Just north of the town Šiauliai, a strange sight can be seen. A small hill is filled to the brim with a hundred thousand crosses. This is the infamous Kryžiu Kalnas, or simply Hill of Crosses.
What better way to enjoy the autumn days of September than to make a tour across the Baltic states. First stop is Riga. It feels good to be back, a decade later.
The area of modern day Bulgaria has been a cultural crossroad since ancient times, while Sofia is the second-oldest capital in Europe (after Athens). Even Constantine the Great considered making it the capital of the Byzantine Empire instead of Constantinople.
Kosovo. A mere mention of the name is enough to start a debate wherever you go in this part of the world. The war ended almost 20 years ago, but the scars still appear to be fresh.
As I crossed the border from Albania to Macedonia, I kept a careful eye on the signs. The republic of Macedonia is the country I’m aiming for, but there is also a region of adjacent Greece which claims the name Macedonia. To make things more complicated, the republic changed its name to North Macedonia just a month ago, which likely has not been updated in road signs and maps yet.