Beyond ajvar, burek and ćevapi: building your kafana cred with must-try offal and regional dishes

While Serbia and the Balkans come nowhere near Italy in purism about food and food related customs (aka culinary fascism), there are certain things that are not done, and certain other signs that signal to you that you are in the presence of a true gastronomic veteran. For example, one of the main tells that you are a non-local in Serbia is ordering ajvar in … Continue reading Beyond ajvar, burek and ćevapi: building your kafana cred with must-try offal and regional dishes

Terra, Kikinda: How a local artist used home turf to create a world’s best terracotta art collection

As a twenty-something third year student at Belgrade’s art Academy in 1960s, Slobodan Kojić dreamt big. A Kikinda native, he envisaged creating an art colony which would make use of his native city’s clay pits – which powered the city’s brick and roof tile industry – so artists could create majestic, grandiose works of terracotta. The use or clay in the arts in what is … Continue reading Terra, Kikinda: How a local artist used home turf to create a world’s best terracotta art collection

Montenegrin roadtrip: Tito’s villas, best lamb roasts in Grahovo, castles and monasteries

Even with the current petrol prices, the best way to enjoy Monetnegro is by car. There is stunning scenery almost literally wherever you look, you can see many unexplored places, you don’t have to rely on public transport (although scenic rail is still notoriously unreliable) and/or get stuck in the usual tourist haunts all of which, after a few days, become a bit stale. Furthermore, … Continue reading Montenegrin roadtrip: Tito’s villas, best lamb roasts in Grahovo, castles and monasteries

Hope and Despair in Valencia

Walking through the brash and brilliant City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, the flashiest in Calatrava’s global herd of white elephants, I could not but feel giddy with its ambition. The June sun, reflected on the ceramic coating of its improbably shaped buildings dispelled all the doom and gloom of 2022 Europe, and brought me back to the late 90s when I religiously watched … Continue reading Hope and Despair in Valencia

Belgrade to Novi Sad on Soko express

Train travel used to be the stuff of nightmares in Serbia. While I was in highschool I remember packing up lots of food for a 90km train ride to Novi Sad, while any attempts to venture further – to Zagreb and Budapest (both about 400km away from Belgrade) – were day-long out trips in crappy trains that stopped in crappy stations. I n a lot … Continue reading Belgrade to Novi Sad on Soko express

High speed rail, tragic romances, socialist extravaganza and breathtaking views: Where to go in 2022?

In the past two years, Serbia was enjoying being rediscovered by its citizens thanks to COVID travel restrictions. As everybody “did” various spas, visits to the Uvac canyon, hikes on Stara mountain and dipped Bela Crkva lakes, one could wonder if there is anything else that remains to be visited? Thankfully, yes – and this year I decided to recommend places that were hiding in … Continue reading High speed rail, tragic romances, socialist extravaganza and breathtaking views: Where to go in 2022?

Expo 2020 Dubai: Hits and Misses

For a tourist, who is not a jet setting merchant or businessman, an Expo is a mix of Disneyland and the Olympics – both of which I love. Despite my enthusiasm for both, xpoO in Dubai was my first and, overall, it was a great experience – especially given the Emirati penchant for pomp. Although Dubai’s contribution to the world of invention and collective imagination … Continue reading Expo 2020 Dubai: Hits and Misses

Sticky post

Karafindl: The Nutshell Times Good Kafana Guide

Given that the culinary scene in Serbia not only expanded, but changed sufficiently to attract the interest of Michelin guides, a few friends and I lamented the receding prominence of good Serbian kafanas on the culinary landscape. Yes, this is probably overly nostalgic and curmudgeonly, however once one hits a certain age, has had the chance to taste enough varied dishes and has been overcharged … Continue reading Karafindl: The Nutshell Times Good Kafana Guide

Returning to the wild side: Ten years of exploring the Piva, Plužine and Foča

The mountainous wilderness around the river Piva always had a magical draw from my family. Ever since I was a boy I heard about my grandfather’s long fishing expeditions there from his native Nikčić and his strong opposition to the construction of a massive hydroelectric dam Martinje, which eventually did flood his old stomping grounds, albeit a few years after his untimely death. On top … Continue reading Returning to the wild side: Ten years of exploring the Piva, Plužine and Foča

