Saturday, April 16, 2011

Getting to Eastern Europe before it's too late

I recently read an article at Boots'n'All about why it's important to visit post-communist eastern Europe now, or at least as soon as you can! It reminded me of my passion for eastern Europe and some of the unique things about it - including obscure communist architecture like this upside-down pyramid building I used to walk past in Bratislava on the way to one of the companies I taught at.
Slovak Broadcast building, Bratislava
The article also mentioned some other unique-to-eastern-Europe gems, like the various museum-style parks full of the communist statues which were removed from their high profile spots all over the cities, and some of the quirky "Museums of Communism". Not to mention the fact that most eastern European countries are still considerably cheaper to travel through than the West, but are catching up to western prices rather quickly.

I'm not usually a fan of "visit before it's too late" tourism because it tends to focus on natural phenomena that we're destroying (like the Great Barrier Reef, say) but in this case, I have to agree. I just loved travelling around eastern Europe when you needed a visa for many countries, and everywhere gave you passport stamps - now that so much of eastern Europe has joined the European Union, it must be feeling a bit more homogenous. And I can also confirm from my own repeat visits that everything's getting more expensive, and the countries that have adopted the Euro already all complain about Euro-related price hikes too. It's certainly not a "now or never" proposition, but I can see some definite benefits to seeing eastern Europe sooner rather than later. I'm always sad I haven't yet made it to some of the more eastern parts like Bulgaria and Romania, but they are very high on my list! And of course, returns to my favourites, Estonia and Slovakia.

Which eastern European country would you like to visit - or is your favourite, if you've already been?

[Thanks to simononly for the photo via Flickr/CC]

2 comments:

  1. I like Romania, but only been there once though.
    I've been to Bratislava in Slovakia many times, because i used to fly with skyeurope to Manchester. But the country always reminds me of the Film "hostel" so not so keen on it, despite knowing its just a film!! haha. sorry

    otherwise i havent been lucky enough to travel anywhere else in this part of the world.

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  2. Sarita, I've never seen that film but have heard about it (and that's why I've never watched it!) - I promise Bratislava has lots of lovely things about it.

    I *nearly* got to Romania to visit a friend but at the time Australians needed visas and I couldn't get one in time before my friend left etc - so, it's still on my want-to-see list!

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