Collected by Vanessa Nirode
Blloku, Tirana, Albania
As hectic as the city of Tirane may be outside, especially in traffic, I found a quiet haven in the Hotel Mondial inside. I haven't felt so spoiled in a long, long time. From the moment we entered, carrying sleeping kids, the staff knew our names...
Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary
If you happen to be meandering through Budapest, and have the urge to do a little sightseeing, St. Stephen's Basilica is definitely a sight to see. The structure is named in honor of Stephen, the first king of Hungary. Apparently, his right hand...
Budapest, Pesti alsó rkp., Hungary
The 60 pairs of iron shoes lined up along the promenade on the Danube River's east bank are a part of the Shoes on the Promenade Holocaust Monument. Conceived by film director Can Togay and created in period style by sculptor Gyula Pauer, the iron...
Flavijevska ul., 52100, Pula, Croatia
The sixth largest Roman amphitheater still standing today, the Pula Arena is Croatia’s most magnificent classical monument—and reason enough to check out Pula, Istria’s main city. Built in the 1st century C.E. during the rule of...
Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
Mali Kalemegdan bb Mali Kalemegdan bb, Beograd, Serbia
Kalemegdan park/Belgrade Fortress might be one of the coolest parks I've been in. A fortified city dating back to the first century AD, where it served as a Roman military camp. With the assistance of our friend Milos, we filmed an impromptu music...
Stari most, Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
We spent a day in Bosnia, it's an easy drive from Dubrovnik. The transition was dramatic: from the Latin alphabet to the Cyrillic; from lazy tourists driving Fiats to vigilant UN peacekeepers driving tanks. This bridge was destroyed in 1993 during...
255 Sveti Stasije 85330, Dobrota, Montenegro
If I retire abroad, it might be in Perast, Montenegro, on the beautiful bay of Kotor. Sparkling water, beautiful architecture, and the freshest seafood I've had anywhere....for cheap! Grilled squid with black ink risotto that needs nothing beyond...
Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro
Hidden beneath the overbearing black mountains that crown Lake Skadar in Montenegro is the small fishing village of Karuc – an unexpected oasis in an austere mountain landscape. Arrive in Karuc from a windy road off the main way from Podgorica,...
Gjirokastër, also known as Gjirokastra, is an inland city in Southern Albania with a beautiful old town unlike anything I've ever seen in Europe. It was oppressively hot when we were there but we still made the trek up to the castle that's existed...
Blloku, Tirana, Albania
I am a sucker for an elected offical who had a career in the arts, and after my brief trip to Albania I have become a huge fan of Edi Rama. Rama, Tirana's artist-mayor, has helped Tirana start to lay claim to the title of "Most Colorful City in...
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