Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Letter from Europe

  • — Issue 2008/6 posted by hidden europe on

While we have quietly reported on Europe's unsung communities in one hundred issues of our e-news, Europe has reinvented itself. The European Union has, with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, secured two new members. Three more EU states have joined the Eurozone (Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus). The Schengen area of borderless travel has expanded dramatically.

article summary —

Dear fellow travellers

The first ever issue of e-news from hidden europe was published three years ago. This is the one hundredth issue of a newsletter that is now regularly distributed by e-mail to thousands of recipients around the world.

One hundred issues of our e-news, and just think how Europe has changed over the last three years. Two new nations now feature on the map of Europe: Montenegro and Kosovo. And how different their stories are. Montenegro was welcomed with open arms by the international community and within four weeks of independence was granted full membership of the United Nations. And what of Kosovo? A diplomatic wrangle that looks set to continue for years to come.

While we have quietly reported on Europe's unsung communities in one hundred issues of our e-news, Europe has reinvented itself. The European Union has, with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, secured two new members. Three more EU states have joined the Eurozone (Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus). The Schengen area of borderless travel has expanded dramatically. Meanwhile several countries in eastern Europe have waived visa requirements for citizens of the EU and selected other nations, so opening up their territories for easier travel: Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are examples.

And yet it is not by our reports on such matters that we ask to be judged. Rather it is in something much more delicate. hidden europe is the moment when the slow train pauses at a tiny wayside station high on the Slovenian karst with the only sound the rasping call of a lone cicada. hidden europe is the shrapnel spray that pounds the beach of a Faroese island in winter. hidden europe is in the faces of people in the streets of Sarajavo, Srebrenica, and all the half remembered places from the news. It is the buzz of the small town square that has not yet been discovered by tourists. We invite you to stick with us for the next hundred issues of our e-news.

preview hidden europe 19

That was a look back. But, living by the words we weave, we are always looking ahead. The March 2008 issue of hidden europe might be our best yet. That is for you to judge. We visit the Maltese island of Gozo and conclude that Calypso's isle is at its very best in mid-winter. And we offer a double dose of the Bug - that is the name of the river that divides Poland from Ukraine. We explore small towns on either side of the river. Elsewhere in hidden europe 19, we evoke the spirit of London's most cherished ghost, visit a few memorials to death and disaster, and recall the summer days when the Queen of Romania read fairy tales to a spellbound audience of attentive children on the beach of a Frisian island.

You can see the table of contents for hidden europe 19 online on our website. There you will find the summaries of every article in this upcoming issue, and even the full text of selected essays - including that feature on Gozo (which you will find here). Please do take a look.

And if you have devoutly attended to all one hundred copies of our e-news, and are not yet a regular reader of our magazine, why not consider taking out a subscription or buying a single issue? hidden europe 19 is already available for purchase. Just go to our online shop.

This article was published in Letter from Europe.

About The Authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.