Pictures ( trip in the Balkans and some more )

This is what we're living for...

Brno - past and present

Brno - the theatre building in the spring

Brno - one of the many hidden gems

Brno - tavern, one of the many picturesque ones

Brno - architecture

Brno - Sex on the ... street ! ( no, it's not the cocktail you're used with :) )

Brno - ...and like I said...on the street ;)

Brno - Easter time !

Brno - He...

...she, in Easter clothes

Brno - lunch break is over !

Brno - need some environmentally friendly spoons ?

Brno - you can go back in time, but it's a little bit dangerous !

Brno - architecture

Brno - one more gem of architecture

Welcome in Slovenia ! Cheers !

Bohinjska Bistrica - view from our balcony

Slovenia - Spring in the Julian Alps

Slovenia - Soca River and ...guess what it is ? Tip : rafting...

Slovenia - the road to Vrsic Pass ( 1611 m high )

... like I said...the road is awesome !

...and more beauty

Welcome in Kranjska Gora !

Let's dance, put on your red shoes and dance...sang in 1983 late David Bowie

It's as beautiful as you can see...no photoshop !

You're welcome ! Anytime...

Skofja Loka of www.skofja-loka.com...yeah, still in Slovenia

Same place, same time..

More of Skofja Loka ( always Slovenia )

Long time ago, there was a different approach, but nice, nonetheless

The Old Town of Skofja Loka, houses from 1800's

Ljubljana - The Dragon Bridge

Ljubljana Castle

The right side of the river...

...and the left side...question of point of view :)

Presernov Trg - Ljubljana

Nice piece of architecture

The Easterman !

Do you know him ? A whole world does...ladies and gentlemen, the worldwide famous Michael Moore ! In Ljubljana...of all places..

Sneznik Castle - in Kozarisce, 40 km from Ljubljana ( a 16th century Renaissance castle )

The same castle, where the interior is still authentic...a wonder !

The park of Sneznik Castle...in the rain

We're still in Slovenia and this is Stanjel Castle...or the Middle Age today

Let's get in !

Nice, isn't it ?

Thirsty, anyone ?

Modern people living in the Middle Age, i.e. anno 1699 ; in fact, it's a village in an old castle

...something like this, for example...

...or like this...

Ponikve village - spring is on its way...

...as you can see..

Piran - one of the beautiful little cities on the Slovenian coast

Piran - panorama

....o'clock, Slovenian time :)

Next...welcome to Croatia ! more precisely, Pula city...with an impressive amphitheater...

...this is only a small part of it, but very well preserved indeed

What did you say ?? 'Welcome to Croatia' ?? Are you sure ?

Where am I ? The bloody hangover ! Oh, right, they say I'm in Zadar (Croatia)..

Hey, the Beatles are also here ! There is their yellow submarine...omg !

Details..

and more...Zadar is full of surprises.

Velebit National Park - visit Krnjeza Canyon, cut out by Krupa River

2 kms of wild pigs and...

... a forest full of mines...it's not the only place we've seen..

War's ugly face in Plastovo

Plastovo

One of the soooo many victims of the Balkan war

Split - a beautiful castle facing the Adriatic Sea

The picturesque narrow streets of the Old Town - Split

Il Campanile di Split

Nice, huh ?

Omis - old little town on the banks of Cetina River

Yummy, yummy...

Nice summer residence !

Mostar - the pictures say it all...

The war and its 'souvenirs' ....

Vrelo Bune - a religious Muslim site, very hard to find...there are no signs, but it's not far from Mostar

Mostar - View from balcony (side)...not very merry, is it ?

Mostar - Stari Most, the famous bridge ; on the right side of the river live the Muslims, on the left side the Christians...the war is not really over yet !!!

Still Mostar...

Mostar - past and present together

Mostar - Modern architecture with nice accents

Mostar - the Christian side of the city

...and more traces of the past

Mostar - once upon a time, there was an apartment building, where people used to live...

Good bye, Mostar, and don't forget...we love you !

Dubrovnik - music and birds

Dubrovnik - nice piece of architecture

Dubrovnik in the sun

Dubrovnik - Main Street, after MSC Cruises & Co, left the city...

Montenegro - Kotor Bay

Cockchafer - sign that spring is not so far away anymore...

Like I said...spring in Kolasin (Montenegro)

Montenegro - Moracka Canyon, superbe nature and a very good road

Moracka River - so clear...never buy water in Montenegro...just drink from the many sources...no worries !

