Stop Having a Boring Life - Global Living Blog http://stophavingaboringlife.com You'll never know unless you go Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:21:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.7 Getting to Know Glasgow, Scotland http://stophavingaboringlife.com/tours-glasgow-scotland/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/tours-glasgow-scotland/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:09:59 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22543 Greetings, Today I’d like to talk about getting to know Glasgow, Scotland. There are plenty of different tours in Glasgow and the ones that I experienced are the Glasgow Style City Walking Tour and the Glasgow City Music Tour. I didn’t spend a long time in Glasgow, only two nights but I had a good time, […]

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architecture_glasgow

Greetings,

Today I’d like to talk about getting to know Glasgow, Scotland. There are plenty of different tours in Glasgow and the ones that I experienced are the Glasgow Style City Walking Tour and the Glasgow City Music Tour. I didn’t spend a long time in Glasgow, only two nights but I had a good time,  sawof the sights, enjoyed some great food and have the pleasure of exchanging pleasantries with quite a few characters.

doorway_glasgow

Glasgow is less than an hour away from Edinburgh by train and Scotland’s largest city. Glasgow is a city built around a port on the River Clyde in the Lowlands of Scotland and famous these days for its Art Nouveau and Victorian architecture. During the 18th and 19th century, Glasgow was the second city in the British Empire and experienced much prosperity due to the lucrative trade and shipbuilding. These days it’s home to many institutions such the Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and home to a thriving music scene.

streets_glasgow

The first tour I took in Glasgow was the Glasgow Style City Walking Tour which is run by the Glasgow School of Art. The tour focuses heavily on the rich architecture which was left behind from more prosperous times and includes much of the work from Mackintosh who also happens to be the founder of the school. The tour took a few hours and showed us many buildings designed by him as well as those of Alexander “Greek” Thompson who provided much of his inspiration. There is a saying in Glasgow along the lines of “If you’d like to see something beautiful, just look up”. The buildings are incredible and a real sign of just how rich Glasgow was for a period of time in history.

lunch_gandolfi_cafe

Following this tour I went to Cafe Gandolfi for lunch and enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory. I had a tomato, beetroot and lentil soup followed by their barra scallops topped with asparagus and a special black pudding. To say I enjoyed the meal which I washed down with fresh grapefruit juice would be an understatement. Everything on the menu looked delicious and returning to Cafe Gandolfi will be high on my list of priorities should I return to Glasgow. After this meal I met up with my new friends from Glasgow City Music Tour and began to learn about the cities rich musical history and the current scene.

album_pathway_glasgow

The Glasgow City Music Tour was good times and a rather new tour being offered in the city. It started on the Park Album Pathway which lists some of the thousands of bands which have played the legendary Barrowland Ballroom since 1983. The Barrowland venue has basically seen every big name in the last twenty years and is right next to the Barras Market. Barrowland has a capacity for roughly 1900 people and due to its size supposedly has a sound and atmosphere like no other.

barrowland_glasgow

We also visited some other venues, landmarks, saw a Doctor Who phone booth and finished off with a drink or so at The Scotia followed by The Clutha Bar. The Scotia is known as one of the oldest pubs in Glasgow and a long time supporter of the local folk scene. The Clutha Bar is also a famous venue which has long been involved in the folk scene as well. The guides were great fun and  filled with knowledge of the local music scene; something I knew little about before the tour.

doctor_who_glasgow

I wasn’t in Glasgow for a long time but I did have a good time and met lots of interesting people; a few cabbies in particular whom I enjoyed long rides with chatting the whole way. I’d gladly return to Glasgow to further explore the city, marvel at the architecture and without a doubt, enjoy a few pints and laughs with some of the countless characters who call Glasgow home.

the_clutha_bar

In closing, this campaign was created and managed by iambassador in association with Visit Britain. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. If you’d like to follow along in real-time, please search the hashtag #DestinationBritain on major social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Tour of St Andrews, Scotland http://stophavingaboringlife.com/tour-of-st-andrews-scotland/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/tour-of-st-andrews-scotland/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 13:41:05 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22512 Today we’re going to talk about a tour of St Andrews, Scotland I recently experienced with Rabbie’s tours. The tour left from a central location just across the North Bridge in Edinburgh and lasted most of the day. It didn’t just go straight to St Andrews either and the official name of the tour was […]

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cathedral_st_andrews

Today we’re going to talk about a tour of St Andrews, Scotland I recently experienced with Rabbie’s tours. The tour left from a central location just across the North Bridge in Edinburgh and lasted most of the day. It didn’t just go straight to St Andrews either and the official name of the tour was St Andrews and the Fishing Villages of Fife Day Tour. We made stops at the Forth Bridge, Anstruther and toured St Andrews before heading to the historic village of Falkand. While in St Andrews I saw the Old Course, Old Town, the castle and the cathedral.

