Monday, 5 May 2014

The Balkan Odyssey - Travels Around the Former Yugoslavia - Oh and Albania too! - Jason Smart (Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania)

Travelling through cities and towns once ravaged by the Balkan Wars, Jason Smart witnesses first hand the beauty of this much-maligned region. With his friend, Michael, they find out that the Balkans is not a region to avoid; it is a part of Europe to explore and embrace.

From the urban sprawl of Belgrade, to the tranquillity of a glacial lake in Slovenia, the pair experiences the Balkans up close. Find out how they end up in a rickety clock tower in Macedonia, do battle with a sticky nemesis in Kosovo, and learn that Albania had a king called Zog.

The Balkan Odyssey is a journey through every country of the former Yugoslavia (and Albania too). Join Jason as he visits Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania.
I love books like this, as they a nice quick and easy read on a subject that I love (travel), presenting an opportunity to cover several possibly difficult to find countries in one book for the Around the World Reading Challenge. Smart has written a whole series of books on his adventures around the world, and they are all very well priced at no more than £3.99 each. I suspect I shall end up reading every single one of them.

I enjoyed his witty writing, detailing a whistle stop tour of the former Yugoslavia, not forgetting of course Albania, which had to be included as Smart and his travelling companion Michael had to travel through Albania to get to some of the other countries they visited. Smart gently pokes fun at his travelling companion who is walking satnav with a love of museums, unlike Smart himself who has not a cultural bone in his body. Somehow they get along without killing each other, which is sadly more than be said for those who inhabit these former Yugoslav states.

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