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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

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

Warrior Posing

Ever since the debates about current or imminent “fascism” and “antifascism” (or Antifascism™)  became popular again, I came to think about my grandad, who as a committed communist before WWII and then a partisan during it would probably have more to say than those engaging in these debates now. He was a bit of an oddity as a bourgeois lawyer/communist in Nikšić, a town in … Continue reading Warrior Posing

Where to go in Serbia in 2020?

Spring is almost here, and given the global Corona virus health scare it will probably make sense to keep travels local in the next few months. Following the tradition of my recommendations from 2019 here are a few suggestion on what to check out in Serbia in 2020. Niš appeal Serbia’s third largest city, with the second largest airport in the country, is unjustly overlooked … Continue reading Where to go in Serbia in 2020?

Best “Made in Serbia” Gifts

“Made in Serbia” should be a much bigger thing than it is currently. The country is full of artisans and entrepreneurs, old and new, making fantastic things, but we do not give them enough credit. Indeed, due to the deprivation and harsh sanctions during 1990s  even many locals tend to look down on local produce and prefer foreign wares – but  Serbian producers are making … Continue reading Best “Made in Serbia” Gifts

Horrific Things to Do in Serbia

If you thought bad trains, crumbling roads, tacky hotels and dodgy kafans are the worst you can expect when visiting Serbia, prepare to be frightened. Serbia offers many super-natural ways to die, be abducted by paranormal forces or just suffer at the hand of the locals. It isn’t all that bad: these scary, orientalising stories inspired Marina Abamović’s interesting Balkan Erotic Epic and a group … Continue reading Horrific Things to Do in Serbia

Autumnal Road Trip Down the Drina

One of my favourite family trips was going rafting on the Tara river in the summer of 2011. Back then, I had little knowledge of how beautiful the nature is in the Balkans, and was sad that I will not get the chance to explore it at leisure as I was set to move half-way around the world (that, thankfully, did not happen, but I … Continue reading Autumnal Road Trip Down the Drina

Rediscovering the Magic of the Gusle

The first time I heard live gusle singing, a UNESCO-protected Serbian national ritual, was not fortuitous. I was fifteen, and my stern Serbian teacher took our High School class to a local library to hear poems and stories written by fellow high-schoolers. The boredom of this dreary event was somewhat lifted when one guy decided to perform his longish poem, written in traditional decasyllabic verses, … Continue reading Rediscovering the Magic of the Gusle

Going “Down South”

Apart from expressions of admiration for the beauty we were almost constantly seeing, the most common conversation topic within my group touring Serbian heritage sites in Kosovo and Metohija was hushed and almost embarrassed question: „Why did you decide to come here?“.  It was closely followed by an admission, that seemed to unite all of us : “My friends and family thought  that I was … Continue reading Going “Down South”

Morava Style: Medieval Serbia’s Majestic Swan Song

When I first laid my eyes on Ravanica’s Church of Ascension last spring, it became apparent why medieval Serbia’s first and last autochthonous architectural style inspired so many artists through the centuries, from the graceful architecture of Branko Tanazević to the subtle poetry Vasko Popa. That cold April morning, I could not peel my eyes from the intricate rosettes and writhing mythical animals, which enlivened … Continue reading Morava Style: Medieval Serbia’s Majestic Swan Song

The Many Charms of Yugohotels

Hotels and resorts of Socialist Yugoslavia got a lot of press in the past few years (two examples here), especially as every summer more and more foreign tourists are heading to its coasts and cities over the summer. This recent fascination with ‘Yugohotels’ is more than just due to the trendiness of the Eastern Adriatic coast in the past few years, or the hipsterish love … Continue reading The Many Charms of Yugohotels

Northern Macedonia: (Quint)essential Balkan Country

Stunning scenery, beautiful historic sites and friendly faces are what you can find almost anywhere in Northern Macedonia. During both of my recent trips to the country, I was in equal measures surprised by the how wonderful many of its sites are – from the ruins of Marko’s Fortress in the dramatic hills over Prilep to the bustling Bitpazar market in Skopje – and shocked … Continue reading Northern Macedonia: (Quint)essential Balkan Country