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Messages - warlord

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1
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 :).  ..

2
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)...

3
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.


  Update:
  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?


4
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 (www.sas.com.mk)
 - 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?







5
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...

6
  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?

 

7
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



8
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...

9
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...

10
Yes, this is why I'm taking the bus from Chișinău to Odesa and not the train because of the lack of decent train times, crossing through Transisteria (though probably not bad going from Chișinău to Odesa, think it's worse going from Odeas to Chișinău).

  Bus will be the best option for me (though they are the smaller mini buses I hear)

Oh good point about the website.  I will make sure I just use the English site as reference and use it for the bus numbers and then book it on the normal website...

11
Thanks again and I'll look up the bus in April then when they have the tickets for my date listed (too soon for the date right now).  I figure I'll just print it out (like I have in the past with buses like LuxExpress in the Baltics) and just hand that to the driver.

  Yes the bigger buses is what I would want.  Been hearing that for the 5 hour trip from Chișinău to Odesa that most are the mini buses.  Not looking forward to that...

12
Great, I was able to use Google Translate and that worked some, but you seemed to have better luck.

  Is the 6am bus for 475 UAH the one you were talking about with the nicest bus since it's a bit more expensive?  Or are they all the same bus, but the 6am one is just more because of the time?

13
yes so that's why I knew I could get the train in advance for sure.  But you did say there was a 6am morning bus by Autolux that has the luxury bus you were talking about correct?  Is there a bus number or something you know of that I could check up on?  Would you think getting it a few days in advance would work since I'll be in Odesa for 4 days and if I get it when I arrive on the first day would that normally be already filled up?

14
  Ok thanks the the Moldova buses then.  I shouldn't have to worry much about the route anyways because I think there is a bigger issue with people coming from Odesa to Chișinău than from Chișinău to Odesa via Transnistria anyways.  But yes, I'll double check on the buses I like and then see if there are the same departure for the buses to Palanca to make sure they go that route.

  Yes I understood the shorter bus times, I was just finding it a bit more difficult to find those online through the Autolux or Gunsel Websites.  With a limited amount of Russian I know, I couldn't quite figure out how to get a ticket in advance (if I couldn't easily get a few days before when I'm in Odesa).  The train website was a lot easier and I was able to figure out how to book it online in advance. 

  So that was why I was focusing on the train as I can't understand on the website how to book the good buses you were referring to...

15
Found the buses from Chișinău to Odesa (http://www.garanord.md/orarul_rutelor.cfm?S_ORAS=Odesa&ID=20910&CODU=208937&Grid1Page=1), though why do only the later buses in the day state Palanca?  Does that just means there's an official stop there while the early buses in the day just drive through Palanca and not stop?

  I know you stated most buses will avoid Transnistria (though I will have already visited there on the trip), just wasn't sure if these buses go through there or not?  Doesn't really say anything on the website.

  As for Odesa-Kyiv, found I can book the train 2 weeks in advance and that the first class will get me to Kyiv at a decent time in the day and only seems to be 1/2 shorter than the bus (unless like mentioned the buses drive faster in the day than the time stated).  Might be more comfortable on the train as first class opposed to the bus...

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