Introduction of the Balkan Adventures September 9 to Oct 7 2011
This is the story of my trip to the Balkans of Europe in September 2011
Will be a combination of doing a 2 week trip with Intrepid Travel
Then one week with a mini cruise line with Busabout travel and another week of independent travel. Will be lots of photos. This trip did over 4300 photos all showing all aspects and to relive the experience.
This is the point of this blog on Travbuddy. To share it all with the fellow travelers and hope you all can see The experience and perhaps go there some time as well.
The Balkans is part of an area of the world that has been subject to many conflicts of territory and social aspects.
Things are good now and peace has come and made it all good over.
I will be sharing some history lessons within the blogs as to refresh and educate those who may not be award of the previous history and everything.
This is from Wikipedia
The Balkans (often referred to as the Balkan Peninsula, although the two are not coterminous) is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe. The peninsula has a combined area of 550,000 km2 (212,000 sq mi) and a population of over 50 million people.
It is well-known for fierce nationalism and ethnic disputes.
The term “Balkan” is probably cognate with Persian term بالكانه bālkāneh or its older variant پالكانه pālkāneh, which means “balcony (of Europe)”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains, which are uplifting from the eastern end of Bulgaria to the Bulgarian-Serbian border westwards, while the term “Balkan” itself comes from a Turkish word meaning “a chain of wooded mountains”. The ancient name of the peninsula, itself a Thracian one was the Peninsula of Haemus, a name also deriving from the Balkan Mountains, known as the “Haemus Mountains” in the period. The Romans considered the Rhodope Mountains to be the northern limit of the Peninsula of Haemus and the same limit applied approximately to the border between Greek and Latin use in the region (later called the Jireček Line.
The Balkans are highly mountainous; the highest peak in the peninsula is Musala, (2925 m) located in the Rila mountains in Bulgaria. The Balkans are also referred to as Southeastern Europe.
The term “The Balkans” covers not only those countries which lie within the boundaries of the “Balkan Peninsula”, but may also include Slovenia, and Romania. Slovenia, which was part of Yugoslavia from 1919 to 1991, lies partially south of the Danube-Sava line, and thus it’s partially in the Balkans. Prior to 1991 the whole of Yugoslavia was considered to be part of the Balkans. The father of the term “The Balkans” August Zeune defined it in 1808 to describe areas that remained under Turkish rule after 1699.
Italy until World War II included Istria and some Dalmatian areas (like Zara, known as Zadar), but now it has only the small area of the Province of Trieste inside the Balkan region. However, Trieste and Istria are usually considered not part of the Balkans by Italian geographers, due to a definition of the Balkans that limits its western border to the Kupa river.
Etymology and evolving meaning
The region takes its name from the Stara Planina (Old Mountain) mountain range in Bulgaria and partly in Serbia, commonly known as the Balkan Mountains (from the Turkish balkan meaning “a chain of wooded mountains”). The name is still preserved in Central Asia where there exist the Balkan Mountains and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. On a larger scale, the mountains are only one part of a long continuous chain of mountains crossing the region in the form of a reversed letter S, from the Carpathians south to the Balkan range proper, before marching away east into Anatolian Turkey. On the west coast, an offshoot of the Dinaric Alps follows the coast south through Dalmatia and Albania, crosses Greece and continues into the sea in the form of various islands.
The term “Balkans” is probably cognate with Persian term بالكانه bālkāneh or its older variant پالكانه pālkāneh, which means “balcony (of Europe)”.
The first attested time the name “Balkan” was used in the West for the mountain range in Bulgaria was in a letter sent in 1490 to Pope Innocent VIII by Buonaccorsi Callimaco, an Italian humanist, writer and diplomat. English traveler John Morritt introduced this term into the English literature at the end of the 18th century, and other authors started applying the name to the wider area between the Adriatic and the Black Sea. The concept of the “Balkan peninsula” was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808.
As time passed, the term gradually obtained political connotations far from its initial geographic meaning, arising from political changes from the late 19th century to the creation of post–World War I Yugoslavia (initially the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes). Zeune’s goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more. The gradually acquired political connotations are newer, and, to a large extent, due to oscillating political circumstances.
The term Balkans is generally used to describe areas that remained under Turkish rule after 1699, namely: Moesia, Macedonia, Thrace, Albania, Valahia, Moldavia, Epirus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro (except for the Boka Bay and Budva), central Greece and the Peloponnese. Vojvodina and Transylvania, it is argued, do not belong to Balkans. After the split of Yugoslavia beginning in June 1991, the term ‘Balkans’ again received a negative meaning, even in casual usage (see Balkanization). Over the last decade, in the wake of the former Yugoslav split, many Slovenians and Croatians, as well as Serbs of Vojvodina have attempted to reject their label as ‘Balkan nations’.
The Western Balkan states according to the European Union.
This is in part due to the pejorative connotation of the term ‘Balkans’ in the 1990s, and continuation of this meaning until now. Today, the term ‘Southeast Europe’ is often used or, in the case of Slovenia and Croatia, ‘Central Europe’ and Greece has almost exclusively been regarded and referred to as a ‘Southern European’ country.
Because of the negative connotations of the term “Balkan”, the use of the term Southeastern Europe has become increasingly popular even though it refers to a much larger area and thus isn’t as precise. A European Union initiative of 1999 is called the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and the online newspaper Balkan Times renamed itself Southeast European Times in 2003.
European Union institutions and member states define the “Western Balkans” as Albania and the former Yugoslavia, minus Slovenia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development uses “Western Balkans” to refer to the above states, minus Croatia. Today Western Balkans is more of a political than geographic definition for the region of Southeast Europe that is not yet in the European Union.
This is just some parts from the internet on the history of this region.
Lots to share. Now that I told you about the history. I will continue and get to talking about the actual adventure.
So read on and towards the start of the first day.