our flight home.
It was a great week on the road, lots of interesting sights and good food, I will definitely return and finish off the remaining Balkan countries.
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