Berlin is a swamp: literally, figuratively, and etymologically (Brlo - old Slavic for swamp). It will suck you down if you are not careful - and sometimes you just need to escape to save your soul.  I have been plotting my escape for a while now, even without knowing it. Sometimes I think Belgrade would be a nice place to get ...

Whenever I visited my grandmother in Istanbul, Aksaray, I simply had to check out the scene on Istiklal Caddesi.  Mostly, I walked there. Back then there was no tram and I didn’t really fancy taking the bus. So I walked past Istanbul University, where my mother studied, then either through Kapalı Çarşı (Grand Bazaar) or past the Sultan Ahmet Cami ...

When it comes to Istanbul’s nightlife, many usually think of Taksim – that  stretch of European Istanbul, north of the Golden Horn, intersected by the Istiklal Caddesi  a pedestrian thoroughfare which slices  through the district of Beyoğlu from Taksim square in the north to Tünel in the south.   Here, and in its dozens of tributaries and small, dark side streets, was where – up ...