“That is [not] important”

During a tour of historic Kotor in Montenegro with my friends Meredith and Annie and Meredith’s family, I was playing around with my camera and was promptly chastised by our guide for taking a photo of something that was not important.

“I will tell you what you should take a photo of,” he said.

Well ooookay.

I just returned from a week+ in Bosnia and Croatia and let me tell you – it is all worth photographing. Southern Bosnia/Hercegovina especially. And, the whole trip really helped me place Albania in its historical, geological and geographical context.

Reunited with my friend Annie from high school (who is also one of my PC friends Meredith’s friend from college, ironically!), I traveled by bus to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia. The three of us spent time with my cousin and his friend in Sarajevo who were also traveling around the Balkans. Then, after walking the front lines of the recent war in Mostar, catching an annual diving competition off of the famous bridge and dancing in a bar in a cave, we traveled to Dubrovnik on the coast for a relaxing few days with Meredith’s family. It was all fantastic.

Here’s a glimpse of our journey in photographs. I’ll get more into the details later.

Bosnia//Croatia 2011
  1. Mom said:

    Laura Margaret:
    I have LOVED perusing your pictures from what looks like a wonderful, happy time with Annie and Meredith. I am so glad that you had this great getaway and were able to explore more of the Balkan region – as you have said, putting Albania more in perspective yet again………….Also not too bad to have had a little luxury in Dubrovnik as a break from your normal routine. Many thanks to Meredith and her family for this special treat, and to Annie for getting herself there to be with you and Meredith.

  2. Hi,
    We are two PCV’s from Macedonia and are planning to visit Albania next week – arrive in Tirane on Aug 17. Plan is Northern Albania and off to Montenegro ( Kotor) , Croatia (Dubrovnik), Bosnia (Mostar) in your footsteps. I would lov to talk to you about transportation/timings of combi’s (furgons, I guess in Albania). Happie Datt (happiedatt@gmail.com) & Ruchelle Bagnal

    • Hi!

      I’m glad you’re thinking about this trip.

      There are plenty of regular furgons to the north from Tirana – finding them is a bit of a problem as there isn’t a main bus station, but you can ask someone at wherever you are staying and they can probably help you out. The Shkoder buses are close to the train station, which is easy to find, and they leave every hour on the hour until about 5pm.

      I think the most difficult part of your journey will be getting from Shkoder in northern Albania to the border with Montenegro. Be prepared to take taxis. It is a LOT easier to go to Ulcijn (sp?) in MNE than Podgorice as there is a regular bus there from Shkoder. I think this is probably how you will go, so that’s fine. I don’t know the schedule as I didn’t take this route, but I think they run all day pretty regularly from the main bus station/area of Shkoder.

      My other piece of transportation advice for your trip would be to book bus tickets a day in advance (outside of Albania this is possible/necessary) for all of those locations. They fill up fast in August. Also – in Mostar we stayed at Guest House Taso and it was great!

      Have fun and if you find yourselves in Lezhe before the 25th, let me know and we can have a coffee!


  3. Wilson Hammett said:

    You´re so tan! CAN´T WAIT TO HEAR ALL ABOUT YOUR TRIP! I´m heading home today from Brazil and have lots of things to tell and photos to share.

  4. susan said:

    Fabulous pics and stories! What wonderful (and not so wonderful – full balance!) stories you have! Any insight into their health care, aging care, use of MDs and nurse practitioners?

  5. nousha said:

    thanks for sharing.
    I am planning a trip, either in the southern Albanian parts, or Kotor / Mostar / Dubrovnik. Not decided yet, but I enjoyed your pictures a lot.

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