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PrelevicM

stuka
Diving

The Most Unspectacular Favourite Place To Dive

Everyone has their favourite place to dive. Not THE favourite one, but just a normal favourite place, the one that you visit often, the one that you feel like at home.

This place, that I’m talking about, why is it my favorite dive site?
It’s rather close to my home town of Novi Sad. In the morning I can just pack the stuff on my motorbike, go there, set up the camera, make two dives, try to make awesome photos during those dives, chill and head home and arrive at night. The road to the lake is nice (omg a clue, it’s a lake!) and there are multiple roads to choose from if you I’m bored from one. There are a few rather beautiful lakes in the area, a friend of mine is an amazing host, he always brings shisha, and yeah, the most important thing, the ecosystem in those lakes is really healthy and full of life.

pike in the sunlight

There is abundance of pikes in the lake

You must be thinking: that’s it? Are there any massive pikes or catfish that could bite your leg off? Nope, not really… It’s just that when everything is combined it brings you a nice experience. I don’t need to rush anything. I can just enjoy the dives and have fun.

Facts about the dive site

The lake I’m writing about is located in Serbia in Bela Crkva – literal translation is: White Church. Who says I don’t go to church? Almost every Sunday.

Sunfish is always interested in what you are doing and comes close. Perfect time to try out some new photo techniques.

There are 5 active lakes and a few smaller ones. They were created by digging up the gravel. The water is always clear emerald colour, but during the tourist season the main lake gets murky and that’s when we experiment with other lakes in the region.

Although there are poachers in the area, lakes still have a healthy ecosystem. There is abundance of sunfish of course, dace and every dive you can see pikes, catfish, carps, small freshwater medusa (which I didn’t even know exists), snakes, and freshwater craw-fish.

Seizing the dive

When I finish my two and a half hour trip to Bela Crkva, I meet my friend Jovan who always comes in his small, company car, Yugo (he’s a vet). It is packed with tanks, diving equipment and of course, in the back, in Yugo’s window you can see a backpack and hookah sticking out of it. I don’t think he ever leaves his home without it.

lake weed

Lake weed skyscrapers

The conversation before the first dive is like a Ground Hog day. We set up the equipment and Jovan tells me how he arrived home at 5 o’clock in the morning. While I talk to him I can’t help but notice a ‘fresh scar’ on his hand and the story behind the scar is always 1 hour before he arrived home at 5 o’clock in the morning.

Lake weed at some points goes from the ground all the way to the surface, creating something which I can describe as Chinese version of kelp forest

After the equipment is ready, we hit the water. Depth in those lakes is usually around 5-6 meters, some lakes go down to around 17 meters but the visibility is really poor and the temperature is really low. So we stick to those shallow 5 meters searching for pikes that are looking for lunch and the lunch, usually not aware, soon becomes one. The ambience at this lake is amazing, there is a lot of weed on the surface which creates a fairytale sunbeams with sunfish swimming all around and sunlight bouncing off their colourful scales.

snake in the lake

The snake was not happy that I was present but I managed to snap a few shots before it swam away

Lake weed at some points goes from the ground all the way to the surface, creating something which I could describe as Chinese version of kelp forest, but don’t be fooled, the view and the ambience are still mesmerizing!

I started to think about my power of observation and wonder if I really suck at it, or the pikes are super professional when it comes to blending with their environment

At least it’s awesome until I try to go closer, thinking I’ve seen a pike and the next thing I know, I’m all covered in lake weed, my strobes are tangled and the fish is looking at me like I’m a mad man. The thruth is, in their brains they are probably thinking “this is

I walk it off (or should I say “dive it off”) like nothing happened and the next thing I notice is that something ran away. A quick scan and I realize it’s a pike. I’m floating there, searching hard for a pike and the next thing I know, I am going over its head without even noticing it. I started to think about my power of observation and wonder if I really suck at it, or the pikes are super professional when it comes to blending with their environment. Luckily, it doesn’t run far away, so it lets me take a few shots before it gets bored and swims away.

This dude was my favorite. Such small eyes and a mouth that could eat my arm.

Well, my pressure gauge shows almost 100 bars and it’s time to head back and smoke some shisha. It’s always the same, Jovan is already out, preparing the hookah and while I take off the equipment, the shisha is ready. What else could I ask for? I’m on a lake enjoying shisha, sun rays bouncing off the surface of the water which makes it look like a mirror. That’s until some old dude decides to swim from other side of the lake to where we are, disturbing the peace and equilibrium.

Now comes the time to do what all divers hate – put on the wet wetsuit

After short information exchange on what we could have done but didn’t, we slowly start to prepare for the next dive. The camera is set up so the boring part is out of the way but now comes the time to do what all divers hate, put on the wet wetsuit. If you don’t hate that part, you probably made a pact with the devil or something.

As soon as my ears get under the surface of the water there is no sound, except for the the bubbles, the eyes see a different world and body feels weightless unlike above the water where the scale goes 0 to 100 kg in less than a second. This time I decided to use my remaining air to just head one way and return swimming. The good thing is, I saw few pikes and a snake and the bad thing is I had to swim for almost 15 minutes to get back to the starting point. It was a good cardio. The dive itself was nice, lots of fish, pikes, a snake and some kind of fog that looked as it came from a horror movie and if you go near it, you would become some kind of a zombie fish, but luckily that didn’t happen.

The bad thing is I had to swim for almost 15 minutes to get back to the starting point

As I went back, we smoked another shisha, which would feel much nicer if there wasn’t an old guy who was trying to explain to me how he can see a snake from far away without that big camera that I have, whatever that meant.

pike

This photo won the first place in International Underwater Competition in Bela Crkva

Well, that’s it for diving and it’s time to pack and head home. The boring awaits once more, taking the camera housing apart, fitting it onto the motorbike. I say goodbye to my host Jovan and head home.

I went to Bela Crkva many times and and every single time (with only one exception) I got lots of rain while going back. Last time I went through a really crazy windy storm! And I went there like 7-8 times this year and it was always raining! This time it was no different.

Mesmerizing view from above the lake

Mesmerizing view from above the lake

Conclusions

I arrived home safe and wet and at that moment I realized I needed to wash the equipment. But hey, that equipment keeps me safe.

While I was lying in bed, happy-tired (it’s a condition) I thought it was a good day.

And that’s why, ladies and gentlemen, Bela Crkva lakes are my favourite place to dive. No pressure, no time limit, just pure enjoyment.

