>  Europe   >  Travel Memory: NYE in the Balkans Ballroom

As 2015 dawns, I’m reminiscing about a certain New Years Eve spent in what I termed the Balkans Ballroom.

My first trip to Albania in 2010 coincided with NYE, and though I’d heard stories about the crazy displays of fireworks there, I would end up watching them from across Lake Ohrid on the Macedonian side of the border.

Albania's midnight fireworks from across Lake Ohrid

Albania’s midnight fireworks from across Lake Ohrid

At that time, there were only a few places that Albanians could travel to visa-free, and Macedonia was one of them. My future father-in-law, wanting to show us a good time, drove us over the border and into Struga, where we checked into a hotel and joined a bunch of similarly traveling Balkanites (is that a word?), out to celebrate New Years Eve away from home.

Adorned with balloons, fancily dressed people and a buffet full of strange foods like “country meat,” the Balkans Ballroom was a New Years Eve impossible to forget.

Happy new year! We hope your 2015 is filled with much joy, love and an abundance of travels!

Where was your most memorable New Years Eve? What did you do?


  • January 1, 2015

    One of the most memorable wasn’t our New Years Eve but the Chinese New Year. I was in Beijing and talk about fireworks everywhere. They have no worries or regulations it seems. People everywhere in the alleys just blowing up fireworks every which way. We were worried we’d end up at the end of one of those shots we had to duck into a little restaurant until we thought we could run down the alley the rest of the way to our hotel. It was definitely something else.

    • January 4, 2015

      CNY is definitely much more of an event over in this part of the world, isn’t it? I can only imagine how crazy it was in Beijing, and I too, would be worried about losing my head from an out of control firework.

  • December 31, 2014

    Happy New Year!!! I wish you a wonderful 2015!


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