Monday, June 30, 2014

Belgrade- not the capitol city of a generation ago

We last were in Belgrade in 1985.  At that time, it was the capitol of Yugoslavia, and it was a dull, grey city with some interesting sights, but mostly we saw people walking around with a frown on their face.  It is amazing what a new generation can bring to a city!  Now, Belgrade is awesome!  There are people walking everywhere, talking,smiling, laughing.  As they sit in cafe's you hear their joy everywhere, all with music, mostly live, with great food and good beer and wine.  And people were so friendly!  We were lucky enough to get invited to a birthday party!  We met up with Nemanje from Budva Montenegro; he was going to his friend Dan's party, so we tagged along.  It was amazing meeting all these young Belgradians!  It was such a pleasure getting to know them!  And they actually went to sunset/dinner with us on our last night!

The sights are pretty much the same, but clean and repaired.  The old fort, Kalemegdan, is a really great place to spend the day, and come back to watch the sunset;  there is now a river cruise so you can experience the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers;  Skadarska street, the old Bohemian quarter, is now a full-fledged tourist haven of restaurants and music; the churches are all beautiful and really well lit (sadly we did not walk around to photograph them); and the pedestrian streets are now filled with shopping and restaurants and art/artists.  Plus, they created this lake on the side of the river that is 10 KM around, filled with swimming, restaurants, boating, biking, walking.  We didn't get to attend any theater, but they are everywhere.

Belgrade should be on everyone's list of cities to visit.

 Serbia is Eastern Orthodox- here is Rich and Nemanje in front of St. Sava's cathedral.  It is still unfinished on the inside, but still very beautiful.
 Our favorite sandwich shop, or as they say, "sandvici".  Notice the writing- Serbia uses both they Cyrillic and Latin alphabet.  Good thing I took a semester of Russian in college, bad thing is it was 1973:-).  But we managed.
 The city scape from the river- really nice lighting!
 Kalemegdan, the fort at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.
 An up-close photo of the statue.
 The fort from the Save river- taken during a river cruise.
 Sunset on the Sava
 Military museum in the moat of the fort
 Me making sure the canon is disarmed
 Me at the gates of the fort
Rich risking his life one more time....
The Serbians we be-friended

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