The Nutshell Guide to Costa Rica and Panama

Costa Rica and Panama are both wonderful in very different ways.   Costa Rica’s lush nature, as well as Ticos’ relaxed attitude create an overall sense of contentment and good life (Pura vida!), for which the country is famous. Nature-lovers and adrenaline junkies will love the opportunity to see all sorts of animals, white-water-raft, zip line and hike. Despite Panama City being the most cosmopolitan … Continue reading The Nutshell Guide to Costa Rica and Panama

Sarma, Testicles and Kid-roasts: Rural Serbia’s Real Foodies

The global foodie trend made urbanites in Serbia more conscious about their consumption, and even inspired some of them to try their hand at making healthier, or at least, tastier food. In Belgrade, there are now numerous events devoted to producers of anything from Serbian truffles to Serbian tabasco. Although there are some misfires, Belgrade’s Cheese festival, Night Market and Wine Jam constantly deliver a … Continue reading Sarma, Testicles and Kid-roasts: Rural Serbia’s Real Foodies

The Nutshell Guide to Nicaragua: Leon to San Juan Del Sur

Nicargua is a fantastic country to visit, especially if you are looking to escape the winter in the Northern Hemisphere: it has wonderful colonial towns, great beaches and wonderful landscapes, from active volcanoes to Central America’s largest lake.   We did a short, 10-day version of the “Gringo trail” through Nicaragua, sticking to the Pacific coast from Leon to San Juan Del Sur.  As we … Continue reading The Nutshell Guide to Nicaragua: Leon to San Juan Del Sur

Bocas del Toro, Panama

After a day of intense rain in Bocas del Toro, normally a picture-perfect spot in the Caribbean, K and I bagged a reservation in a hostel that Lonely Planet insisted you should “beg, borrow or steal” to get.We moved from a small hostel dive-shop in the main city of the archipelago. Although the weather did not serve us well, Bocas town, a charming mix of … Continue reading Bocas del Toro, Panama

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Our move from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was a matter of much trepidation. Our phones were constantly warning us of the bad weather over the whole country, that we even considred changing our plans and going to Honduras or El Salvador, or even cutting our trip short.  Nevertheless we decided to press on, ignored the Weather Channel and as soon as we crossed the very … Continue reading Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Serbian New Year: the perfect time to start appreciating Turbofolk

The extended holiday season in Serbia finally ends with a bang and a hangover on Serbian New Year’s day, on January 14. Like our belated Christmas, it is a consequence of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s continued adherence to the old Julian calendar, which lags 13 days behind the predominantly used Gregorian calendar. Unlike Christmas, Serbian New Year’s eve is a very raucous affair and a … Continue reading Serbian New Year: the perfect time to start appreciating Turbofolk

Westsplaining the Balkans

Twenty years ago, while the embers of war in Bosnia and Croatia were still smouldering, Bulgarian historian Maria Todorova published “Imagining the Balkans”. In this seminal work, she detailed the ways in which the Balkans have been perceived and documented for centuries both home and aboard – most often as a somewhat brutal and uncivilised forecourt of Europe. Todorova called this discourse “Balkanism” as homage … Continue reading Westsplaining the Balkans

Serbia’s Magic Mountain

Rising majestically above the rolling hills of Eastern Serbia, Rtanj mountain has long captured the imagination because of the strange, pyramidal shape of its highest peak, Siljak (1560m). The mountain’s reputation for the otherworldly goes way back, as a local legend says the mountain was the site of a castle of a powerful (and bling-loving) wizard who decked it out with gold and diamonds, before … Continue reading Serbia’s Magic Mountain