Vrnjačka Banja: Remembrance of Things Past

Driving down to Vrnjačka Banja, on a hot July day without a working AC in my car, like we did in our Lada in 1990s, was my Madeleine moment. I was there only once before – with my maternal grandparents in May 1990 – when they decided to christen me on the sly to avoid my atheist father’s protestations, which made that trip have an … Continue reading Vrnjačka Banja: Remembrance of Things Past

From biosphere reserves to industrial boom towns: Where to go in Serbia in 2021

Although travel destination listicles are traditionally made at the start of the year, I do thing differently… and these times are different, as at the start of the year we had little idea of how much we could go around at all. So here it is, the ultimate list of places you have to see in Serbia this… or else… Kragujevac Modern Serbia’s second capital … Continue reading From biosphere reserves to industrial boom towns: Where to go in Serbia in 2021

Miločer and I

After Serbia came out victorious from the very bloody WWI in 1918, it came into possession of the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire, its vanquished foe, which comprised the wonderful collection of bays and coves on the Adriatic, south of the bay of Budva, which were ruled by the Paštrović clan, since the medieval times. A bit more than a decade later, the victorious … Continue reading Miločer and I

Brussels: Belgrade of the Benelux

For a long while I only considered Brussels as a transit city, a sort of a non-place that no one really stays in, and thus not exactly offering anything to a visitor. My first, very brief, visit was on a post-high school tour of Europe, as my friends and I were visiting storied cities that “we should not miss” – actual destinations like Florence, Rome, … Continue reading Brussels: Belgrade of the Benelux

Belgrade, Peasantville

As Kingdom of Serbia was late to industrialise, modern Belgrade was a city built in large part with the money of proud peasants and cattle (esp. pig) merchants, more than happy to celebrate their rural heritage and especially the ornate dresses of Serbian villagers – this was especially popular as Orientalist and Romantic art, as well as Art Nouveau started looking for something to break … Continue reading Belgrade, Peasantville

#96 Dragiša MIjačić o tome kako je Via Ferrata Berim transformisala Ibarski Kolašin

Dragiša Mijačić i InTER su uspeli da kroz Outdoor In od Ibarskog Kolašina naprave tursitičku destinaciju izgradnjom via ferrate Berim, jedne od najdužih i najuzbudljivijih u Evropi. Pričali smo o razvoju Severa Kosova, turizmu posle 2020e, kao i uzbudljivim avanturama koja vas čekaju kad se uputite put Zubinog potoka. Beleške Outdoor In i Dragiša na Twitteru i Facebooku Moj putopis sa Kosova Via Dinarica Interesuju … Continue reading #96 Dragiša MIjačić o tome kako je Via Ferrata Berim transformisala Ibarski Kolašin

Serbian South by South-West: Exploring Uvac and Prijepolje

I often passed through Nova Varoš and Prijepolje on my way to the Montenegrin coast as a kid. While it is from Užice (or some would say Ovčar Kablar gorge) that the landscapes in Serbia turns truly majestic, I never stayed much, rushing towards the coast around Budva or towards Nikšić, where my family hails from. This year, of course, there was no trip to … Continue reading Serbian South by South-West: Exploring Uvac and Prijepolje

Picturesque: Hiking through Zagajička Hills in Banat and taking a ferry to Ram

“Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs – Donna Tartt, Secret History As a person who is largely swayed by aesthetics, it is … Continue reading Picturesque: Hiking through Zagajička Hills in Banat and taking a ferry to Ram

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

The Green and Pleasant Land

On May 12, 2016 I left the UK to return to Serbia. I spent amazing time in the UK studying, working and getting to know this lovely country and its great people, taking the time to do thinks like hiking around the dramatic coast of Cornwall, roadtripping around the Cotswalds and checking out its elegant gothic village churches (and a pub or two). Anyhow, here … Continue reading The Green and Pleasant Land