A small gem...

As you can see, the mountains are not at all black...:)

Biogradska Gora National Park

One of the oldest forest in Europe - Biogradska Gora

Easter flower

The lake, where you can have a boat trip to admire it all...and it's so quiet...

Montenegro - Tara River, so clear...and what a colour !

The picturesque road along Tara Canyon, one of the most scenic drives in Montenegro

Old is beautiful...

...isn't it ?

View on Tara River

The stunning view of the bridge over Tara River

Need a comment on it ?

I wouldn't refuse such a gift...ever !

Ostrog Monastery

The sometimes inaccessible Sveti Stefan island on the beautiful blue of the Adriatic Sea.

Bar, far from the madding crowd...

Durmitor National Park in Zabljak, north Montenegro

The undisturbed wild nature in the Durmitor N.P.

Welcome in Kukës ( north Albania ) !

Map of the city

Sunset in Kukës

What can we say ?!

There is Kosovo !

Kosovo ? ...straight ahead...

Wow ! A traditional wedding !...and we were invited to join them..

...according to a 300 years old tradition

The dancing is almost impossible to do as if you know something about it...

Very beautiful costumes and the girls...

...dressed so nice...while the temperature touched 40 C ! And not to mention that the wedding lasts 3 days...

A typical restaurant

...and a 'mushroom', a concrete one...Albania is full of these ugly things

Have a closer look..

Flats in Kukës...and heap of cut wood at every entrance...but these are worries for later, now it's summer...

On our way to Kruje

Kruje ( Albania ) - The Old Bazaar

We like to nose in here...you still can find authentical old things...and we did !

Photography is in the lift !

Antique slippers..

Sales !

Memorial of George Castriota Skanderbeg, actually he is buried in Lezhnë, his family lives in France

Inside the fort

Panoramic view of the Kruja city, from the fort

A hundreds years old oak tree

Still in the fort...this is Bektashi teqe ( muslim chapel )

Old houses in the fort, people are still living in..

Statue of the national Albanian hero, George Castriota Skanderbeg...

A nicer picture...

Half way Albania, in Golem, we took a few days off !

At the 6th floor...

One sunset is not always the same...

...see, what I mean ?

...like I said...the sunsets...this one is from Vlorë...we are on our way to Sarandë

...and this is the presidential villa, in Vlorë...no, you cannot rent it !

She's beautiful, isn't she ?

On the road from Vlorë to Sarandë, a good coastal road...one of the most scenic drives in Albania...these beauties are living freely in a camping...

The good old days...

...and no so good old days...it's a former Russian station...the submarines used to be hidden in that tunnel...ah, the Cold War !

It looks like Crete, before summer, of course :)

Port Palermo...it sounds like Italy, but it isn't ! We are still on the awesome Albanian coast.

Gjirokaster - view from the castle

Streets in the Old Town

This was our B & B 'Kotoni', fantastic people...their house is protected by UNESCO ; the house is 237 years old...a gem..beautiful sight of the old town and the mountains ...5* for hospitality and comfort !

The Old Town..

...and the magnificent castle.

A few pictures of the old castle...

..it cannot do any harm anymore !

It's a restaurant, with fantastic 360 degrees views...

Sunbathing, but I'm not alone...

...here come some of my friends !...tavern Kuka - Gjirokaster

Greece - on the way to Papingo ( Zagori region, in Epirus ), in search of lower temperatures..

...where the word 'stress' is not known...

..an amazing region of Greece !

...and ...like I said, Albania is full of concrete 'mushrooms'...they turn the beautiful landscape into ugly spots..

Nice well, isn't it ? ...on our way to Korçe ( Albania )

More common sense than the one from Brussels ( Manneke Pis )...even if his Belgian 'collegue' is more known to tourists..

First stop in Macedonia - Elshani, on the shore of Ohrid Lake...sunset

Trpejca

Radozda - ideal stop instead of very busy Ohrid...

...a fishermen village, with interesting chapels, hewn in the stone just behind the village

Ohrid ( Macedonia ) - this is the square with the oldest tree...

Ohrid - The Old Town

Ohrid Castle

Come in, the door is open...

You wouldn't expect to find a Roman arena here, would you ?

The entrance to ...

...this church. It's big, it didn't fit on 1 photo, so I shot the best of it..

Good fresh water at no charge !

The inside of Ohrid castle...

...and the outside of the same castle...of course... ;)

A little glance at Ohrid

On the way to Mavrovo National Park...surrounded by nature...and feeling so free...until

...you get to see THIS ! I, personally, don't want to know what's the point...do you ??

