As the Dutch saying go’s; “ Some accidents are sitting in a small corner”…….. ;-)

The first months are a fact and we are “ already” or “ just” in Albania. After our last blog we moved from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina. We loved it all the way. To be in Europe but it feels like Asia. The warmth, the smells.. it’s feels connected. The locals are super friendly. They want to show there is more in their country than only war. Mostar was too touristy for us but to feel and see all that’s happened around Sarajevo was very impressive. The impact is still visible and the complexity of politics nowadays is still incomprehensible for us. Three presidents taking turns to rule… Feels like poker. 

From Bosnia we drove into Montenegro on one of the most beautiful roads we have ever seen. Luckily we get more and more used to driving on very small and steep roads but on this road we were happy there wasn’t a lot of oncoming traffic. We ended up in Durmitor National Park which was really stunning. After every turn the scenery completely changed and we slept between the sheep in the middle of nowhere. Aldo we have seen a lot of churches in our lives the one in Montenegro ( graved into a mountain) was very beautiful. We tried to explain Morgan what the meaning of a church is but I think we will be better in math 🙂 After being in the mountains for more than a month we decide it was time to move to the coast. Some ocean and sun is always a good combination! Montenegro has got a fantastic coast line with clear blue water. Finally Morgan could take here “ crocodile” out!

After 2 amazing months, bad luck happened. After not being able to fix our petrol cooker ( for outdoors) we decided to buy cheap ass cookers with gas bottles you can find anywhere. The diesel cooker inside works perfect but sometimes it’s nice to just cook outside when it’s 35 degrees. When changing one of the gas bottles gas came out. Unfortunately Stephen stood too close to another bottle already on with some vegetables. The gas came in contact with the fire and the bottle exploded in Stephen his hands. He was completely on fire. Luckily Stephen was waring a t-shirt so “ only” his arms ended up with first and second degree burnings. He  got a free “wax” from his hair on his legs and he had some small burnings on his face. We decided we needed to be on a good campground were Stephen could heal and get better and Morgan still was able to play and swim. The best we could found was just across the border in Albania at Lake Shkoder. We ended up being there for almost 1,5 week. Every day Stephen said “ tomorrow I will be better again” but it really took a long time (for him) before he felt a bit ok again. Not only the arms but his whole body needed to recover from the burns. We feel that we still had a lot of luck. I turn mad if I think on the what if’s….

We left the Lake and slept in the garden of a nice Albanian family. We were swimming in a river and we asked the parking attendant if we could sleep on the parking lot. Instead of leaving us there he took us with him to his home. The whole family was there,  his wife, mother, father and 6 kids! To say thanks whenever this happens we already decided that we are baking “ Dutch” pancakes to say thanks to people who are helping us. We did it once in Mostar were we could sleep on the top of the mountain next to a little cafe.  Here we had to bake pancakes for 9 people. Maybe we will check next time how big the family is before offering 🙂 Morgan had a lot of fun with all the kids. She is getting more and more relaxed about playing with other kids who are not speaking dutch. In the beginning she didn’t feel comfortable at all but now she is just walking up to new kid, ask “ play?” and takes here toys with here to show. Life couldn’t be more easier. 

Albania is still a country we find odd. On the one hand the locals are unbelievable friendly everywhere and some spot of the coastlines are incredible. On the other hand the garbage is everywhere and nobody cares. Even in nature parks there are large piles of waste. At the moment we moved inland and are slowly moving toward North Macedonia. Our first “ deadline” is the 15th of August as we need to be in Bulgaria were we meet up with family and celebrate Morgan’s Bday

We sometimes can’t  believe the fact that we are still in Europe but on the other hand we are not. The EU says NO, the Payment in Euro in a lot of countries says YES, Our phones says NO, Our map says YES. The surroundings is a def. NO and also the salaries of the locals. In old Yugoslavia the average salaries is around 350 euro a month. The living ( supermarkets) are just as expensive as in the rest of Europe. Only the Espresso is very cheap (0.70) and good!! Heaven 🙂

Big kiss and for everybody who finally is able to go on holidays….


7 Replies to “As the Dutch saying go’s; “ Some accidents are sitting in a small corner”…….. ;-)”

  1. Prachtig wat jullie allemaal zien en ondernemen . En dat Morgan zich zo fijn vermaakt !! Maar wat een akelige ervaring Stephen !!! Vreselijk , wat zullen jullie geschrokken zijn !!!
    Ben je intussen helemaal genezen … je huid ??
    Fijne tijd , en inderdaad een ongeluk zit in n klein hoekje …
    Elly van den Eertwegh


  2. Wat een prachtige foto’s! Wat een vreselijke ervaring maar gelukkig dat het zo goed geneest Stephen. Wij hebben samen met je ouders ook hele gezellige dagen gehad.


  3. Mooie en minder mooie momenten. Gelukkig gaat het weer beter Stephen. En die laatste zin “voor iedereen die eindelijk vakantie heeft”………. uhhu..
    tot de 15e zus (en zwager en nichtje) en of jullie een deadline hebben 🤪🤪🤪


  4. Dear Stephen, Lillian and Morgan,

    Firstly, how awful to hear of Stephen’s accident with the gas bottle. I’m glad it wasn’t worse, but sounds bad enough to cause a lot of pain. I hope you are well on the mend now and with no lasting side effects. And yes, you can’t even begin to think of the “what ifs…”

    Morgan we loved getting your day diary with the photos. It was fantastic. We were going to create our own version to send back to you, but I unexpectedly ended up in Sydney for 3 weeks. Some friends of ours are overseas and their son is recovering from a bit of a breakdown. We have known him from the day he was born, so he feels safe with us. Michael was here for one week and me for two. So when I get home next week we will use every bit of technological knowledge we have (which is practically zero) to reply with “our day”.

    Apart from exploding gas bottles, you do seem to be having a trip through heaven. Have you been anywhere a bit ordinary since you left? Your photos are amazing. I never think much about the part of the world where you are now, but it is so beautiful. I loved reading your journal update.

    Sorry to hear about the rubbish, but it will be good training for when you get to India, rubbish capital of the universe.

    Thank you for your wonderful update and please give the crocodile a smile and a pat from me. Do you know the song “Never smile at a crocodile, never tip your hat and stop to talk a while, don’t be taken in by his welcome grin, he’s imagining how well you fit beneath his skin”. (How on earth did I remember that!)

    Lots of love to the 3 of you,


    Sent from my iPad



  5. I think you’ve used up all your bad luck in one go. Very sorry to hear it happened but the healing shouldn’t take too much longer I hope.

    Morgan takes amazing photos, so that’s two things she can do better than me.

    The description of the country you’re in now is wonderful, you evoke that part of the world brilliantly.

    Take care, love to you three.



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