forth_bridge_scotland

The day started in Edinburgh and we made our way to the Forth Bridge which is a real marvel of engineering and no surprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The bridge began in 1882 and opened 8 years later in March of 1890 by the Prince of Wales. It was the longest single cantilever railway bridge until 1917 when a longer one was built in Quebec, Canada. The iconic bridge spans 9 miles or 14 kilometres across the Firth of Forth and is considered a symbol of Scotland. Some question why it’s called the “fourth bridge” as there are only three that cross, it’s not the fourth but the Forth…

habour_anstruther_scotland

From there we made our way to the largest fishing village in Fife called Anstruther and spent 40 minutes or so getting to know the place. I strolled around the harbour filming some time-lapses, taking photos and eating sandwiches from a local bakery. I don’t have a sweet tooth but if you did, you’d love the little shop I found which you can’t miss should you visit. It’s a quaint little village with cafes, boat tours and of course plenty of places to order some fish and chips.

old_course_st_andrews

Next it was St Andrews, a place famous for many things but quite possibly most so for the Old Course. St Andrews is known as “the home of golf” and the Old Course has hosted The Open Championship more than any other venue; the most recent one being this year. Part of the reason it’s known as “the home of golf” is because the Royal and Ancient Golf Club which was founded there in 1754 has legislative authority over the game of golf worldwide. Without a doubt it’s one of the most iconic and important golf courses for any serious golf fan to visit; besides the Old Course there are several other top tier courses for visitors to enjoy.

castle_st_andrews

St Andrews is the fifth largest settlement in Fife and home to St Andrews University. Not only is this university the oldest in Scotland but it’s also the third oldest in the English speaking world. Besides the Old Course, other spots not to miss include the castle, cathedral and old town itself. If you’re up for it you can climb St Rule’s Tower to enjoy some terrific views of the town and the sea beside it. If you’re not feeling that ambitious, simply strolling through the remains of the cathedral is an experience in itself.

st_rules_tower_st_andrews

Moving from St Andrews it’s off to the historic village of Falkand where the main event without a doubt is the palace built by James IV. The palace was begun in 1500 and is an outstanding display of French influenced Renaissance architecture in Britain. Besides that, it is also known for having the oldest real tennis court in the world which was built in 1539 for James V. Real tennis is often called the “Sport of Kings” and quite similar to the everyday tennis most are familiar with which was derived from it.  Real tennis is still played on the 43 surviving courses in Australia, United Kingdom, United States and France.

falkland_palace_scotland

Following our time in Falkand it was a drive back to Edinburgh to conclude the tour. I had an absolutely wonderful time and could not have asked for better weather; the highlight for me without a doubt was seeing the Old Course but followed closely by the St Andrews Cathedral and the Falkland Palace. The tour was a full day and it literally flew by; I also appreciated having access to a gregarious and knowledgeable guide as I’m usually one to ask lots of questions on topics that pique my interest.

coast_st_andrews

In closing, this campaign was created and managed by iambassador in association with Visit Britain. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. If you’d like to follow along in real-time, please search the hashtag #DestinationBritain on major social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Tips hat,

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Scotland is Incredibly Scenic http://stophavingaboringlife.com/scotland-incredibly-scenic/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/scotland-incredibly-scenic/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 21:49:28 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22495 I’m writing this from Edinburgh, Scotland and sadly I’m heading home tomorrow. The last week or so has been incredible and I got to see a side of Scotland that I didn’t even know existed. I had heard of many of the spots I had the pleasure of visiting but never did I expect them […]

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kilt_rock_isle_skye

I’m writing this from Edinburgh, Scotland and sadly I’m heading home tomorrow. The last week or so has been incredible and I got to see a side of Scotland that I didn’t even know existed. I had heard of many of the spots I had the pleasure of visiting but never did I expect them to be as beautiful as they are. Many people think visiting a large city or so in a country is getting to know it but that’s incorrect; it’s spending time in the countryside that really shows you what the place is all about.

st_andrews_cathedral

It’s been a busy trip, let me tell you a little more about it… After a day in Edinburgh I made my way to St. Andrews and it was everything I had imagined. The Old Course was spectacular and so was the weather which made the experience that much more memorable. I didn’t spend too much time around the course as I’d like to play it one day so focused on seeing the castle and the cathedral. We also visited Falkland Castle which boasts being home to the oldest tennis court in Britain. That night I saw the Military Tattoo and highly recommend it; it’s a unique experience.

carrick_golf_course_scotland

Following that I had a great time in Glasgow and even had the pleasure of playing a round of golf at The Carrick Golf Course which was just lovely. I also went on a Glasgow Music City Tour and had some of the best scallops of my life at Gandolfi Cafe; it had everything I like on a plate including asparagus. On the topic of great meals, Mister Singhs is a seriously tasty Indian restaurant and their butterfly king prawns are out of this world.