Hey, I’m sure you have a favorite divespot yourself, let me know which place it is in the comments!

sunnmore top
Adventure ramble

5 places to live your next adventure in Norway

When talking about Norway, most people think of Oslo, the great beer houses, the fjords, and the majestic mountains. Ah – let’s not forget the extreme cold! What they don’t know is that it is a country full of different and unique places to visit, from the south to the north. In Norway, you’ll find a true natural paradise; the high, rugged mountains create a beautiful juxtaposition with the turquoise colored flat sea will make you feel alive again and at one with nature! And let’s not forget that Norway is a true paradise of all kind of activities!

The high, rugged mountains create a beautiful juxtaposition with the turquoise colored flat sea will make you feel alive again and at one with nature

 

Sunnmore Alps

If you’re a big fan of powdery snow, then this is the place for you. Of course, you can find snow pretty much anywhere in Norway, however, this is one of the few places you can go skiing while exposed the magnificent views of the fantastic fjords. The Sunnmore region is full of mountains with peaks that reach 1.700 m. Are you a hiking lover, or maybe you’re passionate about skiing, well then Sunnmore is the right place for you. Here you can go freeriding in one of the world’s most awe-inspiring places!

Sunnmore Alps

Recent years have seen night ski touring  gain massive popularity, rest assured that this is a real adrenaline pumping activity! Most people think that it’s more difficult than skiing during the day, but that’s just a big myth. Thanks to the strong light of your headlamp, your route will be lit brighter than during the day. If luck is on your side, you may even see the spectacular Northern Lights – this is by far one of the most popular reasons to why night ski touring has become one of the most coveted activities in Norway!

Sunnmore Night Skiing

Sunnmore Night Skiing

Saltstraumen

Water sports lovers can explore the Strait of Saltstraumen! The sumptuous landscape will leave you breathless and the sea currents are one of the strongest in the world! The whirlpools of the water can attain up to 10 meters, creating a fascinating natural phenomenon. When the current turns, the level of water lowers, making the strait navigable, where else could be more ideal for adventure lovers to swim and snorkel around. Would you dare snorkeling in this currents?

Actually, it’s not very dangerous. All snorkeling outings are conducted under the watchful eye of an expert instructor who makes it his top priority to take care of you. The number of fish to observe is immense! Schools of cods rose fish and the famous coal fish cross the current in great numbers, giving you the chance to observe them closely while snorkeling!

Saltstraumen Diving

Saltstraumen Diving

Svalbard

A real natural fairytale awaits you in Svalbard and Lonyearbyen. It’s one of the world’s few untouched places where nature still prevails. Here you’ll find exquisite backdrops that provoke your admiration instinctively. The endless glaciers embrace the dark blue waters of the ocean in a peaceful environment. The wild and remote Svalbard is covered in darkness during winter months, allowing you to experience something very special … the Aurora Borealis of the High Arctic! Watch stunned as the sky turns into a colourful palette as you’re enveloped into silence… This is the precise moment when you realize that Svalbard is one of Mother Nature’s finest masterpieces.

Svalbard

Svalbard

Adventure seekers will love the mushing excursion in Svalbard, it’s a great compromise for nature and animal fans. Ride a sled and let the guides take you on a Northern Lights outing over the dramatic glaciers. Under the brilliantly lit night sky, you’ll see the glowing white tops of mountains. End your polar excursion with some hot wine in relaxed arctic scenery. An outing not enough? Go for the 8-day mushing expedition in the wildlife of Svalbard! Thrilling, isn’t it?

Dog Sledding in Svalbard

Dog Sledding in Svalbard

Tromso

In the north of Norway, you’ll find a modern city that embraces nature in an exceptional way. Tromso is one of the most popular places to observe the Northern Lights. From September to March, thousands of people come to enjoy this exciting phenomenon. What’s even better is that you can start a mushing excursion in the frozen forests around Tromso and finish your day with a traditional meal with fresh fish from the Arctic. Other activities like hiking, dog sledding, kayaking, are also available to book in Tromso via Adrenaline-Hunter.com.

Tromso Restaurant

Tromso Restaurant

Unstad

Have you ever thought of surfing near the Arctic circle? Sounds crazy, right? Unstad Bay is the most northern spot on Earth where you can go surfing… and probably the coldest as well. However, kitted up in a good drysuit, you’ll be able to ride some of the best waves of the Arctic. It’s guaranteed to be a surfing experience like no other! Check also this article to see what it feels like!  Why not camp out in the bay during summer. This is an absolute must do for board sports fans looking for a new escapade!

Unstad

Unstad

You can find all the thrilling activities in Norway and book them through Adrenaline-Hunter.com! Adrenaline Hunter is the first online booking platform for extreme sports all around the world! Simply book and live your next adventure!

Unstad Surfing

Unstad Surfing

Meteoras
Adventure, Greece, Helmet Views

Helmet View of The Mediterranean – Middle Of The Sky

So, it’s time to leave Macedonia and how the hell did I get to Macedonia and what is this post about? Well, I’m on a motorbike trip around the Mediterranean, I have packed so much stuff on my steel horse, Yamah XT660R, that if it was alive I would be arrested for animal cruelty. That is just a glimpse of what is going on – check out the previous post to read about the beginning of this 8000 kilometer journey.

 

Albania – is there really nothing interesting to see?

After very nice time in Macedonia it’s time to continue my trip. As I was leaving the country which has bright yellow sun on the flag, lady border officer asked why am I going to Albania, since there is nothing to see. I told her that I heard otherwise and that the roads for motorbikes are awesome. She stared at me with one eyebrow up and wished me safe trip. A few moments later I was entering Albania. As I was passing my passport to the officer, I already had two officers checking out the bike asking me how’s it handling and how did I manage to put so much stuff on it and why do I need so much of it for the summer? They just continued laughing and joking in Albanian so I could not understand them but I was smiling too, trying to make them think that I know their language – I’ve probably failed. When I told them that I’m just passing through Albania they said that on the contrary belief it is a beautiful country and next time I should plan at least few days there. They were right.

Luckily, there was no problem with Albanian police

Luckily, there was no problem with Albanian police

Albania has some really nice roads, Ohrid lake is beautiful, but not as beautiful as it is on the Macedonian side – I noticed most of Albanians go over the border to enjoy the water. As I was driving away from the lake, my GPS wanted to show me something different. First it took me through one way street and luckily police didn’t stop me, they just continued their way. Then it took me through this very poor village that didn’t have normal roads and there were horse carriages, which was cool. Kids were waving, but the elders were like “what the hell are you doing here”? To be honest, I was eager to get out of that village. From that time on I named my GPS ‘Ghetto Positioning System’ since that was not the last time it decided to show me the other side of the country.

Interesting fact about Albania: it has its own “Marijuana Mecca” and it’s the small village name Lazarat. This village makes Albania largest exporter of cannabis in Europe. Gangs in Lazarat are believed to produce about 900 metric tons a year!