A more peaceful approach...

The entrance of one of the most jaw-dropping monasteries I saw in my life...unbelievable ! Sveti Jovan Bigorski, a MUST, if you visit Macedonia..

And some more pictures, all shot outside...it was forbidden to take picture of the interior...I was so sorry !

Nothing prepares you for the wealth you're gonna see...

Mavrovo - Mavrovo National Park

Mavrovo - The Sunken Church

Kosovo Republic - first coffee stop... so nicely arranged...

...like this...beautiful !

This is the sad face of Kosovo in Shtimë-Dugë...try to get used with it, if you can...I couldn't !

Seen much too often...

Drini Waterfall - Radac ( Kosovo )

Kosovo folklore on the banks of Mirusha River

One of the thousands graves...

Once upon a time, there was a house of peaceful people...

Skënderaj ( district Mitrovica, north Kosovo ) - memorial Jashari

Familie Jashari, cowardly and coldly killed... men, women, children, baby's...

Adem Jashari, hero of Kosovo, killed because he wanted his country back...and live in peace...

Prekaz i Poshtem - the place of the killings...some members of Jashari family still live there...behind the ruins...a very, very sad place...

Just a break...

Sharr Dragash - in this high and isolated place, we paid our deepest respects to a country-hero...Kosovo...we'll never forget you !

On the way to Macedonian border...

Skopje ( Macedonia ) - by night...the only time of the day when you're not roasted...

Fountains in the center - they were really needed..

This statue reminds me of a nice and dear friend...

Sveti Kliment - the biggest orthodox church in the city of Skopje

Blagoevgrad ( Bulgaria ) - the umbrella's were hanging to offer some shade...it didn't really help ;)

Like they say...Stob's Pyramids..and...

...the real stuff, seen from far and only a piece of it..

The entrance to Rila Monastery ( Bulgaria ), an amazing piece of art !

Have a look...this is not all of it...it just didn't fit in the picture !

Mural paintings...

...and chairs to admire the walls and...to take a rest !

He is just shy...he is calling his colleagues for the mass.

No photo, please ! The paparazzi's are shameless...

The entrance to Devil's Throat Cave...288 stairs...it feels like you're walking up, blindly, a 24 floors high building

This is the throat...fuming..

...water is coming out..

The Rodopi Mountains, another scenic drive...don't fool yourself...we were still fighting 40 degrees C...

The road through the mountains, direction Plovdiv...

Shiroka Laka

...old houses...

and old bridges...so picturesque !

No comment !

Excuse me ?

A peculiar clock on a mosque..

Plovdiv - the past...

...the present...

...and the evening, in the middle of the city.

Tryavna ( Bulgaria ) - city center

Big old house...walk a little further and you can taste Belgian beer !...it was not so good, after all..

The museum of wood carving...no, he is not defending the entrance !

Nice, huh ?

Gabrovo - street art...did the vikings come to have a laugh ?

Now you know where you are...

The clock went crazy !

...and this one, too !

Proof of brotherhood between Aalst ( the carnival city of Belgium ) and Gabrovo

Don Quijote and...

...his 'shadow' , Sancho Panza

The show is over !

Romania - Church at the entrance in the Dâmbovita Cave ( Pestera Dâmbovitei - in Romanian )

The entrance...like in 'God will protect you' in case the cave will come down..

Nature at work..

and some more work...

Like I said...about God...

Nice little chapel, outside the cave.

Pitesti - the centre

The church behind the fountain

Hunedoara - Corvinesti Castle ( Castelul Corvinestilor - in Romanian ), one of the nicest castle of this country...It was used by Lonely Planet as cover for the travel guide Romania

Inside the castle - detail

Beautiful dresses, isn't it ?

Come in !

Nice piece of heating device..

The throne hall and...

...the boss was sitting there

View of Hunedoara

Bucegi Mountains

Moeciu de Sus - a nice village in the mountains, with a lot of accommodations for all budgets

Râsnov ( nearby Brasov ) and..

...the entrance of the fort, Râsnov Fort ( Cetatea Râsnov - in Romanian )

One step further, inside the fort

Gallery

Inside the fort - ruins

Curtea de Arges - the awesome church with the same name

The park of the church

Vidraru Lake ( Lacul Vidraru - in Romanian ), you'll meet it on your way on Transfagarasan Road

Traffic on the Danube...

