VanuatuGo placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,st
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Top 10 Travel Essentials

Top 10 travel essentials

While I was thinking of my top 10 travel essentials, I had to consider what my criteria were. I am sure this can change over time, but the following 10 travel items had to be – practical, used every day and easily fit inside a suitcase or backpack.  Every item below has been used by us over the last year  two  FOUR years, EVERY SINGLE DAY.

There is only one thing I would like to add to this list, which we have not had but I would love to try, is an eReader. Particularly the Kindle Paperwhite. I have read so much about them and think that they would be a great way to take our books with us. I have managed to download books onto my phone, however my screen is quite small and a dedicated eReader would be an excellent way to allow us to continue to read, wherever we are!

Packing Cubes

This has to be my Number 1 travel essential. I don’t know where we would be without my packing cubes. These have saved us so much time and expense. They have kept our packing to a minimum as we have travelled the world. We created a bit of a rule, if it can’t fit in the cube it can’t come.  Which amazingly has not stopped quite a few things being crammed into our two suitcases!

The ingenious part of these gadgets is not only that they make packing a breeze but they keep everything organized once you arrive at your destination. They are easy to unpack and place everyone’s ‘clothes’ (crap) into their own spaces.  I also discovered that they helped when my suitcase was overweight, which happened on a flight from Rome to the UK, I was able to easily take out one packing cube and carry it on the plane as ‘hand luggage’ without facing excess baggage fees.  I must admit that this confuses me because it is not as though suddenly there is less weight going onto the plane!! Being over by less than 2kg seems quite ridiculous to ask for an extra 40 Euros.

I have a review of different types of packing cubes here so you can choose your favorite based on functionality and price.

Travel Adaptors

Having traveled to so many different countries, this is an essential piece of travel kit for us.  With so many different devices that require charging, it has been essential to have 2 of these!

We didn’t want to have to carry various adaptors so we focussed on finding adaptors that were a combination. This was the best.

Headphones for kids and adults

We each have a set of headphones.  The kids have some earbuds (noise limited) which we use quite often when we are driving long distances so  they can listen to audio books.  My husband has a pair of earbuds that he likes to use to listen to sleep meditations. And I have a pair of noise canceling headphones.

I love them and they are perfect on the plane and in noisy airports and I have found them invaluable when I need some peace away from the kids without having to remove myself physically. If I close my eyes I can pretend I am asleep!!


Battery Pack

We have two of these, one of which is really light and transportable and another more heavy duty and faster battery pack.  The light one is easy to take around in a jacket or pocket in case the phone dies! However the big bomber is good to take on longer trips – planes, trains and buses as it holds a longer charge and can fully charge any phone at least 4 times.

Travel Wallet (for passports – RFID blocking)

We have a leather travel wallet which can hold all of our passports. 8 in total! (dual citizens).  It is also great for holding boarding passes, customs forms and other important documents such as our drivers licenses.  There are a variety you can choose from, but we have much preferred to have a leather one which has lasted us many years.

Day Pack

Daypacks are invaluable. We did start with three day packs. One each for the kids and one for us. But we quickly realized this was not practical. It created more work for me and I was constantly checking that the kids had not left their packs anywhere, which of course happened when we were in Rome and there was next to no chance of ever getting it back.

We have one day pack. This is usually carried about by our son as he wants to be the pack horse (his words not ours!). He never takes it off and because it usually only contains water and a few other necessities (scarf, hats, sunscreen, camera) it is not too heavy. As we have said above carrying water is a necessity. It reduces waste and we can refill it in most places. If we were traveling in the countries that might require a water filter then I would have a water bottle with a life filter attached. Brilliant invention, should probably add it to the list!

HDMI Cable and/or Mini Display Port

You say what?! Having both a Mac and a regular laptop has meant that we need both the HDMI Cable and the Mini Display Port.