From that time on I named my GPS ‘Ghetto Positioning System’

Before I tell you what I think of my short trip through Albania, I would like to tell you a funny anecdote from Montenegro. This lady was asking me about Albania and how was it and as I was explaining, I told her that there is lot’s of animals (like cows and sheep) on the road. And she did not look a bit surprised, she just continued  “…yeah, they are one century behind Europe, they don’t know how to act…” and she left me wondering should I tell her what I meant by animals.

My short drive through Albania came to an end and my experience is totally positive. Roads are amazing, scenery is beautiful and people seem cool although I did not meet many of them.

Did you ever go to Albania, let me know how it was!

Yamaha XT600R and Meteora

My overpacked Yamaha and Meteora monastery in the background

Going to a place that only exists in fantasy books

While I was waiting on the border to enter the country of gods, beautiful architecture and emerald seas, the customs officer stormed out and asked me to take my GoPro off the helmet – I guess he didn’t feel photogenic.

Another border, another place to visit – Meteora!  I would like to say that highway I took from Albania to Meteora was boring as hell! It’s like, nothing, nothing, nothing, village and after that – more nothingness! Getting off the highway to some hills was amazing experience! Yeah, it was amazing! Why? After all those hours on the highway, you finally start to appreciate the hills, woods, shade and cool scenery.

The monastery of Great Meteoron

The monastery of Great Meteoron

I visited Meteora when I was young and I could remember just a glimpse of it.  Meteora is a valley dominated by massive pillars on top of which monasteries are built. There is no exact date as when they were built, but it is believed that 20 monasteries were built at the beginning of 14th century, six still stand.

Monastery of Varlaam

Monastery of Varlaam

As I was coming close to Meteora valley,  started to think “Is this real?” Seeing those enormous pillars rising up to 500 meters into the air, you cannot help but think that you are in some fantasy book, just waiting for a dragon to fly out of there, spitting fire while some monk rides it. The cloud formation that selectively lets through the sun rays just adds to that feeling, especially in the evening when the monasteries are bathed in the fire orange.  It’s not strange that literal translation of Meteora is the “middle of the sky“.

Beautiful View and Amazing Architecture

Beautiful View and Amazing Architecture

As I was a bit late and some of the monasteries were closed, I decided to go to the biggest one, called The Monastery of Great Meteoron. Long time ago going up to the monasteries was deliberately difficult, so it would fend off all unwanted visitors – the only way up was with ladders which monks pulled up whenever they felt threatened.

The only way up was with ladders which monks pulled up whenever they felt threatened

Not to mention it was quite ‘leap of faith‘ going up those ladders. Now there is a paved road, stairs were cut into the rock and for the Monastery of Great Meteoron there is a bridge to reach it.

View on the monastery from a terrace

View on the monastery from a terrace

Entering the monastery you can feel the tranquility of the place, for the most part it is used as a museum, showing the traditional way of life monks had – old kitchen which is still black from the smoke, winery, well preserved frescoes of life of the Christ and you can also see the skulls of monks that used to live there. To get the glimpse of the Meteora valley from above, you would have to go out to the terrace where, besides valley, you will see other monasteries, but what singles out this one from the rest is the fact that it’s the highest, biggest and the oldest monastery of the six.

You can also see the skulls of monks that used to live there

It’s good to know that Meteora is second most important site in Greece just after Acropolis! It is one of the few sites in the UNESCO World Heritage that falls under two categories – culture and nature!

Amazing view at Meteora Valley

Amazing view at Meteora Valley

Chasing the ferry for Corfu!

Lazy summer sun begins to fall behind the hills and it’s time to hit the road before night grasps it and the only light will be from my trusty motorbike. It’s another 200 kilometer ride on the highway to Igoumenitsa where I need to catch a ferry boat to Corfu – really special island for Serbs as it was used as a hospital after the epic retreat during World War I after the Austro-German-Bulgarian invasion.

Going into sunset... on a ferry...

Going into sunset… on a ferry…

As I arrived to Igoumenitsa I bought tickets for a ferry and rested. On the boat I met a girl who I asked about the Corfu, what sites would she recommend and what might be a good place to stay. She recommended Ipsos, which was a party place for Italians and that kind of place I was trying to avoid. Although she recommended a place that wasn’t really to my liking, she actually sent me to the place where I will meet some amazing people.

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Adventure, Helmet Views, Motorbike

Helmet View of The Mediterranean – City Of Light (Part One)

The story about this awesome trip starts almost a decade before I packed the bags and put them on my motorbike.


Mom, dad… I wanna buy a motorcycle

When I was young there was this passion about motorbikes that woke up in me. If I recall correctly, it happened after watching Long Way Round. The documentary follows Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on a motorcycle trip around the world. After that I really wanted a motorbike and go for an adventure, but since I was young and could not afford it myself, I asked my parents… And of course, the answer was “No”. After some time and failed attempts to earn money for a driving licence, I forgot the idea.

Beautiful sunset with my old motorcycle

Beautiful sunset with my old motorcycle

Rediscovering my passion in South-East Asia

When I started earning some money I went on a trip through Southeast Asia and while staying in Bali I rented a 125cc  scooter which was more than enough for me. I visited almost all of Bali on that little piece of machinery.

I visited almost all of Bali on that little piece of machinery.

Eight months later I came back home telling my parents how cool it had been and what I had visited. A few days later my late father said: “You will buy a motorbike, won’t  you”? He had a really bad dementia at the time and I have no idea how he remembered it. He sounded like he just continued the talk from 10 years before, like there was no time in between. He planted the seed back into my head which has been growing ever since. Well, my answer was “Yes”.. But did I have money for one? Almost…

My first bike

First I went for a licence training and in the process I got myself a Kawasaki KLR 650 in a really bad condition. After a full motorbike overhaul it was ready to hit the road. My travels consisted of travelling around Serbia. Few times my KLR failed me leaving me 300km from my hometown and once in a pouring rain with no shelter to seek.

Few times my KLR failed me leaving me 300km from my hometown

So for this big trip I decided that I would need something more reliable, something that wasn’t already worn out. After a few weeks of checking used bikes, I found Yamaha XT660R 2007. It had everything I needed – side bags, a helmet case, crash bars and it was in really good condition. And there it was, my new steel horse to ride on.

I had great time with my KLR 650 but it wasn't reliable so it was time for a change.

I had a great time with my KLR 650 but it wasn’t reliable so it was time for a change.

Getting ready for my adventure

I didn’t tell many people about my plans because when you talk about it people usually have negative comments about it and the usual ones are – ‘it’s dangerous’, ‘aren’t you afraid’, ‘you will get robbed’, ‘people will hurt you’, and so on. And it was all the opposite – it was safe, I was not afraid, I was not robbed and people helped me (not in every country, but  more about that later).

