The City that Bombed the Rest

Trip Start Aug 10, 2010
Trip End Oct 28, 2010

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Flag of Serbia  ,
Friday, September 3, 2010

Belgrade is another city that I added to my journey after hearing many good things about it. It intrigued me because it was the capital city of the former Yugoslovia, and it was the country that was doing most of the bombings of Croatia, Bosnia and the surrounding countries in the 90s. The other reason I wanted to check it out was because it was being called the new night life capital of Europe. With all of this in mind, I took the next flight I could from Ljubljana to Belgrade.

I arrived a little later in the day and as soon as I checked into my hostel I met an Irish guy named Dave who was going out to a special club that night that was hosting a famous Argentinian DJ. I decided to join him and we started the journey to find this club that we were told was by the river and under the bridge. The streets of Belgrade were much like most European cities, with old buildings lining the main boulevards, but perhaps not as clean as other cities. But that actually is what I liked about it, it made it feel more real and genuine. I didn't feel like I was in a touristy city for that reason, the other being that you also don't see many tourists around, which was nice.So we finally found the club thanks to my iPhone of course and we went across the street to a pub until it opened. The pub was a cool little place, filled with smoke and people singing, with a live band that was playing everything from American Pop to Serbian folk songs. We had a few cheap beers and talked to some locals for awhile before we headed to the club which opened at 11 pm (which was early for that night). The club itself was in a small concrete building with no real signage. It basically looked like an abandoned warehouse. There was pretty much nothing inside either, just two bars on either side of the main room and a big DJ set in the corner. The music was pretty cool, a mix of trance and dance, the DJ made good on his rep that night. We had a good time drinking, dancing and talking with locals until about 3 am when we called it a night.

The next day I made my way to meet with the free walking tour of the city, which most cities seem to have nowadays. We walked through the bohemian district which was famous for its live music, as well as street called "silicon valley" where everyone took their new fancy cars or hot girlfriends to show off. The tour also showed some buildings that were still riddled with bullet holes from the wars of the 90s, something that was common among all of the countries in the Balkans. We also made our way up to the fortress that overlooked the old and new city. It was a massive fortress with 360 degree views of the rivers and city.

That night Dave and I started off by going to a really cool bar deeper into the city. The inside looked like the inside of a house in the 50s. It had a very retro feel, with kitschy furniture and jazz and pop music from the era. After a few beers we made our way back into the city to go to the river where the best clubs were on barges. 

Basically the clubs on the rivers are like giant house boats, a few stories tall. They were all pretty cool as they overlooked the city from the other side of the river, and the water kept everything nice and cool. After the first barge club, we saw a gigantic one down the river with bright flashing lights and blasting music so we decided to check it out. When we went inside we were amazed at the size of this club on the water. It was almost like an aircraft garage or a warehouse, with a giant arched roof and a wrap around second level. That night was trance night, so it was basically like a huge rave. It was a fun and very late night, I knew at that point what everyone was talking about when they spoke of the night life in Belgrade.

The next day was a chill one for me and I spent it wandering down to the biggest Orthodox church in Europe and making my way across the river to "new Belgrade" for a stroll by the water. It was a nice end to a great stay in Belgrade.  
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