Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

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Oină tournament in Frasin, Romania, with Politehnica Cluj-Napoca playing in red (photo © Emma Levine).
Magazine article

Romania: The Return of Oină

Romania's national sport is called oină - and it's enjoying a happy revival as teams across the country are rediscovering a sport which is peculiar to Romania and Moldova. Emma Levine heads off in search of a sport that some suggest could well have ...
The royal palace in Bucharest (photo © Marian Mocanu / dreamstime.com)
Letter from Europe

Through Romanian eyes

  • 19 Jun 2017
The Romanian aristocrat, traveller and writer Dinicu Golescu deserves to be better known outside his home region, for he rates as one of the finest travel writers of the early 19th century. His 1826 book 'Account of My Travels' is an important ...
Issue 47 of hidden europe magazine
Letter from Europe

A new issue of the magazine: hidden europe 47

  • 12 Nov 2015
hidden europe 47 is published today. It costs just 8 euros, and for that you'll get some of the finest travel writing around. If you like our regular Letter from Europe, why not support our work by taking out a sub to the print ...
Magazine article

The Saxon villages of Transylvania

In just a few years at the end of the last century, the majority of the Saxons of Transylvania moved away from the village where their families had lived for over 500 years. Rudolf Abraham visited Romania to learn what has become of the Saxon ...
The streets of Komrat, capital of the autonomous territory of Gagauzia, with a poster suggesting Moldovan national unity (photo © Marco Fieber).
Magazine article

What next for Gagauzia?

It is worthwhile to keep an eye on the national elections in Moldova in late November 2014. They could provide the cue for Gagauzia to start thinking again about secession. Could Gagauzia be the next ...
Letter from Europe

From Austerlitz to Solferino

  • 11 Jul 2010
A name seen or heard out of context can be a powerful provocation. Travelling through the hinterland of Munich a while back, our train paused at Dachau. At one level this was just one more railway station serving commuters in a rather overcrowded ...
hidden europe note

Railway diplomacy

  • 28 May 2010
We would not suggest using rail timetables as a definitive indicator of the state of relations between neighbouring states. But it is interesting that train schedules are often altered very quickly when there is a downturn in ...
photo © Saniphoto / dreamstime.com
Magazine article

A tribute to the humble suitcase

The classic suitcase has been relegated to the carousel of history as travellers opt for more modern styles of luggage. But the suitcase is still replete with double-edged meaning - a symbol of freedom for some, but a reminder of unhappy exile for ...
hidden europe note

News from Banat

  • 27 Feb 2010
Each new monthly edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable is an invitation to start planning new journeys. This book, so full of facts, is also a glorious treasure chest of entertaining diversions. And a quick glance at this latest issue ...
The Giardini Botanici Hanbury at La Mortola in Liguria is a possible future UNESCO World Heritage Site (photo © hidden europe).
Magazine article

Shortlisted for UNESCO

There are the sights which already feature on UNESCO's World Heritage List. And then there are the wannabes. We take a look at sights around Europe that are angling for one of the coveted places on the UNESCO ...
Magazine article

People's palaces

Many central and eastern European capitals boast 'palaces' that were constructed in the socialist period. While Berlin's Palace of the Republic is being demolished, other capitals are finding more creative ways of rehabilitating their 'people's ...
Magazine article

Taking the high road

France's Cime de la Bonette road is often feted as "la plus haute route d'Europe". But is this really true? We drive some of Europe's highest roads and track down the real record ...
Magazine article

Another kind of Chernobyl

Pesticides, dioxins and nickel processing are among the worst culprits in some of Europe's environmental black spots. hidden europe reports from a few places that lie off most travellers' ...
Letter from Europe

Corund (Transylvania)

  • 22 Apr 2009
Spring is slow in coming to the mountains of the Székely region. Altitude and rugged terrain conspire to make the winter snow linger longer than in many other parts of Romania. But now there is blossom aplenty and geraniums are reappearing on ...
Letter from Europe

The Iza valley (Romania)

  • 23 Sep 2007
This is a stunning time of year to be in the Maramures area of Romania. And especially in the Iza valley, where russet-gold apples hang heavy in the orchards that cluster round every village, and the fields are full of distinctive haystacks - ...
Letter from Europe

Periprava (Romania)

  • 8 Dec 2006
Romania's poetic tradition is remarkably distinguished, and yet rarely acknowledged outside its country of origin. But even for those disinclined to learn Romanian, there is some fine work waiting to be found in translation - from Mihai Eminescu to ...
Letter from Europe

Old Believers on the Ukraine-Romania border

  • 8 Aug 2006
Bila Krynytsya? It turns out that this small village in southwest Ukraine, just a stone's throw from the Romanian border, is a household name among many Russian Old Believers. From Alaska to the Danube Delta the name evokes important religious ...
Letter from Europe

Heritage centres in Ireland - the Danube delta in Romania

  • 23 Apr 2006
The capacity of Ireland to create 'heritage centres' is unbounded. In a month that marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, it seemed good to check out the memorial to Eamon de Valera in the village of Brú Rí (Bruree in ...
Letter from Europe

Sighetu Marmatiei (Romania) - Sapanta cemetery

  • 13 Oct 2005
The death of Simon Wiesenthal last month is yet another reminder, if ever one were needed, that many parts of Europe cannot shed their troubled histories. Wiesenthal was born near Polish Lwow, the handsome city now known as L'viv in Ukraine. In our ...