In the last issue of hidden europe, we parenthetically commented on the common misconceptions held by visitors to Georgia in the Caucasus. They often expect to find all things Russian. A mistake of course, yet many western European visitors to eastern Europe consistently fail to discriminate the mix of cultures, peoples and landscapes that make up the eastern portion of our continent. Fully two thirds or more of Europe's land area lies to the east of the old Iron Curtain, and yet our collective perception of Europe is strangely distorted by a travel industry that seems not to have heard of most of the continent. Western visitors may have discovered Kraków in their millions, but they still fail to appreciate that Kyjiv and Kazan are as different from each other as Birmingham and Bilbao.