Yesterday I biked around the Wannsee, to Potsdam and back to Berlin. Then I went to Isigym, boxed a little and rode my bike to Centrala just as the bar was beginning to get crowded. I pulled up on my bike in lederhosen shorts, blue Serbia  jersey and black wraparound shades - my usual summer attire. Szilvia stood behind the bar. ...

We had just passed the border and were still twenty kilometers from our destination, but as the Orient Express neared Edirne, the Selemiyi mosque with its floodlit dome and 70 meter high minarets, shone like a beacon into the night sky. This was as it was meant to be. The mosque – biggest in the Ottoman Empire; greater even than ...

Right here, at the very tip of Belgrade, on the Kalemegdan fortress promontory overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, is where Central Europe ends and the Balkans begin. Ahead stretches the flat Pannonian plain into Hungary and Central Europe. At my back the city of Belgrade, straddling the ridge of the first hilly outcroppings of the Šumadija, which ...

What can you say? Maybe a little  bit about yourself to begin with. I am not a Gastarbeiter. I came to Germany with family when I was twenty. What is it when you come with family? My husband invited me. So no Gastarbeiter. I came and I learned German in a short time. And then I opened up a business. Import-export, ...

Much has been made of the similarities between Balkan Beats and punk rock. There are, admittedly, a few parallels. Serbian kafana behavior, whereby drunken bećari (revelers on a spree) smash glasses, furniture and sometimes other people, is in some sense essentially punk in attitude. And there is a certain live-for-the-moment outlook in much Balkan Gypsy music that also parallels the ...

I had come to northeastern Montenegro from Novi Pazar because I wanted to take the 1849 meter high Čakor mountain pass from Montenegro into Kosovo, winding through the Rugova gorge and ending up in Peć, Peja in Albanian, or Ipek as it was called in Turkish times. In 1915 a retreating and exhausted Serb army had passed over it in ...