Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Routes Less Travelled

Sumela in Eastern Turkey: A Monastery with a View

Ever since the time of Saint Anthony, monks have been willing to give up their brocade attire, leather couch or pear soufflé before they gave up a good view. A quick survey of the monasteries... Full Story

Kosovo: Off, Off, Off the Beaten Track in the Balkans

The Balkans, this troublesome part of Europe that in the last two decades flooded Western European and US media with news of violence, hides the greatest variety of pristine, off-the-beaten track destinations on the Old continent.

With... Full Story

Clay Faces and Hope for the Future Illuminate Kosovo

Izeir Mustafa’s studio is 35 kilometres north of Priština. We park in one of the grounds of a large industrial zone. As his assistant leads us through the grey, run-down grounds between the industrial halls, the sun begins to set.

When we get... Full Story

Mount Athos in Northern Greece: Women… Well, They Can Light a Candle on Internet!

Oblivious to modernity, Eastern Orthodox Christianity’s spiritual home, Mount Athos, lives somewhere in the tenth century. Feminist movements, secular demands and technological developments make occasional dents in the all-male monastic... Full Story

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia’s Dark Icons: The Bridge on the Drina, Višegrad

Višegrad is Bosnia’s Oświęcim, where people are trying to live among the ruins of others’ tragedies and collective crimes. The Nobel prize-winning writer Ivo Andrić, who described 400 years of the town’s dramatic Balkan history, did not live to... Full Story

The Dönmeh: the Judeo-Islamic Mystery of Thessaloniki

Neither Muslims nor Jews, but rather a bit of both, Thessaloniki’s Dönmeh were the most influential group in the city over a period of almost 400 years. The rumours that the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, was one of them remain... Full Story

Cappadocia: A Décor Authored by the Elements

Central Turkey’s scenery evokes Lucas, Spielberg, and Bertolucci simultaneously: fantastic, stunning, and magically beautiful.

How long does it take to create a masterpiece? It could take four million years. Full Story

Chiprovtsi: Stooping Women Guard the Bulgarian Renaissance's Few Traces

If the women in Chiprovtsi are slightly stooped, it is because they have spent the past four centuries sitting on little three-legged chairs. For as long as the place is remembered historically, they have substituted the pianos in their living... Full Story

Perishing or Jovially Surviving in Transylvania

Sorin-Alexandru Cristescu of the Romanian writes about a melancholic journey through the crumbling castles of Transylvania, central Romania. Full Story

Tito, Teto and Some Troubled Tourism Await You in Tetovo, Macedonia

Legend says that Tetovo was named after the mythical Teto, who cleared snakes from what was a village at the foot of the Šar Mountain many centuries ago. But perhaps this fable alone won't persuade you to leave the Skopje to Ohrid highway and... Full Story


Foreign Wines Outnumbered Bulgarian Ones on Vinaria 2014 Competition

11 March 2014 | National wine tastings, preceding Bulgaria’s biggest wine fair, Vinaria 2014, started today with a surprise: foreign wines exceeded in number Bulgarian ones first time in history of the competition. Full Story

Curiosity Chest

Dimitur, who visualisеd the Bulgarian expression “Pumpkin Head!”

26 February 2014 | He is 26 and he tried to enroll in the national Fine Arts academy. Academics, though, refused to recognize his talents, and this is how he searched for consolation in food carving. Full Story

Useful Reads

In Sfakia: Passing Time in the Wilds of Crete (2008) | By Peter Trudgill

Crete has long been acknowledged as one of the most singular and unique parts of Greece. Its people keep a fierce hold on their traditions, customs and history. Practically a country of its own, this vast island looms over all others in Greece. Nevertheless, as In Sfakia author Peter Trudgill aptly notes in his preface, “some parts of Crete are more special than others, and Sfakia, on the remote south coast, is certainly one of those.” Full Story


Serbia Surprises with Choice of Little-Known Singer for Eurovision

12 March 2009 | A little-known Serbian singer and composer, Marko Kon, has surprised many by emerging as his country's representative at the 54th Eurovision in Moscow.
Full Story