Copenhagen: Cool Climate

Unlike, Berlin or Barcelona, Copenhagen takes its cool in the stride. Whether it is cutting edge architecture, or the wonderful belle epoque Tivoli, nothing is too showy and all of it simply blends with the rest of this stunningly pretty city. If you can, definitely try to be there for Christmas markets to see it all lit up and enjoy the copious glogg and pastries. … Continue reading Copenhagen: Cool Climate

Hidden Belgrade (13): Knez Mihailova’s unlucky merchants

Ever since the Roman times, the road that is now  Knez Mihailova street used to be the main commercial area of Belgrade. Starting from the old castrum (whose walls are buried below the new Rajićeva shopping mall and the Belgrade Public Library), the street, which was paved with stone and had sewerage, went past all the key Roman institutions , such as the forum located … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (13): Knez Mihailova’s unlucky merchants

Hidden Belgrade (12): Konjarnik: Buddhism, Brutalism and rap

As you approach Belgrade by highway from the East, you will pass a hill from which you will be able to see the whole city in front of you, but the view will be dominated by three massive stepped concrete buildings. Officially called Rudo, after a city in Bosnia, the complex is known as the Eastern Gate, in parrallel with another brutalist masterpiece that is … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (12): Konjarnik: Buddhism, Brutalism and rap

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

Day 3-4: The Balkans, Veliko Tarnovo and Zheravna

From Sofia we drove north-east towards the old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo and its impressive UNESCO-protected citadel Tsarevets. We were going deeper into the Stara Planina (Old Mountain) and the scenery was lovely. It was this mountain range’s Turkish name, Balkan, meaning “a wooded mountain”, that gave our peculiar region its name. In the early 19th century a German geographer Zeune, wanted to find … Continue reading Day 3-4: The Balkans, Veliko Tarnovo and Zheravna

The Nutshell Guide to the Montenegrin coast (2): Budva, Lake Skadar, Podgorica and Cetinje

This is the second part of my guide to the Montenegrin coast aimed at visitors planning to spend a weekend or a week in Montenegro. The first part suggested places to visit in the Bay of Kotor.  Budva Both metaphorically and physically, Budva is at the heart of the Montenegrin riviera and concentrates all of its best and worst features in its wonderful bay. On … Continue reading The Nutshell Guide to the Montenegrin coast (2): Budva, Lake Skadar, Podgorica and Cetinje

The Nutshell Guide to the Montenegrin coast (1): The Bay of Kotor

Despite its great natural beauty and diversity, until relatively recently Montenegro was under the radar of tourists outside the Balkans, Italy and Russia. Tourism in Montenegro started in the times of Yugoslavia, from the opening of the luxury peninsular fishing village/ resort of Sveti Stefan in 1955, which has since hosted glitterati like Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Bobbi Fisher, to the nudist camp at … Continue reading The Nutshell Guide to the Montenegrin coast (1): The Bay of Kotor

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

Hidden Belgrade (9): The forgotten golden age of Belgrade

In 16th century Belgrade was considered the only city that lay between Ottomans and Western Europe. Located at the very edge of the Hungarian kingdom, the city’s fortress protected the Pannonian plains from the Turkish assault and was often attacked by the Ottoman armies from the nearby Turkish-held fortifications that were as close to the city as Avala, where the Ottomans held the town of … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (9): The forgotten golden age of Belgrade

Best day trips from Belgrade

When I moved back to Serbia I decided to make the best use of my free time and actually get to know the country. Thankfully, as I have a few friends with some spare time we teamed up in an for day-trips and managed to see some great scenery, learn some history, eat great food and just have fun. We focused on places that are … Continue reading Best day trips from Belgrade

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