Three of the thirty-two countries represented at FIFA are former members of the Eastern Bloc: Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia and Russia.
Cheaper to travel to than other well-established European destinations, these countries offer comparable amounts of historic buildings to see, scenic landscapes to photograph, and distinct cultures to experience.
The change in their politics too offer a unique opportunity to witness modern history unfold. Most people who travel here, will probably have some memory of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and/or the dismantling of Communist states. And while the countries continue to evolve and assert their identity, it is not without issues. (The Sochi Olympics, Russia and gay rights anyone? And how about the Ukraine?)
However, there is nothing like seeing for yourself the crossroads in these countries where remnants of the past are mixed with the present influx of ‘Western icons’ (McDonald’s, digital technology etc…) I wonder what the future will look like for these destinations…Thoughts anyone?
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”