Eastern Europe

Exploring the Hidden Europe in 2004 and 2008-2011

In 2004, I visited all 25 countries in Eastern Europe. You'll find the blog entries from that trip here. In 2008-2011, I returned to see what had changed since that time. With these two visits, five years apart, I accumulated enough material for my 750-page book, The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us.

This blog now has many excerpts from The Hidden Europe. But who the hell reads anymore? Just look at the best photos from Eastern Europe!

This map reflects how I define Eastern Europe. Eastern Europeans love to deny that they're in Eastern Europe. I tackle how and why I define Eastern Europe the way I do in the Introduction of The Hidden Europe.

Eastern Europe map from Francis Tapon's book, 'The Hidden Europe'

Slovenia Bled Castle by phault on FlickrThis is a guest post by Kristine Stella.

Slovenia is one of the most politically stable and safe countries in Europe. It has excellent infrastructure and the people are well-educated. It is located between the Balkans and Western Europe and has breathtaking landscapes and mountains.

One can get around in Slovenia by hiking through the well-preserved and eye-catching countryside that is covered in greenery almost from when one leaves the city. Hiking is very popular with their being a remarkable choice of trails to hike through, from the easy walks passing along foothills and valleys, to more invigorating walls in the protected trails in the mountains where one can also enjoy the breathtaking alpine peaks. Slovenia has approximately 20,000 kilometers of marked out trails that are accessible all year round provided the hiker has the right equipment and the weather conditions are good.

If one wants to enjoy the city, one can have a sightseeing tour of the capital Ljubljana and tour the great sights in Bled, where you can view the lake and castle. You can also visiting the island in Bled's lake by traveling using a boat or you might want to walk round the lake and having a picnic while enjoying the breathtaking view.

In mid-Dec 2012, San Francisco's CBS station interviewed me about my book, The Hidden Europe. Watch it below and share!

Photos from the set

Althiough they had three cameras on the set, it was interesting that they were all remotely controlled. I suspect one human operates three cameras to save money and not have one person per camera.

Local CBS Interview

What amazed me was just how fast five minutes went by. Now, watching it, it does seems as fast as when the cameras are rolling.

Frank Mallicoat interviewing Francis Tapon on San Francisco's local CBS station, KPIX

Frank Mallicoat was fun host. I gave him a copy of my book, which I'm sure he'll treasure for the rest of his life. ;)

Guest Post by Izzy Smith

The Balkan Peninsula is a culturally diverse region. Therefore, its cuisine offers a great variety, too. The culinary traditions of the countries that make up the peninsula are as similar as they are different from each other. What contributes the most in terms of variety is the fact that the more you go east, the more you can feel the oriental flavor. In this sense, the Balkans are something like the border between the West and the East, both culturally and culinary.

What follows is a short, but informative, description of three notable types of Balkan cuisine.

Balkan cuisine

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