After acquiring all the stuff I needed I was ready to hit the road. Was I excited, scared, worried when I was leaving my hometown? The truth is- no… I was too busy thinking if I had forgotten something… and you guessed, I did… Since I’m a passionate photographer I wanted to get some cool landscape photos and for that you need s tripod and it was 1000 kilometers behind me… It could have been worse, I will survive.

First stop – city of light

Highway next to Skopje

Highway next to Skopje

I was travelling along the well known roads through Serbia to a border with Macedonia. After passing the border, that’s when reality hit me. I was excited, my eyes were just glancing everywhere and that was it. The road trip officially started after the border crossing.


I was passing Skopje, it has really beautiful mountains surrounding it but with all of the temptations I had to stick to the plan. The plans was to arrive to Ohrid during the day. My plan failed…

Arriving at night, my idea to camp somewhere failed, so I searched for a room. That was a big challenge since it was a peak season.

Beautiful Garden in Ohrid

Beautiful Garden in Ohrid

After finding a room I started exploring Ohrid at night. Far away I could hear some metal, hard core or whatever music and since I did not find anything better to do, I went there. Shortly after, I met many new Macedonian friends and we partied, drink rakija. When you have fun, time passes quickly. I told them I was leaving the next day, but Ohrid had other plans…

Saint Panteleimon, Ohrid

Saint Panteleimon


The morning was hard, a little bit of a hangover and lots of dilemmas. Should I stay or should I go? I decided to stay one more night but I had to find another place to stay since it was reserved for that day… Well, I thought, there goes another 3 hours for searching for another place… Some lady helped me find a place, smelly but OK… I mean the place, not the lady.

Riding Around Ohrid

Riding Around Ohrid

So, what does Ohrid has to offer?

The lake is amazing, it almost looks like the sea. I would choose Ohrid rather than  some Mediterranean sea location that’s for sure. Ohrid lake is also a natural border between Macedonia and Albania and it’s the deepest lake on Balkan going deep to staggering  288 meters!

Sunset at the Ohrid Lake

Sunset at the Ohrid Lake



Ohrid was called ” the city of light” by the Greeks and maybe that resonates best in the evening when the lakeside is bathed in street lights and lights coming from cafes. That is the time when Ohrid becomes really alive, it becomes packed with tourists and you start wondering where all those people were during the day? If you stroll around Ohrid you will find out that the old town is really beautiful, that the monasteries are even more than 5 centuries old and that the museums are everything but ordinary. Make sure you check out Bay of Bones Museum. Why? Because I didn’t, and everybody told me I made a huge mistake and they were right. So that’s why during the day Ohrid doesn’t seem as packed as at night, because there is stuff to see, there is something for everyone.

Ohrid is the deepest lake on Balkan going to staggering  288 meters!

In the evening I had one last “Skopsko” beer and went on my way in the morning. 

Beautiful landscape of Ohrid

Beautiful landscape of Ohrid

Leaving Macedonia

It’s morning and I finally managed to pack and head on my way, first to Albania to see if it’s OK to travel to and after that to Greece. What happened in Albania and what’s it like there and what problems I did or did not have? Read in the next post.

 

My motorcycle and Albanian police

My motorcycle and Albanian police

 

Havana, Cuba - Local traditional dance and music groups performing at annual street carnival night (photo by: Peeter Viisimaa, iStock)
Adventure ramble, Cuba

Why Should Cuba Be On Your Travel List?

I’m sure I’ll never be able to write a master piece such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” as Hemingway is one and the inimitable. But, what I can do is travel to Cuba and visit some of his favourite places for relaxation with a glass of mojito or daiquiri in El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio.

If a genius like Hemingway recognized Cuba as a magical place, who are we to question that magic?

Pearl of the Antilles, Cuba, consists of one large and several small islands in the Caribbean Sea south of Florida, which already paints a picture of warm sunsets, doesn’t it?

Photo of an old Havana

Photo by: Julian Peters (iStock)

If you think that Cuba has beautiful beaches, revolutionary spirit, old-timers, colourful buildings, beautiful nature, and more beautiful women; you are right of course.

Let’s start our imaginary (for now) journey through the most beautiful places and landscapes of Cuba.

Before we “fly”, I have to draw your attention to something.

After 50 years, the USA and Cuba reached an agreement of direct flight and now there are 110 daily flights from the US to Cuba. What you might find peculiar, especially if you are a beer lover, is that there is a possibility that you will not get the expected cold beer in a café. Why? Americans drained out a lot of Cuba’s beer supplies and the brewery Bucanero is planning to build a new factory to meet the needs of tourists for beer.

If you think that Cuba has beautiful beaches, revolutionary spirit, old-timers, colourful buildings, beautiful nature, and more beautiful women; you are right of course

Old Havana (Havana Vieja)

OK, the first stop is of course Havana. It took me long time to decide what to write when it comes to Havana. There are so many things that could not fit into ten blog posts, so I decided to tell you about “Old Havana” or “Havana Vieja” which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

The “Old Havana” depicts the life of Cuba exactly how it was more than a century ago. Again, we are back to Hemingway and the well known place where he enjoyed spending time, La Bodeguita del Medio.

If you lost your friends, or need to meet them somewhere in the “Old Havana”, the meeting spot will certainly be the most famous squarePlaza Vieja.

For those who love stories about pirates, battles, castles, and fortresses, there is a 16th-century fortress Castillo de la Real Fuerza. Why I am mentioning pirates you ask? The main role of this fortress was the defence against pirates, but since the attack never came it served as a storehouse for values and military residence.

If you lost your friends, or need to meet them somewhere in the “Old Havana”, the meeting spot will certainly be the most famous square Plaza Vieja.

Plaza Vieja

Plaza Vieja (iStock)

Originally built in the 16th century, it was a popular market place turned into an underground parking lot in the modern times and then at the initiative of Havana citizens restored.

Ernest Hemingway also had a house at the popular Cuba-wide (Calle Obispo). It is near the Cuban Central Park, rich in history and architecture, full of old hotels, museums, restaurants and there is even a herbal pharmacy museum where, needless to mention, you can buy herbal medicine.

That is not all you can see in “Havana Vieja” but it will get you started.

You will enjoy in naturally rounded limestone mountains, lush and mesmerizing vegetation that rest the eyes

For lovers of what only nature can create there is one of the most beautiful provinces, Pinar del Río. You will enjoy in naturally rounded limestone mountains, lush and mesmerizing vegetation that rest the eyes. Some of the notable people born here are painter Mario Bencomo, singer and songwriter Willy Chirino, boxer Yunieski Gonzalez, composer Rudy Pérez, and perhaps the most known today considering the popularity of Cypress Hill,  Sen Dog.

„Insane in the brain“ – for real.

