When last in the Balkans a few years back, I was hiking the Peaks of the Balkans Trail in Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. It was hard, sweaty and glorious.
Over the past couple of weeks Patsy and I took a Danube River cruise from the Black Sea to Budapest — much cushier, but we still got to do some good walking, mostly urban strolls. One big highlight of the trip was a small boat trip with a WWF naturalist into the depths of the Danube River Delta, one of the most diverse areas on the planet.
At one point on our cruise, I got to visit the Balkans again as our pleasure ship motored gracefully through the spectacular cliff-studded Iron Gates. On one side the Serbian Balkans dipped down to the river, and on the other side the Romanian Carpathians kissed the water’s edge. It’s fun to visit mountains whether you are slogging on foot or luxuriating on a pleasure cruise.
Later this summer I’ll return to my old ways when I travel to the other side of the Black Sea for a long hike in the Republic of Georgia. I’ll be sure to report in. Meanwhile, get out and enjoy nature my friends. None of us will live forever, so stay vertical and keep walkin’!