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Midzor

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Midzor (2169m) is the highest peak in Serbia outside of Kosovo. While Kosovo is still fighting for its independence, most countries (except Serbia of course) recognise Kosovo as an independent country. So do I.

It was a very long drive from Triglav in Slovenia to the foot of Midzor in Serbia, 900 km but mostly on highways with a speed limit of 130 km/h. We took a much needed pitstop at a hotel in the ugly industrial town of Slavonski Brod in eastern Croatia, hence dividing the long drive into two half days. In Slavonski Brod we were served a huge portion of nearly ten different grilled dishes, it was almost like being in Argentina again. A couple of beers also did well, until we finally passed out after a long day.

Next morning we continued the drive on good highways. We easily crossed the border into Serbia and continued east to Belgrade and eventually south to Nis. Some kilometers east of Nis the highway came to an end. But then we had to get off the main road anyway, and onto a local road to Svrljig, whereupon the GPS directed us to Kalna on a miserable road. The road was still paved, but the huge potholes dramatically reduced our speed to 20 km/h. Fortunately we got to Kalna without any punctures. Here we turned right onto a mountain road heading to Hotel Babin Zub. We parked our car next to the hotel (a skiing resort) at 1600 m.a.s.l and then we had like 8 km left of hiking to the summit of Midzor. It was already late in the afternoon, so we initiated at a furious pace in order to avoid nightfall. Except from two annoying stray dogs in the beginning and a large herd of cattle below the summit, we had the whole mountain to ourselves.

We followed the trail (it was more like a jeep track) along the gentle ridge. On the summit we found a concrete monument and white boundary markers in both directions because we were now on the border between Serbia and Bulgaria. We took our time to enjoy the view, pee across the border to Bulgaria and then take the mandatory "been there done that" pictures, before we began the 8 km return hike. We arrived back in the car shortly before sunset, then drove down the mountain heading for Bulgaria.

We had no trouble getting into Bulgaria, even though we did a paperless border crossing at the top of Midzor a few hours earlier. Shortly after the border we found a cheap motel to take in for the night. There was no local beer in the bar, so we had to settle for Tuborg instead. But a couple of cold beers, regardless of brand, tasted really good after having done two country highpoints (Slovenia and Serbia) in only two days. We were right on target, and peak number 3 was waiting for us in Bulgaria (Musala Peak).

PS! I stupidly forgot my handheld GPS in the car, thus I have no GPS track from this hike.

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Posted by Lyngve Skrede on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. Filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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