Vinales Valley

Vinales Valley (iStock)

Our next stop may not include hedonism, however it doesn’t lack in historical significance.

Museum at Playa Girón depicts scenes of the Bay of Pigs invasion where you’ll see tanks, and soldiers’ personal items, while Museo de la Ciudad exhibits items from the time of the revolution.

Moving on to the incredible diving sights.

Diving in Cuba

The perfect place for diving is the Treasure Island. Varadero alone has 30 diving sites, while Isla de la Juventud (the island of youth) will literally make you feel younger while exploring the reefs around it. The island is not crowded (yet) and the ample marine life is something you want to see.  Another reef, which is also one of the world’s biggest reefs, is Cayo Coco, just find María la Gorda diving centre.

Diving in Cuba (Rostislav Ageev - iStock)

Diving in Cuba (photo by: Rostislav Ageev – iStock)

Back to the lands of Cuba

Once you reach the land again, another UNESCO world heritage site and one of the favourite tourist cities to head to is Trinidad. Once a city of slave trade, and from the 17th century to the present day a city of diverse architecture, squares (like Plaza Mayor), churches (Church of the Holy Trinity and Church and Monastery of Saint Franci), galleries, and museums (Museum of Colonial Architecture).

If you are wondering where to next, consider visiting Baracoa, the city in Guantanamo province. Now, why is this city worth mentioning?

First of all, it was founded by the first governor of Cuba, Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar. Then, it is the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba and the first capital. Colombo landed here on his first voyage. Due to the secluded location, the mass tourism here is at a low level, so if you want to enjoy and avoid other tourists and their cameras; this is the place for you.

Baracoa - Local people in front of a clothing store in the main street (photo by: Flavio Vallenari, iStock)

Baracoa – Local people in front of a clothing store in the main street (photo by: Flavio Vallenari, iStock)

A perfect round up for the first trip to Cuba must include food and a night out.

What to the in Cuba at night

The uniqueness of Cuban food lies in its diversity and the blend of different cuisines. One cannot eat Cuban dishes without knowing a little bit of history. The prevailing influence is definitely Spanish, blended with African, French and Caribbean culinary traditions. If you have a lot of money to spend and want to eat in restaurants, it will not be difficult to find such; however, eating on budget and eating like a native Cuban will make you enter some oddly and shabby looking food houses, but there’s the true charm!  (just be careful, I heard that the food is not always something).

The prevailing influence is definitely Spanish, blended with African, French and Caribbean culinary traditions.

After having a nice meal, we should search for the genuine Cuban night life. Although, salsa, mambo and cha-cha-cha are known as one of the trademarks of Cuban evenings, today, young Cubans do not enjoy them so much. Luckily, tourist can still experience the atmosphere by taking dance lessons or looking for clubs such as the Jazz Cafe (at Galerías de Paseo) where the night brings live jazz and occasional salsa dancing.

Havana, Cuba - Local traditional dance and music groups performing at annual street carnival night (photo by: Peeter Viisimaa, iStock)

Havana, Cuba – Local traditional dance and music groups performing at annual street carnival night (photo by: Peeter Viisimaa, iStock)

I hope you got as interested, inspired and convinced as I am that Cuba is the right destination to take and it should be visited before its charm is taken away by the foreigners who will rush now to indulge all of their senses in this still rather authentic place.

IMG_0514
Adventure ramble

Adventure calling – How to start your first journey

When I think about adventure travelling, or when simply someone asks me for my opinion, I’d say that I have not always been into this kind of travelling. It got into my blood after some time. I wouldn’t dare saying that ordinary travels have become repetitive and tedious; it’s just that adventures give you more opportunities, richer experiences, tastier tastes and freer freedom.

I wouldn’t dare saying that ordinary travels have become repetitive and tedious; it’s just that adventures give you more opportunities, richer experiences, tastier tastes and freer freedom.

This is me talking, it’s my point of view and I accept when others think differently, but I would also urge them to consider breaking free from their usual pattern and checking out what’s out there.

So, this text is for those who think like me and for those who lack courage to make their first step into an adventurous journey.

Imagine your adventure!

Imagine your adventure!

Travel Inspiration

Let’s say that the first step consists out of two parts and the first one is definitely inspiration.

Inspiration was never a problem for me, and if it is for you and you cannot think of where to go or are puzzled with options and everything seems equally luring and promising, then just grab the book closest to you at this moment, open it and choose the first country name that comes. It can be a travel guide, or if you are more a Kindle fan then choose a book that is still on your to-read list. Let the chance take you to a new place. It can be Google for that matter. Close your eyes, click a letter randomly and let the search engine guide you.

Open it and choose the first country name that comes

Here I am, alive and well, full of impressions, beautiful photos and impressive memories – so there’s no reason why you cannot do the same. You might not believe me, and for that reason I’ll prove you otherwise. If there are other thoughts that hinder your decision on setting out on an adventure, I hope you’ll be free of them by the time you reach the final sentence of this text.

Inspire yourself and find your own way of traveling!

Inspire yourself and find your own way of traveling!

Traveling on a budget

The second part of the first step is money.

You might say, “Yes, but you certainly have extra money.”I have some money of course, there’s no travel without it, but it’s far from the truth that you need a fortune for a memorable travel. A few hundreds of dollars can be saved if you study the ways in which one can arrive at a destination. For example, there are charter flights, last minute offers that are much cheaper so as to fill empty seats on the plane (my friend got a $2 return ticket Belgrade -Pairs last year, booked it one day before the flight). There is also the option of not taking the direct flight to a place you’ve imagined and taking a bus or a train the rest of the way. These are some money saving strategies that work like a charm. In addition to that, saving money this way will bring about invaluable experiences, unforgettable encounters, and irreplaceable images together with indispensable knowledge.

Travel locally if you are really low on money, but for god's sake - travel!

Travel locally if you are really low on money, but for god’s sake – travel!

Just one fact to mention, if traveling by your own transport, and if you are a bike enthusiast like me, then the sky is the limit. On the other hand, if you are a work and travel follower, there’s your free travel, just find a reputable agency.

Best food is local food

Now that we have reduced the transport costs, let’s talk about food. More than often taking food abroad gets to tangle up traveler’s plans and most definitely eating in restaurants ranges from cheap to boring. Don’t let that discourage you. Be spunky and you’ll see that you’ll eat well.

I enjoy discovering local taverns in less known places

I enjoy discovering local taverns in less known places. What I get by this is trying original local dishes at affordable prices and on the top of that I meet local people and customs (something that chain restaurants and hotels cannot offer).

Kerak telor - it was created in order to make glutinous rice more tasty and satisfying.

Kerak telor – it was created in order to make glutinous rice more tasty and satisfying.

