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Messages - warlord

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  Petrovac I also hear is worth a visit and if the Summer bus is running to Sveti Stefan, that might also be an option.

  Just was informed by someone in Belgrade that the Central Train station is permanently closed and they haven't really started on the new station (which isn't centrally located anymore either).  So anyone wishing right now to get to Novi Sad, or Budapest from Belgrade now has to take a bus to Novi Sad and then use the train (if going to Budapest).  Topčider is still having the Bar train which is good.

  Also hear I can get the train tickets at the Belgrade Centar Prokop bus station for the over night train.  Might just do that the day after I arrive (Thurs) for the Sunday night train.  Hopefully that will be enough in advance to get a single sleeping compartment...

  Ok, looks like I may get the €75 for the 1st class ticket and single bed sleeper reservation.  I hear there is a man that many people recommend they can get to get the reservations for you and he meets you at the station and gives you the tickets and informs you of anything you have questions on.  Seen many people talk about it on various forums so that might be an option rather than trying to get over to Topčider the day after I arrive, as you said, it's a little ways out there now.

  Already have booked the hotel in Budva for the entire time as others recommended doing that.

  Figure the best option then would be once I get to bar off the train, there are several buses all day that go to Budva, and I would just store my backpack if possible and see Bar that way and just skip Ulcinj.  I don't know if it would be worth it going to see it from Budva as when I'm there it seems there are very limited direct buses and I would have to split the trip going to Bar again and taking another bus to Ulcinj.  At least if I do that, there I have the option of the direct bus back.  But as others have told me, there would be better things to spend my time doing than Ulcinj for a day trip from Budva...


  Ok due to pricing of my other options and connection times with Turkish Air, I've booked my trip for this now.  So will have a few days in Belgrade and then take the overnight train to Bar and then hopefully a bus right to Budva where I'll then spend 4-5 days there before heading over to Dubrovnik as the flights were cheaper than Podgorcia.  That way I can spend 3 or so nights there for this trip.

  So we've talked about the train already, and I assume I can book a sleeper car ahead of time then from Belgrade to Bar?  I've done trains for 4-5 hour stretches before around Europe, but never done an over night (except once in Egypt decades ago), so not exactly sure how it works with security of luggage and if you get your own area or if you share the area with others as I'm a solo traveler.

  For Montenegro.  Would it make it easier to stay in Ulcinj instead for a few nights and then up to Budva?  Though it would be having to split 4-5 days between the two and not sure which would be best.

Thanks again...

  Yes it seems from the New Zealander that gave me the that she talked to a few other people that used it and they said it was great.  So think that would at least be my best option from Tbilisi to Alaverdi since I won't be flying into Yerevan due to the bad layover connections.  I don't want to attempt another 1 hour layover at the new Istanbul airport as they all are showing me.

  And yes I know about the conflict and have already asked the same question about the passports.  As long as I haven't visited that one separated area of Azerbaijan everyone I talked to said there is no issues travelling between the two countries.  I won't be anywhere near that area anyways.

  Seems there are lots of marshrutka's in Alaverdi that go to Tbilisi so will just either try that, or as you stated, ask at the hotel I'll be staying in for their recommendations.  I know I have done this in the past in other countries and the last time in Moldova they had their own drivers they hire for all guest's need, so will inquire about that...

No this trip is for May not Feb.  I always plan ahead before getting a ticket.

  Yes it also seems the train arrives in Alaverdi at 3am anyways so that option is out.

  Someone did suggest this ( and I contacted them and they said they have drivers that can both take me to Alaverdi and then I can get another one to get back for about $36 US each way.  That's probably what I'd have to do and gives me a chance to stay 2 nights or so there and hike around a lot.

  I've always tried to avoid local taxi's being a foreigner and the reputation of them scamming people, especially when I don't speak the language (or at least very well).  So I tend to avoid them.  I might just have to go with the one I mentioned before.

  Also with flights I didn't realize the tension between Armenia and Turkey and flying to Yerevan isn't as easy as others.  So I've decided if I go on this trip, I'll just fly into Baku and spend a few days there and take the night train sleeper to Tbilisi.  I have friends from the UK that told me I should do it anyways.  Much better connection times and easier to fly to there and out of Batumi than going to Yerevan.

  I just would like to somehow have some time and a few nights somewhere worthwhile in Armenia at least.  Maybe there are cheap flights from Tbilisi to Yerevan and I can just spend a few days around the capitol and fly back?  Kind of weird, but an option I guess...

Travel plans, routes and timetables / Georgia - Armenia Transit Question
« on: January 09, 2019, 06:52:24 pm »
  I am trying to figure out if there is any good way to get between Yerevan to Tbilisi via a night or two in either Alaverdi or Odzun.  The main thing there is to hike to Haghpat and also somehow try and get to Debed Canyon.

  Figure I'd ask here being it's more "Europe" rail, but figure maybe Georgia kind of counts.

  I did some research and found out the train between Yerevan and Tbilisi is not only long, uncomfortable and just highly not recommended, so was curious about other options if they exists trying to get between Yerevan and Tbilisi and spending a night.