glengorm_castle_mull

The Isle of Mull was my introduction to the islands and I had one of those travel moments standing outside Glengorm Castle where everything was just perfect. Following that it was off to meet a certain Mr. David Sexton and right as we arrived they had spotted a juvenile sea eagle; sure enough when we arrived some lady had just spooked it by accident and we saw it take flight; a rare occurrence and one I’m quite thrilled about. The weather on Mull was mixed but mostly sunshine and when the light is right, it’s hard to think of a more picturesque place on this planet.

isle_mull_scotland_moment

We made our way to Tobermory and caught a ferry to the mainland and took the scenic route to Arisaig where we spent the night. Following that I went sea kayaking which was quite a trip; if someone had told me that Scotland has white sand beaches I’d of thought they were joking but they do! We explored some while taking a break from the kayaking outside the Bay of Arisaig. Afterward myself and my guide Cory got out on the links at Traigh Golf Course; a quaint Scottish highlands course.

landscape_isle_skye

Next was the Isle of Skye and all I can say is that I was lucky enough to have perfect weather for my time there. We drove around the island, hiked the Quiraing and it was other worldly. The dark green mountains connecting with the light blue sky and fast moving clouds crossing in front of the sun was a surreal experience. Words can’t describe how beautiful it was and the images only hint at what it’s all about; hopefully the videos coming soon will give you a better idea.

cottage_isle_of_skye

Following that we made our way with lots of stops along the way to Dunvegan Castle where I toured the gardens and the castle itself. I’m a fan of castles and this most certainly did not disappoint; I could have spent longer on the grounds but we were off to catch another ferry. We made our way to Fort Augustus where we spent the night on the shores of Loch Ness. I didn’t see the monster but I did try my first haggis and can only wonder why I didn’t try it sooner?! I would say it’s black pudding’s tastier sibling if that makes sense.

haggis_scotland

Finally it was time to head to Inverness and I did some biking along the way. The cool mountain air on your face as you cruise down the country lanes will surely awaken your soul while you get lost in the scenery that surrounds you.  Finally we were in Inverness and the end of the trip with a train back to Edinburgh. I just had a good evening out with some friends;  the Fringe Festival is on and it’s a Friday so the streets are alive. Naturally I haven’t mentioned everything that happened on the trip but hope to go into further detail in the not too distant future.

white_sand_beaches_arisaig_scotland

I only spent a little over a week in Scotland but I feel like I’ve gotten to know the place.  I saw lots but realize I only really sampled a sliver of the pie called Scotland. Even though I haven’t left yet, I’d love to return to play several courses along the coast, eat lots more haggis and try my hand at some fishing; perhaps during salmon season. I’d continue but it’s time to pack to avoid a panic attack tomorrow when the alarm surely rings.

five_sisters_range_scotland

It’s always worth getting outside the cities and into the countryside…

In closing, this campaign was created and managed by iambassador in association with Visit Britain. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. If you’d like to follow along in real-time, please search the hashtag #DestinationBritain on major social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Tips hat,

P.S: The Viewfield House Hotel on the Isle of Skye was my favourite accommodation.

 

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A Summer’s Day in Edinburgh, Scotland http://stophavingaboringlife.com/a-summers-day-in-edinburgh-scotland/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/a-summers-day-in-edinburgh-scotland/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 21:16:01 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22473 Greetings, I’m writing this from Edinburgh on what could best be described as a near perfect summer’s day here in Scotland. One of those days where the sky is blue and it’s littered with clouds of different shapes and sizes but none of them even hint at rain; one of those days. I arrived here […]

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tourists_edinburgh_scotland

Greetings,

I’m writing this from Edinburgh on what could best be described as a near perfect summer’s day here in Scotland. One of those days where the sky is blue and it’s littered with clouds of different shapes and sizes but none of them even hint at rain; one of those days. I arrived here in the morning and by 11 am I was on the streets wandering around, taking photos, looking for something to eat and realizing that Fringe Festival was going on; it’s quite the scene.

street_performers_edinburgh_scotland

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival and consists of countless shows consisting of as many different styles. I also believe it’s a place where up and coming shows have a chance to get noticed and get their big break. Suffice to say the capital city of Scotland was considerably more electric today than the last time I visited a year or so ago in the fall. Fringe has been an annual festival since 1947 and attracts artists from around the world and presents a rare opportunity to be around incredible levels of creative energy.

busy_fringe_edinburgh_scotland

At noon I met up with a gregarious gent named Andrew from Mercat Tours and I began to learn a little more about this fine city’s history. It’s easy to explore a city and marvel at the awe inspiring architecture but still know nothing about the place. Andrew really filled me in on the history of Edinburgh, how for the longest time it was only ever really half the Royal Mile and about how at one time roughly 80,000 people lived within the city walls in buildings that went as high as 14 storeys. It was hard going in those days and people often drank beer instead of water as clean drinking water was a luxury reserved for the more affluent members of society.

beautiful_edinburgh_scotland

Next we began talking about the south bridge and how there are quarters underneath which at a time were used for shops. That said, there was a problem with the ceilings leaking so most merchants didn’t stay there that long and after that they became used for a whole assortment of different uses. We took an underground tour and I’m not a real believer in paranormal but there was some odd stuff going on down there; Edinburgh’s underground really is a different world and if you’re curious about it, I highly recommend you look into taking a tour.

