Category: Eastern Europe

St Sava Chuch in the south

Kosovo’s divided city

In any other city it would be just a bridge. But the river in Mitrovica acts as an unofficial border between two worlds.

Bus station

29 fun facts from two months in the Balkans

Did you know Albanians put teddy bears outside their houses to ward off bad spirits? And that some kids in Serbia only go to school in the afternoon? Enjoy some of the things I’ve learnt after spending two months in the Balkans.

Albania (1)

Is it safe to travel in Albania?

Albania doesn’t have a great international reputation. It’s famed for its mafia, drug trade and human trafficking. Naturally, this image raises the question of whether it’s safe to travel here. After two weeks in Albania and I can tell you: it is.

Or this one?

A lesson from Kotor: I’m a travel snob and proud of it

Dissing popular attractions in favour or lesser-known destinations apparently makes me a travel snob. But visiting Kotor in Montenegro was a reminder of the experiences I enjoy and value when I travel. If that makes me a travel snob, so be it.

Hitchhiking

I’m sorry Mum, I hitchhiked

Poor public transport means hitchhiking is popular in the Balkans. For weeks I ignored the encouragement to do it. And then I got stranded at the Macedonian border.

Protect Me (11)

The happiest dogs in Albania

Dogs are not usually treated well in Albania. Anyone who has lived in Albania will have a horror story you don’t want to hear. For more than a week, it broke my heart. When I had a chance to visit a dog shelter in Vlore, I took it. I wanted to see something positive.

Uzice (15)

You should have heard of Užice

Užice is a colourful city hidden in beautiful mountains. It’s the perfect base to explore the surrounding national parks and attractions in Western Serbia. Except you’ve never heard of it. Until now.

Drvengrad (11)

Drvengrad: Serbia’s famous wooden town

If you were a rich and famous film maker would you build a little wooden village on a hill and invite “creative and like-minded” people to visit? Probably not. But Serbian director Emir Kusturica did and the result is the eerie and surreal town of Drvengrad.