The Balkan countries have not had an excellent placement in the ranking of the happiest nations published by the UN a few days ago: especially Bosnia and Albania, the two most unhappy according to the United Nations Organization.
Despite this, however, the prestigious British newspaper The Independent has dedicated a article for these Balkan nations, advising them to 'ignore the UN rankings because these countries are among the best in Europe'.
"When I asked myself my two favorite countries in the world, I opted for Bosnia and Albania. And I'm not a beginner tourist. " - writes journalist Sophie Bucan.
"Sarajevo is one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth. It is a city of sparkling hills and impressive Austro-Hungarian architecture. The locals want to tell you their stories and listen to yours. "
Then we move on to the description and praise of Albania, to the 112esimo of the UN happiness index:
"Albania may also have a lower score in the happiness index than in Palestine, but it is not perceived on the ground. Some of my most beautiful travel memories come from this mysterious country, isolated almost entirely from the world during the communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha.
I remember staying for a week in a fortress (the castle of Kruje ) eating homemade food every night inside walls built during the 5th century.
Further north, in the mountains of Theth (one of the best unknown hiking destinations in Europe) I drank rakia with a local family, who also introduced me to the neighbor's bear. "
In the Balkans, the journalist concludes, there is something different and magical that is not in other countries:
"There is something in the Balkans that moves me in a way that the Tuscan hills or the famous landscapes of the South of France would never do. The journey by train from Bar, on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, to Belgrade is one of the most beautiful journeys I have ever done: I found myself sitting in an old-fashioned carriage, feeling like a character in a Cold War movie. "