High Life over Vienna: The Donauturm (and other Observations)

Having found ourselves in Vienna on a particularly lovely summer’s day, we decided to do some things we’ve done before: briefly visit the Hundertwasserhaus (glad to report people are still posing with empty looks on their faces in front of the fountain), have cakes in Demel (glad to report the waitresses are still the same…

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…

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…

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…

Best of 2018- Travels

A visit to Juventus’s stadium in Turin. Do it even if you don’t like football all that much, or support other clubs. It’s not ridiculously long and the guides are entertaining- provided you speak Italian, as English versions are mainly available only from tape, which I say is fine given we’re in Italy and all…

How Berlin Was Made

On the first day God decided that he would need to furnish some new living quarters for himself and went off to IKEA. On the way there he found a second-hand shop specialized in Communist vintage, a lot of abandoned metal and a golden eagle which had belonged to Kaiser Wilhelm. He returned home in…

Things You Can’t Do in Vienna in Eight Hours

It’s one of my firm convictions that all those 24, 36, 72 hours in this or that city guides are basically the subversive work of the devil trying and very likely succeeding at ruining your holiday, and probably the rest of your life, but that is another, more metaphysical matter, altogether. There is simply no way…

Sunday Bender in Visegrád

I’ve never met a medieval fortress I liked, or, to be more precise, one I was genuinely impressed with. The problem obviously lies with the fact that novels and history books, paired with an active imagination, raised the bar of what I expected to a level no grouping of ruins, no matter how well maintained,…