Novi Sad and Belgrade

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October 18th 2007
Published: November 12th 2009
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It really blows my mind to think that it’s only been one week since I left Pula! Seems like forever ago!

So, last night turned out to be pretty fun. Mike and I walked around for two hours trying to find the Bohemian Quarter (Skadarska Street), walking in circles the entire time and never finding it, and finally settled on pizza slices down the street from the hostel. (Travelling with Mike might be a bad idea, actually, because he doesn’t place much importance on eating well!) After dinner, we had a couple of drinks at a bar, got delicious ice cream, then went back to the hostel and watched “Legally Blonde”. I know we should be taking advantage of Belgrade’s supposedly excellent nightlife, but it seems to be very hidden because I haven’t seen any places that have really caught my attention.

This morning I left the hostel at 9:00, had a delicious piece of cake and a sub-par bijela kava in a hotel, then caught the bus to Novi Sad. It’s supposed to be the nicest city in Serbia; so far, it’s just as exhaust-ridden as Belgrade, and just as much of a Cyrillic Labyrinth. I got lost in some random neighbourhood, but finally found my way back to the main square, which is quite pretty and full of colourful spires and painted cows). I have so little sense of direction that I couldn’t even determine where the Danube was; finally found it (I’m not super in love with that river). I crossed over to the fortress and spent a few hours wandering around there. The EXIT festival is held there and I can imagine it would be pretty cool venue. It’s really hot and I searched for somewhere shady to sit and read but never found anywhere out of the sun, so I went to a nice, traditional restaurant on the Danube, which reminded me of the one I ate at with David. I ordered a Greek salad and was a little afraid the waiter was going to bring me a fish paprika, but the salad arrived and it was exactly what I was in the mood for.

When I got back to the hostel this evening, two guys from Sarajevo had arrived and I chatted with them for a little while. They got me really excited to visit; one of them talked about how so many cultures live together in the one city, three religions side by side. He described Balkan people as “primitive and passionate: when we love, we love, and when we hate, we hate.”

When Mike arrived, he informed me that he’d done a bit of reconnaissance work that day and found the Bohemian Quarter! We walked there together and had a drink at an outdoor patio, then went for one more drink at a bar called “Only Fools and Horses”. There were a bunch of locals singing along to the live music there and I really enjoyed the place. Mike was a bit tired, though, so we went home after one beer.

My room tonight is an oasis of quiet, unlike Mike’s where someone is snoring already. We are going to Sarajevo tomorrow and, frankly, I’m happy to be getting the Hell out of Serbia. I had a good time here, but the exhaust fumes are going to kill me and I’m ready for a bit more beauty than it has to offer.


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