Saturday, June 30, 2007
Bridge on the Drina added to UNESCO World Heritage List
The list of new sites includes two other Balkan locations. The Old Town of Corfu is described as "a fortified Mediterranean port ... notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity", while the Roman site at Gamzigrad-Romuliana in eastern Serbia makes the list thanks to its "unique testimony of the Roman building tradition marked by the ideology of the period of the Second Tetrachy".
As it happens I haven't been to any of these three sites - clearly I need to travel some more in the Balkans.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Prince Charles leads the UK travel press to Transylvania
One of the places Calder visits is the village of Viscri in Transylvania. Oddly enough, a travel writer for the Guardian reported from Viscri only six weeks ago. No doubt Viscri is an interesting and picturesque village, but there are many such villages in Transylvania. Why would two British newspapers just happen to converge on this particular one? It's all down to Prince Charles, apparently. He has visited Viscri, spouted some guff about how it represents the primeval past buried deep within all of us (or something along those lines), and bought a property there. Cue sudden interest in the English press.
The Montenegrin Coast:: 22nd best thing in the world?
Now they are have chosen the "ultimate" experience from each of the 25 books. The chosen candidate to represent Eastern Europe is the coast of Montenegro - no arguments from me there. Rough Guides are asking for votes for the "ultimate ultimate" experience. At the moment Montenegro is languishing in 22nd place, but I confidently expect the votes of Balkanology's readership to send it surging up the chart to ... well, perhaps to 21st place.
Aer Lingus to fly fom Dublin to Bucharest
Monday, June 25, 2007
Guidebook news: Belgrade, Kosovo, and more
Another new city guide is the Bradt Mini Guide to Zagreb. Croatia's capital is often overshadowed by the more obvious attractions of the coast, so it's nice to see it getting a guidebook if its own. Bradt have also published new editions of their guides to Croatia and Dubrovnik.
Lonely Planet have also been updating their range of single-country guides. The 4th edition of Romania and Moldova is still, as far as I know, the only guidebook with any kind of decent coverage of Moldova. Although I prefer the Rough Guide to Romania, right now LP is considerably more up to date - hopefully Rough Guides will follow suit with a new edition soon. Meanwhile Lonely Planet Slovenia has moved on to its 5th edition.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of news is about a book that doesn't yet exist. Bradt Guides have pioneered the publication of dedicated guides to small Balkan countries, so it's not surprising that they plan to produce the first English-language Guide to Kosovo. The expected publication date is September 2007 - sadly too late for the hordes of foreign tourists who are no doubt planning to descend on Kosovo this summer.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
New photos of Macedonia
The weather has been rather unkind to me on previous trips to Macedonia, and I had to battle with the elements this time too. After some glorious sunshine in Skopje and Ohrid, which at last allowed me to take some photos with blue skies and sunshine, it was back to clouds and rain for much of the rest of my trip.
I have now finished uploading photos from the trip to my Macedonia Photo Gallery. Over the next few weeks I will be extensively revising the Balkanology pages about Macedonia.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
More flights from the UK to Romania
The Tirgu Mures route is likely to be of particular interest to travellers, as means that for the first time it is possible to fly directly from London to Transylvania. Tirgu Mures is in the heart of the province, close to Sighisoara and Cluj Napoca, and already has flights to Barcelona, Rome, and Budapest.