A word from a member of our team: why do I believe in Trans Dinarica?
In short posts on social networks, it is difficult to say or show why I like to participate in the creation of Trans Dinarica so much. Therefore, this time a slightly longer note about the project and why I believe our work has higher meaning.
1. I simply love the countries of the Western Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia. I traveled to some of these countries as a child, and I got to know them even better in the last decade guiding tourists from all over the world. People often have preconceived notions about countries along the route. These opinions are related to, for instance, the collapse of Yugoslavia, the 20th century regime in Albania, and the conflicts from the 90s. But holding onto those judgments is passe. I’m not saying history should be forgotten. Far from it. But focusing on decades-old news clouds today’s Western Balkans, which is one of Europe’s most original regions.
2. The Balkans, if we exclude the coast and a few other hotspots, have thus managed to avoid mass tourism. That’s good … but it means the region’s integrity is so fragile that we must be careful what and who we’re inviting to this pleasant wilderness. Care is necessary because, first, it is good for nature. Secondly, it is good for preserving authentic communities. And third, you will get to know the essence of the Balkans best on a bike powered by your own energy and curiosity. A tourist on a bus socializes with other tourists. A cyclist socializes with locals. And, cyclists leave almost no trace. No need for mega hotels that spoil the mountain views. A room in a private house or three square meters of land to set up a tent are just fine.
I believe the Western Balkans and the sustainable way of exploring new lands — cycling — were born for each other. After we explored the first part of Trans Dinarica, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am even more convinced of this.
Matevž Hribar, content creator, copywriter, cyclist, van driver