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

Mostar – Triangular War memorial

If the visitor just sees the area around the Turkish bridge, they would find it difficult to believe there was ever a war in Mostar. To find this evidence the visitor should walk past the Karadozbeg Mosque and the Roznamendi Effendi Mosque to the Musala Bridge and look at the ruins of the Neretva Hotel.Continue reading “Mostar – Triangular War memorial”

Playing Fountains

From my book on The Balkans In the main square the fountain next to the Alexander the Great statue was now coming into its own as night fell. There were sixty small holes in the main square, six rows of ten out of which water would pour. Each hole contained a light that could switchContinue reading “Playing Fountains”

Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro contains a number of stunning man-made sights, but the true beauty of the bay comes from seeing the mountains sweeping down to the sea. This can best be appreciated from either the water or from the fortifications above the town of Kotor itself. Beginning in Kotor, my advice wouldContinue reading “Bay of Kotor”

Dubrovnik – Mount Srd

Dubrovnik’s cable-car runs from the north of the city walls to the top of Mount Srd in just under four minutes. The top of the mountain is 405 metres above the city and the views from the cable-car station are stupendous, although the best views are from the roof of the Napoleonic Fort, which housesContinue reading “Dubrovnik – Mount Srd”

Skopje Fountains

In the main square the fountain next to the Alexander the Great statue was now coming into its own as night fell. There were 128 small holes in the main square, eight rows of sixteen, out of which water would shoot. Each hole contained a light that could switch colour. The water could either shootContinue reading “Skopje Fountains”

Matka Lake, Macedonia

Matka Lake is approximately 10 miles from Skopje and is Macedonia’s oldest artificial lake. Here old monasteries hide above the steep sides of the Treska Canyon- built out of sight of the Ottoman Turks, who forbade the building of churches – and nature is reflected on the calm surface of the lake, which is occasionallyContinue reading “Matka Lake, Macedonia”

Lake Ohrid

Heading southwards from Skopje towards Ohrid the road headed into the mountains. Gradually, it dawned on me that I was only seeing mosques in the villages and towns and that no Macedonian flags were flying, only the Albanian flag with its double-headed black eagle on a bright-red background. This continued for many miles as myContinue reading “Lake Ohrid”