Snow-Capped Peaks and Montenegrin Switchbacks
Almost exactly a year after they started their journey through Europe, Hélary and Schiettecatte rode out of Greece and into North Macedonia. A strong headwind made their early progress tricky, but beautiful landscapes and snow-capped peaks helped smooth their arrival in Skopje, the capital.
From there, they left by bus to Lake Ohrid where they spent four days relaxing and admiring the snow. The lake is shared by North Macedonia and Albania, and the pair headed into Albania next. They spent barely any time in the country, passing through in only three days. Reading between the lines it sounds like they were unimpressed with the country: “the very mountainous landscapes are magnificent, wild dogs are omnipresent, as is waste…Albanians are resourceful, and many are struggling to survive in a country with a very low standard of living compared to its neighbors. A huge proportion of its nationals live outside the country. We have not always been comfortable because we were really seen as rich.”
On Lake Skadar, they left Albania into Montenegro. Here they cycled for two days, barely seeing another soul. From the lake, it was an arduous climb to the city of Kotor. They cycled up to 3,900ft (1,200m) before descending a seemingly never-ending series of switchbacks into the city.