Balkan Odyssey: Or, What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Today begins a short series on a long trip from which I’ve just returned. As you can tell from the title, my journey took my through the former Yugoslavia. Fifteen years ago, the majority of my trip would have been a visit to a single country. But today, after far too many years of horrific civil war, Yugoslavia has split into five separate countries. I was fortunate on this trip to have visited three of them as well as some of their neighbors. In the following weeks, this column will take you through Serbia & Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania. Straying slightly from the Balkan theme, I ended my journey passing through Hungary and Austria.

I would have liked to send dispatches from the road, but part of the allure of where I visited was that internet bars were not on every corner.

The aim of this column is to hopefully introduce the reader to a handful of countries, rarely visited, that have much to offer. The column will be part travelogue, sharing my experiences and adventures, as well as part guidebook, where I hope to offer enough practical advice to help future travelers through a region covered very poorly by guidebooks.

Lastly, this column will temporarily replace Red Corner, seeing as everywhere I visited was once part of the old communist empire-except, of course, Austria. So, jump on board and join me on the Balkan Express. The trip exceeded all of my expectations and this column will hopefully exceed yours.

Tomorrow’s Post: Getting to Albania