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13 November 2009

(English) Balkan Team round up

(English) The Balkan Route started from Turkey on the 28th of October and finished in Switzerland on the 9th of November.  It covered 10 countries over 13 days.  We met 2 presidents, did 7 marches, formed 3 peace signs, met numerous organisations and activists and spent about 70 hours in a bus.

32 people in all [...]

13 November 2009

(English) Geneva – the end of the road from Cairo and Istanbul

(English) We finally arrived from Italy at 2:30am!  Dani met us at the church centre which was the place for breakfast and after coffee showed us to our rooms.

Now, I’ve stayed in some unusual places during my time on the World March (you will all remember the Marae in New Zealand and the Buddhist temples [...]

12 November 2009

(English) Vicenza – Marching in the Rain

(English) As I write this it’s Thursday and Vicenza was last Sunday, so I’m sorry for the lateness but there’s just been no time to write before now!

Sunday was a long and intense day.

Vicenza is a beautiful city (although we’ve been through many on this trip) and a UNESCO world heritage site.  We met the [...]

10 November 2009

(English) Goodbye to the Balkans – Ciao Italia!

(English) With a great sense of needing to go back one day with time on my hands, we left the Balkans, crossing the border from Slovenia to Italy on Saturday morning.  I realise that there has been a “balkanisation” of my wallet over the last week as I seem to be carrying with me; Turkish [...]

6 November 2009

(English) Croatia and Slovenia

(English) First of all, I’ve added pictures to the entry from Bosnia so take a minute to scroll down!

We’re now in wet Ljubliana, Slovenia.  It looks like a lovely city with an old, old centre but today it was raining too much to really enjoy it.

It’s been a good day though so far.  This morning [...]

5 November 2009

(English) Splendid Sarajevo

(English) Today we’ve been in Sarajevo and it’s been great!  The city is beautiful and totally unexpected.  I guess if I’d have thought about it I should have expected a city in the mountains (it was a Winter Olympic host city after all – famous for Torville and Dean’s Ice Dance Gold Medal – at [...]

4 November 2009

(English) Belgrade

(English) We spent 2 nights in Belgrade at a reasonably good hostel near the train station.  At the last minute there seemed to appear a plan to divide the group into two, so 9 of the team (not me) set off at 9:00 am to a place called Jagodina, where there were activities for the [...]

2 November 2009

(English) 3 countries 1 day – the absurdity of the Balkans

(English) Today was interesting for a few reasons.  The first was the fact that we were going to Kosovo to meet with peace and nonviolence activists in Pristina.  Kosovo was in a war less than 10 years ago.  The second was the ridiculous situation caused by the Balkan wars regarding the borders.  The third was [...]

1 November 2009

(English) All dressed up and no where to go!

(English) Well things didn’t quite go to plan today!  This is an understatement.

In our meeting yesterday in Ohrid we had been told that we had a confirmed meeting with the President this afternoon at 4pm.  So, this morning when I got dressed, I put on my shirt and tie to look smart and then I [...]

31 October 2009

(English) Colder and colder!

(English) This is day 2 of our trip through the country which the local people call Macedonia.  Yesterday was intense; travelling from 8:00am until 3:00pm on our World March Bus™, with brief stops to cross the border, to meet the local authorities in 2 towns and then to finish in the beautiful lakeside town of [...]

30 October 2009

(English) What’s in a name?

(English) There are 2 things which have struck me strongly on this Balkan section of the March so far.  One is the name you give to different territories and the other is the borders between countries.

I almost got into trouble in Turkey with this theme and in Greece we’ve also been warned to be careful [...]

28 October 2009

(English) Balkans day 1 – March day 25

(English) After a week with the base team in Japan, Korea and Russia, now I’m in Istanbul where I’ve come to spend 12 days with the Balkan team to write news articles for Pressenza.  Actually, I say I’m in Istanbul, but as I write I’m on the bus leaving the city after only 30 hours [...]