Additionally, if you are at least a little bit skilled when it comes to food preparation, you can always find a place for a picnic or barbecue, at the same time enjoying the scenery, a beautiful view of the city, mountains, vast plains, sights that make up travel pleasure. With a little effort and a few conversations along the way, you will find such places.

Where to sleep while traveling?

Ok, now I agree that we need somewhere to sleep. The question is what should you choose?

If you are a tent person, the world is your oyster (no, no, no, scratch that, the world is your oyster anyway, the world is yours), and the possibilities are endless. You can always find a place where to spend the night and what is maybe the best, every night you can sleep elsewhere. Local residents, of the previously mentioned taverns, will know where the most suitable and allowed places to sleep under the stars are.

Some times you have to pay extra for a view like this and if you have that extra it is worth it!

Sometimes you have to pay extra for a view like this and if you have that extra, it is worth it!

If you are a tent person, the world is your oyster

If camping is not your thing, consult some of the numerous websites where you can find rooms and hostels. A simple walk around the city, town, local pubs, cafes and barbers is the best chance to find out everything you need. Again, you’ll probably find locals renting private accommodation for low amount of money. You cannot believe how many new acquaintances can be made in these places!

Don’t listen to the haters!

One of the problems when deciding to start a journey are the people around you.When they start talking you out of your plans, just don’t let them. You’ll probably hear that you’re crazy, or unhappy which is why you want to leave your surroundings, some might claim that you are not a grown up yet, that you are spending money unnecessarily, and of course the winner in my opinion “you can see all that in the pictures so why bother travelling”.

Visiting those places is like living in the National Geographic magazine!

Visiting those places is like living in the National Geographic magazine!

Avoid engaging yourself in discussions of that sort, enough is to know that your courage and love for exploring are yours and yours only, while the wealth you pick up on the way is there to stay, it is for real with you forever.  And as far as the answers you can give to others are concerned,  they are “It’s crazy to live not knowing what this world is made of”, “I grew up just about enough, and a part of me will stay a child”, “the money is there to be spent”, ” there is no picture more beautiful than the one you’ve experienced”.

 

What travels bring, teach and show?

They enable you to try new things, have fun, release the break and relax. Each destination hides adventure that no agency can arrange or a guidebook describe.

While teetering on the train or bus listening to people chattering, or having a coffee in a comfy local café, browse the blogs where people talk about the destination you’re headed to. Surely some of them discovered or experienced something that should not be missed and inevitably it gives ideas and space for an exploration of your own.

Traveling will give you different perspective on life and you will become more open to different cultures!

Traveling will give you different perspective on life and you will become more open to different cultures!

I’d like to recommend some of the things you might read about and maybe even want yourself:

  • Robinson Crusoe style – rent a boat and go to a nearby island for a few days.
  • Paragliding
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Diving
  • Watch a sunset
  • Don’t miss a sunrise
  • Whatever brings excitement and fulfills you.
Besides meeting people you will meet amazing animals also!

Besides meeting people you will meet amazing animals also!

And here is another positive thing about adventure travel: it is what you become after the journey:

  • Resourceful – because trotting through unfamiliar places makes you alert and attentive
  • Smarter – because, travel contributes to your intellect as much as reading a book
  • Socially evolved – as you get in touch with many different people from different social backgrounds
  • Adaptable – because such travels carry many unforeseen circumstances to which you need to adapt.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let me know if you’ve made the first step in comment section below!

longtail boat
Adventure ramble

How To Stay Safe While Travelling

“Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky…” Cesare Pavese

 

Plan your trips but don’t be afraid to wander of your plan

More than often, planning a trip gets us to a dimension of excitement, anticipating and researching. Even after an umpteenth time of making travel lists, every next travel is new, original, special and unique. Every undiscovered region, unseen place and unmet face calls you to set off and get to know another you at another site. For what’s more, sometimes going back to the same place just to see all the ways you have grown and changed. Nevertheless, all of this travel frenzy might make travellers neglect a very important notion – one’s safety when travelling.

We have all figured out that planning a trip is more than just about choosing the country and picking out the place to stay.  

Driving motorbikes is dangerous so don't make it even more dangerous with reckless driving

Driving motorbikes is dangerous so don’t make it even more dangerous with reckless driving

But what is actually safety and what does it mean when you are on an adventurous journey?

Firstly, it’s planning and secondly it’s responsibility. Carefree travel means responsible travel and you need to start by arranging it while at the same time having enough responsibility to see it through. Knowing where you are every step of the way removes stress and anxiety from the unforeseeable; it makes you feel in control.

You might say, “Oh, but that kills all the fun!” Or I could hear “You sound like my mom!” (and I really don’t want that here). Actually, I must admit, it might kill the fun the first time you travel but only for a while, while you think about it, once you start planning and preparing for it, and feel the moment when know you are ready and all set, the adventure starts.

Getting of the beaten track will get you to an amazing places

Getting of the beaten track will get you to an amazing places

Learn about the place you are about to visit

What I’ve also learned on my trips is that you want to know things. So the third thing is knowledge.  

You get educated by traveling.-  Solange Knowles

Whenever you take a new destination, you want to know as many things as you can about the place, the country and the people. History is an everyday thing; maybe you already heard and know so much.

But what do you know about the actual people? Is there something you are not supposed to say or do, and are there words that will make an awkward moment and send a wrong message? What are the cultural differences that can bring the satisfaction of hearing someone’s life story, seeing the different life they lead and in the long run make you appreciate yours even more? Now, if you fail to learn this, you are being careless, and it might ruin the joy of meeting new people.

Learn the cultural differences so you would not insult anyone

Learn the cultural differences so you would not insult anyone

Any big, poisonous spiders around? Eeeek!

Then, it couldn’t hurt knowing about the creatures that can visit you at night, especially when rounding exotic countries. You do not want to scream like a lunatic in the middle of the night just because there is “something” in your room or tent.

A small thing like a spider or mosquito can change the way you see the world. It is the very thing that expands consciousness and denotes content in living through every moment.

Brush up on the bite symptoms common to the part of the world you have set out to experience.

Ask about the ingredients of the food you will succumb to eating especially if you have any kind of allergies. Yeah, it is a new experience people neglect to think they’ll have.  Know where the closest doctor is and how to reach it.

Sometimes you have to risk a bit but rewards are worth it

Sometimes you have to risk a bit but rewards are worth it

Fourthly, and undeniably, safety means freedom

Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands. Jeff Cooper

The very thing that should happen between your ears, aside from evaluating where and what to eat, regards researching if there are any constraints to movement. Asking about the areas you want to wander off to will keep you out of trouble.

