Category Archives: Balkans

The Mountains of Persia

There is a bar in Belgrade called the World Traveller’s Club. It is in the basement of an apartment block in the city centre and to gain entrance you are required to ring the door bell at street level and … Continue reading

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Black Sea, Blue Sky – Balkan Rain

This rain that has been falling almost incessantly here for the past 48 72 hours seems to have followed me back home from the Balkans. Travelling coast to coast, from Adriatic to Black Sea, over a three week period I … Continue reading

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Memory fields in the city of sock-wearers

The small city of Kruševac in south-central Serbia is probably best known for its fortress and 14th-century church, a fine example of the highly decorative Morava school. This was Prince Lazar’s capital in the late 14th century and it was … Continue reading

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Tara

A few days ago I visited the monastery of Rača close to the border town of Bajina Bašta in western Serbia. The monastery lies at the edge of the Tara National Park that stretches south west from just beyond the … Continue reading

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In Bear Country

This was bear country. No doubt about it. Over breakfast Alfred from the guesthouse had said, “You should make sure that you talk when you go walking there – or maybe sing – that way you won’t take them by … Continue reading

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Yugostalgic Belgrade

Although Tito was half Croat and half Slovene he spent most of his time as Yugoslav helmsman in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. It is here, in the leafy Topčider suburb that lies south of the city centre, where you can find … Continue reading

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Serbia 4

The new edition of my Serbia guide is published today. It’s fully updated, of course, with revised text and lots of new listings, especially for Belgrade, a city that despite considerable setbacks seems to drive itself forever onwards and upwards. … Continue reading

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Galata Bridge, Istanbul

I’ve been thinking about Istanbul lately – it is one place that has been a constant in decades of travel. I first went there over 35 years ago and must have revisited the city at least eight, maybe ten, times … Continue reading

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Yugoslav Hotels

They are a dying breed, Yugoslav hotels. And I use the word ‘Yugoslav’ advisedly as, although the buildings shown here are in what is now Serbia, all were erected during the period when that country was still part of Yugoslavia. … Continue reading

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Orthodox Walsingham

A few months ago whilst travelling in central Serbia I met a nun at Manasija monastery near Despotovac. I was talking with my Serbian friends in the monastery shop when the nun behind the counter, hearing our conversation in English, started to … Continue reading

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