Nataša Pavlović was born in Serbia and she has spent most of her life in Belgrade. After her studies she worked as art director and fashion designer for various international fashion companies before she decided to become a freelancer and move to Luxembourg in 2015 - for love.
In the following dialogue Nataša gives us an insight into what places to visit, her favorite seasons for photographing, best places to take incredible photos and so much more. Owing to this dialogue with Nataša and to her stunning photos, Luxembourg is on my wish list of places to visit and I am sure you will put it on your list too.
Have you always had such a wonderful relationship with the city that we see on your photos and in the descriptions below?
Well, at first it really was a totally different world I’ve entered. As someone who was used to live in a big metropolitan city with all its positive and negative effects (like having the possibility to go to the grocery store 24/7 or having tons of noisy people on the streets day and night) I felt like moving to the Twilight Zone as after 6 PM it was almost impossible to see a living soul on the streets.
But then I discovered the vibe and rhythm of my new home. I learned to treasure the fact that the entire country has a clear order and that everything is perfectly organized. There are no traffic jams, cars seem not to have a horn and everything is calm and peaceful. Furthermore, we live at the countryside so we’re surrounded by forests, fields and animals. From the first moment the entire country appeared like a scene from a fairy tale. On every step you simply drop over some castles or lakes or another impressive scene. In that environment I’ve finally found my inner peace.
What was life like in the Luxembourg at the beginning and what is it like now?
Now most of my days start without an alarm clock, I enjoy a relaxed cup of hot coffee at my living room terrace, watching the neighbor's horses in their riding stables before I dive into my projects. Another big advantage of Luxembourg is its unique location. It’s surrounded by four beautiful countries (most of them are reachable even within just less than an hour). I use this fact to travel to other cities in Germany, Belgium, France or the Netherlands whenever I have the time or I am in the mood.
My life at the beginning was not really different then it is 4 years later. As I changed my working status from employed to freelanced I have the great privilege to work from my home office (often in my PJ-s :) and to structure my days according to my personal rhythm. Of course, I fine-tuned my daily routine over the years and I also have very stressful periods where projects needs to be finished or deadlines have to be respected, but in general I still try to live a life of a modern Bohème.
How can you tell if you have connected with a city?
Within a very short time I got in touch with the city and I enjoy all things that Luxembourg has to offer. Instagram was of course the perfect tool that helped me to discover and get to know everything I was interested in like visiting and collaborating with various museums and galleries, enjoying good restaurants, taking part in interesting workshops and lectures, going to music concerts and especially meeting like-minded people.
As Luxembourg really is small the time you need for adapting to the city is extremely short. And as there are so many expats living here you feel like a stranger among other strangers and this simply breaks any connection borders.
Where do you have coffee without a care in the world and where do you feel like examining life?
If it comes to enjoy a good cup of coffee there are a few places I have discovered in Luxembourg city that I find cosy and charming. If I would have to pick one then I would go for the Konrad Café. It’s located in the old part of the city center in a small and narrow alley close to the Duke’s palace (a little trivia, Luxembourg is the only remaining Grand Duchy in the world). What I like the most about this café is that the audience is multicultural and so relaxed (and they have a marvelous carrot-cake I cannot resist each time I’m there).
If it comes to find inner peace then my favourite place is my home. As I live outside the city at the countryside I try to be in the nature as often as possible (just returned from a 2 hours walk through the woods)! This is the perfect balance to come down after visiting vibrant metropolises and after all my business trips.
Does the city lure you to go out, regardless of the weather or do you prefer thinking about it at home and watching it out of your window?
Absolutely, whenever the city calls, I have to follow no matter the weather (by the way, Luxembourg is not really famous for having a good and stable weather so prepare to be welcomed by clouds and rain even in summer).