An HDMI cable has been invaluable for us. We can connect to any TV and play movies watch tv shows and live stream BBC news. Without the HDMI cable we have to watch ceaseless reruns of Easter European sitcoms and have no idea as to what is going on!!

Yes, in an ideal world I would love to say that we don’t watch television, but TV is a savior when Hubs and I just need 5 mins to ourselves. Or a moment to think – or in fact not to think. There is nothing quite like watching Death in Paradise and having a competition to figure out who the killer is!

We also have a mini display port which we have to use to connect the Mac to the TV.  For us this has made it so simple to watch videos, YouTube and look at photos on a much larger screen.

Water Bottles – Swell/Earth/Sigg

We drink a lot of water – good eggs. And rather than constantly buying water while we are out it is easy to take a water bottle. There are two reasons this is great for us – One it beats the ‘I’m thirsty’ cry before it begins AND we can do a teensy bit towards reducing our consumption of plastics.  With so many places inundated with plastic and particularly plastic water bottles it is just a small step that we can take to helping our environment.

We chose these water bottles because they are beautiful, practical and useful – hmmm quite like me really… but seriously if it doesn’t bring you joy then whats the point?!

So rather than buying plastic water bottles, we have ensured that we have a water bottle wherever we go.


Panasonic Lumix Camera

Its not a DSLR but it is a beauty. My favourite part is that no matter how many times I drop this baby she doesn’t quit on me! I am a klutz and this was one of the most important features I was looking for. As well as being able to take great photos – it is me proof! But really this camera is also water proof so my trip to SE Asia and snorkeling and scuba diving can be captured in beautiful colour!


Suitcases! We are really pretty good with suitcase travel.

In the old days I had a brilliant backpack. I loved it, but it got lost somewhere over the last 20ish years! So now traveling with the kids and hubs has meant a slight shift for me.  Also my shoulders are not up for hoisting backpacks around. So we have the below suitcases which have been brilliant. They have lasted our first full year of travel without a hitch. The kids are happy to push them about hotels and down roads and we have been able to drag them up stairs.

My only suggestion get the suitcases with double wheels. These are sturdier and support a little more weight. We have not had any issues with the single wheel, but I can see the benefit in double wheels.  The hardshell on these suitcases ensures that everything inside is protected, so no broken bottles or other things.

I also particularly like the compression zip which goes the entire way around the suitcase. This has allowed us to load them up and then be able to make our enormous suitcase a little more slender!   Combined with packing cubes these really are perfect.

They are both fitted with TSA approved locks which means that you can lock them (create your own code) and if necessary the airport security can check the contents if something looks suspicious!


Livraria Lello The Most Beautiful Bookshop

Livraria Lello, Porto

Livraria Lello, Porto

The Most Beautiful Bookshop in the World

Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal has been recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. It has also taken on mythical proportions for enthusiasts of the Harry Potter series.  This store has been credited as the inspiration for Hogwarts magical moving staircases.  And it is easy to see how this bookshop could inspire such imaginings, its incredible color and gothic inspiration are easily recognizable to those who have read the books.

Getting into Livraria Lello

There is an art gallery come ticket office on the corner, two doors up from Livraria Lello, where you purchase your ticket.  Livraria Lello has become so popular that there is an entrance fee.  The 5 Euro fee can be recouped in the purchase of a book and it is worth it!

Livraria Lello Entrance Vouchers

Livraria Lello Entrance Vouchers

It is better to get here early as there are hordes of people that pass through these art nouveau doors every day. Once you have your entry ticket, join the queue and enter the bookshop.

It is possible to buy your voucher online. I would recommend doing this or taking a tour that includes entry to Livraria Lello. This does not give you priority, however it might make it quicker to get to the front of the line, particularly if you have children.

Friends of ours always use Get Your Guide and I agree that including this stop on a tour of Porto really does make things a bit quicker.  We stopped in here during lunch time and I wish that we had come much earlier to avoid the crowds and the heat.

You can book a Get Your Guide tour here. This tour will also include a walk past the Porto Cathedral, Clérigos Church, São Bento Railway Station.

