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Balkans Trip

Tue May 04, 2010 3:27 pm

Hi all,

In June I'll be making a trip through the Balkans. It will be only partially aviation oriented, and since I'll be travelling by public transport, operational aviation photography won't be easy. Still, it would be nice to bag the odd operational or preserved aircraft on the way, so I'm looking for interesting aviation-related locations in the former Yugoslavia and Albania.

I'll fly into Corfu for a day or two on the famous Hotel Royal terrace (I know the place), then cross to Sarandë, Albania by ferry. There's a shot down USAF T-33A in Gjirokastër. From there I'll probably travel north to Shköder and cross into southern Macedonia. I'm fascinated by the pictures from Tivat (TIV), but it's probably a quiet affair?

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Photo © Mitrovic Uros

The nice aviation museum in Belgrade is another likely stop, but I don't know yet where the trip will end. A photographer-friendly airport where I can grab a cheap flight back to Holland/CGN/DUS would be perfect.

Any suggestions much appreciated!

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
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RE: Balkans Trip

Tue May 04, 2010 4:58 pm

Hey Peter,

considering your route description I'm not sure my info will help you much but if you're a bit flexible they might.  

Let's start south: all I know in Albania is the capital Tirana; it offers a nice backdrop for photos and is one of the more active airports in the region. For info about locations outside of Tirana I'd suggest you try contacting Chris Lofting; he has some great photos from all over Albania. You may see most there is to see in the city within half a day though the Albanians have greatly modernized their infrastructures during the last few years.

In Macedonia, Skopje is an interesting airport though very quiet and I'd be careful with photography there as the airport is busy with military operations and hence they might not be too happy about a guy running around taking pictures.

Pristina in Kosovo can offer a nice backdrop for photos but it's even quieter than Skopje so not really worth a detour.

Contrary to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina; it has regular traffic in addition to a real nice mountainous background. It can be pretty misty there, though this is more a problem in the autumn and winter months. Also have a look at the city; very interesting with a great history and very good (and cheap) food.

If you pass by Split in Croatia I'd strongly recommend you make a stop there; the airport is very nicely located and especially during the summer offers very regular charter flights. And as the many charter flights may make you guess, the surroundings of Split and the city itself are a real eyecatcher!  

I sadly don't know Belgrade as I've only had a short turnaround there once but if you're there, you might consider booking a red-ticket flight with Austrian and do e.g. BEG-VIE-AMS. I've just checked the prices and if you book right away you may get the flights (everything included) for as less as 220€.

I'll be happy to provide you with further info if you want some.  

Enjoy your trip! The Balkans are great!  


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RE: Balkans Trip

Tue May 04, 2010 11:22 pm

Thanks for a very good reply, Thierry.

I'll drop Chris a message, though it looks as if most of the Chinese MiGs have been chopped into pieces by now.

I said Macedonia where I meant Montenegro, apologies.

Sarajevo and Split look like interesting options - Split especially is an eye-opener to me.

On the other hand, I like the fact that there's a train from the port of Bar in Montenegro to Belgrade, apparently quite scenic too.

[Edited 2010-05-04 16:23:28]
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)

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