the fortress of Kalemegdan in Belgrade, Serbia

Serbia: Impressions of Belgrade

Impressions of Belgrade… …a long walk…and rain   “OK, finish,” the white haired bus driver told me making a slashing motion with his hands. This was it. The last stop on the bus line that links the airport with downtown Belgrade. I thanked the driver, grabbed my small backpack and began to walk into town. I checked the time: 6:35am. Too damn early for anything. I had been up all night catching the early morning[…]

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The ruined parts of the Belgrade Fortress Kalemegdan are picturesque in their ruin.

Photogallery: Belgrade, Zemun, and Novi Sad

Photographs from Serbia Belgrade, Zemun, and Novi Sad Devestated by a weak economy and a series of crippling wars in the 1990’s Serbia is seeing increased popularity as a European travel destination. Her two principal cities, Belgrade and Novi Sad, offer travelers a taste of Balkan culture, an education in Balkan history, and an impressive array of activities and sights. Belgrade: Serbia’s largest city and capital has been fought over by nations and empires for[…]

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Petrovaradin Fortress accross the river from Novi Sad, Serbia

Serbia: Impressions of Novi Sad

Impressions of Novi Sad …Music Festivals, Military Hospitals, Tunnels, Sandwiches, Art…and so much more   We left the bus station in Belgrade in a heavy rain. The forecast called for rain, rain, and more rain but I wasn’t expecting a storm of this intensity. Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, lies only 70 kilometers to the northeast of Belgrade. I’ve decided to make a day trip of my visit, rather than to try to stay[…]

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The crypt of the Cattedrale di San Sabino in Bari, Italy

Italy: Impressions of Bari

Impressions of Bari on May Day   From the deck of  the Ventouris ferry that links Albania and Italy the city of Bari looked like little more than a blur of brown on the horizon. Even as we pulled into the dock, the brown buildings seemed to merge with the brown haze in the air. Only a solitary, tall, white lighthouse at the entrance to the port broke the long streak of brown on the[…]

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Bari, Italy

Photogallery: Bari

Photogallery: Bari Even though Bari is the second largest city in southern Italy, it is not a major tourist destination. Best known by travelers as the place to catch a ferry to Albania, Montenegro, or Croatia, Bari holds attractions beyond its identity as a transportation hub. The picturesque old town boasts a Norman-Swabian castle in all of its heavy majesty, a beautiful cathedral, an imposing basilica, and nearly 20 other churches of varying size and[…]

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Kruja is one of the four castles of Tirana

Albania: Castles of Tirana

Castles of Tirana Tirana’s importance in Albanian history is a relatively recent affair. Officially established in 1614 when Sulejman Pasha Bargjini built a hamam and some shops, the town remained small and relatively insignificant until 1920 when Albania’s founding fathers decided that the little town right at the center of geographic Albania should be the new nation’s capital. Before that, Tirana was a small community made important only by the wealthy agricultural families who farmed[…]

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Tirana with mountainous background

Albania: My Tirana Top 10

My Tirana Top 10 I’ve had a lot of time to think about “my Tirana Top 10.” Since first arriving in the city over 9 months ago, I’ve explored near and far corners finding my way into famous abandoned buildings and out to large, open expanses of green space in impoverished suburbs. Here are the things I tell visitors to do when they come to Tirana. 1. Climb The Pyramid “The Pyramid” is a large,[…]

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