With a little bit of luck you will beat the crowd and proceed into the bookstore quickly.

The history of Livraria Lello.

Livraria Lello first opened it’s doors in 1906.  Designed by two brothers, José and António Lello, the building was brought to life by  Francisco Xavier Esteves.  His incredible design and use of colour created a bookstore that people come from all over the world to see.

It takes it’s design from ‘Art Nouveau’ and/or ‘Neo-Gothic’, combining the two to create a red, voluptuous staircase that wraps you up to the second floor, with its dramatic stained glass ceiling and beautiful friezes. The shelves which extend from the floor to the ceiling contain books in a multitude of languages including, Portugues, English and French.  It is here that you are able to redeem your ticket for an ordinary book purchased in an extraordinary store.


Livraria Lello Staircase and Ceiling

Livraria Lello Staircase and Ceiling

As you enter Livraria Lello you are greeted by this staircase.  It’s color is in direct contrast to the dark intricately carved wood that adorns every inch of this building.

OPO: Get Your Guide

Livraria Lello with Kids

This is a store that welcomes children of all ages. There are books specifically for them and as long as your children are fascinated by Harry Potter then it is an easy place to make intriguing and exciting for them.  However, there are long queues and


Staircase of Livrario Lello

Staircase of Livrario Lello Photo by Ivo Rainha

The only drawback to Livraria Lello maybe its own popularity!

Beware of the huge amounts of traffic that this bookstore can attract!  Livraria Lello is a tourist mecca.  Partly due to the fact that JK Rowling credits the gorgeous red staircase as the inspiration behind the winding staircases in Hogwarts, and partly to the fact that there once was a coffee shop here where she was able to sit and write and drink coffee surrounded by the richness of this bookstore. Sadly, it is no longer possible to drink coffee within it’s doors, however there are plenty of cafes and restaurants (The Majestic) where you can!

Don’t miss this bookstore while you are in Porto. It truly is incredible.

Livraria Lello Staircase

Livraria Lello Staircase

Sveti Stefan Montenegro

Sveti Stefan Montenegro

Welcome to Sveti Stefan Montenegro

How gorgeous is Sveti Stefan!

Situated on an ‘islet’ on the coast of Montenegro it was once a fort to repel invading forces, but now is an upmarket 5 star resort.

I couldn’t help wondering if I was walking in places that Mariln Monroe may have.

During the ’70’s and ’80’s it was the playground for the rich and famous and saw such stars as  Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Orson Welles… the elite of Hollywood. However, with the break up of Yugoslavia it went into decline. It was not until the government put it up for tender to be turned into a resort that it underwent another transformation.

This incredible place is now owned by Aman Resorts and has a starting price of around €800/night. Not your average hotel and certainly not one we intend on taking the kids to just yet! BUT I would love to come back and stay here. Such a treat!

Staying in Sveti Stefan or Montenegro

If you want to make a booking to stay in the area you can use Always reliable, we have found it provides properties for varying budgets and styles.


The beach at Sveti Stefan Montenegro

The beach at Sveti Stefan in Montenegro

Restaurants/Cafe’s near Sveti Stefan

We enjoyed a couple of drinks and a club sandwich at Cafe Olive, which has a beautiful view of Sveti Stefan. It also meant our children could play in the park and we could still see them from the restaurant. I am not sure what the rest of the food is like on the menu but what we had was good.  Other restaurants in the area are much further out, so I imagine that Cafe Olive gets very busy during the summer period. We were here out of season which is our favourite time to see most places as it is quiet and relaxed.  I would love to visit during summer though so I could have a swim in this crystal clear water.

Getting to Sveti Stefan and Montenegro

We flew to Tivat, hired a car at the airport and then drove to Kotor.  Accommodation we organized through Airbnb, you can use this link. You can also read more about Kotor here.  It is a gorgeous spot to stay.