Decebal statue ( king of Daciers, the Romanians of today ), a real piece of art in stone

Mavrovo Monastery, perched on the Danube

The Iron Gates...Danube Canyon

The neighbours, ...the Serbs

Greece - Thessaloniki, The White Tower, a nice place to have a walk along the sea...

The good old Alexander...and yes, he was indeed, the Great

...and his 'job'

Another great Greek...Aristoteles

Long time ago..

Antiquity Museum - Thessaloniki

The Arch of Constantine - detail

In Thessaloniki you can find little gems, like this one

Modern art...on the streets

Television Tower and more modern art...

...and some more

Hunger...

Kalambakis...the place of Meteora

The harbour of Igoumenitsa

On our way to Corfu ( or Kerkyra, the Greek name )...

...and here is the city !

The city-harbour of Pireas

...our gate...

...and our ferry for Crete, destination Ieraklion

Crete ( or Kriti, for the Greeks ), Lendas - the elephant stone

Dytikos - our refuge for so many years, a peaceful wonderful place

... and Taverna Odysseas, 'our' tavern for years, where Stelios looks after every client

Sunset in Dytikos

The Venetian Fort in Iraklio

And so we are on our way back home, totally against our wish...

We were there...:)

...i.e. there ( some information on the isthmus )

and it looks like this...very impressive, anyway

Italy ! Welcome to Bari !

Chiesa ( church) del Santo Sepulcro - Bari

Cosy streets...

Is this part of the Italian allegria ?

Aquafreda di Maratea - so beautiful...

Paestum - where the Gods live...and you ? you feel like an intruder...

Paestum - The tempel of Neptunus ( or Poseidon, for the Greeks )

We fell for ever in love with the Mediterranean pine trees...so elegant and proud...

A mere idea of the Amalfi Coast...it's more awesome than they say / write...Costiera Amalfitana

Agropoli - Castello Aragonese

Agropoli - Old Town

Looking for a picture...not difficult at all, while in Italy..

Sunday closed !

Chiesa ( church ) dei Santi Pietro e Paolo

Artistic olive tree..

Agropoli 's harbour

Beauty and ...

...beauty again, everywhere..

Street in Ercolano ( the old Herculanum ), the 'brother' in suffering of Pompei...

Old beauty

Details of art

The College of the Augustales ....or....

..La Sede degli Augustali

Three old friends...

Napoli - Piazza Municipio Largo Castello

Far away...The Vesuvius

Napoli and its 'guardian' , The Vesuvius

Rome - Il Vittoriano, monumento della Celebrazione

Rome, before we were born !

And today...

Vatican and some of its splendours :

The amazing exterior of St. Peter's Basilica...

Now, it was just the exterior...let's go inside :

...and now some humble pictures about the beauty of the interior...

One Swiss guard and...

...his colleague.

The last day of October...sunny day...in Siena

Like I said...sunny day...the outskirts of Siena..beautiful !

Everybody knows him...he is a piece of history...of Italy.

Look around you and admire these details on the walls of the city.

November...already...the second day of the month and here is thé beauty of Milano : The Dome or Cathedral of Milano...staring in awe...

Guarding the Dome ( il Duomo )

One of the doors - a piece of art in itself !

Once inside, let's look around...

Look at the stained glass windows...see, Notre-Dame in Paris is not the only one with such superbe windows..

...and sculptures like in Michelangelo's works...

Like I said...awesome stained glass windows !

Same-same, but different...

The last moment...

Broken-hearted, we had to say 'Good-bye, Italy, it was superbe to meet you !'...

On 4 November, we crossed the border between Italy and France, looking at the Alps..

On the way to one of the many tops of the Alps..

Up we go...and to show my anger that the summer was really over, I kept on walking with my flip-flops...

France - Col du Galibier ( 2 556 m ) - D 907

Almost on the top...it was a kind of cold, but I was still wearing my t-shirt and flip-flops...I was on strike !

Mont Thabor - 3 181 m

Nice, huh ?

Les Verneys - eco-friendly art...and he is not alone...

...this one was there, too. Here ends our 9 months trip.We are on the road to Belgium and we decided to repeat this experience soon...as soon as possible !

To fully see the pictures of our trip in the Balkans, click on the picture and you'll get the text as a bonus Cool. Or, you can watch them all in slide modus and the text will appear below, on the right side...or you can view them full screen...the choice is yours. 

 

Of course, even the best photo's of National Geographic don't show you the real stuff. Tip : GO and see for yourself.