The Balkans
Light streams into the Osogovo Monastery from a high window illuminating the frescoes

The Balkans

On returning from Uzbekistan I realised I had a load of leave to use before the end of June otherwise I'd lose it. So after a quick search of places to go I opted for a trip to the Balkans - mainly North Macedonia with a small bit of Bulgaria and Kosovo through in for good measure. It was a tough trip in many respects with a lot of driving and single night stays in each location, but the landscape and many UNESCO sites were interesting to see. However it was frustrating…

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Balkans Diary

Day 1 After a 3 hour flight from London we arrived in a warm, but very wet, Sofia. It didn't help that the mini bus to the hotel leaked with water dripping from the roof on to several seats. However we eventually arrived at our hotel, the Sofia Palace, damp but looking forward to what the next few days had in store Quickly freshening up it was back out and a short walk to a local restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner and our first chance to sample the local food. Whilst…

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Uzbekistan Diary
The view over the old part of Khiva from the watch tower on the city walls.

Uzbekistan Diary

So today (April 22, 2022) I finally head off on a trip I originally booked in 2019 for departure in spring 2020. Whilst I’ve travelled around Ireland a bit during these last two years, apart from a brief trip to Spain about 7 months ago there’s been little other overseas trips for obvious reasons. So my destination this time is Uzbekistan. Part of the ancient silk road between China and Europe. The ‘stans are somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while and there’s still a few others to explore. Day 1…

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Uzbekistan
The view over the old part of Khiva from the watch tower on the city walls.

Uzbekistan

Part of the ancient silk road between China and Europe. The ‘stans are somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while and there’s still a few others to explore. Many Persian cities took advantage of the commerce between East and West as the Silk Road developed and in Uzbekistan Bukhara and Samarkand eventually became extremely wealthy cities. In 327 BC Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the region, followed by 7th century conquests by the Araba who brought Islam to Uzbekistan. In the 13th century Genghis Kahn invaded and the region changed with culture…

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Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Wanting to get away for a Christmas break we drove to West Ireland and travelled down part of the Wild Atlantic Way to Killarney. From here there's a great drive called the Ring of Kerry which passes through some stunning scenery. We did the whole ring in one (very long) day, but I'd recommend doing it over a couple of days and taking your time to explore the landscape!

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Donegal, Ireland

After being stuck at home due to the Covid pandemic, this long weekend getaway from Dublin to County Donegal was very welcome. The scenery there is stunning – from large coastal cliffs to the beautiful Glenveagh National Park. Although I only had a short time there its definitely somewhere I want to return to and spend a little longer exploring!

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