Cala Moraig

Spanish Sunshine Adventures

Spanish Sunshine on the Costa Blanca

We came to the Costa Blanca and more specifically to Cumbre del Sol to have 6 weeks of Spanish Sunshine.  We did not leave disappointed.  Our first stop in Spain was Seville.  You can read about our adventures of driving from Albufeira in Portugal to Seville and then onto Porto here.  What we did realise was that we wanted more time in Spain so we planned to come back and when we did, it was to this beautiful location.

If you come to the mediterranean coast of Spain it is worth taking some time to visit the town of Moraira.  We loved Moraira and met lots of local and international visitors.  What we did notice was that there are many English who have retired to Moraira and are now enjoying a proper dose of sunshine.  Good choice! What’s not to love about that.

Visit Moraira and its Beaches

Situated an hour between Alicante  (to the South) and Valencia (to the North) the town of Moraira is a perfect stop before and after the chaos of the larger cities.  With a summer temperature ranging between 28 – 31 in summer.

About 20 mins from the infamous Benidorm, it has all the charm and beauty of a coastal town without the party atmosphere of  Benidorm.   Moraira offers a much more laidback experience and while there are plenty of clubs and nightlife, it was not something we were looking for.

Spanish Dancers

These gorgeous Spanish ladies in their dresses were very happy to pose with our possums

It is so easy to get to this pretty town. Buses run directly from the airport to Moraira. Or hire a car. We had a little car that was aptly named the buzz box, but it was needed as we were at the top of  Cumbre del Sol and there was no public transport.


Cumbre del Sol

Cumbre del Sol

Cumbre del Sol – Spanish Holiday Homes

This gorgeous Spanish Holiday Home ‘estate’ was perfect for our 6 week stop.  We actually considered staying for longer. There is a fantastic international school Laude Lady Elizabeth 5 minutes walk and they have exceptional facilities. We were there during the summer holidays so we didn’t get the chance to take the kids to have a look. But we are working ways to go back.  This little ‘town’ has a beautiful pool with it’s own very strict lifeguards – no ball games!

To book this property or any others you can have a look through Airbnb just here

Airbnb upturned suitcase







Colourful Houses of Cumbre del Sol

Colourful Houses of Cumbre del Sol

Restaurante La Cumbre – Spanish Food and Sunsets

This restaurant is perched on top of the hill and has the most expansive outlook.  With a backdrop of many Spanish villas and holiday homes the view is stunning. Looking out to the ocean it feels like you can see forever.  The food here is delicious and with a pool that can be used by any diner, any time, our kids were in heaven. As were we!  The kids happily entertained themselves in the pool for hours, while we soaked up the Spanish sunshine, the views and the Sangria!

Restaurante La Cumbre

What could be better than a Restaurant with a pool! Oh and an incredible view.

Spanish sunset over Cala Moraig and Cumbre del Sol

This is an evening view over the tops of holiday homes to the sea as the sunset.  This was perfect way to finish up each evening.  The menu is wide ranging and of course there are lots of different options, including pizza and paella.  We couldn’t go past having paella each time we were here. But the kids were happy with pizza and.  There is also an early snack bar type menu, but this is only available during the day, come 6pm the restaurant switches over to the dinner menu.  While we sat outside and enjoyed a very casual setting, it is possible to sit inside the restaurant and have a silver service type dinner.  This is not our thing so we opted for enjoying the outdoors and the sunsets!

Sunset from Restaurante La Cumbre

Sunset from Restaurante La Cumbre

Cala Moraig

This little pebble beach was reached by driving down the most ridiculously steep road.  Walking down would be ok, but back up… nope not doing it!  So nearly every morning we would all throw our swimmers on and jump in the buzz box and drive down to this amazing spot!  We would try and be here by 7am to avoid the crowds.  It is hard to believe that this little cove is full of people and they all start to arrive as we leave around 7.30am.  This was a perfect way to wake up each morning.  The water was so salty we could all float around and I am sure that I would have been able to read a book, given the chance! Cala del MoraigCala del Moraig – our favourite early morning swimming spot

One of the most beautiful things I noticed was the dramatic change in light.  This beautiful orangey early morning light would change throughout the day and become so much brighter and hotter as the day wore on.  Although it is hard to imagine this little beach gets absolutely packed with people. We preferred the quiet mornings down here to the craziness of packed pebble beaches, so used the pool at Cumbre del Sol during the day.


