In the summer of 1969 my brother and I just finished touring Italy and we decided to drive to Greece by going through Yugoslavia. We nearly made a fatal mistake. There were a number of Yugoslavia maps printed by major oil companies such as Caltex, Esso and BP but they had no actual gas stations within the country; they relied on material given to them by the Tito government.We didn't find out until we were 80% of the way through Yugoslavia that the major highway printed as going all the way to Greece, in fact ended 125 miles short.
When we arrived in the town of Pec, in what is now Kosovo, the super highway ended, and so we asked the townspeople (I speak a few of the Serbo-Croatian tongues) where we could find the rest of the highway. They laughed. There was no more highway. They said Tito did not want the International community to know that Yugoslavia after 25 years of communist rule still did not have a major highway going from one end of the country to the other and so he fabricated one for the maps.
We were so far deep into the country that it would have ruined our vacation to go back the way we came, so we decided, how bad could the local roads to Greece be? We'll just persevere without a super highway.
By the way, my brother and I felt uneasy in this part of the world, the people looked at us as if we were easy targets of banditry and so we left Pec quickly. On reflection, these were Muslims and so perhaps we were lucky they didn't slit our throats right there and then.
But about 30 or so miles past Pec, even the local roads eventually turned to gravel then to dirt then to a horse path then simply ended and we came to forest. Well, we were about 30 miles from Greece and so, being the idiots that we were, we plodded into the woods with our trusty Renault 6. At one point we had to drive through a stream about one foot high with rushing water. We did get one flat while weaving between trees for almost 12 hours but luckily about 5 miles from Greece we got out of the woods and came upon a dirt road with horse carts traveling on it.
The road led us to the Albanian border. A scimitar-wielding border guard looked at us menacingly as we approached. We stopped and decided that since I did not speak Albanian it was pointless to go up and ask the border guard for directions to Greece. We found a southward fork in the road and after a few miles we came up to a Greek Border station. The crossing was not an international crossing for tourists, mind you, but merely for farmers and tradespeople between Macedonia and Greece.
The Greek Guards were completely dumbfounded. I only know enough Greek to order food and ask directions but I understood when the guard asked where we came from. I said Pec (pronounced pech, btw). The guards laughed and smiled at each other. Shaking his head, he looked at me and said there is no road from Pec. Yes, we know, I answered.
They had to unlock a box to find an International stamp to validate our passports for entry into Greece.
I believe those guards still to this day, now retired, tell their grandchildren of the day mysterious strangers from America appeared from out of the magical forest and pretended they came on a mythical road from Pec.
Four of the men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one was born in Jordan and one came from Turkey. All had lived here for years. Three were in the United States illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay in this country permanently; and the sixth is a U.S. citizen.
This is a May 1999 file picture of one of the rooms at Fort Dix, N.J., used in 1999 to shelter more than 4,000 ethnic Albanian refugees during the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
When Muslims were being ethnically cleansed in Kosovo, who came to their rescue? Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan? No, America.
This is how Muslims show gratitude: by planning attacks against America.
Here is the original affidavit in support of probable cause: Smoking Gun.
This story explains item #46 from my post Things I have Done