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.
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.
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.
The Blue Eye is a striking natural spring extending to a depth of about 50m. During the communist era Syri i Kalter was reserved for the party elite. Now it’s a popular attraction in southern Albania. It’s also bloody cold to swim in.
The Biogradska Gora National Park is stunning part of Montenegro and home to a rare patch of primeval forest, beautiful scenery and a dormouse called Bruno.
I wanted to see an ordinary Serbian town so I went to Knjaževac. After a beautiful bus ride I arrived in a town where no one was expecting a young Australian backpacker. Now what?
As it’s become more popular, CouchSurfing has changed – and not for the better. But my faith in the project was restored when I spent a week in Niš, met some wonderful people and explored the city through the eyes of the locals.
Before I landed in Belgrade, I knew nothing about Serbia that would be useful to a tourist, so my time here has been eye-opening, educational and a lot of fun. Here’s a snapshot of my first two weeks of my Balkans adventure.
Nine times out of ten, when someone presents you an offer you can’t refuse, it is easily turned down. But then the tenth time, it’s an invite to the World Testicle Cooking Championship in Serbia. How do you say no to that?
While walking around the Belgrade, I started to form some very uneducated opinions. I say uneducated because I really have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ll be back in Belgrade in about two weeks, and by then expect I’ll have a much more informed idea about Serbia and its capital. But I want to capture my first impressions so I can look back and see how my opinions have changed.