Travel report High Scardus Trail – Soul of the Balkan Mountains

28. Sep. 2021

First travel report from the trail scouting at the High Scardus Trail - Soul of the Balkan Mountains - by our hiking companion Taulant B. Hoxha.

The High Scardus Trail – Soul of the Balkan Mountains: breathtakingly beautiful long-distance hiking in the Western Balkans. Here in the impressive Korab Mountains ©Trail Angels

An inspiring travelogue by Taulant B. Hoxha about the ascent of the southern section of the High Scardus Trail. The walk was part of an official trail scouting by the Trail Angels for the cooperation project with the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The goal is to develop the High Scardus Trail into a bookable long-distance hiking trail with international appeal. Taulant was accompanied by Trail Angel Günter Mussnig and the well-known ecologist Klaus Michor. The northern section was explored in parallel by Trail Angel Stefan Lieb-Lind and the US-American nature photographer Matthew Nelson as well as several local experts. We will report on this later.

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Taulant Hoxha of the SuperXplorers with his hiking companions (from left to right): Rezarta Bare (GIZ Albania), Günter Mussnig (Trail Angels) and Klaus Michor ©Trail Angels

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Colorful trekking in the autumnal Deshat Mountains. The High Scardus Trail delights with its diversity and pristine beauty ©Trail Angels

“Now from the comfort of my home, I’m recapping in few sentences the amazing 10-day life-changing adventure at the amazing long-distance hiking trail High Scardus Trail – soul of the Balkan Mountains.

Although I’m very often up in the mountains doing many different activities that I love and I’m passionate about, this one was something else, this one was on a different level of challenging, and I did this exactly for the challenge, to test myself physically but more mentally, to see what I’m capable of, to get lost in the breathtaking landscapes of highlands, to be part of the nomad life in the infinte pastures and much more.

It wasn’t easy, it was scary sometimes, it was exhausting quite often but… HELL IT WAS AMAZING AND UNFORGETTABLE and it’ll be one of the best experiences of my life. And, how amazing an experience can be definitely depends with whom you are in such journeys, my trekking buddies Trail Angel Guenter and Klaus a.k.a “Mr. Perfect” are the ultimate best companions someone could have in such trips. I’ve learnt a lot from them, I’ve been amazed by their passion for nature and outdoors and their crazy adventures, definitely this isn’t our last adventure together, thank you for all the jokes and crazy stories.

Trail Angels & Guenter, this is just the beginning of an amazing journey to make High Scardus to the destination for long-distance hikers and explorers – so let’s have fun!

PS: Bistārī, Bistārī and Pack Ma’s are the two new words in my vocabulary”

Taulant B. Hoxha

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Summit victory even in stormy weather: Taulant Hoxha with Trail Angel Günter & Klaus Michor on a summit in the world-forgotten Jablanica Mountains © Trail Angels

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Already close to the finish! Time for a trail finisher Rakia! High above Prespa Lake we toast the successful trail scouting with Hiking Guide Ivana Hristovska © Trail Angels

Author 

Taulant B. Hoxha 

Taulant B. Hoxha from Prizren is currently living and working in Prishtina. He is the co-founder and co-owner of SuperXplorers, a company specialized in nature and adventure tourism. Taulant is a passionate traveler and explorer, and a hobbyist of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and packrafting. Currently he is working as comms and sourism development manager at Vier Pfoten – Bear Sanctuary Prishtina.

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