Eastern Europe

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photo credit: Archie McPhee Seattle Pickpocket Wallet via photopin (license)

Pickpocketing in Europe: How to Avoid and What to Do If It Happens

The 7th-floor terrace of House of Legends restaurant was small and cramped, just two tables taking up any excess space.  I squeezed past the diners, made my way over to the railing, and whipped out my smartphone to snap a photo of the stunning sunset over Lviv, one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities. Recalling […]

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chernobyl tours

10 Reasons Why Chernobyl Tours Are the Best Dark Tourism Experience

Broken glass crackled and crunched beneath my feet. Sun streamed through the remains of a once-magnificent stained glass window. Broken dolls and filthy baby shoes littered the floor.  A child’s storybook stood open as if waiting for its reader to continue.  Never would I have imagined that Chernobyl tours, the site of the worst nuclear […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kiev Ukraine

Kiev is the lively capital and largest city in Ukraine, greedily taking up both banks of the Dnieper River.  Three million people call this fusion of ancient and modern architecture home. Kiev’s beautiful cathedrals and monasteries spill out onto cobblestone streets and abundant green spaces and parks. Although many buildings were destroyed during the Communist […]

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restaurants in lviv

Emotional Restaurants in Lviv: Extreme Fun and Food

Lviv is Eastern Europe’s undiscovered gem, at least to Americans.  This utterly gorgeous city, just 40 miles from the border of Poland, is not only home to stunning Austro-Hungarian architecture and colorful town squares, but has gastronomy unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in all of Europe. They’re called “Emotional Restaurants,” and they are not to […]

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tour ukraine

Tour Ukraine: Ultimate Guide to Lviv, Kiev and Odessa

Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe, second only to Russia in size, and shares borders with Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Transnistria (the nation that doesn’t exist). It’s a country with a long, complex, and turbulent history. The Eastern European nation is home to a plethora of beautiful places […]

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Moldova

9 Things to Do in Moldova. I Dare You to Try Number 7.

The Republic of Moldova is a fairly unfamiliar landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It has a long history of land fragmentation, including stints at being part of the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Romania, and the Ukrainian SSR. Per capita, Moldova has the poorest economy in Europe and is also the least visited country in […]

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bucharest boomers

Baby Boomer Guide to Bucharest: Romania’s “Little Paris”

I had imagined Bucharest as a kind of transition place…. a couple of days as my jumping off place to where I really wanted to go in Romania – Transylvania.  And as my driver left the airport, we passed a multitude of utilitarian-looking communist bloc apartment buildings, and I felt more-or-less resigned to spending an […]

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Transfagarasan

Transfagarasan: The World’s Best Road Trip

Romania’s Transfagarasan winds through the Fagaras Mountains, part of the Carpathian Mountain Range that connects Transylvania to Wallachia via a shocking series of white-knuckle hairpin turns and sharp descents. The 56-mile path climbs to an altitude of 6,699 feet, slinking past stunning outlooks of lake, waterfalls, and a dam. After our initial arrival and two […]

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Odessa Ukraine

Odessa Ukraine: 12 Reasons to Make This Your Next European Trip

Odessa Ukraine is a port city on the Black Sea, founded in 1794 (relatively young compared to Kiev or Lviv) by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.  Its reputation as the summer capital of Ukraine draws in visitors who are eager to stroll around the city’s tree-lined “Old Town” taking in the pastel neoclassical architecture, […]

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Transnistria

Transnistria: Clinging to the Iron Curtain for Dear Life

“They carry on as though they are part of the old USSR,” said Alex, our Moldovan guide from JayWay Travel. “Transnistria has repeatedly asked to join the Russian Federation.” Unrecognized by the United Nations or any other sovereign nation, Transnistrians could not care less. In spite of being one of the poorest places in Europe, […]

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