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Published: August 17th 2009
Београд, Beograd or Belgrade, Serbia
We decided to travel to Serbia earlier than originally planned after finding out about the Schengen Rules for travel in the EU. We thought we would leave the Schengen area for a while now rather than later. Without much notice, two very nice women in Belgrade accepted our request to couchsurf with them. Tina and Lily, roommates and architecture students at the University of Beograd currently living in a student dorm so generously offered to let us stay with them. However, when we arrived in Belgrade (by way of a very hot but empty train) there were some difficulties about registering with the police and not having ID cards to present to the dorm. We stayed with Tina and Lily the first night, ate dinner together and they even gave up one of their beds for us. They studied all night b/c we had come in the middle of their finals. The next day we met them at the student cafeteria where they introduced us to some traditional Serbian food but since not much was vegetarian, we could only eat french fries and vegetables. Nonetheless, it was a great experience to be in the middle of
Serbian University life. We wandered all over the city that day and saw some really interesting looking buildings, parks and people but also worried about where we would stay that night. Tina suggested we register with the police because it is the law and and she didn't want us to get stopped by an officer and tell them the dorm and then the dorm gets in trouble for us staying there. We went to the police station but they told us to come back when we had an address. Usually, interacting with the police is not something we would care to do but since we were in an unfamiliar place we wanted to take the advice of locals. We didn't want to get them in trouble at the dorm so we decided to stay in a hostel the 2nd night. Unfortunately we were only able to stay in Belgrade for 2 days due to hostels being so expensive and camp sites too far out of the city. On the second night, we ended up hanging out on the street in front of the dorm with Tina and Lily and also their friend Milos, drinking some Jellen Pivo. We learned some
photo from the train
interesting things about life in Serbia from different perspectives (tina- liberal bosnian, lili- liberal serbian and milos- conservative serbian), the former Yugoslavia, Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia tensions, prom dance comparisons between Serbia, Bosnia and the US, and opinions on Serbia joining the EU. Milos drove us to our hostel (we missed the last bus) and we left the next morning on a bus to Bosnia.
Thank you Tina and Lili for being so generous with your space for us to stay, your time to hang out with us and show us what its like to live in Beograd and your openness to answer all of our questions about life in Serbia. This was our first time couchsurfing and it definitely enriched our experience.
Amazing things about Serbia!
1. I love the Cyrillic Alphabet. I get very excited when I see it and admit that traveling to places where it is used are high on my list. Tina and Lily explained to us that it is phonetically genius. Every single letter has its purpose and is pronounced. There is no such thing as a "soft" letter that is just there for kicks, everything is pronounced so it makes it very easy to speak.
Stopped at Serbian border town for a passport check
I love it! "Write as you speak and read as it is written". Пиши као што говориш и читај како је написано.
2. Bagel’s Park
08-20h , Monday to Saturday
011 322 43 63
This was an awesome restaurant with a NY Central Park theme. You could sit in swings and they even had burritos (i don't know if i would have called it a burrito but it was good)
3. Pictoral Art on the streets of Beograd. There are some really talented people here!
Also, check out our street art page. There was some great pictoral art, I wish I could've captured it all. Street Art
4. Jelen Pivo or Deer Beer. It was very good Serbian beer.
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