For Molly and I, what started as a trip to southern France, has transformed into one giant history lesson about Europe’s darkest 32 years. Everywhere on this continent there is death, loss, violence and destruction.
If you had told me a year ago that I would see the vast majority of ancient fortresses and fortified cities in the Balkans, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Beginning in April, the beaches went through a transformation befitting of its own Extreme Beach Makeover reality show.
Driving in the Balkans is not an easy affair but with a little bit of preparation anyone can do it.
Prizren was the cultural and administrative center for Kosovo during Ottoman rule and it’s Turkish heritage is still very apparent with the cities mosques, Turkish bridges and the fortress that sits above the city.
The first thing you notice in Pristina is the amount of American flags. Outside government buildings, museums, libraries and the university there is an American flag, a tribute to the U.S. efforts, via NATO, to give Kosovo independence from Serbia.
More Turkish than Istanbul: We’ve heard this expression to describe several places in the Balkans – Skopje’s old Turkish bazaar being one.
Molly and I became fascinated with Macedonia during our five day trip. It’s an ethnically diverse and historically fascinating country that has played a significant role in every great European civilization.
Right there on the river, the very first thing we saw getting out of our car is a large memorial to the “Victims of Communism.”
Novi Sad is as an essential stop on any trip to Serbia and by seeing both Belgrade and Novi Sad you’ll quickly understand the effects the Great Powers had on this country. But it’s also the perfect place to relax for a few days, walking along the river and sitting in the square watching the people go by.