The Balkans

The Balkans are a fascinating part of Europe. The Macedonians build a fountain and upset the Greeks. On the road to Lake Ohrid villages fly Albanian flags instead of Macedonian ones. Kosovan taxi drivers believe fundamentalists are being sponsored in their country by former foes. In Sarajevo, the place the First World War started is not easy to find, but evidence of more recent atrocitiesContinue reading “The Balkans”

A cycling tour of the Balkans: two wheels, three countries, four days

A challenging trip taking in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro

Bosnia’s new cycle trail is a big ‘open-air museum’

The Ciro trail, from Dubrovnik to Mostar in southern Bosnia, is encouraging tourists back to the empty green landscape that was largely abandoned during the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia

Bridge across the Drina

Not including Mostar, I saw two outstanding Ottoman bridges in Bosnia. The first was called the Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in the town of Visegrad, built in 1571 by the brilliant Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is mainly known for creating mosques such as the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul. The bridge was immortalised in IvoContinue reading “Bridge across the Drina”

Kotor Bay in Montenegro

Beginning in Kotor, my advice would be to obtain a map from the tourist information at the Venetian built Sea Gate but then put it away, safe in the knowledge you do have some help if you get horribly lost in the Stari Grad (Old Town). In other words, Kotor is a place to wanderContinue reading “Kotor Bay in Montenegro”