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Andrea Godfrey
Andrea Godfrey An early morning excursion to Karakol Livestock Market. Every Sunday, several drab-looking blocks on Karakol's northern outskirts are transformed into a vibrant spectacle, alive with energy and colour. The livestock market (mal bazaar in Kyrgyz) attracts an array of thousands of smallholders and nomads from all over the Issyk-Kul region. Jammed tightly together amongst the animals, this huge, jostling swarm of people barter over sheep, pigs and cattle, scatter the crowds by 'test driving' powerful stallions and stock up on feed for their new purchases. By dawn, the market is already underway with groups of white bearded men in fur-trimmed caps bargaining animatedly, hawkers pushing through the crowds proclaiming their wares and women in bright headscarves patting and prodding ewes to assess their rump fat. This is an unmissable Kyrgyz cultural experience.
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Albania Map
Why I Love Albania
Leaving the busy and colourful city of Tirana behind, you can find a country where time has almost stood still, with unspoilt scenery, wild beaches, rocky olive groves, a rich heritage of Roman ruins and really hospitable and friendly people.
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Croatia Map
Why I Love Croatia
Few holidays are quite as romantic as Croatia holidays. What could be better than sitting on a quaint restaurant terrace in medieval surroundings, with some delicious fresh seafood and a bottle of lovely wine, while watching a golden sunset over sparkling Adriatic waters?
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Bulgaria Map
Why I Love Bulgaria
Bulgaria is beautiful through and through. Starting from the rugged Black Sea coast you can head in land and discover nothing but breathtaking scenery and magnificent national parks. In Sofia, head to the Central Market to pick up some local bread and cheeses for the perfect picnic.
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Moldova Map
Why I Love Moldova
What’s not to love about a country known for its prolific wine growing! A country that has underground wine cities and nearly everyone in the countryside makes their own wine at home. Visit Cricova Winery with its 120 kilometre subterranean tunnels and avenues named “Strada Sauvignon” or “Strada Cabernet” or Mileştii Mici Winery with its Soviet styled tasting hall. Elegant wine tasting can be experienced at Pucari Estate.
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Montenegro Map
Why I Love Montenegro
Choose Montenegro holidays and not far from Ulcinj, close to the Albania border, you will find wooden houses built on stilts overlooking the tranquil Bojana River. Many of these dwellings are restaurants which serve the most amazing fish, and the home-made raki isn’t too bad either! Although if you arrive at the nudist beach you’ve gone too far…
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Kosovo Map
Why I Love Kosovo
There is so much to see and do in Kosovo – the Decani Monastery, stunning Rugova Gorge, private family wineries, exploring Prizren Old Town and paying your respects at Prekaz village: the list goes on! Don’t forget to have a Kosovan fish banquet (fish prepared in six different ways) in Trofta trout farm near Istog.
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Austria Map
Why I Love Austria
Austria is full of breathtaking scenery and gorgeous towns but Vienna will always hold a special place in my heart. Its streets are an array of splendid museums, grand palaces and wonderful restaurants. Particularly special is the Imperial New Year’s Eve ball – for those with two left feet, opt to have a private waltz lesson prior to the ball to be sure to impress!
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Hungary Map
Why I Love Hungary
I love Hungary because you can combine the faded romance of its capital city with the beautiful countryside outside it. For a taste of local life, I loved playing chess at the Turkish era thermal baths in Budapest.
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Lithuania Map
Why I Love Lithuania
Lithuania is the most southerly of the Baltic States and is often referred to as the ‘Land of Amber’, because for centuries, amber, Lithuania’s precious harvest of the sea has been washed onto the golden beaches of Lithuania’s “Amber Coast”. After a storm join the locals in scouring for pieces of amber that is often washed up from the sea.
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Germany Map
Why I Love Germany
For me, Berlin makes the perfect city break destination – the restaurants and cafes in the fashionable Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhoods are the ideal place to watch the world go by after a busy day of sightseeing.
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