Last month I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting five countries across the Balkans and also Turkey. I went with my friend Joe and we spent a month adventuring our way through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Having done a similar trip across Central Europe last year, I wanted to be slightly more adventurous this time round. We definitely were slightly more adventurous.
Getting better at booking hostels definitely made a big difference and we also used AirBnb in a couple of places, the first time I’ve done that.
Like last year we travelled super light; I took a 25l bag + satchel last time but only had a 22l bag this time round. I have a curious fascination with packing light. I wrote a post about it mid-way through the trip.
I undertook an awful lot of adventures in 2014 and it’s mildly crazy that we’ve got to July and this is the first adventure post of the year. Still, doing one’s degree and getting as much work done as possible provides a reasonable excuse.
The Strasbourg Adventure was a joint trip with University of Warwick’s BrassSoc and WindOrch. We spent four and a bit days in Strasbourg and two days in Colmar, a beautiful town about an hour to the south.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Strasbourg, but it’s a very nice town indeed with a beautiful old town and plenty of character, but also the European Instititutions off to the edge of the city. We played a concert in the huge atrium of the European Parliament building which was extremely enjoyable.
Unsurprisingly, the price of alcohol was of concern a group of students, but Academie de le Biere had fantastic (if still a bit expensive) cocktails which almost made up for the slightly ridiclious price of a pint. Local wines were pretty good too (and much cheaper). We did a tour of a vineyard which is worth doing if you can get into the hills away from the city.
Colmar is much smaller than Strasbourg and we visited mainly because we couldn’t book a hostel for the whole week in Strasbourg itself. Four days was kinda enough to see Strasbourg, though, and moving on to Colmar ended up being an excellent move. The town centre is very small but very beautiful, with “Little Venice” being a particular highlight.
We didn’t really stay in the town centre on any of the evenings, but on a late-night photography mission on our last day I wandered through the town centre and the bars were bustling and looked very nice indeed.
First adventure of the summer is done. I’m headed off again in a fortnight to South Eastern Europe and Turkey, which I am very excited about. Pics are below.