Black Eagle, Blue Palace: A Day in Oradea

Growing up, one of the main tenets of our gang, often translated into footballing passions, was that out of the triad of neighbouring western Romanian cities ours (Arad) was the best. This was frankly contradicted by everything: Arad was the smallest, the economically least efficient and the one with the least spectacular architecture. Arguably, ours…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Fifty Shades of Blue: Alaçatı and Cunda Island

For the final stretch of our trip we decided to hop south of Izmir, an adventure which also included one intense hour in the centre of Izmir itself, naturally stuck in traffic, through which we learned that keeping your eyes peeled for the highway is an absolute must if you want to avoid the hot…

The Stillness of Quinces- A Visit to Ayvalık

There is a special kind of stillness that you can only ever experience around the Mediterranean, the stillness of summer days around midday, when the light is white and shimmering and thick with heat, and although you know there is movement around, a slight breeze, a cat furtively sliding by on silky paws, someone carefully…

A Most (Un)Orthodox Daytrip to Vác

I’ve occasionally flirted with the idea of setting out on a voyage and ending up somewhere totally different, which of course has its mild dangers if you arrive with your meant for Greece bathing suit in the heart of the Taklamakan desert, so I decided to approach things on a smaller scale and see how…