The moment you can relax and follow your itinerary, you know you have reached the stage of freedom. This can be freedom of movement, freedom of not thinking about the time of the day, freedom of being far away from the rut or just feeling the liberation and plunging into breathing in the world which is old for some and at the same time fresh and new for you.

Just remember one thing; not having a watch is for a holiday, for lying on the beach and not being worried about dinner. On the contrary to this, visiting remote areas means you need to mind the time of the day, firstly because of animals that you might encounter at a certain time, or in the modern concrete jungle – people.

You do not want to miss your last ride. Somehow, you get the picture that staying without a ride can ensure acquaintance with more freedom than you ever thought you’ll have (not necessarily a good thing again) or rob you from its preciousness. Resourcefulness is one thing, but developing adeptness in examining what your next step is leads to smart travel and an escapade of events.  

Staying safe in this kind of adventures is top priority

Staying safe in this kind of adventures is top priority

Let’s make money the final bullet point.

Of course, you will manage the budget you have for the travel and you will do it in a way suitable for you. Some like to plan the budget for every day and stick to it rigorously, while others risk staying with a few bucks in their pockets and make it an art of coming home (which is a topic for another time).

Whatever works for you, it’s OK, but you should have some “back up” money or “just in case” money in the amount of the ticket home. Prudently decide where that money should be as pickpockets target tourists, and it’s difficult not to look like one with a giant backpack.

A first aid kit, fresh batch of bandages and antiseptic are by now on the list of every traveller.

Making these things your routine by no means takes away the fun from travelling. On the contrary, they allow you to give yourself in completely to the new world you have decided to enter and have given yourself in to experience.

koh lipe from air
Diving, Thailand

Koh Lipe – Paradise Getting Lost

Koh Lipe losing its paradise feel? OK, I might have gone over the edge here a bit;but let’s learn a thing or two about Lipe before we continue.

Where is Lipe?

Koh Lipe is a small island in Adang-Rawi Archipelago. It is one of the most southern Thailand islands and it is on the border with Malaysia.

The first backpackers came to Koh Lipe around 20 years ago

It is a divers’ and beach-lovers’ paradise surrounded with many other beautiful islands. The first backpackers came to Koh Lipe around 20 years ago when there were few bungalows to rent, no walking streets, no tourists nor the beaches like you have seen in the movie “The Beach”.

View on koh lipe from Adang

Me checking out beautiful Koh Lipe island. Photo by Jovana Milanko

So you are thinking: “In 20 years stuff probably changed a lot?”. It changed probably too much.  A few months ago it has been added under the Tarutao Marine National Park jurisdiction because of its really diverse underwater world but, due to deforestation, there is not much life on the land.

 

Koh Lipe Beaches

It’s one of the most remote Thailand islands, and, of course, the beaches are amazing. Beautiful white sand with emerald see through water. But there is a twist, with every year there are more and more people on the beaches, which means more trash (although the guys from Trash Hero are doing an amazing job, kudos to them!), more resorts, more stuff needs to get hauled on the island and more stuff needs to get hauled off the island.

Beautiful view on Koh Lipe Beach

Beautiful view on Koh Lipe Beach!

People go there expecting to have the beach for themselves because they have heard those stories but the thing is, times are changing. All the main beaches are getting more crowded and more people come who don’t care what kind of footprint they are gonna leave at the island.

Still, there are few beaches that not many people know about and with so many islands around you can find a beach just for yourself.

Koh Lipe from air

Koh Lipe from air. Photo by Weerapong Nakprasit

There are 3 main beaches in Koh Lipe:

Sunrise Beach – This beach has become really popular, first for people who like to watch the sunrise and who like to have fun during the day. I had a bungalow on that beach and it was not fun… Every morning Malaysian and Chinese people would take my chairs or even sit in my porch to watch the sunrise waking me up at 6 o’ clock.
Pattaya Beach – It is mostly reserved for long-tail boats but still there are places to swim. It is mostly popular in the evening because you don’t have to go all the way to Sunset beach to see the the sunset, you can catch a part of it on Pattaya beach. The sand on this beach is one of the softest I have ever felt!
Sunset Beach – It’s mostly popular in the evening during, you guessed it, the sunset. It’s a wonderful experience to see the sunset on that beautiful beach and drink mojitos, so make sure not to miss it.

Beautiful sunset on the beach next to a long-tail boat

Beautiful sunset on the beach next to a long-tail boat

 

Diving in Lipe

The vast underwater life makes this one of the most amazing places for diving. The vast number of people diving does not make it the most amazing place to dive. But luckily overcrowded sites don’t happen that often. To be honest there is only one site that gets overcrowded and that is Stonehenge. It got that name because it has a dozen of pinnacles sticking out of the sand that resemble Stonehenge.

Diving in Stonehenge in Koh Lipe

Diving in Stonehenge in Koh Lipe

If you are lucky enough to have great visibility and to be thfirst on the dive spot you will have a really good time. Schools of yellow-tail snappers, barracudas, amazing soft and hard corals and micro life are what makes this dive spot amazing. Sometimes there are many boats on the surface and at that time the only thing you can see is school of divers – which, we can agree, is not that amazing.

The amazing thing about diving in Koh Lipe is that, now and then, you can see quite interesting stuff – whale sharks (but really rarely), zebra shark and latest and the most interesting one seen is the guitar shark! There is a family hanging out around Lipe and one of them got caught by douchebag fisherman. He says it’s a catch and released it, but we haven’t seen any release photos.

 

Going out in Lipe

My favorite bar in Koh Lipe for sure was Mellowmango. Chilled-out atmosphere and enjoying the talk with everybody over there was always fun. Bartenders nickname is God (not the real one but he is close to it – same same but different) and there – all things are possible with God. Hanging out with these awesome guys until three in the morning was just a daily routine… or should I say nightly…

Bartenders nickname is God (not the real one but he is close to it – same same but different) and there – all things are possible with God

Unfortunately Mellowmango is closing for good this year so they can chase some bigger dreams.

Luckily, party scene in Koh Lipe is not that strong. Here and there parties are organized but nothing massive. There are bars and to be honest that’s just enough. There are few bars on the walking street but most of the people decide to go to the beach bars to enjoy the sea and the stars.

There is too much partying in Thailand. Can we just not ruin one place because people just wanna get wasted and get laid?

My favorite bar - Mellowmango

My favorite bar – Mellowmango

 

People of Koh Lipe

Original settlers of Koh Lipe are Urak Lawoi .  They are the last direct descendants of Orang Laut or the Sea Gypsies. They are originally from Spice island in Indonesia where they used to be pirates of the Straits of Malacca.

In recent past they are the people who refused to turn to Islam in Malaysia and they were forced to roam the seas

In recent past they were the people who refused to turn to Islam in Malaysia and they were forced to roam the seas in search for a place to live. They settled in Thailand in Andaman sea.

