I am curious to visit and experience new places, especially those that are labelled difficult to reach, hostile (geographically) and otherwise out of main touristic destinations. Since Kosovo declared her independence in 2008, and formed itself as the youngest and newest European nation, it has been on my travel wish list. Formerly considered a war torn and ravaged nation, it is presently a haven of peace and tranquillity. Finally this year, during my European trip, I decided impromptu to dip into this small nation of wonders. Needless to say, I am primarily attracted to the natural bounties, mainly mountains and forests, of a nation. Other attractions like culture, history, craft, museums, and any kind of manmade structures, aren’t that high on my list. Though I like unplanned trips, which takes twists and turns according to my impulses, it never hurts to do a bit of research, especially when Uncle Google is so accommodating. And during this research I came across an absolute gem called ‘Via Dinarica’ of which, I am ashamed to admit, I had no clue.
At 1260km, stretching from the highlands of Slovenia in the north, sweeping south and as well as east and west, through Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, finally tapering off into the accursed mountains of Northern Albania; it is one of the longest mountain hiking trails in the world. As I dived deeper into this trail descriptions and reports, I also realized much to my relief and amusement that unbeknownst, I had already completed large swaths of this trail during my earlier trips to other countries that share this trail. So I decided that it was time for me to complete the 130km (approx) Kosovo section of Via Dinarica. Though there are couple of excellent websites about Via Dinarica, I was finding it hard to find any concrete details about this trail, regarding exact starting points, places to camp, resources along the way. I wouldn’t bother about these details if I wasn’t constrained by time, but this time I was as my visa duration was coming to its natural conclusion. With my Schengen Visa, I could stay in Kosovo for 15 days, which I figured was enough for me to not only complete the trail Via Dinarica but also to plunge at few other places in Kosovo.