Below is the list of countries I visited during the year 2018, Click on any country to view my travel photos and stories.
Albania, a Balkan Nation, is a country in the East Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, with 5000+ years of history, influenced by numerous civilizations such as the Illyrians, Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans. In 1946, after the Second World War, Enver Hoxha formed Communist Albania and launched the Albanians on a path of oppression and decades of isolation. The Revolutions of 1991 concluded the fall of communism in Albania and eventually the establishment of the current Republic of Albania. Albania is a beautiful country with the friendliest people.
Armenia, a former Soviet republic lying in the Caucasus region straddling Asia and Europe, has a rich and ancient culture. More than 1,700 years ago in 301 AD, Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. It is a small landlocked country; mountain passes, valleys and canyons make Armenia feel much larger than it really is.
Artsakh, formerly known as Nagorno-Karabakh, is a self-proclaimed republic of the former Soviet Union, recognized by NO country in the world. It is located in the south of Caucasus region, laying between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is located within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders but run by ethnic Armenians.
Azerbaijan is a former Soviet republic lying in the Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.Azerbaijan has long been called “The Land of Fire” due to the phenomena of “burning hillsides” caused by gas seeping through fissures in the earth. Azerbaijan has vast reserves of oil and subterranean natural gas. Roman records dating back 2500 years ago suggest oil extraction took place on Azerbaijan’s Absheron Peninsula.
With more than 11,000 lakes and 40% of its territory composed of misty forest, Belarus is a beautiful country in Eastern Europe. A home to friendliest locals I ever met. Until the 20th century, various empires controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. A country where one can experiencing the history of the Soviet Union without visiting Russia.
Bosnia and Hercegovina is a rugged mountainous country, most intriguing for its East-meets-West atmosphere born of blended Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian histories. Many still associate the country with the heartbreaking civil war of the 1990s, and the scars from that time are still too visible. But today, the country is remembered for its deep, unassuming human warmth, most welcoming locals, its beautiful mountains, numerous medieval castle ruins, and natural beauty. Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to three main ethnic groups; Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. The country has a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group.
Bulgaria is a Balkan nation with diverse terrain encompassing Black Sea coastline, a mountainous interior and rivers, including the Danube. A cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences, it has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts.
Croatia (Hrvatska) is an ancient nation, yet a very young nation state. Once a formidable kingdom under Tomislav in the tenth century, a naval power in the sixteenth and seventeenth, and an awakening national entity in the nineteenth, it had to endure a thousand years of foreign meddling, subjugation, incursions, and outright wars before being recognized in 1992 as a distinct entity.
Georgia is a former Soviet republic lying in the Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Georgia presents a remarkable mix of landscapes and climates, ranging from some of Europe’s highest mountain peaks to lush Black Sea resorts and the vast wine-growing valleys. Georgia is one of the oldest Christian countries, It has hundreds of churches and monasteries built on high places, in picturesque locations.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and the Olympic Games.
Surrounded by the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, Greek sovereign land includes 6,000 islands and islets, of which only 227 islands are inhabited.
eSwatini, one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, is one of the smallest countries in Africa and has a well-earned reputation for friendliness in Southern Africa. It also contains several large game parks and reserves, which are sponsored by the government.
Kosovo, a disputed territory in the Balkans, is a partially-recognized state in Eastern Europe, subject to a territorial dispute with the Republic of Serbia. During former Yugoslavia, Kosovo was an autonomous province of Serbia, after a lengthy and violent dispute with Serbia, Kosovo declared independence in February 2008.
Lesotho, the Kingdom in the Sky, is a largely mountainous country with lofty altitude. Lesotho is the only country in the world to be entirely above 1000 m.
Lesotho is a beautiful, culturally rich, affordable and easily accessible from South Africa. Few days in Lesotho’s hospitable mountain lodges and trading posts will give you a fresh perspective on Southern Africa.
Moldova, a former Soviet Republic, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest and least visited countries. Moldova has varied terrain including forests, rocky hills and vineyards. Its wine regions are home to some of the world’s largest cellars.
Montenegro, a Balkan nation and one of the Republic of former Yugoslavia, is situated on the Adriatic Sea in the Central Europe. Montenegro boasts some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Europe, while the high mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe. With gaining full independence from the federation of Serbia-Montenegro in the June 2006, Montenegro is a relatively new country with centuries of history.
North Macedonia, a Balkan nation and one of the Republic of former Yugoslavia, is a landlocked country in the Central Europe. North Macedonia is dotted with beautiful Orthodox churches, monasteries, and Ottoman mosques. The territory of the North Macedonia has a long history, rules by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Slavic tribes, Bulgarian Empire, and Ottoman Turks before its incorporation into Yugoslavia by Tito in 1945.
Romania. a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. The country is full of historic cities with their cobblestone streets and their medieval architecture, the friendly people, and the beautiful, picturesque countryside.
Serbia, a Balkan nation and one of the Republic of former Yugoslavia, is a landlocked country in the Central Europe. It is situated on one of the major land routes from Central Europe to Turkey and further on to East Asia via Central Asia. There were seventeen Roman emperors born in the territory of today’s Serbia, and many of them left monuments and built palaces in or close to their birthplaces. Serbs are one of the most hospitable and welcoming, especially towards foreigners.
Slovenia, a Balkan nation and one of the Republic of former Yugoslavia, is a small country in Central Europe, Slovenia is almost a landlocked country with a short (46 km) coastline at the Adriatic Sea between Italy and Croatia. Slovenia was never a country till 1991. Historically, the territory of Slovenia has formed part of many different states, such as: the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Carolingian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Republic of Venice, the Illyrian Provinces of the First French Empire, the Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
South Africa often referred to as the “rainbow nation” because of its multi-ethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. It is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush wine-lands, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route.
Transnistria is a self-proclaimed republic of the former Soviet Union, recognized by NO other UN member country in the world. It is a breakaway state in the narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the border of Ukraine, that is internationally recognized as part of Moldova. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag, despite not being a socialist state. It is a territory filled with Soviet nostalgia and Communist symbols.
Tunisia is a country in the Northern Africa. It is considered to be the only fully democratic sovereign state in the Arab world. Tunisia has a rich cultural history, ever since Antiquity. The Carthaginian Empire, Rome’s arch enemy, was centered in Tunisia.
Ukraine, a former Soviet Republic, is an Eastern European country. It lies at the northwest end of the Black Sea, Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia. Ukraine has been in a geographical flux, with many parts of the country contested for. Mongols Lithuanians, Poles, Cossacks, Tartars, Russians, Germans, and others all had a shot at ruling parts of Ukraine throughout history.