Thessaloniki: Journey to Athens

Again I’m in seat 66 (it must be something to do with timing and reservation systems) but I switch to 65 to face forward. Coincidentally 66 has a stain on it but the cabin is in better condition overall than the Belgrade to Skopje run. Christ could anything be worse!? And the toilet has no […]

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 […]

Zagreb: A Broken Relationship Blooms

My first few hours in Zagreb are lost to my own misadventure seeking accommodation closer to the station until my common sense returns me to my original choice (Hostel Shappy – more on that coming up in another blog).¬†Zagreb train station is one of the best equipped for tourist info, certainly a step up from […]

Ljubljana: Clean Slovene

  If Yugoslavia hadn’t disintegrated during the nineties, I probably wouldn’t have heard of Ljubljana. As it is I now have no less than eight countries to visit, no easy task as the travel options between them vary from easy to difficult to non-existent e.g cancelled trains, and coaches that arrive in the early hours […]

Bratislava: Red Trams, Red Lanterns

Red is the colour of Wales, and of many other countries including that of my now former home China. I suppose the adage ‘you can take the boy out of China but you can’t take China out of the boy’ seems correct and I continue to be¬†intrigued by Europe’s Chinese diaspora. What led them to […]