Serbia - Belgrade

Trip Start May 30, 2013
Trip End Dec 09, 2014

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

We are in an old bus going to Sarajevo, we departed at 8.00 and we are supposed to arrive at 16.00 so we have plenty of time to write. We have heard that this route is one of the prettiest of Europe but looking out the window I'm not sure if we can say the same, it’s nice but we are not sure if we could call it one of the prettiest of Europe, a lot of mountains and green, it reminds us a little bit Peru.

Day 1: August 22, 2014

From Budapest we took a night train to Belgrade to try to save time and money for accommodation, but finally it wasn’t such a good idea because they never turned off the lights, plus since Serbia is not part of EU, a lot of people came to check passports, tickets, etc.

We arrived in Belgrade at 06.00. Nothing was open so we followed the instructions given by the hostel on how to arrive, no maps at that time.

Our first impression on the city was that it was a little bit sad and insecure place, but as we got to know it we could actually see that most of that was just prejudgments of the country cause of the news and history.

The hostel was small but nice and the stuff super friendly, the name of the hostel was "Red door" and for USD 12 (including breakfast) we couldn’t ask for more!

After getting information and maps we were ready to go, so we had a little breakfast in one of the many bakeries in town (Belgrade is full of bakeries, really cheap and really good). We went to buy our train or bus tickets to Sarajevo when we realized that Gonzalo had left one of the bottles of water in the bakery. This already happened to Gonzalo in Budapest and Tez was so mad but this time she was fine. I think that we accepted the fact that we were going to lose it eventually but we got lucky and we recovered it for the second time!

Then we went to get information about how to go to Sarajevo, only to find out that the only way how to get there was by bus, no trains available. And bus tickets were quite expensive (USD 30 for one way ticket!). We decided not to buy it right away and to wait a little bit to think about it. After that we headed to the main square called "Republic Square" which was the meeting point of a free walking tour starting at 11.00.

The tour was really nice and they took us a little bit deeper to the history of the country. They also showed us the main street for restaurants and bars or how they call them "Kafanas" that it’s supposed to be a mix between restaurants, bars and chill out places.

We also got a sip of their typical drink called “Rakija” that is quite strong and continued our tour. After that we walked towards the fortress and ended up in St. Michaels Cathedral.

After this we were quite hungry because the tour was really long (2,5 hours) so we started looking for food, but everything looked really expensive (USD 7 and more per dish). We were about to give up and go to McDonalds when we saw a really nice place where locals were eating so we ended up having chicken schnitzel with rice and potatoes (or as locals say “schnitzla”), plus salad and coke, everything for USD 6 (lunch for both of us!).

We were so satisfied with lunch that we went to the hostel to have a shower and relax for a bit. After having a shower Gonzalo went for a nap at around 17.30 and Tez at 19.30. The only problem was, since we were so tired (because of the night trains), that this "little nap" ended up becoming a huge nap. Gonzalo woke up at 1.30 and went to talk with some Serbian guys and one Turkish guy in the common area. It was really interesting to know some of their opinion, especially on the issues related to their neighboring countries. After that Tez woke up and since neither of us was sleepy we started watching a movie at 3.30! Unfortunately we couldn't finish the movie because something happened to the computer but at least we got sleepy enough to try to fall asleep again.

Day 2: August 23, 2013

In the morning we woke up both at the same time and since the room was really dark we figured that it was really early. We saw the girl from the reception coming so we asked her at what time breakfast starts and she said kind of smiling that it was until 12.00 so we didnīt need to be worried. We didn’t understand but after we checked the time we realized that it was 11.00! We lost all morning!

We didnīt intend to let this little accident spoil our mood. We just had a normal breakfast and got our things ready to depart. The first thing that we wanted to visit was St. Sava Temple, a really nice Orthodox temple that looks like a little Taj Majal.

After that we decided to take a tram, and even if buying of the tickets was a little bit hard and we didn’t understand the system quite well we managed to take the tram in direction to Zemun.

We got a little bit lost so we had to change the bus and just thanks to a guy that saw us completely lost and gave us advice on directions on how to arrive we got there.

After arriving we were a little bit disappointed because it was not what we expected (especially after such a hard way). Anyways we walked around there, got a really nice Serbian lunch and started to walk back to the city along the River Danube. It was a long walk but a really nice one.

We were tired after this but we decided to have a shower and go out to explore the city's nightlife. We started having a drink with a German girl and a gay Rumanian guy in the hostel. Later on we went to the main street where we had the typical drink of Serbia called “Rakija” and a glass of beer since it’s always a cheap option.

Since the place where we were looked nice we asked some people there where to go if we wanna go out dancing, so we got recommendation to go to the river. We started walking and ended up in „La Cantina de Frida", a fancy place with good music, nice people and OK prices. After a Sex on the beach for Tez and a beer for me, we decided to go to the boat party so we crossed the bridge and waited a little in line to get in (no entrance free). Unfortunately they didn't accept credit cards so we were there just for a little bit and then went home. It was a fun night.

Next day we had to leave really early in the morning!
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