Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year

By , December 25, 2011 6:56 pm

Dear all,

We wish you merry x-Mas and an exciting, healthy and perfect year 2012.

We have currently set up our camp at a beach in the South of Valencia, are enjoying the nice Spanish sun and have done our review of an exciting year 2011.

Since we’ve left Germany in July, we have visited 13 countries, got a new travel partner – our dog Blacky -, organized some financial funds in Germany, have driven more than 15.00o km and are still not tired of travelling.

Our first part of the journey led us via Italy and Austria to the western Balkans which were supposed to be a quite interesting area:

Slowenia: We really liked it there. We did some nice rock-climbing in Kotecnik and Osp, discovered some caves and enjoyed nice drinks in the city center of Ljubjana.

Croatia: Peak of the summer and high season – we think this combination isn’t the perfect one to visit Croatia. But we really enjoyed the islands Rab & Hvar and we met nice people in Paklenica, with whom we travelled to a quite unknwn travel destination.

Albania: You cross the border and you’ll find yourself in another world. If you would like to describe it, many people would say “It’s like Asia / Latin America!”. Wild mountain ranges which you only can reach via unpaved and bumpy roads – the intermediate speed is around 10 km/h. Albanian hosts one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. There are tons of rock which let the climber’s heard speed up. We’ve met great people there – Albanians, Austrians and Suiss – and found our dog Blacky in the only existing animal shelter over there – Thanks, Maria, for your power and engagement towards the situation of abimals in Albania!!! Albania also became our homebase for trips to the Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece.

Kosovo: It seems to be the cheapest country where you can pay in Euro. We went rock climbing in a natural park close to Peja and stayed a few days in Prizren. When you travel from Albania to Kosovo a sign on the Albania side just says “Good Luck”. The Kosovo actually has surprised us in a positive way, but we think that Prizren doesn’t count for the whole country.

Macedonia: Somehow Macedonia didn’t want us to climb its rocks. We tried it twice, but thunderstorms made climbing impossible. But we learnt a lot about the country while spending interesting hours in conversations with the different Macedonian populations. Skopje, Demir Kaija, the Mavrovo Valley and Lake Ohrid are definitely worth a visit. The most interesting thing we exprrienced in Kosovo and Macedonia was the Balkan interpretation of the Islam. We’ve seen girls in mini skirts, in the bars girls and boys are enjoying alcoholic drinks and in a few regions they even eat pork meat. Extremism seems to be a foreign term to them and we really hope that this will stay like it is in the upcoming decades! And now the second part of our journey has started a week ago and we are in Spain. Before that Jörg spent six weeks in Germany to raise some funds for our trip and Kris stayed in Sicily and enjoyed nice weather, rocks and the small dog there.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t follow the initial plan as the Greek border was closed in October for ten days and we couldn’t go down to Kalymnos. Instead of heading to Kalymnos we took a ferry from Albania to Italy. Sorry, Peter, that we didn’t made it. We really hope that you had a great time on Kalymnos.

And last but not least we would like to thank all those people who supported us during the last year – especially our parents and closest friends -, furthermore we thank all our sleeping possibilities – Caro, Katja, Stefano, Albina, Remzi, Rino, Preparim, Alex & Christina-, all our travel- and climbing partners – Dani & Tobi, Gebi & Kathrin, Peter, Sara & Roland, Judith & Bruno, Stefan, Christoph, Ruben, Alex – and we would like to thank all of those, we met during our trip and who made this trip very special to us

Again, enjoy the X-Mas time and have a great start into the next year!

Jörg & Kristina

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