Traveling the world, learning languages, and immersing myself in new cultures.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Belgrade, Serbia: Where Sava and Danube first met

Synopsis: Ed and I decide to go to Belgrade, Serbia (partly because it's somewhere we've never been, but mostly because we found cheap tickets). We also decide to couchsurf, to make sure we get the full expereince of the city under the direction of a local.

Trip Overview:
Day 1: We catch a midday flight and get to Belgrade in the early evening. We meet our hostess, Alex, and her friend, Goran, at a local McDonald's. She takes us back to her place, and we stop by the store first to buy food for the weekend. On the way back, Alex points out the buildings that were bombed during the war; the first time I've seen anything from the Kosovo war, in person.

We try some homemade rakia, before leaving the house, and that stuff is strong! We then head out and go to a couple clubs/bars, which are literally, smoke infested. There is more smoke than people in the club, if that's possible.

Thoughts: I changed my money at the airport and got raped on the exchange rate. I'm only using ATMs from now on. Alex said she almost didn't host us because my couch surfing profile was "scary". I used to have a photo of me during an intense xfit training session.

Our host, Alex, Ed, and Goran

I'm rich!

Getting ready for our first night out

Outside the first disco we went to

You can SEE the smoke in here!

Can't go to eastern europe and not get borek!

Day 2: Being good guests, we make breakfast and clean up. Alex takes us downtown, but first we stop at a free jazz concert. They are pretty good. Then, we head down to Republic Square before going to Kalemegdan park/fort. We meet up with Milena (Serbian Beyoncé), Alex's friend, at Cynepmapket for a late lunch. Afterwards, we head over to Novak, at the emphatic behest of Ed, for drinks. Later, we head back downtown to a brand new club, where we walk in and there are about 10 super models at the first table. However, you can barely see them through the curtains of smoke. After a short while, Ed and I decide to leave and walk around the city a bit at night and grab some food.

Thoughts: Personally, a super model with a cigarette in her mouth becomes a super ugly model. The city was overcast all day, which probably took away from some of the, still amazing, views we had a Kalemegdan.

Free jazz concert. They were pretty good too.

Can you read that? Oh, it's in english, too

at Republic Square

My Couchsurfing pose!

Some famous heads

Alex and Ed at the Victory statue

Where the Danube meets the Sava river

"So I take a LEFT at Albuquerque?"

Too cool for school

Cool clock we saw. Top is hour, middle is minutes, bottom is seconds

A really interesting bar/restaurant/supermarket/spa

Ed is the man!

Novak Jokovich, number 1 tennis player in the world(according to Ed)'s restaurant

Tim and Ed. Can you feel the love?

We were cartoons at Novak's restaurant

I should run some country. I got the pose down!

Me in front of Parliament

Day 3: Take care of breakfast, again. Alex drives us out to Zemun, for photo ops and a bit of history. We then head down to the river and walk along it until we stop at a boat/restaurant/bar/club for drinks. From there, we go over to the Church of Saint Sava, which is unfinished inside and we can only see a part of it. Then, we head back to Alex's place to pick up Goran so we can head out for dinner. Milena meets us there and we enjoy some traditional music while we eat. After dinner, we head to Voulez Vous cafe, for warm drinks. Then, Alex drives us to an abandoned office building and takes us inside. This has the makings of a horror film. But, once we are at the top, we get to a bar, where some amateur musicians are just finishing and packing up. View of the city is nice from here.

Thoughts: Again, with the smoke in the bars. It just ruins the experience for me. At the restaurant, Alex really became comfortable and enjoyed herself. We all had fun.

Overlooking the suburb of Zemun

At the old tower in Zemun

Perpetuating stereotypes

We gon run this town…tonight

In a boat cafe on the Sava river

Jump photo in front of Church of Saint Sava

Toasting rakia

He just cant eat anymore

Me and my Serbian posse

At Voulez Vous cafe

10 stories up and view of the city

Final drinks for the night

Abandoned building with musicians practicing in each room and a bar on the roof

Day 4: Last day, we fly out early, but I need to find a post office to mail my postcards. We ask 15 people before we get normal directions and finally find the post office. Then bus to the airport and fly home.

Thoughts: Where are all the post boxes? We had to walk almost a mile just to get to that post office!

If you didnt get a postcard, don't worry, its still on the way

Final Thoughts: The smoke destroyed my lungs and I was sick on the last day and on the flight back. Ed, aka "Mr. I grew up around smoke so I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me" gets back to Brussels and catches the flu. How the mighty fall.

Aside from that, we really enjoyed it and Alex was a fantastic hostess.

Location: Belgrade, Serbia


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