Ultimately, tours are always a great way to get acquainted with a city.

edinburgh_gin

Following the educational and entertaining city tour I headed to the Edinburgh Gin Distillery and learned about gin. As it happens gin which wasn’t called that at the time really originated from Holland but it wasn’t long afterward that Scotland surpassed it in production. We learned bout the different types of ingredients which went into gin as well as the process of making it. Following that, we had sampled some and had a few laughs; good times.

gin_tasting

Tomorrow I’m off to St. Andrews and very excited; Old Course here I come! I will note that if you’re going to be somewhere for a brief period of time, location is everything and it’s worth it to book accommodation that is right where you want to be. I was happy with where I was staying at Jurys Inn as it was literally between the Royal Mile and Waverley station which also happens to be where the airport express starts and finishes.

artists_fringe_festival

cathedral_edinburgh_scotland

ferris_wheel_edinburgh_scotland

fringe_festival_edinburgh

fringe_festival_performers_edinburgh_scotland

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narrow_streets_edinburgh_scotland

underground_scotland
In closing, this campaign was created and managed by iambassador in association with Visit Britain. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. If you’d like to follow along in real-time, please search the hashtag #DestinationBritain on major social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Off to Explore Scotland http://stophavingaboringlife.com/off-to-explore-scotland/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/off-to-explore-scotland/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:53:04 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22469 Greetings, I’m writing this from a hotel room and in a few hours I’m starting the journey to Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve been to Scotland once before but only briefly so when the opportunity arose through an invitation from my friends at Visit Britain, I immediately accepted. Last time I was there I briefly stopped in Glasgow, […]

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Flag_of_Scotland.svg

Greetings,

I’m writing this from a hotel room and in a few hours I’m starting the journey to Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve been to Scotland once before but only briefly so when the opportunity arose through an invitation from my friends at Visit Britain, I immediately accepted. Last time I was there I briefly stopped in Glasgow, spent a few days in Edinburgh and played a round of golf; I plan on doing much more this time around.

I’m excited to be visiting Scotland, especially in the summer. Last time I was there it was late fall so I’m hoping for a scenic Scottish summer experience as this time, I’ll be getting out of the city and exploring more of what this country has to offer.  Scotland isn’t a very big country population wise with just over 5 million people and despite Edinburgh being the capital, Glasgow is the largest city. My great grandmother is from Glasgow so I’m excited to be spending some time there.

I’ll be in Scotland for just over a week and doing lots of things including but not limited to touring Edinburgh, exploring Glasgow, doing some sea kayaking, going on a scenic 20 mile bike ride, playing a round of golf, visiting St. Andrews and more. I’m going to be sampling some adventure, culture and cuisine and quite looking forward to it. I’m also excited to be playing golf again as there isn’t a course on the small island that I now call home and after all, Scotland is the home of golf.

Below are some of my posts from my first time visiting Scotland; I don’t have many to share as I wasn’t there very long. I was participating in two different conferences when a friend of mine invited me to join her and friends for Thanksgiving. Considering it’s my favourite holiday, I most certainly said yes and rushed to Edinburgh then left not long after. This is going to be a great opportunity to really get to know the country and share it all with you.

Something that I’m going to go into more detail about now is the fact that I’m visiting Eilean Donan Castle. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of castles and love roaming the ruins visualizing what it must have been like in the past. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to castles but Scotland most certainly has its fair share so very glad to be able to explore one of them. This castle is located in a stunning spot and crossing my fingers for great weather on the day I visit.

If you’d like to follow along what’s happening in real-time, please search the hashtag #DestinationBritain on most major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Also be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel as I’ll be filming a daily video blog about the entire experience to really give you an idea of what it’s like being there and what you can expect.

In closing, this campaign which I’ll be tagging with #DestinationBritain was created and managed by iambassador in association with Visit Britain. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be.

