Tombstone tourism, from Arlington to Zagreb

Cemeteries, along with large parks and markets, always top my list of sights to see in any city I visit. Unlike shops and cafes, which are increasingly the same all over the world, cemeteries remain shielded from changes and give us a glimpse into the private workings of the city. Even in the busiest places, they are quiet and dignified, rarely overrun by tourists. They … Continue reading Tombstone tourism, from Arlington to Zagreb

Bosnia’s dramatic north: Jajce, the Vrbas River Canyon and Banja Luka

For most people, tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina is synonymous with visiting Sarajevo and Mostar, and perhaps Trebinje, Medjugorje and the Sutjeska national park. This, however is unfair to the rest of this stunning country, which does not only offer a lot of wonderful unspoilt nature throughout, but also ancient fortresses, churches and mosques, which have persevered through its turbulent past. Last week I went on a … Continue reading Bosnia’s dramatic north: Jajce, the Vrbas River Canyon and Banja Luka

The Zen of Taking Pictures

Ever since I can remember, I loved taking pictures. I remember I spent three rolls of film on a five-day trip to Hong Kong when I was 9, taking pictures of buildings, probably to my parents’ annoyance at the money spent. When I was 14, I bossed my dad around to take photos around Lebanon in blistering heat, a behaviour that was instantly ridiculed by … Continue reading The Zen of Taking Pictures

Bač: fortress in the plains

Bač’s medieval heritage juts out awkwardly from the tree lined streets of this quiet town. The remaining fortress tower overlooks one story homes where elderly ladies snooping on visitors, probably with the same passion of medieval guards.  A wonderful gothic gate protects an unremarkable concrete bridge over Mostonga. Honey-coloured tower of the monastery, dating from the crusades, pierces the endless Pannonian sky. This quiet town … Continue reading Bač: fortress in the plains

Lake Skadar: eerie land of macabre fairies, ruins and skeletal hills

Lake Skadar is as dramatic as landscapes get in Europe. Whichever side you apprach it from in Montenegro your first sight of it will be an explosion of a green watery expanse, dotted with white cones of karst covered in thick Mediterranean bush. As you train your eye on its beauty, you will notice birds soaring above its waters and maybe a ruin of a … Continue reading Lake Skadar: eerie land of macabre fairies, ruins and skeletal hills

Hidden Belgrade (3): Pre-hipster artisan shops

I have always claimed that Serbs (and Balkan folk in general) have been the original hipsters. Long before “Kinfolk” and “Monocle”, my grandmother, who was born and lived her whole life in Belgrade, roasted and ground her own coffee, ate only organic food from the farmers’ market and shopped at the local artisan stores, from seamstresses to small pastry-makers. Old artisan shops, the remnants of this … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (3): Pre-hipster artisan shops