Archive for the ‘Serbia’ Category
As it turned out getting to Belgrade wasn’t as simple as “direct train” would have you believe, but we felt a little of the old fashioned romance of train travel as we pulled out of Istanbul. We left from the same station that the Orient Express used back in the day. Our carriage was hooked on to a train that had different cars heading off in various directions along the way, but when we got to Sofia, Bulgaria, we were told that our little orphan carriage had missed the train we were meant to be joining on to. We had to wait until evening (another 10 hours) for the next train to Belgrade. Brett and I explored the station area, bought some supplies, then wandered around the sidings looking for our mobile home. We eventually found it and killed some more time before being bounced around like a ping pong ball by an engine driver who was obviously in need of shunting practice.
Eventually we arrived in Belgrade, at 5:30am, and once checked in (at 9am) we headed out to explore Belgrade. The city doesn’t really have all that many sights but the weather was beautiful and we joined the locals in making the most of it. Outdoor cafes and the beautiful park at the old citadel were great places to hang out and people watch. The young people are very fashion conscious and in certain areas you’d be forgiven for believing that nobody over the age of 35 lived in Belgrade. Apparently the nightlife is pretty lively on any night of the week but we weren’t really in the mood to head out drinking, though we did visit one eclectic little bar which gave us some inspiration for how we’re going to arrange our own strange collection of travel artefacts once we have a house. One sightseeing thing that we did do was the ethnographic museum which has an incredible collection of traditional costumes. We were also told that there was an area where you could still see some of the buildings bombed by NATO in 1999. It’s a strange thing to go and see when you think about it logically, but it had to be seen. Maybe its morbid fascination but I prefer to think of it as seeing traces of recent history that you usually only read about in the newspapers. As far as I can tell the buildings we saw used to be the Yugoslav Army Headquarters and the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and they’ve been left as a reminder of the past.