Tips hat,

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A Day in Novi Pazar, Serbia http://stophavingaboringlife.com/novi-pazar-serbia/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/novi-pazar-serbia/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:12:21 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22447 Greetings, Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending a day in Novi Pazar and it was solid times. We had arrived in this city which is located in southwest Serbia the night before but it seemed like the type of place worth further exploring. As a result, the next day part of the group went kayaking […]

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coffee_time_novi_pazar

Greetings,

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending a day in Novi Pazar and it was solid times. We had arrived in this city which is located in southwest Serbia the night before but it seemed like the type of place worth further exploring. As a result, the next day part of the group went kayaking and a few of us stayed back for a more urban adventure. I’m glad I stayed back to get to know a city I knew next to nothing about and now quite like.

novi_pazar_bridges

Novi Pazar means “new marketplace” and during the Ottoman rule it was known as Yeni Pazar which means “new market” in Turkish. Clearly this was an area where lots of trading took place and today it’s a beautiful city with lots going on if you dig a little deeper. There is a main walking street that is lined with cafes and on the Saturday night we visited, the place was packed. The next morning the vibe was considerably slower but we really started getting involved with the city when we left the main drag.

bakery_novi_pazar

We walked across a bridge and found ourselves in the older part of town. There we strolled into a bakery after following our noses to the smell of fresh bread being made. The staff at this bakery were all quite friendly and after shooting some video and taking some photos, we purchased some of their finished product and were on our way. Not long after that is where the day took its most unexpected and memorable turn.

old_door_novi_pazar

We were strolling the streets as tourists do when we came across an old door, yes an old door. We started to photograph the door when I noticed there were two women who were probably in their mid 4o’s sitting on a second floor balcony not far from us. I said good morning which is one of the only sayings I know in Serbian and they responded. Soon they were giving me the signal that if we wished, we could open the door and explore the courtyard behind. After some fiddling with the door we were in the courtyard and not long after were joined by the ladies.

friends_novi_pazar

They didn’t speak any English besides a handful of words and we didn’t speak any Serbian but we managed to understand each other. Fast forward ten minutes and we’re sitting in front of their house drinking some strong Serbian coffee with a side of cola. One of the ladies went into her garden and brought back apples which we ate while conversing with our new friends over the coffee. There were lots of hand movements and smiles, it was one of those experiences which stand out from any trip, completely unexpected and much appreciated hospitality; one of my favourite things about travel.

merchants_novi_pazar

Not long after the coffee we made our way into a market place which had everything I was looking for and more. We also met some incredibly friendly vendors and everyone seemed quite interested to hear about where we were from and what we were doing there. About half the merchants spoke a little bit of English and one kind gentleman gave us several pieces of fruit. I left the market tour with a new pair of shorts, countless pairs of socks and a smile.

barbershop_shave_novi_pazar

It’s easy to look at the attractions a destination holds and plan your itinerary around it. That said, I do urge you to also spend some of your time simply getting to know what it’s like living in the destination you’re visiting. You’ll most surely have some unexpected experiences and often times, they are the ones that you’ll remember the most long after the adrenaline rush from the activities is gone and you’ve returned home.

Thanks for the good times Novi Pazar, it was a pleasure getting to know you.

bread_novi_pazar

bridge_views_novi_pazar

chess_set_novi_pazar

fresh_produce_novi_pazar

ice_cream_novi_pazar

old_bike_novi_pazar

street_life_novi_pazar

streets_novi_pazar

In closing, the #MySerbia trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Serbian Tourism Board. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. For more images and insights from Serbia, visit My.Serbia.Travel/#smw for a stream of what’s happening on social media across most popular networks.

Tips hat,

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Uvac Special Nature Reserve in Serbia http://stophavingaboringlife.com/uvac-special-nature-reserve-in-serbia/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/uvac-special-nature-reserve-in-serbia/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 09:11:30 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22424 Greetings, I’m writing this from Novi Pazar the morning after a long day at the Uvac Special Nature Reserve in Serbia. The nature reserve consists of ~5525 hectares in western Serbia and at its peak is roughly ~1300M+ above sea level. This reserve is home to numerous species of fish, some incredible caves and the […]

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uvac_river_canyon

Greetings,

I’m writing this from Novi Pazar the morning after a long day at the Uvac Special Nature Reserve in Serbia. The nature reserve consists of ~5525 hectares in western Serbia and at its peak is roughly ~1300M+ above sea level. This reserve is home to numerous species of fish, some incredible caves and the breeding grounds for the griffon vulture. We spent a day in and around the Uvac River Canyon and it was a most memorable experience.

selfie_uvac_river

The first time most of us saw the Uvac River Canyon we had to stop the van and get out to take a series of photos and video, it’s an incredible sight and not long after that we were at this small camp of sorts. The camp had no running water from what I could see but it was a small settlement and it appeared there were some full-time residents. That said, it was packed with people as it was a Saturday and everyone seemed to be having a blast.

uvac_river_camp

A lamb was roasting as families sat around picnic tables enjoying each others company and a few beverages. There were also several fishermen who were trying their luck and as they day progressed, so did the count of people hanging out at this campsite. An attraction is taking a cruise along the Uvac River to see some caves and spot some vultures; we went on one which turned into a mission and finally, we made it to the caves.

