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The City of London Corporation supports humanitarian aid in Ukraine

Travel writer Jan Parsons takes us on a journey across eastern and northern Europe starting in Romania known for its scenic beauty and mountainous terrain. Lying in the foothills of the Carpathians picturesque villages dominate the landscape with their unique fortified churches, many of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Near to the border with Ukraine we visit the wooden churches of Maramures, having first explored the site which draws thousands of people to Transylvania, Bran Castle. Perched high on a 200 foot rock it has long been surrounded by an aura of mystery thanks to the legend of Dracula.

Our travels then take us west into East Slovakia where we trace the route of the Dunajec River to Krakow, then north to the Baltic Sea visiting Riga and finally arriving in Estonia and its islands.

Travelling to the Baltic States inevitably confronts one with the darker side of tourism and the Soviet and Nazi occupations of these countries which led to the often tragic journeys of the Jewish people from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the mass exodus of the population to avoid the advance of the Red Army.

We end by exploring the most attractive and successful of the Baltic States, especially its beautiful walled capital city of Tallinn, the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe.