At the beginning of October we were lucky enough to spend 10 days in Belgrade, Serbia, with J’s parents. I didn’t really know what to expect from a trip to Serbia but our time there was full of stunning weather, amazing food, dozens of al fresco coffee shops and some very interesting sight seeing!
We were staying in a rather enviable address in an apartment that looked onto the Presidental Palace and Pionirski Park. We were able to walk to everything in the centre of Belgrade and took advantage of that to really see the city. During our time there we visited the Kalemegdan Fortress, the Army Museum, Tito’s Residence, the Museum of Yugoslav History, House of Flowers, Beton Hala, Zemun, New Belgrade and the Sava Centre. We even got invited to a game of waterpolo at Partizan Belgrade and got a private tour of the trophy room.
My favourite outing was to the old museum inside Museum of Yugoslav History where there is a permanent display ‘Around the world in 23 minutes’ where weapons, clothing, instruments and ethnographic items, gifted to Tito, were on display.
The other fantastic thing we did was to walk to Kalemegdan Fortress and take in the AMAZING view!
J absolutely loved the star fort’s architecture and layered defensive fortifications. Walking through the first gate he found clay tennis courts and basketball courts within the dry moat – what a creative use of the space. But then it got even better, the main courtyard was under attack by several massive … dinosaurs: priceless. We’d certainly never seen a dinosaur attack a castle before (there’s a Hollywood film script in there somewhere!).
Walking through the park that day we were lucky enough to stumble across some children and teenagers performing traditional Serbian dances…
On the weekend we drove over to Zemun where you can find amazing views over the Danube and the Sava…
We also drove to Avala for great views over Belgrade and the sunset over the surrounding countryside. We climbed up the hill to visit the monument to the unknown soldier (mind the one-way road up the mountain, park at the hotel). Then onto the massive, recently rebuilt, telecommunication tower.
Hard to miss on one of the main roads into the city is the site of the 1999 Nato bombings. The buildings stand untouched today…
J’s parents managed to get us into the best event in town. Zoster’s Belgrade leg of their Balkan tour. Great atmosphere enjoying the let-it-be reggae music and singing along to their refrain: “Hercegovina = California”. Two encores later, a Croatian actor on stage leading the song, Serbs partying to a Bosnian band from Mostar; what a great way to end our trip to Beograd.
Most importantly of all it was wonderful to relax and spend time with J’s family for 10 days and explore their new home with them! I thought Belgrade was a fantastic city and I would really like to go back and eat more of its amazing food! Some of my other highlights of our time there was eating N&F’s wedding cake with lovely Illy coffee and lounging round the breakfast table!