Balkan 2013 (or: How we Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Uphills)

Reaching Athens felt great. Our legs were tired, stomachs a bit upset, and Christian’s ankle was as big as his thighs. It was time to feel proud and celebrate by doing absolutely nothing. And so we did. Four days of reading books, hanging by the pool, playing pool, eating by the beach and regaining weight by drinking beer and eating Pringles and candy in bed in front of the TV. A life that we would usually hate, now felt amazing. But after four days we started feeling restless. It was time to go home. We took the ferry back to the main land, fixed a cardboard box for Christian, had dinner with friends, bought presents for family back home and prepared to go home.

On friday morning two cabs picked us and our bikes up at 6 am and drove us to the airport. After 12 hours, and a stop over in Istanbul, we where back home. 15 degrees colder and heavy clouds over us. But it felt good to be back home and feel  fresh cold air in our lungs for the first time in a month. Jonas dad picked us up and drove us home (Christian to Ulricehamn and Christofer and Jonas to Jönköping). We said goodbye to each other and the trip was over.

Balkan was a success. The hills were sometimes about to get the best of us, but by having what felt like all the time in the world, we managed to bike or walk up every hill the Balkans could throw at us. And it was ALWAYS worth it when we reached the summit, saw the view, and sometimes camped right there, under the stars that we never get tired of. It’s funny though. In Bosnia they told us we would lose our kidneys to the russian mob in Montenegro. In Montenegro people talked badly about the Albanians. In Albania they badmouthed the Greek. And so it went. Wherever you go people have prejudice about their neighbors without ever having set foot there. And every time you prove them wrong. People are just people everywhere and busy with their own lives. I pity the ones who don’t dare to travel cause they’re scared. I’m glad we aren’t. And that’s why our restlessness will start to itch again. The question is just when, and where it’ll take us.

Until then we would like to thank you all for following us, and thanks to all our sponsors for supplying us with terrific equipment and service. THANKS! Soon we’ll post some more pics and videos. Stay tuned.

Most beautiful – Montenegro (especially Tara canyon)

Most friendly – Albania

Cheapest – Albania

Most expensive – Greece

Worst beer – PAN

Best beer – Mythos

Most flats – A tie between Jonas and Christian

Worst uphill – probably the one out of Split

Worst road – Gravel road in the middle of Albania

Worst tunnel – Tunel Vrmac outside Kotor (thought we would die three times over)

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