It’s been quite a while since I left the balmy shores of Lake Bled, with its backdrop of castles, dramatic peaks and rolling green hills. In fact, the last month has been pretty much the polar opposite.
My final stop in the Balkans was Slovenia, the economic powerhouse of the former Yugoslavia and a charming country resembling Austria and Switzerland. In fact, I couldn’t really see how it fit with countries like Bosnia & Herzegovina or Macedonia – it was like chalk and cheese.
“…and then I ran down our street and heard a few loud bangs. It was a sniper and he was shooting at me. I was so scared, and then he hit me.” Visiting Bosnia & Herzegovina has been one of the highlights of my entire European trip, but not in the ways in which I was expecting.
I’m sitting in Sarajevo, reflecting on a very hectic week, in which I visited 7 countries in 7 days. And yet it has been the most interesting, beautiful and puzzling part of my travels so far. If you have never been to this part of the world, then I suggest you book your flights now!
In my mind Da Lat is an anomaly. Situated 1,500m above sea level, and frequently facing prolonged periods of rain and overcast skies, the city is a good 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country. This temperate climate, and the fact that the French colonialists treated it as a country retreat to get out of the stifling heat of Saigon, makes the place feel oddly European.