Cairo: City of Sand and Dust

Welcome to Africa, albeit Arabic Africa, a city of dust, a city of chaos where everything – even for a traveller of over 45 countries – feels overwhelming and daunting. A polar opposite from my own land where no one speaks, here many are curious and friendly or are they? And that’s the initial problem, […]

Athens: In Search of Hellinikon

In my first Athens blog I mention travelling via the then new airport in 2001 narrowly missing out on landing at its predecessor Hellinikon. In the third instalment of the ‘In Search of…’ blogs I went to visit the old and now ghostly aerodrome and was surprised at what I found (other than tumbleweed). Navigational […]

Sofia: Autumn in Winter World

Bulgaria was my 46th country and that’s how much it cost me to get there, only one euro more than the train from Thessaloniki to Athens. It is also unique in that for the first time since July I am heading north. It must be said that my research has seen a few eye openers. Most […]

Athens: Neither Empire nor Dance

PRELUDE: NOSTALGIA A long time ago in a land far away my world changed by witnessing a film which can only be described as heart wrenching. I refer to For the Love of Benji, a pooch so cute he (or in this case she as its played by one of his relations) is guaranteed to […]

Thessaloniki: French Shutters and Shiny Seas

What can you say about second cities? Kind of just there, always overshadowed by those that come in first – the capital usually. In Wales case Swansea, for the Greeks Thessaloniki. At first it’s a city of industry, for me a city of uncertainty, a bridge between Macedonia and of course Athena to the south. […]

Skopje: Mountains of Dawn

The light of dawn breaks over a neon cross on the hill as my train pulls into Skopje’s now ageing station elevated by design. It’s seen better days but is still light years ahead of Belgrade’s decaying effort. From there stray dogs greet and follow me on my walk to my hostel. Elsewhere, Ferrell cats […]

Belgrade: Travel Woes and Disco Chips!

There are places that conjure up certain images before you get there. For Serbia I was getting winter/snow, wolves, and steely eyed people that wouldn’t be out of place as villains in a James Bond film but of course these stereotypical visions aren’t necessarily the case, the logo for starters presents a playful colourful country […]