The German-born writer Petra Jacob traveled to the Peaks of the Balkans with Balkan Natural Adventure She shares with us her account and photos from the trip. Diversity is the main subject.

Can you shortly introduce yourself as a writer? 

I write freelance, mostly in German, sometimes in English. I prefer stories from the countryside. I write for magazines, newspapers and I am in the midst of writing my first book. 

You have done quite some travels, how would Peaks of the Balkans compare to them? 

It is more than a trekking tour. You are walking through a landscape with so many stories and so much politics. The guides were amazing. Our main guide Adriatik was like a walking encyclopedia and he had so many moving stories. He had so much knowledge and was so willing to share. I liked that the landscape we walked through was still so pure and unspoiled by mass tourism. The tour had the feel of a great adventure and it felt like an achievement to walk through these mountains. 

What would be the highlight of the trip? In terms of flora and farming which are your niches is there anything you would like to stress?

The variety of landscapes in a small area really blew my mind. One day it felt like walking through Scotland, on another like Wales, the Dolomites, or Kyrgyzstan. I really loved that it is a working landscape!!! With a shepherd’s wife who serves freshly brewed mountain tea in a small hut above 2000 m, a shepherd playing his flute somewhere high up in the mountains, the herds of sheep having siesta next to their keeper sleeping in their shade. People pick blueberries, transporting the fruits back by horses. It was great tasting the food of this landscape as well, the cheese, the tasty yogurt made from sheep milk with wild berries. I was amazed by the fields and fields of blueberries, lucky me it was August and the fruits were ripe and ready to pick. 

If you would have to do only one day of the hike which part would be that?

Sorry, I can’t choose :-), I liked so many days, because each was different. My favorite walks were from Theth to Valbone, from Valbone to Cerem, and from Vusanje to Theth. On those days I could have sat for hours in that landscape and just look and been grateful for so much beauty on this planet earth.