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The Balkan surprise

I spent much of last year in the Balkans. Before April 2013, I’d never set foot in the region in my life (bar Greece, which I’ve never really seen as Balkan). And, looking back, I loved it. More than I ever thought I would. Back in 2007, when I first visited Europe, I thought I’d […]

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So what’s the deal with Split?

I didn’t expect much of Split. In fact, I thought it would be kind of a Croatian version of Nice. You know, a bit rough around the edges, and mainly just a city from which to explore much better places┬ánearby. In a way, it kind of is. I mean it’s a port, so the water […]

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A date with Dubrovnik

People were moving towards the edges of their seats. Ipods were off and cameras were out. A hush went through the bus. Dubrovnik was coming into view. There aren’t that many places that have that effect on people. We usually approach cities these days via their outskirts, having nasty-looking things like warehouses and car yards […]

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Zagreb, real-life Duloc (from Shrek)

I’m not somebody who likes cartoons. In fact, I hate any movie that includes anything make-believe. This includes sci-fi, time travel, the works. There is a list – a very short list – I have of movies that are exceptions to this rule. The list consists of Harry Potter, Babe and Shrek. According to my […]

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A lazy person at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

I was a little bit nervous when we drove up to the entrance to Plitvice Lakes National Park. In fact, I felt a bit like Bridget Jones when she headed off on her skiing mini-break, despite having never skied in her life. If you haven’t realised this already, I am not a sporty person. I […]

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Gathering my thoughts on Croatia

Seven years ago, when I was planning my first big European trip, I didn’t for once consider going to Croatia. It’s not like I dismissed it; potentially going to the country didn’t even enter my mind. For me it just wasn’t a holiday destination. The only thing I knew about the place was that their […]

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View from the Office Days 51-60

By this stage, I was settling into a bit of a rhythm out in the Balkans. Only two protests had threatened to shut down the entire respective cities of Sofia and Istanbul. The Albanian elections had gone relatively smoothly – I stress the word ‘relatively’. Better yet, I hadn’t lost anyone and my groups had […]

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View from the Office Days 41-50

I was nervous, returning to Greece. I had fallen in love with the country on my visit in 2007; Italy hadn’t yet warmed to me (don’t worry, it just took a bit more time) and I’d arrived in Athens, travel-weary and with diminishing funds. The next two weeks were just what the travel doctor ordered […]

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View from the Office Days 31-40

I had a goal this year on the road. For every day worked, I would post a picture online, entitled ‘View from the Office’. I did it. I published 173 photos this year, with my office ranging from a San Sebastian pintxos bar to a Sarajevo bazaar. On only a couple of occasions did I […]

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View from the Office Days 11-20

So I’m on the road again. Quite a bit actually; in the last ten days I’ve found myself in Prague, Split and plenty of places in between. I’ve been on a tour guiding training trip, which is basically a fortnight of getting to know destinations, activities and food in all the new places I’ve been […]

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