Vrnjačka Banja: Remembrance of Things Past

Driving down to Vrnjačka Banja, on a hot July day without a working AC in my car, like we did in our Lada in 1990s, was my Madeleine moment. I was there only once before – with my maternal grandparents in May 1990 – when they decided to christen me on the sly to avoid my atheist father’s protestations, which made that trip have an … Continue reading Vrnjačka Banja: Remembrance of Things Past

Bocas del Toro, Panama

After a day of intense rain in Bocas del Toro, normally a picture-perfect spot in the Caribbean, K and I bagged a reservation in a hostel that Lonely Planet insisted you should “beg, borrow or steal” to get.We moved from a small hostel dive-shop in the main city of the archipelago. Although the weather did not serve us well, Bocas town, a charming mix of … Continue reading Bocas del Toro, Panama

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Our move from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was a matter of much trepidation. Our phones were constantly warning us of the bad weather over the whole country, that we even considred changing our plans and going to Honduras or El Salvador, or even cutting our trip short.  Nevertheless we decided to press on, ignored the Weather Channel and as soon as we crossed the very … Continue reading Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Granada, Nicaragua 

“I hate to say it, but I think you will really regret not going to the volcano.” K. seemed genuinely concrened, as if the fate of my soul was in question. I looked at the looped video showing the mesmerising infernal depths of Massaya on the hostel’s TV. For a moment I felt sinful for even doubting the majesty of the night tour of a … Continue reading Granada, Nicaragua 

Leon/Las Penitas, Nicaragua

This is my attempt at writing a travelogue from my current trip around Central America – hopefully it continues regularly, but no guarantees. I’ll do a few posts with just the ususa where to go what to do stuff later “Manny, we will suck your dick for a beer!”  This cry of desperation came from one of the Canadian Bros on our truck, as it … Continue reading Leon/Las Penitas, Nicaragua

Day 4-7: The Bulgarian Riviera, from Varna to Rezovo

There might something in the mix of testosterone and sea air, or the fumes from sun-screen lotions, that makes men of all ages behave like they are teenagers whenever they approach the coast. This strange effect descended on us as soon as we entered Varna’s brutalist suburbs, and started discussing horrid facial hair experiments and buying fake Adidas tracksuits. It was the air, and definitely … Continue reading Day 4-7: The Bulgarian Riviera, from Varna to Rezovo

Day 3-4: The Balkans, Veliko Tarnovo and Zheravna

From Sofia we drove north-east towards the old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo and its impressive UNESCO-protected citadel Tsarevets. We were going deeper into the Stara Planina (Old Mountain) and the scenery was lovely. It was this mountain range’s Turkish name, Balkan, meaning “a wooded mountain”, that gave our peculiar region its name. In the early 19th century a German geographer Zeune, wanted to find … Continue reading Day 3-4: The Balkans, Veliko Tarnovo and Zheravna