Boardwalk Cala Moraig

The walk to Cala Moraig


We love Novi Sad

Things to do in Serbia – An Adventure in the Balkans

Things to do in Serbia – Discover the Balkans

Getting Here – Visit Serbia

First things first. Getting to Serbia and Belgrade is easy.  We use and to book all our flights. Both provide affordable options from wherever you are in the world. The beauty of both of these is that you can put in your destination and current location and both can show you the cheapest dates to fly, especially good if you do not have any time restraints.

It is easy to fly into Belgrade from most airports in Europe and around the world.  We flew from Tokyo to Belgrade with one stop in Abu Dhabi.  From Belgrade it is easy to access other cities in Serbia from here.  Generally it will cost about €35 to get a taxi from Belgrade to Novi Sad (Belgrades beautiful sister!)

There are so many things to do Serbia and so many things to visit. It really is undiscovered. Our first trip here was 3 days in Belgrade over the Easter break. Great introduction to Eastern Europe.


Where is Serbia? – Geographic Location

Serbia is in the centre of Eastern Europe and is surrounded by 9 other countries.  This makes it a land locked country, with no part touching the ocean – an ideal base to explore the rest of the Balkan States.  Belgrade was once the capital of the Former Yugoslavia, and there has been much bloodshed and fighting in this part of the world.

The countries surrounding Serbia are:

Bosnia and Herzegovina


Serbia Map

Accommodation in Serbia and Novi Sad

While here in Novi Sad, we have used Airbnb. We have found this to be the best way for us to find fully furnished apartments that include internet, electricity, air con and heating.  Recently in need of somewhere fully furnished with all utilities we emailed all the properties we were interested in, told them our budget and asked them to consider an offer for a 3 month booking.  We have had great success and it is worth asking for a discount as most places will consider this if you have a booking of a month or more.

If you are here for a shorter time also has some great hotels and prices available.

In Novi Sad, the Centar is the best place to stay to be close to all the action as well as having easy access to transport.  The town centre is a large pedestrian square surrounded by cafe’s, restaurants, bars and boutiques.  There are small designer shops that have some beautiful clothes and jewellery all designed and made in Serbia.

Transport – How to get around in Novi Sad and Serbia

Public transport is a breeze. Signs are clearly marked (hmmm not really), but most people are willing to help and you can ask for information as to where the bus is heading.  A bus costs 55din for an adult ticket, children ride free (under 16).

Taxis are inexpensive and make an affordable way to get around from various locations around Serbia.  We got to know a Taxi driver (as most are happy to give you their number) and we were able to look around Novi Sad and its surrounds this way.

It is possible to hire a car, either at the airport or in the centre.  You must have your lights on while driving, even during the day. And make sure to read the fine print. We learnt the hard way, but you don’t have to!

Serbian drivers also like to stop and put there hazard lights on just about anywhere, main roads, middle of the road – it doesn’t matter!  And the driving can be a little unpredictable,  I often pretend I am asleep while my husband drives, as the drivers make for a rollercoaster like ride!

If you find a great parking space, there are a couple of things to be aware of.  Make sure you pay for parking or park where there are blue signs.  You can pay for parking via SMS, we made the mistake of parking, umm, next to the French Embassy.  Don’t do this.  We didn’t realise and thought we had found a great parking space and wandered into Belgrade to have lunch and when we came back we couldn’t find the car… That was when some very jolly Serbian Guards came and let us know that the car had been impounded.  They kindly hailed us a taxi and sent us on our way.  This is also where I tell you that you need to make sure that you have all the paperwork for your car.  Having a car from a friend (in Prague), with Czech number plates, producing an Australian Drivers License and British Passport did not elicit a smile from the impound chap, it just meant we had a lot of paperwork to sort out and a few hundred Euros to pay to get the car back.  This is one of those look back and laugh moments, though to be fair we were all laughing at each other anyway! Lesson Learned..

