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July 23rd 2009
Published: July 31st 2009
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DAY 103

Flying to Belgrade this morning!! We are on our own for the next month. No more having to fit into other peoples schedules.

We are up at 5:45 and leave the hotel at 7:00AM. We take the metro to the bus station. It's an hour ride to the airport. We are flying JAT airlines. This is the Serbian Airlines. We have no idea what to expect, but everything seems to be just like all the others. Going through security they pull out our water bottles and my hand cleanser that is 110 ml bottle, although is not full. They scrape off the price label to mind the # of ml, now this is being very conscientious. They fail to notice the 200ml bottle of sunscreen Angie had forgotten to put her in check bag.l They are also searching Angie's bag for a piece of jewelry and when they look at it she can see why, it was a piece that is in shape of and arrow. But no problem once they see that it is harmless. Angie was so afraid that they were searching for the bag of white powder laundry detergent that had been taken out of the container and put in a baggie to save space. But they only gave it a quick glance. No problems mate!! The flight took about 90 minutes and was a good flight and not really crowded.

The airlines also has an express bus to the bus station in the city. It takes about 30 minutes to get there.

The station is crowded and we decide to drop off our bags in the storage room to lighten our load while site seeing. The second thing we do is to buy our bus tickets for our next destination of Kotor, Montenegro, which we decide is at 8:00pm this evening.

We set out by walking to the tram station. We have the Lonely Planet Book, that I find has inaccurate information and as we wait for the tram number 2 that is suppose to take us to the places we want to see, it never comes in the half hour that we are standing there. All the other bus numbers but not ours. Our book is out of date as it is only issued every two years.

Angie decides to approach the taxi stand and see if she can negotiate a cab for the few hours of sightseeing that we want to do this afternoon. The first man asks for 50 euros each and Angie walked away and another cabby approached us and we chatted and the final amount was 20 euros each. The man was probably in his 60's and spoke passable English, which is great as of course, we dont speak Serbian.

The nicest thing that we noticed was that we had gained an hour in the time change, so that allowed us more time to see the sites. We first went to the Tito Memorial. Some of us remember that Tito was the strong and charismatic man who united the various parts of this area into the county of Yugoslavia. He was a very popular man here! Our cabby not only drives us to the site but also acts as our personal guide. This is something we didn't expect.

Our next site is to the Sveti Sava (St. Sava).
Saint Sava is considered the founder of the independent Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian Orthodox Christians celebrate him as patron saint of education and medicine. His legislature made him the fist Serbian legislator, being also important for the history of legal education in Serbia. Since the 1830s, Saint Sava has become the patron saint of Serbian schools and school children.
The church is huge and beautiful. Once again our cabby is our guide. When he can't find the English words he plays charades with us, using sign language and we are all laughing trying to understand. He is so passionate about his country.

Our next church is that of Sveti Marco (St, Mark) This church along with St. Sava was completely destroyed during various occupations mainly the Turks and the Communist. St. Sava is pretty much restored but St. Marks is just in the midst of the process.

St. Mark's Church was built from l931-1940 on the site of an older church (1835). It was designed in the Byzantine style. At the south end of the church there is a sarcophagus with the remains of the Serbian Emperor Stefan Dusan. While at the north end there is a white marble crypt containing the body of Patriarch German Doric. St. Mark's Church is home to one of the most valuable collections of Serbian 18th and 19th century icons.

The last stop on our list of sites is the Kalemegdan Citadel ruins, a 17th-century fortress. Our cabby takes his signs off his car and escorts us into the citadel. This is a free entry park for all to enjoy. It sits on the banks of the convergence of the Danube and the Sava Rivers and is a formidable site. Kalemegdan is a part of Belgrade tower, one of the biggest towers in Europe. A vast park, history museum, open air army museum, astrological observatory, zoo park, numerous coffee shops.

The last item on our list is to ask our cabby to drop us off at a nice Serbian restaurant. He does just this and we have several to choose from. Our choice was a small cafe that posted the daily special that made our mouths water and it is air conditioned. We ordered the Hunter's Stew and the Serbian Goulash. We also had cornbread and Cuver (pita) bread that was hot from the oven. Yummy!! We did prefer the Hunter's Stew with chicken, beef and pork all cooked together with the most delicious spices and vegetables.

We took the long walk (1+ km) back to the bus station to catch the 8:00 PM bus to Montenegro. The day was hot 38C/100F but the sites were well worth it!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21




Interior of church

She's the only one not putting on weight!

this demonstration has been in the travel alerts put out by the American and Australian goverments of potential violence.

1st August 2009

looking well-fed Francy...
Sounds amzaing!!! Pics are great! I love the old buildings..jaymes read this blog with me and thought it all looked really cool too! Frangie is like me..eating all that food and not putting on any!ch...hahaha
3rd August 2009

What a wonderful adventure and HOW DO YOU DO IT?
I have been following your adventures since the early days and wonder how you found space in your lives to do this trip -- fantastic -- you are my heros -- love to see Frangie's adventures! Hubby and I go to Egypt in February!
3rd August 2009

Trav el Time
We both make travel a priority on our lives. We consider ourselves Travelers and and tourists. I hope you will be seeing more than just Cairo on your journey to Egypt. We over heard a group of young men talking about Cairo and they said, " did you hear about the contest that gave the 3 prize winner 5 days in Cario, the 2nd place winner got 3 days in Cario and the 1st place winner got 1 day in Cario." You will understand once your been to Cairo!!

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