To Tourist or Not to Tourist: Day Trip to the Floating Village of Bokod

Experts in day tripping as we are, we set off on a sunny bank holiday morning with that generally ill-advised Top Gear/Grand Tour confidence of what could possibly go wrong only to be immediately confronted with the first thing that most definitely went wrong. As Hungarians are almost irrationally staunch about sticking to bank holiday…

A River Runs Through It- Day Trip to Mostar

Mount Velež oversees Mostar from a height of 1969 metres, bearing the name of Veles, the Slavic god of many things: earth, waters, underworld, and deceit. Veles is the trickster god. For those more familiar with Norse mythology, or its Marvel corruption, Veles is Loki. Yet the one thing Veles could not achieve is protect…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0519

This blog series (admittedly it sounds pompous, but what else should I call it now that I’ve surprised even myself by keeping it up for nine months) is of course inspired by Star Trek, more precisely in my case, The Next Generation. I’m no real trekkie in the sense that I only gained an interest…

A Somewhat Practical Guide to Sarajevo- Travel Diary Part Two

Having waxed lyrical in the previous installment, it’s time for some actual intel for those who want to visit Sarajevo, beginning with the thorny issue of how to get there. Flying is probably the best bet for everyone approaching from outside the former Yugoslavia, as the country’s roads and railways still have some post-war infrastructural…

Life out of Time- Sarajevo Diary Part One

The airport is just a glorified hangar, and much as I had rehearsed looking at Sarajevo as just another tourist destination, I know all too well I’d seen this place before, on grainy footage of UN planes landing and taking off amid occasional shelling. As our driver makes steady progress towards the city centre, conversing…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0419

Let us start abruptly with advice which, were I to follow, would probably mean the end of this little procrastinated procrastinating amusement of mine: productivity is apparently all about attention management, as opposed to more classically held views that it’s time management that counts.  Or better said, time management can only be accomplished if one manages…

Budapest corner with Istanbul: Gül Baba’s Rosegarden

Humans are seldom happy with what they have. Say you’re offered a bank holiday right in the middle of the week, and in a more positively disposed moment you do admit that this arrangement could perhaps function in the long run, making people more focused on the tasks they have on the four working days…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0319

Where to begin? It’s probably boring to mention that I have procrastinated procrastinating again, so I’ll dive headfirst into the excuse: I’ve actually watched a fair amount of films in March, even if my heart was a little shattered by the fact that Titanic festival will only be happening in October, in spite of the…

A Story of Chalk and Crystal: Day Trip to Fox Mountain

Just when we thought we had finally run out of Budapest hills (or mountains, as per the local parlance) to summit, we were made aware of the existence of the poetically named Róka-hegy (Fox Mountain), situated very close to the city’s administrative border with Üröm. This seemingly extreme location is actually fairly easily reachable by…

A Cabinet of Viennese Curiosities for Beer and Book Lovers

So there I was, in the world’s most livable city, on a fine spring evening, in excellent company, listening to one of my all-time indie crushes and feeling deeply miserable. Not just any kind of misery, but an existential dread that bends one into a tortured Egon Schiele silhouette, sends one onto the couch of…