We spent last summer in Eastern Europe, riding bicycles through countryside villages, picnicking on beaches and hiking through landscapes that looked as though they belonged on a computer desktop. We learned about these countries' painful recent histories and witnessed families coming together at sundown during Ramadan to break their day's fast. But to be completely honest, we wound up in Eastern Europe almost completely by accident. We bought a cheap flight to Istanbul and decided we'd figure out the rest when we got there. We began to think that if the rest of Eastern Europe was like this, it wasn't such a good idea to skip over it.