Yugohotel: Omorika, Tara

Built in 1978. based on the design of Miroslav Krstonošić, a Ljubljana-educated architect from Novi Sad, Omorika is named after an autochthonous spruce which grows on the slopes of Tara. Its tent-shaped design was awarded Borba prize for architecture, and its interior still looks very much in vein of other Yugohotels. Thanks to the fact that it still owned by the Serbian Military (although accessible … Continue reading Yugohotel: Omorika, Tara

Why so dense?

The current pandemic, as insane as it is, highlighted problems of dense, large cities, where sharing tight public spaces is the only way of survival. From public transport carriages to lifts in high rises, we cannot escape density and the risks it brings. On top of that, the race to density, in making housing and facilities ever tighter, and more cost-efficient for their owners has … Continue reading Why so dense?

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

DC, 4 July 2016

Last year when I decided to go to DC to see the July 4 fireworks and the parade, mostly in absence of other workable plans. I also wanted to use the opportunity to see American patriotism/nationalism at it purest form, and the event did not disappoint. In post WWII Europe and especially Serbia, we were taught about the dangers of nationalism and many are extremely … Continue reading DC, 4 July 2016

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

Ljubljana + Postojna: Castles and dragons

The magic of Slovenia can transform even a crappy solo trip into a pleasant experience In 2013, work led me to Ljubljana. I spent four very intense months there, during which I had little opportunity to explore the rest of the country, as I was working 24/7. Due to the frantic pace of work, the city, even though it only had around 300,000 souls and … Continue reading Ljubljana + Postojna: Castles and dragons

Trieste: Italy’s hidden gem

While I was growing up in Milošević’s rump Yugoslavia, Trieste was to me a mythical city of my parents’ stories. In them, Trieste figured not only as a thriving market for Western wares for Yugoslavs – jeans, toys and appliances – but was also as a stage where some of the funniest family stories, petty arguments and mishaps, played out and conjured those lost care-free days. … Continue reading Trieste: Italy’s hidden gem

April in Belgrade: Photos from pro-democracy protests

After a sort of Easter break, the protests for media freedom and democracy continue today. They started on 3 April, after PM Aleksandar Vučić won the Presidential election, and  gathered large crowds across Serbia demanding free media, democratic control, fair elections and social justice. In Belgrade, on Saturday 9 April there were a few tens of thousands marching from the main Serbian government building in … Continue reading April in Belgrade: Photos from pro-democracy protests

South America: The Other World

Last January I travelled to South America with my family. Although Argentina and Brazil were always high on the list of my countries to visit, there was never enough time (or money) to do them justice. I imagined them as simply more exotic versions of Southern Europe: Spain, Portugal and Italy with parrots and jungles. What I found blew my mind. A continent that developed … Continue reading South America: The Other World