So if I am in the mood to visit the city I don’t care a lot if it’s raining or snowing or if the sun is shining. When the weather is bad you can spend quality time at many cafés or museums, if the sun is shining then it’s the perfect time for a walk through the parks (more than 50 % of the city is covered with parks and greenery) or to explore the hidden caves and tunnels from the middle ages.
When does Luxembourg photograph the best?
This is a tricky question. I have already mentioned that more than 50 % of Luxembourg city is green, so the city looks charming (especially through the look of a lens) at every season. So it is really hard for me to pick a favourite. However, since the time I live here I learned to love especially the cold seasons of the year. As my favourite season is autumn I love to see the intense play of colours when all the parks in Luxembourg turn red, simply amazing!
But Luxembourg also looks magic when it gets a white winter carpet.
Not to forget the period when spring puts the city in a beautiful colorful dress or the intense play between sunshine and shadows during the summer, the light is very special then and I like the atmosphere so much.
In the end I can say that Luxembourg looks great in every part of the year.
Would you say you have become a local in the city? How can you tell either way?
What does it mean being a local? Being recognized in your favourite pub by the staff? Knowing where to find the cheapest parking spots in the city center? Knowing every corner where to get the perfect picture from the city? Well, then my answer is definitively yes, I feel like a local. Honestly it wasn’t that hard to get this feeling.
Luxembourg city is not very big (cca. 50 km² large and about 120.000 people living there) so within a short while I felt very comfortable and safe. Furthermore, 50 % of all people living in Luxembourg are expats so the entire atmosphere is open-minded and very international. As Luxembourg is multilingual and has a huge number of foreign population (most of the people speak at least 4 languages) you won’t have any problems getting in touch with interesting people from all over the world. Within a very short time I was able to become a part of the social life and feel like I’ve been living here for ages.
Where would you take me when Luxembourg is grey and gloomy?
If Luxembourg is grey then there's one place that pops into my mind immediately. It's the Mudam Café, a perfectly designed gastronomical oasis integrated in the MUDAM, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Luxembourg (my happy place).
The museum was designed by the famous Ieoh Ming Pei (the same architect who also created the pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris) and it's a masterpiece in terms of light and design. The café itself was designed by the Bouroullec brothers (my favourite French designers). In this temple of taste and harmony it is a pleasure to spend time getting inspired, chase thoughts or simply meet friends and hang around. There is no weather that can ruin the atmosphere of this building.
What has taken your breath away in the city during the past six months?
Well, what knocked me off of my feet (literally) in the last six month was the lately visit of my best friend from Belgrade where I had the ambition to show her the entire city within just one day. Knowing Luxembourg city this would be a day full of heavy and exhausting up-hill-down-hill walks. So after one day of hardcore sightseeing I realized two things:
1. It's possible to visit all must-see places of Luxembourg city within just one day
2. If you want to do that you need to have very comfortable shoes and be in a very good condition
What photo would relate the essence of this city and why?
The scene that never stops kicking me is the view from the Chemin de la Corniche (also called Europe's most beautiful balcony). From this point you have a marvelous view on the districts of the lower part of the city. On the left side there are the Casemates du Bock (a medieval underground tunnel construction carved in solid rock) and the Neumünster Abbey (former monastery and now a place for cultural happenings).
On the other side you can see the entire Grund area (my favourite part of the city full of cafés, bars and restaurants). This picture definitely represents the style and mood of this little city in the heart of Europe.
Places to have coffee
A museum that is a must
Mudam (Museum of Contemporary Art, extraordinary place)
The best view in town
Le Chemin de la Corniche, Europe's most beautiful balcony, simply amazing
The best time of day to take photos in spring
The Golden Hour of course ;)
The song that is just right for walking around town
Lou Reed „Perfect day“
A street you want to lose yourself in
In Luxembourg it's pretty hard to get lost, despite my Instagram username @LostInLuxembourg :))) If I had to pick one, I would go for the Avenue de la Liberté because it has the charm of Paris and you can spend hours (ok, let's say about one hour ;) strolling around and taking photos.