beautiful_uvac_river

The cave we hit up had a massive entrance and supposedly went 6km into the ground. We only went about a kilometer or so which was quite enough as it gets cold in there, not just cool but cold. If you do come and plan on going on a cave hike, I suggest you pack a bag and bring a sweater. It’s quite a contrast in temperatures from being under the sun on the river and into the depths of the caves. That said, lots to see inside and if you are hot from the day’s sun; this will certainly cool you off!

fun_uvac_river

We also saw lots of vultures. I didn’t really capture that many as they were all too high but some people in our group brought binoculars which was quite a wise idea. There are also a few hikes you can do from the area but due to timing, we didn’t go to the viewpoint. I’ve seen photos though and it seems like a most worthwhile trek time permitting. After the caves we made our way back to the campsite and hung out for a bit.

friends_uvac_river

We met a really hospitable lady who I believe lives their full-time. We all drank a celebratory beer as she showed us photos of fish she has caught and shared bits of wisdom from her time living in the area. Myself and another gent agreed that if we weren’t on an itinerary, would have loved to have spent an evening or a weekend at the site. Everyone was very friendly and although we didn’t taste any of the lamb, it smelled unreal; a perfect place for a big BBQ. We didn’t taste any because we were gone when they were eating but they did offer us some before we left.

couple_uvac_river

Following that it was off to Novi Pazar where we enjoyed dinner and since it was a Saturday night decided to get involved. They had this one club which was literally packed. I am sure I’ve been places so busy before that I couldn’t find somewhere to stand, let alone procure a beverage but they escape me now; this was one of those places. The music was good and the vibe was solid but it was literally packed to capacity which was alright as it’s an open air venue.

club_novi_pazar

Following that we strolled these streets until we found some live music and enjoyed a drink while reminiscing about the day we all just had and the adventures still to come. Serbia is a very interesting country and there is so much more to it than just Belgrade. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to further explore and share what I’m finding with you. Similar to many countries, it pays off to be a bit adventurous by leaving the major cities and exploring the countryside.

live_music_novi_pazar

boat_ride_uvac_river

boats_uvac_river

campsite_uvac_river

hanging_out_uvac_river

inside_campsite_uvac_river

kids_uvac_river

more_boats_uvac_river

roast_lamb

stunning_uvac_river

In closing, the #MySerbia trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Serbian Tourism Board. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. For more images and insights from Serbia, visit My.Serbia.Travel/#smw for a stream of what’s happening on social media across most popular networks.

Tips hat,

P.S: See that photo of inside a kitchen, sat in that chair for a while and loved it.

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Getting to Know Serbia http://stophavingaboringlife.com/getting-to-know-serbia/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/getting-to-know-serbia/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 04:35:19 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22398 Greetings, I’m writing this from Zlatibor, a resort town I had the pleasure of visiting last summer which is in the western part of Serbia. Zlatibor is a popular spot in the summer where people from all over Serbia come to spend their holidays as well as a destination in demand during the winter months […]

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enjoying_gradac_river

Greetings,

I’m writing this from Zlatibor, a resort town I had the pleasure of visiting last summer which is in the western part of Serbia. Zlatibor is a popular spot in the summer where people from all over Serbia come to spend their holidays as well as a destination in demand during the winter months for the skiing and such. Besides that, it’s also a happening place with lots going on for those interested in some evening activities or apres ski.

belgrade_nightlife_goodtimes

Since we last chatted I had the pleasure of getting to know the nightlife in Belgrade a little better thanks to my new friend Marko from Belgrade at Night. We went to Mikser House and Freestyler; I’m starting to get to know Belgrade as I was already familiar with both of these venues. To say myself, friends and everyone else out that evening had a great night would be an understatement. Usually it’s a wise move to retire early but Belgrade seems to be one of those places that rewards those who just keep going with the vibe; we all had a very memorable night.

gradac_river_serbia

Following that it was a bit of a later start than usual for obvious reasons before heading west until we reached the town of Valjevo, met our gregarious guides from Wild Serbia and not long after started a hike along the Gradac River not far from the village of Lelic. The Gradac River is one of the cleanest in Serbia and supposedly people drink directly from the river itself; I drank a few times from a spring and it was everything you’d expect from a natural mountain spring. To say the Gradac River is refreshing would be an understatement and it wasn’t cool but ice cold!

serbian_hiking_trail_gradac_river

We hiked along the river for a few hours crossing it back and forth maybe a dozen times or so until we reached our final destination. It was a cool spot along the river right near a trout farm where we ate fresh trout with some local produce followed by one of the larger watermelons I’ve seen in recent memory. The trout was terrific and naturally I had to help myself to seconds, please and thank you. Following that my new friend Mark went swimming and it looked like such a good idea I soon followed suit; if you want to wake up quick just take a dip in that freezing water; it was fantastic.