Visas and Vaccinations – What do you need to consider for Serbia

When you arrive make sure to register with the police within 24 hours of arriving in the country.  If you are staying in a hotel or hostel this will be taken care of for you.  However, if you are staying in an Airbnb make sure to check with your host that they have done this for you.  If not, you are required to go to the Police together and register.  They will give you a white slip of paper called the Bela Karta which you will need to take with you while you are traveling around Serbia.

For all EU and EU associated countries visas are not required.  However you only have 90 days and you will need to cross the border and get another stamp in your passport. You may have to produce the Bela Karta at the border.

There are no required Vaccinations for Serbia.  Be aware that there was a recent measles epidemic (it only takes one case to be an epidemic as it is an eradicable disease) that began in Montenegro and moved towards Belgrade. At the time of this post there were no further cases reported.  With all vaccinations make sure you are up to date and you can always check WHO (worldhealthorganisation,com) for further information regarding this.

Events – Novi Sad and Belgrade

There are always different sorts of events going on in Serbia.  Facebook is an easy way of finding events that are going on around Serbia.  We discovered the National Tourism Information website (click HERE). It has  lots of different events organised by month. Great and easy to navigate, making planning a visit around any of these events really easy.

One of the biggest is the Exit Music Festival in Novi Sad, it started 17 years ago as a student uprising against Slobodan Milosevic, and is now Europes best music festival.  Held at the Petrovardin Fortress, looking over the river Danube in Novi Sad.  It is an event that takes place annually in July and attended by over 350,000 people over three days.

Exit Festival

Credit – EXIT Photo Team

Most recently, we are enjoying the Novi Sad Winterfest.  It is no secret that I love Christmas. I love the happy atmosphere, I love finding the perfect present for friends and family, I love the carols and I love the sparkly, twinkly lights that let me feel like a kid again.  So being in Serbia, surrounded by cold and having to wear fluffy jackets and hoping for snow, is a dream come true!  Freedom Square, the main pedestrian square has local food stalls – Rakia, Honey, Sweets, traditional Serbian food.  A Singing Christmas Tree – adorable when full of tiny out of key singing children.  And my favourite is the sleigh pulled by 2 beautiful horses with christmas bells!

Europe does Christmas so beautifully.

Freedom Square Christmas

Weather in Serbia

Serbia has all the seasons! For Queenslanders (North East Australia) this has been great to experience, as it feels like we only have Summer and Winter.  We arrived at the beginning of April to a cool Spring where the average temp is 12 degrees celsius – definitely jumper weather.  All along the Danube restaurants and beach front resorts were getting ready for the coming summer season.  We were back in Serbia in mid August, Summer was in full swing.  And it was hot.  While the average temperature is 21 degrees we had at least two weeks of temperatures over 35 degrees celsius.  I was really glad to welcome the cooler weather.  Autumn has become my new favourite season.  I haven’t seen such gorgeous colours.  Everywhere we looked, the trees were throwing down their summer coats and the reds, golds and yellows were brilliant!  Temperature ranged from 15 – 20 and the nights were much cooler. Now Winter is here. Our first properly cold winter.  All I can say is ‘winter is coming’.  Honestly I have been rugged up like I have been living in Winterfell.  Love it and hate it at the same time.  That bone chilling cold is coming and I have bought thermals to make sure I am not too cold!!  We are expecting snow over the weekend and temperatures are dropping.  We have a high of 2 and lows of -3.  Locals have told us that it will get much colder and possibly drop to around -15 in the dead of winter.  We might have to knick off to warmer climes!

