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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Unrest in the Balkans - should I worry about going there?

Me and two mates were planning to ride from the UK through western Europe and down the Dalmatian coast. Slovenia, Croatia, and down through (I think) Montenegro and Kosovo and into Albania.

I see on the news unrest in the area - Serbia I think, relating to the independence of Kosovo. US and UK embassies attacked.

Do you think this should it's still ok to make this trip? Three UK guys on bikes with UK plates.
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  #2  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Follow the Coast down, it is absolutely fine, Albania was OK in my experience, go from Albania up to lake Orhid (Albania/Macedonia border, fantastic, the best place in europe??) then head into Greece, no need to go through Kosovo and the bits in Bosnia and Serbia/Montenegro are fine. Just don't start singing!

The coast road down to split is amazing if you like the black stuff and Albania has some good moments if you don't!
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  #3  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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The USA embassy in Belgrade was atacked and set on fire. Serbia's Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardzic said it was the USA was to blame because Kosovo declared its independence the USA backed Kosovo. Serbia got control of the problem that night. Some of the USA people have been "evacuated" or in a less flammatory way sent home as there not really need there and its a funny way to send message to Serbia to stop steering there pot.

looks like Serbia is mad at Kosovo and some Serbia's are taking it out on the USA. People like to blame the USA for there problems even if the USA dint do anything to do with them. (we did in this one kinda)
"The United States has today formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state." Secretary Condoleezza Rice on Feb. 18 2008
From the USA department of sate web sight.

So for whats it worth its going to safe if you stay out of major city's in Serbia. For the most part anyway. Its political junk and grandstanding its all part of the game. If you think running with UK plates are bad try running with USA plates hehe. Or gust put your plates in your bags and make up some German ones (or any one else staying out of this mess) run your numbers on them no one will know or care. May want to swich them back crossing borders.

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  #4  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Plates changing???
Only if you want to stay in a police station and give your embassy a hard time getting you out of the country!!!

In Croatia and Montenegro you will not have any problems, on your place I woldn't go to Serbia, Kosovo especially!
henryuk gave you a good advice
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  #5  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Tell them why you did it. You have the old plates your running your numbers. I cant see the cops realy wanting to deal with an embassy for days gust to give you hard time. A ticket for running the wrong colored plate mabe but an international incident? Dont Serbia's cops have bigger problems.

If I had to stay out of every place there was problems for US citisens I never go leave the USA.

He had Questions on a trip from the UK going threw Slovenia and Kosovo with UK plates. I gust told him a way to get around one of the problems he thinks he has, his UK plates. I dint think UK plates and German are different enuf to get the attention of cop. Europeanplates.com page 3 German plates all styles, trade plates, zoll plates, short time plates, tax free plates and more
But if you must get a black on white UK plate then bend back the left side where the UK, GB, ENG or what ever is they wont know where your from. and the cop will need to stop you if they realy care to know. The problem is not with the cops its the people that are causing unrest.
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  #6  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Good advice - thanks chaps.

Maybe Welsh or Scottish plates would be the answer...?


Just checked a map - Kosovo wasn't quite where I thought it was!

I can just go: Croatia, through a tiny part of Bosnia then back into Croatia, then Montenegro, then Albania.

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  #7  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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thats the badger! great route, where are you going from albania?
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  #8  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLbiten View Post
But if you must get a black on white UK plate then bend back the left side where the UK, GB, ENG or what ever is they wont know where your from. and the cop will need to stop you if they realy care to know. The problem is not with the cops its the people that are causing unrest.
No need, brit plates are fine in all the places you're going, if anything the UK presence in recent conflicts has been appreciated, I got a very positive reception everywhere I went
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  #9  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
thats the badger! great route, where are you going from albania?
Back home.


We need to keep the pace fairly slow. One of the lads only passed his test fairly recently. And we've only got about two weeks total. Plan to take the DB Autozug train from Dusseldorf to Villach both ways to save time/slog.
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  #10  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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Two weeks should be plenty, I had only just done my DAS when I went and had no probs with the riding, all fairly straightforward... apart from avoid going through Tirana at rush hour, very hectic
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  #11  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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I went down as far as Dubrovnik in september 2006. Don't underestimate how far you'll be riding - I did 4500 miles in total.
Went down via Austria and Slovenia and back up via the Dolomites, Switzerland, and the French Alps. You could do the trip in two weeks, but you'd be riding non-stop with little opportunity for taking in the local sites. I allowed 3 weeks which gave me enough time for a few days on the beach on the Croatian islands, a day to see Dubrovnik and an extra day in the Dolomites.
I did think of taking in Mostar on the way back up, but the weather wasn't great. Your insurance will cover you for all of the EU, and they'll usually include Croatia as well. Any further south than this and you'll need to speak to your insurer, of more likely buy it locally.
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  #12  
Old 26 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig David View Post
Me and two mates were planning to ride from the UK through western Europe and down the Dalmatian coast. Slovenia, Croatia, and down through (I think) Montenegro and Kosovo and into Albania.

I see on the news unrest in the area - Serbia I think, relating to the independence of Kosovo. US and UK embassies attacked.

Do you think this should it's still ok to make this trip? Three UK guys on bikes with UK plates.
So many complicated info that really doesn't need to be written in the some of the above posts .

Situation is for now ok and really no trouble at all.

You can ride from Slovenia to Croatia(visit Plitvice lakes), ride along the coast, visit old towns of Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir, Split and Dubrovnik.
If you have one/two spear days go and visit Mostar and Sarajevo, which you will fall in love, I'll guarantee you .

From there go and visit Monte Negro, ride along the coast through Boka Kotorska bay and visit all the small towns on the route.

From M Negro go to Albania and enter Macedonia, where you should visit town of Ohrid and lake Ohrid(365 churches are situated in the town).
From Macedonia go back to Albania and try to ride along the coast, and please avoid entering Tirana because you'll get lost and frustrated for sure.

There are great sandy beaches to be seen and some thousands od bunkers that lay around the country.
There is really no need to change your plates or do something else more stupid than that
If the situation gets more ruff in some time post more questions here and I will be free to answer them with fresh info,

ride on,
Frgich
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  #13  
Old 27 Feb 2008
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Cool

@ Frgic-

I totally agree with your suggestions. Been there several times and enjoyed it every time.

But in two weeks you can't visit all these places AND travel down to Albania ;-) Never mind all the additional time you need to get back to the UK :-(


@ Craig-

it will be tough going to do this trip in 2 weeks, even if you just zoom down the coastline of Croatia. But even flying past the landscape will give you a small impression of this beautiful country. This might then become another goal for later ;-)

Happy travelling!
Hans
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  #14  
Old 27 Feb 2008
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Hi again.
Many thanks for all the helpful replies.

Regarding time, we have about 17 days in total but we will take the sleeper train (with bikes) from Dusseldorf in north west Germany to Villach in southern Austria. I think that covers about 600 miles over night each way.
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  #15  
Old 27 Feb 2008
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Yes Vaufi it would be hard to cover the lot but there are so many beautifull things to see and experience that Craig and his mates will have to choose from the above list I wrote.
Craig You should gain some time and sleep during the train ride, so will have more time and freshness to ride the Croatian coast

ride on,
Frgich
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