bbq_trout_serbia

That night it was an easy one, yours truly did not get much sleep the night before so made up for it with a solid 9pm pass out; sometimes those are necessary and when you awake the next morning feeling fresh you’re always glad you did. The weather wasn’t ideal on this day so our plans got slightly skewed but we did manage to see some great sights along the way. It had been a busy few days and that coupled with a serious night out in Belgrade made a day spent touring the countryside in the van a most pleasant change of pace.

house_drina_river

Yesterday we saw this very cool home isolated on a small island in the Drina River near Bajina Basta; I wouldn’t mind spending a night or so there, I dare say. We stopped at a viewpoint over Perucac which is a small village that is also along the Drina River and a natural border between Serbia and Bosnia. We made our way to Tara National Park but the weather wasn’t in our favour and we made a quick stop at a WWII Memorial outside Kadinjaca. Following that we took a train ride before making our way to Zlatibor where we went out for dinner and drinks; I retired early hence I’m writing this the next day at 5:20am.

countryside_serbia

I’ve been to Zlatibor twice now and both times it was foggy, supposedly the weather has been great this summer and it was only like this one day the entire months which happened to be the last day of the month and the day we visited. Suffice to say, I’m having a great time in Serbia and glad to have returned. I really enjoyed my time the first time and doing so once again. We’re only here for a night but I do want you to see what it’s like in and around Zlatibor through my photo essay form last year.

treelined_hiking_trail

beautiful_gradac_river_serbia

serbia_countryside

dam_gradac_river

fly_fishing_lodge_gradac_river

fresh_raspberries_serbia

happy_rob_hiking

rustic_cabin_serbia

perucac_serbia

serbia_wwii_monument

train_ride_serbia

views_wooden_village_serbia

wooden_village_serbia

wwii_monument_serbia

In closing, the #MySerbia trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Serbian Tourism Board. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. For more images and insights from Serbia, visit My.Serbia.Travel/#smw for a stream of what’s happening on social media across most popular networks.

Tips hat,

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Discovering Subotica & Palic Lake, Serbia http://stophavingaboringlife.com/discovering-subotica-palic-lake-serbia/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/discovering-subotica-palic-lake-serbia/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:17:57 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22376 Greetings, I’ve just finished a great day exploring a city that I knew nothing about until earlier this morning. The name of the city is Subotica which is the most northern city in Serbia and the fifth largest. It’s a trilingual place where Serbian, Hungarian and Croatian are all spoken and it was one of […]

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courtyard_subotica

Greetings,

I’ve just finished a great day exploring a city that I knew nothing about until earlier this morning. The name of the city is Subotica which is the most northern city in Serbia and the fifth largest. It’s a trilingual place where Serbian, Hungarian and Croatian are all spoken and it was one of if not the largest city in the area until the late 19th century. Today it’s a bit sleepier but quite beautiful and a stones throw away is Palic Lake which is a splendid spot to spend some time on a sunny summers day.

fountain_subotica

The group left Novi Sad this morning and most of the team I’m traveling with went kayaking but myself and my new friend Mark made our way north for about an hour and fifteen minutes or so until we reached Subotica. Something interesting is that it doesn’t have a huge cathedral in the centre of town but instead the Town Hall which is just as large if not larger. In front they have a nice park and some interesting fountains; it was a weekday but still quite a lively spot.

modern_art_gallery_subotico

We went for a small tour of the town taking photos and filming video. We made our way to the Modern Art Gallery which is quite the structure… It’s an incredible work of art and supposedly the architect went bankrupt not long afterwards. Not that long ago, a gent purchased the building and touched it up to resemble what it was originally and they have a great courtyard and cafe / restaurant behind it. We stopped there for some coffee and such before heading to the synagogue.

subotica_synagogue

The synagogue in Subotica is unreal and another work of architectural art. Sadly, most of the Jewish population was wiped out near the end of World War II and the building has been left unused since. There is still a small community in the area but they practice in a smaller synagogue nearby. Following that we made our way into City Hall. We did a quick tour inside and marveled at the stained glass windows and craftsmanship before making our way out to Palic Lake which I quite enjoyed.

lake_palic_boats

Palic Lake used to have a natural spring and be used as a large spa; the days have since passed but there are still some spas and wellness centres one can visit. You can rent paddle boats and these cool quad cycles of sorts; should I return I’d like to try one.  They also have these other small boats with 4hp motors; they seemed like good fun with the right company. The lake was quite calm and alongside it there was this awesome cafe playing chilled out and funky electronic music that served cold drinks. It was ta patio on the shore and the restaurant / cafe itself was on a boat.