Places to Visit in Serbia

We love Novi Sad

Novi Sad

We have been in Novi Sad for the last 6 months and we are based here to explore the rest of Europe and the Balkans.  We have been here for 4 months, and we managed to visit so many little towns as well as side trips to Hungary, Romania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.  We gave plans to visit Bulgaria and the Ukraine in the coming months.

Fruska Gora National Park

40 mins outside of Novi Sad is Fruska Gora National Park.  Its beautiful.  We have been lucky enough to be here during summer and autumn, and coming from Noosa, Australia where we only have summer and winter – this is magical.  There are lots of walking and hiking tracks through the Park and all are easily accessible.  There are a few places where you are able to have a picnic and enjoy a BBQ.  We have enjoyed having an open fire and attempting to roast chestnuts (more like watching them explode out of the fire!).


A busy cosmopolitan city.  So many different places to explore, but make sure not to miss Kalamegdan Fortress – The Belgrade Fortress.  Located on the confluence of the River Sasa and The Danube. legend suggests that Attilla the Hun’s remains lie beneath the fortress.  This fortress has withstood the test of time and repelled many attacks from various forces. The park is an oasis in a very busy city.  There is so much to explore in this fortress and it is worth the walk around.  From the crumbling World Heritage Listed stair case, to the museum (which was closed at our time of visit) – they had an exhibition on torture implements, my kids were disappointed (me not so much…)  The view from across the two rivers is worth the walk and the crumbling remains of the Metropolitan Court was our favourite archaeological site here.

Nikola Tesla Museum – Belgrade

This small museum highlights the important work of the man that brought us Alternative Current (AC). While he did drop out of recognized Science programs, I cannot remember him at school, he is a National Hero in Serbia and is on the 100din note.  His story is fascinating and we enjoyed this museum as the kids could interact with the exhibits.

Museum of Aviation – Belgrade

This building is spectacular in its design and seems a testament to the Yugoslavian architecture.  It is sadly run down and you can see so much potential for this building.  Surrounding the building is the bodies of aging aircraft.  There are some incredible planes on display and even for those not interested in aviation history this is a fascinating museum.


Kikinda is home to Kika the Wooly Mammoth discovered in a brick factory floor in 1996.  She was fully preserved in mud and is now on display in Kikinda.  She would have been 15 tons and remains one of the largest complete skeletons of the Wooly Mammoth ever found.  Outside there is a full replica showing how big she would have been – enormous!

There is an annual pumpkin festival held in mid October each year.

And there is a dedicated terracotta museum “Terra” that was opened 5 December 2017.  The initial symposium began in 1982 and has had over 300 sculptors participate.  It is a significant and interesting museum.

Kikinda Kika the Mammoth

Sremski Karlovci

Sremski Karlovci is the old centre of Serbia.  We stayed here for two months and enjoyed the generous hospitality of our airbnb host, the walks to collect water from a local well and enjoyed the much slower pace outside of the city centre.  We have found that for us it is a little to far out to make exploring easy.


Eating Out in Novi Sad

We can eat out for dinner for  under $10 for a family of 4. BRILLIANT.  Food choices are not limited, from gyros to pizza and of course traditional Serbian food.  Which is delicious!  and we have discovered a few vegan restaurants/cafes as well as some white table cloth restaurants.

Our favourite place to eat is a cheap little grill that serves traditional Serbian food.  This consists of cabbage salad (knowns as Shopska Salad), grilled meats and Jelen beer!

Our favourite places in Novi Sad

  • Lantern – fantastic pizza and amazing pot plant dessert
  • Kombinat – Great breakfast, great coffee. Funky atmosphere. Oh an excellent rose, with their own label.
  • Loft – Best coffee and a great selection of craft beers – My favourite – Janis Hoplin
  • Project 72 – serves the most delicious selection of food! Our favourite has to be the foie gras! All the food is sourced locally and is fresh. They provide an excellent wine list and the wait staff are very knowledgeable.