Vulgar Wheat: A Trace of Thrace Bugaria


John M. Edwards chows down on subpar "Vulgarian" grub and survives a dangerous dispute over a restaurant bill in the Balkans. Oh well, there is always the region's lip-smacking yogurt. . . . Bulgaria has by far the best yogurt in the world, partly because they invented it. They also are (supposedly) responsible for the regional cuisine shared by many of its neighbors: Bulgar wheat, stuffed grape leaves, baklava, kebabs, goat cheese, and … [Read more...]

A Trace of Thrace: Balkan Adventure


In Plovdiv, Bulgaria, John M. Edwards snitches on the mystery-shrouded Balkans’ best-kept secret: an ancient (and enduring) heresy I was on the way slow train from Budapest through the Balkans, on my way to Bulgaria, chainsmoking and guzzling Egri Bikavier (Bull’s Blood) wine, when the train came to a juddering halt and was boarded by heavily armed Serbian soldiers. A Serb with an impressive handlebar moustache and an assault rifle demanded … [Read more...]

Bring Adventure Back to Europe


This was Richard's Keynote to The European Travel Commission, presented on May 9, 2013. This also took first place in our 2013 travel writing competition. I once ran with the bulls of mistake, involuntarily. I was at Microsoft, where we were developing a new travel product that would become Expedia, and we had the idea to use a new web technology called Live Chat to convey from the field the adventure of travel. I had the idea … [Read more...]

Select Highlights of South East Europe


These are some of the highlights of visiting select locations in Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia. This trip was totally unscripted and unplanned. All we had were our plane tickets to Europe. We used public transportation to get around - buses, trains, city trams and metros where available. Note that while distances on the map don't look that far from each other especially along the Dalmatian Coast, the roads are narrow, windy and very … [Read more...]

Dave’s Travel Corner Announces Annual Travel Essay Contest

A big thanks to everyone who submitted their journals and travel writings for our annual travel writing contest. We had a lot of great submissions. Also thanks for our great sponsors: Motorola Mobility, Lock-A-Bye and the Allegany National Forest. The winners are listed directly below. We look forward to holding this again next year :) Congratulations to Kelly, our first place winner of our annual travel writing … [Read more...]

Blundering in the Balkans


The sweat dripped down my face as I gyrated to the throbbing techno trying to keep up with a six-foot Serbian bombshell that had taken a keen interest in me, or at least my obvious American appearance. We walked out to the deck of the club, docked on the banks of the river Danube in downtown Belgrade to escape the heat of the nightclub and catch a breath of fresh air. As I took a sip of Jelen Pivo, the standard Serbian beer, my mind was fighting … [Read more...]