Video: Prizren, Kosovo in 60 seconds

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I took a Balkan roadtrip last December, and one of the surprising highlights was the Kosovo town of Prizren. It was cold and foggy. I couldn’t even see the castle on the hill above town. And the town introduction was unusual. Crooked cobbled … Read on

Tagged Kosovo

Amateur Traveler: Russian Far East


Ian Frazier calls Russia both “great and horrible,” yet submits to an all-consuming “Russia-love.” It’s a bug I know well. To continue my flurry of Russia posts, here’s the link to a 52-minute discussion on the Russian Far East — the wild east, … Read on

Tagged Amateur Traveler

Follow #Russia on my Instagram


To pass some time as the Sochi Olympics find new ways to embarrass itself, I thought I’d share photos from my three big crazy Russia trips over on my Instagram account. Come on over if you want to see some really strange places, … Read on

The Russian Far East: Best Place in the World


Only a handful of travelers ever take the Trans-Siberian Railway, and only a trickle of those complete it. Instead, most go from Moscow to Yekaterinburg (26 hours east) to see where the “Last Czar” died, then to Irkutsk (another 55 hours’ ride) for … Read on

Tagged Best Place in the World, Russian Far East

Sketches from my travel journals

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The best way to remember a trip isn’t just slowing down to really be present in a place. Instead, as I wrote for the National Geographic Traveler today, it’s STOPPING altogether. For me, that is often to draw a little something that catches … Read on

Why you should always pack gifts


Here they come! Bulgarians running in state-made Speedos in the communist age. Out of the Danube, and out of an early ’80s techni-color print, at you! They’re happy to see you. And they want you to be happy too. Preferably in the Danube. … Read on