• About traveling Applejax

    I'm a traveler and adventurer based in Phoenix, Arizona. Favorite activities include biking, hiking, camping, canyoneering, rock climbing, scuba diving, and . . . reading (hence the book widget below). That's right, I'm an English teacher and certified nerd by day but a wandering wild woman by any other time. You and I are extra lucky because my partner in crime is a professional photographer. Although some of the photos on this blog are mine, most are his. Feel free to follow us on the blog or contact us to join in on a real-life adventure!
  • About this blog

    I originally began blogging when Mike and I took a bicycle trip in 2007-2008. We traveled in Central and South America for 11 months, and you can still see our archived photos and read our stories. Now, I'm reviving the blog to keep track of our more recent and more local adventures. Hopefully more far-flung trips lie in the future as well!


It was clear that she was dismayed by international reaction to the siege. She marveled at how a country “right in the middle of Europe, not in Africa or Asia somewhere” could be ignored. She says that the U.S. wanted to intervene early but that France vetoed the action out of fear of starting WWIII. “NATO” stands for “No Action, Talk Only,” according to Sarajevans.

Eastern Europe Route Map

Things have been a little crazy here in Phoenix this past week, so I’m still a bit behind on my blog posts. Mike’s been very busy, but I want some pictures from him before I cover Sarajevo and beyond. You’ll just have to be patient along with me. While I have been waiting, I have created … Continue reading

OK, Mine

After our morning climb out of touristy Dubrovnik, we crossed into Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH). Just after the border, we turned onto a quiet country road. Really quiet. For a couple of hours we biked without seeing more than ten people (and that included the three people driving cars). We passed through several small villages … Continue reading

King’s Landing . . . Er, Dubrovnik

After some steep, heavily trafficked hills welcoming us to Croatia, we made our way to Dubrovnik. It’s a truly beautiful city. The newer houses line the sides of the cliffs, while Stari Grad (Old Town) sits majestically next to the azure waters. High city walls separate the two. I hadn’t known it before, but Dubrovnik … Continue reading

Tiny Montenegro

I admit that before getting to Montenegro, I had been thinking of it only as a stop on the way to Croatia. I didn’t know enough about it to have any must-sees, even. Despite my blasĂ© attitude, Montenegro immediately impressed me. It had nicer roads, less garbage, and better facilities than Albania. I felt like … Continue reading


Once we passed the crazy construction, our ride in Albania was smooth sailing. Or not so smooth, really. Albania definitely had the worst roads (in terms of surface quality) of any country we biked in. It seems as though they’re working on that, however. There was construction everywhere.       In the morning after our … Continue reading

“In One Hour, There Will Be Huge Explosion”

Albania is a country we knew very little about before our visit (though I guess that’s true for most of these countries). In the east, by FYROM, it is pretty mountainous, and we had trouble charting a clear path to take. We came up with a route and set off after our lovely camp stay … Continue reading

“Nice and Flat,” You Said, “Around the Lake.”

After our jaunt in Mavrovo, we headed south toward Macedonia’s number one tourist destination — Lake Ohrid.     It was one of our best biking days. Though much of the route was uphill, it was a gentle grade with very little traffic and pretty views of the river throughout the day. When we stopped for … Continue reading

The Five Factors

I know many of you are not that interested in bicycle touring, but it really is a great way to see places. Everything is so intimate. You get to visit all the in-between places that tourists don’t usually see. You get to interact with locals in an entirely atypical way. It’s fun and interesting. You … Continue reading


Given their tumultuous history, it’s no surprise most people in Serbia warned us not to go to Kosovo. Although more than 100 countries (including the US) recognize its sovereignty, Serbia does not. That makes for a few border tensions, as you might imagine.       Nonetheless, we decided to go, and I’m glad we did. … Continue reading