Bustling Belgrade

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Flag of Serbia  ,
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We caught the train to Belgrade, definitely not the most efficient form of transport. Now and then it would stop for an hour, maybe two, and the conductors would get back on the train smelling of beer and cigarettes. We finally arrived at midnight, a mere 4 hours late, to find our hostel receptionist rather nervous and thinking we were not going to show up. Or maybe it was the succession of other guests bothering him - the 2 Aussies who kept asking how much a taxi to the clubs would be and seemed unable to grasp numerical concepts, or the emotional girl panicking about having left her handbag, complete with wallet and phone, in a nightclub.

A city where I had no idea what to expect, Belgrade is another big city full of grand, slightly shabby buildings, mostly covered in scaffolding. There is a convenient hilltop at the point where the two rivers diverge, with remains of numerous citadels from different eras and a military museum, with the collections of cannons and tanks spilling out all over the park.

Our favourite famous Serbian has his own museum here - of course this is Nikola Tesla, the man who not only invented induction motors and backed the concept of alternating current as opposed to direct current, but who first came up with the idea of wireless power. His envisaged idea of free electricity for the world via a wireless system quickly lost financial backing when investors realised there was no way to calculate consumption and bill people. The museum has plenty of demonstrations of the Tesla coil as well as Tesla's ashes (not sure why).

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