Once upon a cottage in Serbia…

By Enid Parker

As I sat on a wooden bench sipping black coffee and watching the sun rise in all its glory on a chilly October morning, I experienced a strange kind of calm. I had no thoughts of what I must do next, and no recollections or regrets from the past. In that moment, all that existed was the moment itself – one of pure beauty and joy, the kind that only nature can provide. I also felt at home. Which was strange, considering we were hundreds of miles away from our home, Dubai.

But that’s the feeling that Borina Koliba Cottage, a cosy, rustic hideaway in the village of Razanj in Serbia, inspires. While providing a completely new and awe-inspiring experience for us ‘townies’, it still envelops you in the warm, comfortable feeling of home.

It wasn’t only the décor of the cottage, with its old photos, artefacts, vintage furniture and crockery that made me and my husband feel very much at home. It was also our host, who treated us more like old friends rather than strangers who had rented his cottage for a night.

As we arrived tired and hungry from a very bumpy car ride from the village to the interiors of the woods where the cottage was located, he proceeded to whip up a meal of meat and bread, cooked traditionally in a charcoal filled pit nearby.

While he cooked and gave us a running commentary on the process, a multitude of friendly family members of all ages kept us company. There were also some homemade local beverages to be had, and interesting conversations about the history and culture of Serbia, which we knew little about prior to travelling to the place.

The morning of the spectacular sunrise, after a walk in the pristine woods nearby, we left the cottage a little reluctantly, wishing we had more time to spend in a place where both nature and its human counterparts seemed to blend perfectly together. Don’t miss a visit to this charming spot if you put Serbia on your travel list!

Five fun things

Our whirlwind trip to Serbia also included Belgrade. Here’s five things we learned (and loved) about the city:

• Buskers delight you

• Coffee is a much-adored beverage

• There are bookshops galore

• People play chess in the park

• Snezana Café on Knez Mihajlova 50 street has great food & excellent service

enid@khaleejtimes.com

Enid frequents secondhand bookshops, loves chai and wishes she could revisit the Eighties.

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