The dirt roads on the border between Syria and Lebanon wind across a mountain range dotted with little wild flowers.
It's windswept and deserted except for a few hilltop outposts with clumps of gray tents, machine-gun nests and flags that fly the green and gold colors of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.
These posts are new. In a three-week offensive, Hezbollah has worked with Syrian government forces and other allies to push rebel fighters out of a chunk of territory that the rebels held along this border for two years.
Martin Panovski used to like hanging out in the center of his hometown, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, a tiny Balkan nation that was, until 1991, part of Yugoslavia. Skopje's an old city, with complex, multi-ethnic layers of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history.
"Even the communist era produced some interesting contemporary architecture," says Panovski, an architect in hip eyeglasses.
The nationalist government of prime minister Nikola Gruevski did not agree. "The capital did not look European," says Nikola Zezov, a historian and Gruevski supporter. "It looked boring."
The much-publicized peace walk across the inter-Korean border was really a bus ride. South Korean immigration officials insisted that a group of 30 international women, including American feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Prize laureates, take a ride across the border for their own safety.
Still, Steinem said, just getting agreement to cross at all — from two nations still technically at war — counts as a win.
"It was an enormous, enormous triumph," Steinem said, after crossing into the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone.