Blogs from Belgrade, West, Serbia, Europe - page 5

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Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade August 29th 2011

We had lingered a little too long in Romania. It was time to head back west. We had a vague idea of a destination – somewhere in Serbia – and knew that was to the west. What we didn’t know (but maybe should have) was that getting there was easier said than done. The problem was that, like stupid train lines in stupid cities, the Danube was in the way. So, we drove along it. A lot. For a large part of the day we could see Serbia – green and Serbian looking – over the river. But couldn’t find a way to cross it. Surely, there would be a bridge or something somewhere. There was. You can drive across the top of the massive Iron Gate dam. But not if you get there too late. ... read more
That's Serbia...
Washing machine
Bridge on the Drina

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade August 6th 2011

Robert D Kaplan once said that "Defeat... has a name: Pristina" Marka McAdam now thinks that the Albanian flags in the city are flapping a new name: Change. At the end, Kosovo is the only country I have not visited in the Balkans. There were some protest at the Serbian border and we had to change our plans... again. Serbia, itself was exactly what I needed after Bosnia. I did not try to understand the whys and did not ask for their side of the stories. I wanted a war-free stay and almost got it. Instead of going to Kosovo, we went to Novi Sad. It is a shame we only miss the Exit festival by a couple of days. According to my guide book, Novi Sad is the place where hedonism meets activism. The old ... read more
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last gift from Sarajevo

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade » Vranic July 12th 2011

From now on I try to write mostly in English because I already gave the address to many non-german people. I spent two nights at Andras, a friend of my sister. The first evening we were out with colleagues of him, eating and drinking something. One colleague says he's pessimistic and says that is so dangerous. Hungary is the border of civilization and there are many unfriendly people in the next countries. But I think there will be much more friendly people than unfriendly. He cannot understand why someone is voluntarily going out of civilization. On Saturday I rode to the lake valencei-to, a good alternative to the Balaton lake, as Andras suggested. It was nice, but extremely windy, so I couldnt stay there long time, but I took a bath, of course. At next morning ... read more
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Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade July 6th 2011

I quarreled a bit with the girl just the day before leaving for Beograde. My spirits were very low. I did not want to go anywhere and to do anything. My train was leaving almost at midnight. The pleasant thing was my short walk on the Nevsky Prospect just before leaving. When I arrived to Moscow I felt still sleepy and gloomy due to the lack of sleep. I was falling asleep all the morning before the flight. We had very shaky landing in Beograde, due to the clouds, perhaps. I was getting more excited little by little. I arrived to Belgrade and took a city map at the information desk. It was necessary to take the bus to the city centre. I asked the bus driver for information, showing him the map and the required ... read more
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Hram Sv. Save
Fountain in Tasmajdan Park

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade June 28th 2011

Even with the state of the highflying Australian dollar, Europe can be expensive but there are always forgotten parts of a region that provide bargains for the off the beaten track traveller. These places allow you to leave the pasta and pasta sauce on the shelf. Instead, there is no need to be careful with your money you can live like a king or queen on a backpacker’s budget. That place in Europe is Serbia a place that does not reflect its reputation. Serbs get a bad wrap from previous episodes in its recent history. I had this opinion of a slightly intimidating, unfriendly place but that was via people of other Balkan backgrounds telling me things when I was young. By the time I finished my 2 weeks here I was pleasantly surprised. Serbia immediately ... read more
2 - Youth Baton Relay
3 - Tennis court inside at teh moat of the fort
4 - Tanks from over the years at the fort near the UN site

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Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade » Zemun June 11th 2011

For my journey to Belgrade, I had a 4 berth compartment on a modern Austrian train that had come from Vienna on its way to Belgrade. The only other occupant was my new chum Boris from Sarajevo so he gave me a few trips on things to see when I got there. Shortly after getting on the train the porter came up and warned us there had been many thefts on the train in the past and to keep the door locked at all times! After a fairly good nights sleep (we were woken up a the Serbian border for passport formalities) I arrived in Belgrade and walked to my hostel as I didn’t have any money until I found an ATM. Belgrade has a compact city centre and I know I’m not doing it justice ... read more
Kalemegdan Fortress
Sava and Danube river
Kalemagden Fortress

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade » Vranic June 9th 2011

I quoted Orwell in a previous blog (" We are all equal but some are more equal than others"). Here are four Communist paradoxes that were the credo of the former USSR's bloc countries: - Everybody works, but nothing gets produced - Nothing gets produced, but the production quotas were met 110% - Production quotas were met 110%, but stores had nothing to sell - Stores had nothing to sell, but the standard of life was continously growing. For those of us who grew up during the 'Cold War' and the time of the 'Iron Curtain' perhaps the memory of Tito, the now deceased leader of the former Yugoslavia, is hazy. I really had no understanding of the situation but I can recall my father saying that when Tito died 'all hell would break loose'. A ... read more

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade May 9th 2011

Another small city that's nice to walk around but felt like I could've been in any other European city - a cathedral, a river, trams, shops, cafes, parks... There's a fortress where you can get good views over the city and the Sava and Danube rivers. Spent Sunday afternoon cafe hopping in the rain with a Finnish girl and then back to the train station for the night train to Bar.... read more
Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade March 24th 2011

Album I’m listening to: A Blur album that’s on someone’s laptop in the hostel. So Belgrade was an experience, not really so much for the sights but more of the interaction with the locals, the people at the hostel, and the nightlife. There was much to see in this city of 3 million but I seemed to have missed much of it as I only had 2 half days and a whole day there which is not nearly enough. The train to Belgrade left at 7am, so it was an early start to the day. Marijka, the Dutch girl staying in the hostel, was also taking the same train but was heading to Budapest. She ended up being my wake up call as I didn’t hear my alarm go off. So for a few hours we ... read more

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade » Zemun March 9th 2011

Next up was Belgrade. Having found another couchsurfing host, I was in for another treat. Over the three days that I was there, her, her flatmates and her friend, showed me their city and introduced me to Serbian food and alcohol. I arrived in Belgrade at around 6am and my instructions were to get to her house before 7.30am as she had to head off to work at that time. With the help of some really friendly locals, I managed to get to where I was supposed to be. I had arranged to ring her from the post office in her neighbourhood, but on doing so, there was no answer. I tried about 7 times over the next half an hour, but didn't have any luck and thought I was about to have a rare bad ... read more
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