Are you travelling to the Balkans? In this exclusive interview we get to talk with sports personality, Jim Sweeney, who has some very insightful Balkan travel tips that he is more than eager to share.
Jim and his wife have travelled to many countries. They love to travel and have visited more than 60 different countries over the years. The area of the world that Jim loves the most is the Balkans.
Over the last ten years, Jim has been to all 13 Balkan countries and has spent a total of 6 months in the Balkans.
Jim’s Balkan Travel Tips
The Balkans is a very diverse area with borders being disputed on a regular basis. Sometimes you cannot cross boarders from one country to another and have to take alternate, longer routers.
Jim’s favourite Balkan country is Croatia. He describes it as breathtakingly beautiful.
His favourite Croatian cities are Split (a port town in the centre of the country) and Zadar (a walled city with Roman influence on the Adriatic).
Split is rich in history, a vibrant, walk-able city that has the remains of Diocletian’s palace. Diocletian built his palace there because the loved the place so much and wanted to move the Roman capital from Rome to there.
It’s okay to rent a car in Croatia, Hungary and Greece but don’t rent a car in other countries. Use the public transportation instead. The reason being, those other countries are poorer and the police supplement their income through thorough traffic violations.
Balkan food varies. In the interior countries you have a lot of meat and peppers. On the sea countries they eat more seafood.
Their food is farm-to-table. Very fresh. The Shobska salad is unique to the region and is phenomenal.
The price of the food is cheap to ridiculously cheap, while at the same time extremely good.
While the meat and fish is barbecued, what makes it unique is the spices they use.
The largest wine cellar in the world is in Moldova.
The Balkan People
The Balkan people are very friendly, especially if you use just a few simple greeting words in the local language, such as “hello” and “thank you”.
Who is Jim Sweeney?
As creator of the Trademarked MIKE cartoon sports character, Jim Sweeney has crafted his digital innovation to become the first universal animated brand in sports.
Jim’s property has enjoyed an incredible start in digital media. In addition to penning 850+ blogs, Jim has published 38 MIKE Sports Comic Books.
The 58 year-old Sweeney still participates in sports (slowly!) as a masters athlete and serves as the Head of USA for FIMBA which runs masters basketball tournaments around the world.
Having travelled to more than 60 countries, Jim cites the Balkans as one of his favourite areas of the world to visit.
Sweeney is utilising his lifetime experiences in sports and business as a catalyst to bring the MIKE cartoon sports character to life and develop MIKE into a sports and cultural icon.