Around the World in 18 Barbers’ Chairs

Sitting in a barber shop in the coastal city of Split, Croatia, I struggled to answer the stylist’s simple question: How long would we be visiting Croatia? I had learned a smattering of Croatian words, but the names of the months had so far escaped me.

Remembering the calendar hanging above my head – albeit adorned with nude calendar girls – I flipped through the weeks and pointed to a date. As I exposed each month’s voluptuous model, the 70-something barber’s moustache-framed mouth curled into a mischievous grin. However awkward the method, I had satisfied his curiosity. Clearly I was in male territory, though.

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Sinking my Teeth into Subotica, Serbia: A Tale of Art Nouveau & Dental Tourism

Sitting in a dentist’s chair half-way around the world from ‘home’, I was told the disappointing news: I had my first, albeit tiny, cavity. Shawn and I had come to Subotica, Serbia to devour its delightful Art Nouveau architecture, but I hadn’t imagined that one of my teeth would be wearing a porcelain souvenir upon our departure from the historic city. While we’d read about Subotica’s gorgeous architecture and promising wine in a New York Times article dubbing it one of 52 Places to Go in 2014, we had only learned about the northern Serbian city’s well-respected dental tourism by chance, once we’d arrived there. Long curious about the medical tourism phenomenon, we sandwiched routine dental check-ups in between a Subotica walking tour, market visit and leisurely strolls.

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The Windows of Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad Serbia WindowsNovi Sad dramatically welcomes visitors with its formidable fortress and clock tower boasting reversed hour and minute hands. Like so many strategic spots in the region, Novi Sad also has a complicated history. It’s been conquered by the Celts and Romans, Byzantines, Hungarians, Ottomans and Habsburgs. The city’s complex past is reflected in Novi Sad’s eclectic architecture, and well-illustrated by the whimsical windows featured here.

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Something Abuzz About Belgrade: Things to Do in Serbia’s Capital

 

Belgrade. It’s an old city with a new vibe, and as we discovered during a whirlwind two days there, it is abuzz with creative energy, innovation, and tradition.

In one corner of town a woman wearing a babushka-style scarf sells lavender, white and cranberry-colored flowers at a market, alongside vendors peddling a bounty of cherries, strawberries, and green peppers. Just around the corner, in the up and coming Savamala district, young entrepreneurs mingle in an industrial-building-turned-cultural center that could just as likely be in San Francisco or Berlin. And, in the city’s sixth-century fortress, old men cluster around a park table, playing a heated match of chess, while a young couple embraces on a bench overlooking the city’s skyline.

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Paddleboating & Promenading at Lake Palić, Serbia

Passing through Palić’s Great Park entrance, a heavily-carved wooden arch that resembled reddish-brown lacework, I couldn’t help but imagine who had strolled through the gates a century earlier when this part of northern Serbia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We continued along on a sidewalk that was covered by a thick canopy of handsome old trees, our sights set on tranquil Lake Palić a few hundred meters off in the distance. White lamp posts framed the walkway, and eventually we reached the water’s edge.

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Photo du Jour: Role Reversal – Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia

Known as the ‘reversed clock’ because of its swapped hour & minute hands, the clock tower of the Petrovaradin Fortress overlooks the city of Novi Sad, Serbia, from its perch on the right bank of the Danube River.

It was designed in such a fashion so that fishermen could more easily tell time when viewing the clock from a distance. Continue reading “Photo du Jour: Role Reversal – Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia”