Zagreb: a Belgrader’s take

Despite being named as the best destination in Europe by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet in 2017, Zagreb was the target of a scathing and, at points, hilarious review in the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel last July. The review not only claimed that Zagreb is the most boring capital in Europe, but also said that its highway to Croatia’s famed Adriatic coast was the best thing … Continue reading Zagreb: a Belgrader’s take

Finding Count Vronsky in Serbia

In 1878 Leo Tolstoy somewhat abruptly ended the story of desperate and broken Count Vronsky in Anna Karenina by sending him to Serbia to fight in the Serbo-Turkish War of 1876-1878, where he sought adventure, or even death, as penance for his famously ill-fated affair. A century and a bit later, this slightly inelegant end to the story of one of the protagonists of this … Continue reading Finding Count Vronsky in Serbia

Why are Serbians not outdoorsy?

As we were climbing around the ruins of Machu Picchu, feathery clouds clung to peaks covered with thick emerald forest. Rain, which pounded from the morning, stopped and allowed sunlight to shyly caress the sheer black cliffs above the foaming river. Around us, hundreds of tourists were jostling with selfie sticks to capture these magical scenes. My chain-smoking Belgrade-born-and-bred mother slowly moved uphill, panting. Once … Continue reading Why are Serbians not outdoorsy?

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