4-Xtremes – Part 14: an eventful turn of the year for Mike and Andrea

Series: 4-Xtremes – The World Tour

A bumpy start to the new year.

New Year fireworks, potholes and strict border guards: the Kammermanns overcame quite a few difficulties between the Adriatic Sea and Black Sea. With one important exception.

On the roads of Montenegro: the Kammermanns crossed the small country in the south of the Balkans at top speed.


If you travel enough, there comes a time when you only count the countries that you aren't allowed to enter. At least, that’s what a friend once told us. If you look at it that way, we’re just beginners. However there is a country where we have been unlucky at its border twice now. Which one is it? We’ll tell you in a few paragraphs.

We spent several weeks in Croatia at the end of last year. Every day we only drove short distances and saw a lot of villages that had probably been abandoned during the war in the 90s. Fortunately there are even more places in Croatia that aren’t a reminder of those dark years. We were particularly impressed by the Visovac Monastery. It is located on an island in the Krka National Park not far from the coastal town of Šibenik.



Forced break in Split.

In Split it was time for a forced stop again! One of the side headlamps on the Axor died a death – and the replacement we had ordered from Switzerland was stuck in customs for several days. Due to the grey weather we couldn’t count on our solar collectors, so we drove to a camping site with an electricity supply and used the time there to plan our journey further. We also visited Split’s impressive historic centre. All the same, we were happy when the parcel with the headlamps finally arrived.

With the batteries fully charged and the water tanks full, we then set off in a south-easterly direction along the coast. Just before Dubrovnik you pass into the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina which stretches to the Adriatic Sea at this point. Usually you pass back into Croatia after a few minutes. This time we were in a traffic jam for two hours: holiday traffic. We brought a few snacks into the cab and enjoyed the warm sun from behind the windscreen.

Lost places near Dubrovnik.

After arriving in Dubrovnik we realised that Aimée wasn’t well. During the night we had to go out almost every hour because she had diarrhoea. Had the heat during the traffic jam been too much for our old lady? The next day, Aimée still wasn’t any better. So I – Andrea – set off into the historic centre of Dubrovnik on my own. Exploring this magnificent town on a Sunday morning in December without any other tourists was a super experience.

South of Dubrovnik we were able to devote ourselves to the fascination of lost places. We discovered abandoned hotels from the time when this was Yugoslavia: three concrete buildings and in the middle of them one that was once very beautiful. Despite the evidence of war on its façade it still exudes a certain charm.


Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.
Forays into Croatia: the old historic centres of Dubrovnik and Split are worth a visit even in the grey of December.

Peace in the mountains.

Luckily, nowadays fireworks are the only things fired in Croatia; some of them in the days running up to New Year’s Eve. Because that is a stressful experience for Aimée, we spent several nights in the mountains further inland from Dubrovnik. Here it was quiet and our dog was able to recover.

From the south of Croatia you can get to Greece pretty quickly via Montenegro and Albania. However, the border from Albania to Greece was closed to tourists. That is why we decided to drive through Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria to enter Turkey. In Montenegro the weather was very bad and there was snow in the mountains. So we drove non-stop to the border crossing to Serbia, stayed overnight at a car park and then prepared to cross the border the next morning.

Material damage in Serbia.

Unfortunately, they were very picky at the border. Every compartment, every spice, every medicine: they looked at everything and even opened the covers for the subharnesses. The officials repeatedly asked us separately the same questions about drugs. That’s why they were taking all this trouble! We willingly showed and explained everything and so after a full two hours they gave up.

That left ten hours for the almost 350 kilometres to the Bulgarian border. We would have needed a negative Covid test for a longer period in transit. To the next motorway we had to cover a good distance on roads that were just wide enough for two trucks to pass each other. If a pothole then opens up in the lane, there’s a bang. Luckily, that only cost us an outside mirror. After so many kilometres without any accident damage, something like that had to happen sometime.


More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.
More than just an emergency solution: in Bulgaria, which originally hadn’t been on the itinerary, the Kammermanns discovered splendid monasteries and lonely beaches.

Long faces at the border.

In Bulgaria we kept going south, visited the splendid Rila and Bachkovo monasteries – and finally headed towards the border to Turkey. Perhaps you can remember that on our last tour they wouldn’t let Mike re-enter the country; which is why we were looking forward to the warmth and undiscovered places even more. Especially as the Turkish consulate in Switzerland had assured us the entry ban only applied until July 2020.

Perhaps you’ve already guessed what happened. Exactly – we were refused entry again. The border official insisted that the ban applied until next July. We had no choice but to turn around. We immediately contacted the Turkish consulate in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and in Switzerland as well as the authorities for foreigners in Ankara. We’re still waiting for an answer.

That is why this report was written on the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea. Here, we are hoping for a positive decision from the authorities and are doing a bit of beach hopping. That wasn’t our plan, but there’s nothing wrong with spending a few peaceful days going for walks on the beach.



4-Xtremes – The World Tour.

A one-of-a-kind journey.

For eleven months, Andrea and Mike Kammermann were on the “4-Xtremes” tour with their Axor. Now they are on an even greater adventure. The pair from Switzerland will be on the road for three years and the RoadStars community will again be joining them on the trip! Always be up-to-date and don’t miss any of the breathtaking destinations that our adventurous couple are heading for.

You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.


Photos: 4-Xtremes

14 comments