One of the Urak Lawoi people steering its long-tail boat

One of the Urak Lawoi people steering its long-tail boat

They reside in a big part of coastal Thailand – Phuket, Phi Phi, Jum, Lanta, Bulon and of course Koh Lipe. Because of expansion of tourism they are forced to move and land disputes still remain on many places and especially on Lipe.

Some of them decided to live thanks to tourism and many of them still live like they did many years ago – they go fishing. The most popular way is trap fishing in which the divers put the traps underwater and connect to a really old compressor on the boat.

One of the older settlers of Koh Lipe

One of the older settlers of Koh Lipe

The language they speak is a bit different, it is close to Malay but influenced by Thai.

I will be writing about them more in next articles. Until then read about them on Project Urak Lawoi website, these guys helped me get some amazing footage and photos of trap fishing and compressor diving.

Children in Urak Lawoi Village

Children in Urak Lawoi Village

Still an amazing island, but….

The stories I have heard from people visiting this place for 10 years or more make me cringe.

There is no doubt about it, this island is one of a kind, one of the last ones not totally destroyed by tourism, exploitation and money hunger.

The fact is that it is going that way. I have seen difference in one year span and the stories I have heard from people visiting this place for 10 years or more make me cringe.

Forrest all around island is getting cut to make way for more resorts, walking street is getting more filled with shitty gadgets and ‘clothes’ stores, Urak Lawoi people are forced to move because of land disputes and there are more and more tourists, which is slowly but surely transforming this paradise island to something that people in 10 years will probably wanna avoid.

I’m just gonna leave you with a photo of a walking street 20 years ago.

Koh Lipe 20 years ago

Photo by Somchai Preyde

Did you visit Koh Lipe? Tell my what you think about it in the comment section bellow.

6
Misc

Beautiful Photos From An Airplane Window

There is nothing more awesome then staring out of the window of an airplane while it takes off! The sceneries you can see are breathtaking: big cities, mountains, clouds – that’s the closest you can be to the top of the world.

If you are an airplane pilot, this stuff probably gets boring after a while but not for us regular people. I stick my head to the window and just stare relentlessly, I feel like a dog in a car ride.

Odds of being killed on a single airline flight are 1 in 29.4 million

If you are the person that closes their eyes and pray the airplane doesn’t start crashing down to the ground like a kamikaze – I am sorry to say but you are missing out a lot. There are much greater chances of winning the lottery than involuntarily becoming a kamikaze, so why don’t you grab that window seat next time and check out the amazing views that are yours for the taking.

The sad part is that I have no idea where were some of these taken… and location of some of them is, of course, obvious. So if you recognize any of these places let me know.

Number of fatalities per million flight hours: 12.25

If this did not convince you to sit next to a window I hope these photos I took from some trips will. Unless you have really weak bladder… Than for everyone’s sake stay in a seat next to an aisle.

ps. Got better photos than these ones? Why don’t you share them with us in the comment section below?

photo from an airplane window photo from an airplane window photo from an airplane window photo from an airplane window photo from an airplane window 7 photo from an airplane window

Hey, sharing is caring, click the share button if you enjoyed these beautiful photos from an airplane window.

Petrovaradin Fortress Bathed in Fog
Serbia

Petrovaradin Fortress – From Another Angle

If you aren’t from Serbia, the name ‘Petrovaradin Fortress’ probably doesn’t mean that much to you. If you belong to the younger, party generation, then Exit Festival might ring a bell.  But we aren’t here to talk about festivals, but to show you a different side of Petrovaradin Fortress.

Petrovaradin Fortress Bathed at Night

Petrovaradin Fortress at Night

On October 18, 1692 prince Charles Eugène de Croÿ was the first person to set the cornerstone for the present southern part of this amazing fortress. It served as a military object until 1948 and in 1951 it was put under protection of the Republic of Serbia. Currently, Petrovaradin Fortress is a touristic object and has numerous museums, galleries and archives scattered around it.

Backroad to Petrovaradin Fortress

Backroad to Petrovaradin Fortress

Petrovaradin Fortress is a favourite place for locals to visit at weekends and spend their time with their loved ones, couples enjoy sunsets, and, as funny as it seems,a place where many wars were fought is now filled with galleries and artists who draw inspiration out of this amazing building.

Fortress has numerous bridges around it connecting the gaps

Fortress has numerous bridges around it connecting the gaps

Interesting facts about Petrovaradin fortress

The Clock Tower

Road to Tower Clock

Road to Tower Clock

The clock comes from Alsace (France) and it was a present from Duchess Maria Theresa at the beginning of 18th century. It was destroyed in the middle of that century and replaced with the new current one. The clock has to be wind up manually every day. Another interesting thing is that the big handle shows hours and the small one shows minutes.

The Clock Tower Next to a Full Moon

The Clock Tower Next to a Full Moon

People say it’s because ships that pass by on the Danube river have it more important to know what hour it is. Another interesting fact is that during the winter, the clock is a bit late and during the summer it runs faster and that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as ‘drunken clock’.

When you visit this clock you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Novi Sad.

Tower Clock - sometimes referred as Drunken Clock

Tower Clock – sometimes referred to as Drunken Clock

 

Petrovaradin Fortress Catacombs

Under the Fortress there are more than 20 kilometers of catacombs and four levels of defense depth up to 40 meters. They were used as loopholes, shooting lines, ammunition storage and even as a fridge.

Mysterious View From a Fortress Tunnel

Mysterious View From a Fortress Tunnel

There are stories that the tunnels go all the way to Hungary, under the Danube and that people got lost never to be found again. Trust me, it really is easy to get disoriented not knowing where the hell you are…

Fog Turns Petrovaradin Fortress Into Really Mystical Place

Fog Turns Petrovaradin Fortress Into Really Mystical Place

It was supposed to be destroyed

After the First World War, as the military technology started upgrading, there was no more need for Petrovaradin Fortress as a military base. The military top decided to destroy the fortress. Colonel Dragoš Đelošević was in charge of this ungrateful job of destroying Petrovaradin Fortress and many others, but he decided to spare the Petrovaradin Fortress as it was believed to be “too beautiful to be destroyed”. And the fortress still stands.

Petrovaradin Fortress Bathed in Fog

Petrovaradin Fortress Bathed in Fog

If you are in Serbia this is ‘do not miss’ place

Serbia is a beautiful country and very worth visiting. If you don’t have Petrovaradin Fortress and Novi Sad on your list, make sure you add them.  You will be rewarded with beautiful views, amazing people, awesome history and hopefully it will make you prolong your stay there.

Bonus Winter Photos

Petrovaradin Fortress in Snow

Petrovaradin Fortress in Snow

Petrovaradin Fortress in Snow