patio_lake_palic

We stayed there for a while after doing some exploring before heading back into town. There we had some lunch before making the trek back. The city itself isn’t that large with just over 100,000 people in the last consensus but somewhere I most certainly could have spent more time. If you’re traveling through Serbia I suggest you make a stop there for an evening or so and enjoy the chilled out vibe. It’s also quite beautiful so if one had a full day, would be fun to photograph in blue light.

quad_bikes_lake_palic

Now I’m in Belgrade and later tonight myself and some friends are going on a tour of the nightlife. I’ve been to Belgrade before and gone out several times but never to a large club so I’m quite interested to see what it’s all about. That said, I’m also going on a great hike tomorrow so the fun will be had with that in the back of my mind; yes?

cafe_lake_palic

city_hall_stainglass_subotica

inside_subotica_city_hall

lake_palic_artchitecture

lake_palic_villa

salmon_subotica

streets_subotico

villa_lake_palic_serbia

In closing, the #MySerbia trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Serbian Tourism Board. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. For more images and insights from Serbia, visit Serbia.Travel for a stream of what’s happening on social media across most popular networks.

Tips hat,

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Taste of Nightlife in Belgrade, Serbia http://stophavingaboringlife.com/taste-of-nightlife-in-belgrade-serbia/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/taste-of-nightlife-in-belgrade-serbia/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 06:05:53 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22367 Greetings, I’m back in Belgrade and quite thrilled about it, I dare say. The nightlife in Belgrade is legendary and last night I got a small taste of it along with a delicious mixed grill but more on that later. Granted, it was a Monday so not that much going on but it didn’t really […]

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friends_in_serbia

Greetings,

I’m back in Belgrade and quite thrilled about it, I dare say. The nightlife in Belgrade is legendary and last night I got a small taste of it along with a delicious mixed grill but more on that later. Granted, it was a Monday so not that much going on but it didn’t really matter as the establishment we visited was still busy and if I wasn’t about to start a crazy week exploring the rest of Serbia, I would have stayed out later…

skadarska_street_belgrade

Myself and some friends met for late afternoon drinks on Skadarska Street which is one of those places you’ll most definitely visit on a trip to Belgrade. The old cobble stone streets are lined with cafes and restaurants where groups of gents play traditional music, local and tourists alike drink delicious ales and dine on beautifully placed together BBQ’s; that kind of place. Since I was here last year on my own accord, I had the pleasure of having all the pleasant memories rush back to me; it was good to be back in Belgrade.

rakija_serbia

I teamed up with some friends new and old and afterwards we made our way across the bridge to meet another crew, drink some rakija and eat delicious Serbian BBQ. If you come to Serbia and you aren’t a vegetarian, you must try and eat as much BBQ as possible. This country is serious about their meat and rakija while we’re on the topic. I heard the quote that rakija is the best possible use for extra fruit and I would have to agree; also inspired me to start making some where I live with all those extra mangoes rotting on my property a few times each year.

serbian_mixed_grill_bbq

If you’re new to the Serbian BBQ scene, I recommend you get the mixed grill as our hosts suggested we do. It had an assortment of every type of meat you could imagine. It was like this magic surprise meat pile of sorts. At first it looked like a few types were there but as we dug deeper, it just never ended and a wide assortment of options was revealed. This particular mixed grill platter had sausages, skewers, chops and everything else you could imagine. The sopska salad which is a classic around here wasn’t so bad either!

sopska_belgrade

This was a Monday but as I mentioned above, still quite lively. The rest of the group rolled out into the night afterwards but myself and a friend retired to our hotel. I’m starting a big trip and my friend was ending his while starting another this morning. At this time I should also mention that food in Serbia is incredibly affordable. There was a group of us that must have been 10+ easily with countless platters, rakija and beers consumed. The tab came to a number I know not but everyone gave 1000 RSD which is about $9.20US; we then had a ~20 minute taxi home for 800 RSD which works out to about $7.40US; magic.

room_belgrade

Something I will also note as I type this while streaming Youtube music in my hotel room is that the internet connection I’m on here in Belgrade is one of the fastest I’ve had anywhere. There is no question why my friend Nate from Yomadic makes this place a base regularly and when I’m done construction and looking for a place to base for business and a little pleasure; Belgrade has just skyrocketed to the top of the list. I’m uploading videos to my Youtube Channel in about ~3-4 minutes; how marvellous.

I’d continue but I’m off to Novi Sad today and need to meet my friend Kash for breakfast.

In closing, the #MySerbia trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Serbian Tourism Board. That said, obviously all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be. For more images and insights from Serbia in real-time, click here for a stream of what’s happening on social media across most popular networks.

Tips hat,

P.S: These photos are a taste but stay tuned for the full video; it tells a better story, yes?

P.P.S: Top photo credit; my new friend Nency Hammer.

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