  I know they have the mini buses (Marshrutka's or whatever they call them there), but I don't like being in those for long extended periods of time (did the one between Chisinau and Odesa and 5 hours on those was way too cramped with no toilet breaks).  So just wondering if you had any input on this idea at all?

  Another option would be actually just flying into Tbilisi and flying out of Batumi.  That way I would just need to find a way from Tbilisi to Alaverdi/Odzun and back.  It seems there is a that same train from Yerevan that goes to the station in Alaverdi, but it seems like it's once a day.  I could manage that as it's only a few hours.  But didn't know if there was another option.  Getting to Alaverdi, I can't seem to find any train for some reason.  Also can't find any buses either.  (The train from Tbilisi to Batumi though seems very straight forward and easy).

  Haven't committed yet to this at all 100%.  It's another option before I get a flight in Feb.  The others we talked about in the past being Serbia and Montenegro which you helped me with already and have all the notes to easily do that if flights are good.  The other was Kosovo/Macedonia which you also helped me out and that is also ready to go.

  But just curious if you had an input on this possible trip at all?


Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Albania - Macedonia - Greece
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:17:35 pm »
I've been on a trip this past week so haven't been able to respond.  I always book my hotels in advance as I like to research them and stuff before hand.  I'm not as much of a nomad as I once was (growing up sucks), so that just gives me less to worry about and less time to try and find a place.  But I have enough information then that I can easily do either of the 3 trips this year and then have the information for the next few years too :).  ..

Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Albania - Macedonia - Greece
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:20:01 pm »
You know, I just checked another option actually which will allow me to split up this entire trip idea into 2 separate trips (the other for next year).  Based on your experience and such and checked the prices and it's very doable.
  So I would be flying into Athens and staying a few days of course, taking Aegean Airlines to Corfu, then the ferry to Saranda which then will avoid all the confusing buses with lacks of schedules in Tirana (and many have contacted me saying in May if they don't get enough people, they won't run, etc).  This way I can base Albania in Saranda and take day trips to Ksamil, Gjirokaster and even possibly Berat (though that might be a little far on bus for a day trip, though maybe it's doable.  This way if said buses aren't running or don't have enough people, I still will have my hotel there and can just do other trips as I see when I'm there or whatever.  Seems a lot less stressful with these Albanian buses.

  Then I can just go back to Corfu, stay a night or two and then either fly or take a bus to Thessaloniki via Green Buses or fly back to Athens.  Both options are in my price range and flights are only about 50€-65€ and the Green Buses is only around 40€. 

  This way I can do Albania/Greece in one trip and Macedonia and Kosovo in the other (maybe people have said that Bitola is also worth a visit there).

  Just seems a lot less stress free and less chances of being stranded with hotel bookings if a bus doesn't run, etc, plus is more straight forward that I'm not dealing with many connections transiting and spending a night here or there just to take another bus the next day for a connection.

  So I think I'll take your suggestion and just stick to Greece and Albania then this time.  You're a great help as usual (7 years in a row, minus the one year I went to Korea and China and wasn't on here)...

Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Albania - Macedonia - Greece
« on: January 30, 2018, 06:12:01 pm »
Thanks for the comments.  I did some more research and yes there isn't any direct buses from Prizen to Ohrid and the only thing I saw was transferring in Tetovo.  The other issue is that the buses from Skopje to Prizen (all 2 of them) both get there in the afternoon or evening, so that really doesn't make it possible for a day trip and I would end up having to spend the night.  Prizen to Tirana looks like they have direct buses though, but that would mean skipping Ohrid for Prizen. 

  The only other option would be to just take a day trip to Pristina as they have many buses throughout the day or do the thing I hate the most and take an organized tour which does both cities from Skopje.

  And thanks for clarifying SAS being the Skopje bus station and not an individual bus service.

  Ioannina would be good and I looked into actually flying out of there, but without any luck.  I think adding that might be too much as it's a few hours bus ride each way, so I'll probably just have to stick to Corfu for the day and leave it like that. 

  Would be nice to get flights out near Sarande, but looking like Skopje & Tirana are the only cheap options that I'm seeing.

  And yes, Galeb was referring to Ohrid to Tirana bus route that is only in the summer, not Skopje to Ohrid which is every day they said all year round.

  I just looked this all over again and found maybe this trip might be a little jammed with trying to do Kosovo as well.  Flights into Pristina are good and maybe it might be better to just do my 2 weeks in Kosovo (Pristina, Prizen), Macedonia (Skopje so I can do some hiking and any other day trips, Ohrid, Bitol maybe or somewhere else in the country) and then flying out of Thessaloniki, Greece instead (found a great airfare)?

  That would leave me with another trip next year to do Montenegro/Albania and Greece or Serbia/Montenegro to make it less hectic and letting me stay in hotels longer rather than bounce around so much with all that I was thinking I could accomplish this time.

  Any other suggestions in Macedonia for towns/cities I should stay or see if I do that?

Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Albania - Macedonia - Greece
« on: January 26, 2018, 06:34:57 pm »
Here is my projected itinerary for Mid May.  Does it seem ok, since you are familiar with a lot of this route?

Fly into Skopje - for a few days
 - Day trip to Prizen via SAS (
 - See either Matka Gorge, Vodno climb or Kamnik winery

Take a bus to Ohrid - 2 or so days
(using SAS again I hope, or Galeb if they are operating there in May)
 - I would consider actually staying over night in Prizen and then taking a bus to Ohrid as well if it's possible

Ohrid to Tirana - 1 night if even that
Getting a taxi from the hotel to Struga (since it's easier to get the hotel to order a taxi so I don't get ripped off)
 - Taking Drumo Tours Bus to Tirana (which I think drops me off at Zogu i Zi roundabout) - They told me they operate all year
 - Getting a ticket at TISA Tours near Sheshi Shqiponja for Saranda and take the bus (may have to be the next morning)  to Saranda (not sure if using Albatrans or Gjirafa is better though)

Saranda - 4 or more nights
 - Ferry to Corfu for the day
 - Bus or Furgon to Ksamil for the day
 - Maybe Gjirokaster for the day

Back to Tirana
 - Probably using the Ioannina to Tirana bus (or the same one I came on)

Then in Tirana I can go to Durres for a day and then fly out a few days later.

  So does that look like a doable trip then with transit.  That's my biggest thing is getting the right buses as Galeb contacted me saying they didn't operate any buses to a lot of places until the summer.  Just wanted to avoid using furgons for the longer trips.  Any other suggestions or corrections with this?

Ok thanks for the information.  I may end up doing this trip still, but looking more like I'll be doing Macedonia and Albania instead.

Yes in Budva I will definitely be going to Kotor and also Sveti Stefan since I'd be staying in Budva for a few days.

I'll have a backpack with locks on it so hopefully that will be fine.  Just figured since I'd bring wine on the train, I may have to leave the compartment often to go to the bathroom, so that's why I was curious about that.  And thanks for mentioning the trains are all compartments and not just seats then.  A long train ride, but as you said and as I've read elsewhere, the best route to probably take in all of Europe so I wouldn't want to miss out on doing this...

  So this is still an option for my next trip (if flights for the Albania trip I posted are more).

  I would probably be going from Belgrade to Ulcinj  then to Budva and flying out of Podgorcia (skipping Bar).

  So with what you stated about really nothing big in between, I'd probably just opt for the day train if possible.  My question is with the actual train itself.  How safe is it to leave your bag while you go to the toilet?  I've never gone on a train more than a few hours so I've never had to carry luggage that long of a distance before.  What about eating/drinking cars, what does one do with their luggage so that it's safe on the train? 

  I think I've just heard the usual horror stories and wasn't quite sure how this would be for a long train trip?


Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Albania - Macedonia - Greece
« on: January 08, 2018, 11:06:34 pm »
  Ok thanks, I am still waiting for flights to either do Serbia/Montenegro or as I asked last year before going to Ukraine/Moldova, being the Serbia-Slovenia.

  And yes I knew the train issue with this trip wouldn't be an option as compared to the Serbia/Montenegro (though would need buses there as well).

  With this trip I like to keep it as simple as possible, but I'm thinking the furgons would be very similar to the Marshrutka I took in Moldova correct?  Not the most comfortable at all, but if there is an option of a direct one that might work.  I'd rather not try to do what you did and do bus and taxi and then another bus as I want to keep it simple and not have to deal with getting ripped off by Taxi drivers when I don't know the language.  I will check on local buses via tourist agencies like you mentioned.

  At least the other parts of the trip seem decent enough with the bus or fugons.  The ferry is fine to Corfu I think in price if I'm to stay a day or two rather than just a day trip.  And as you said returning up the coast back to Tirana seems easy.

  I'll come back after I check the flight options with one of the trips and then get more details if I have questions.

Ideas for my upcoming trip (Arrive/Depart city - Arrive/Depart city)
Albania - Macedonia - Greece (Tirana or maybe Corfu)
Serbia - Montenegro (Belgrade - Podgorcia or Dubrovnik)
Serbia - Slovenia (Belgrade - Ljubliana) - As you already helped with and gave me the details on this alread

Travel plans, routes and timetables / Albania - Macedonia - Greece
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:01:32 pm »
    Looking at another option for my 2 week trip in May this year, I was also looking at trying to do Tirana - Ohrid - Sarandë (for the beaches) - Corfu (maybe for a night or two) - Shkallnur (Gollum Beach) and back to Tirana.

  My big thing is how is transportation along this possible route with frequency and reliability and time travel times to get this in for 2 weeks?  Another option if flight prices allow it would maybe having Corfu - Sarandë - Ohrid - Shkallnur - Tirana or something if I can fly out of there with a good deal.

  Just was hearing more and more about Albania's coast and the fact many people seem to take a side trip to Macedonia well.  Other idea are also welcome as usual as I often will take those suggestions...

Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Belgrade-Zagreb-Ljubliana
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:07:49 pm »
Yes I still plan on doing this trip possibly this coming Spring...

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