The layers of a francesinha

Porto’s heart attack on a plate

It was the most disgusting and awesome thing I’ve eaten. A sandwich filled with five kinds of meat, topped with an egg and melted cheese, dripping in a sauce made from beer and surrounded by chips. Yep, that’s francesinha.

Steep streets of Coimbra

The secrets of Coimbra

All I knew about Coimbra when I got there was “university town, steep streets”. I left having been introduced to a quirky city full of history, traditions and pastries.

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.

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.


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.