Belgrade Part II

May 14

I had another late start since I didn’t get to bed until almost 4am. I grabbed a quick chicken burger and then made my way to Republic Square to check out the Greek festival that was going on. It was pretty small and unless you wanted to book a trip to Greece, there wasn’t much to see. But as I was sitting just people watching, this man approached me and asked me where I was from and said he was from Egypt but had been living in Belgrade for 10 years. He asked if I wanted to get a drink at a café and I said ok. But as we were walking to a café he kept asking me to come back to his flat for the drink and I kept telling him no. And then he proceeded to tell me how much he likes sex and that after the drink we would go back to his flat, which was only a 20-minute bus ride away! It was quite the offer, but I declined and walked away. I suppose at least he was honest about his intentions 😉

At this point I just decided to head back to the hostel and I took a quick nap then went to the common room to attempt to blog. Of course there were a lot of people in the common room and I ended up just hanging out with them for the rest of the night instead.

 

May 15

I got up just in time for lunch, so I headed to Republic Square to eat at one of the cafes there. I love eating outside at these cafes so I can people watch- it makes eating alone a lot more entertaining. After lunch, I walked around and shopped a bit. Then I met up to go on a Communism tour of Belgrade. The tour itself was just ok, but the tour guide was really good. We went to the House of Flowers museum and to see the buildings that had been destroyed by the NATO bombing. The House of Flowers, with Tito’s grave was interesting because we got to hear more about Tito’s reign and what happened after he died (hint: nothing good really). Yugoslavia was a very interesting country with many republics in it, but somehow they all seemed to mostly get along during Tito’s rule and Yugoslavia, for better or worse, prospered. Tito tried to make every republic even on the political scale and for the most part it worked. But Tito never mentored anyone to take his place after his death and there was no one was really ready to take on working to unite the republics. Croatia and Slovenia believed that Serbia had too much power and therefore both of them declared independence with little resistance. That was the start of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and many elder ex-Yugos remember the time of Yugoslavia and Tito fondly. 20160515_140717170_iOSStatue of Josip Broz Tito20160515_144351696_iOSTito’s grave

After the tour I went to dinner at a delicious organic restaurant! I had some Thai chicken curry and chocolate truffles. Then I headed back to the hostel to pack as I had to change rooms in the morning since I extended my stay by 1 night at the last minute.

 

May 16

I woke up and moved rooms then went and had breakfast at Supernatural again. Then I attempted to find a museum about prehistoric Serbia that I had read about on my city map from the hostel. I found the address but could not find the museum anywhere and even asked a few people and they had no idea. I found some wifi and went to their website and apparently they had moved and were a 15-minute walk from where I was. The map had told me that there was a lecture everyday at noon about the early settlements in Serbia and that’s what I was trying to go to and I wouldn’t make it by noon to the new address. I decided to go anyways and I ended up being the only one there so she started the lecture late for me. It was pretty interesting and she had a lot of relics.

After the lecture I went to lunch and then walked around some more until it was time to meet for the Underground tour. It was led by the same guy as the Communist tour yesterday. I almost think this tour would have been better (and cheaper) to do on your own, but oh well.

We went to the Roman well that is in the fortress but it is neither Roman nor a well. It was a reservoir built by the Austrian-Hungarian empire. They were trying to build a well, but never found any water where they dug so they just brought water in and made a reservoir instead.  20160516_134630336_iOSThe Roman Well

Then we explored the military bunkers and the ammunition store house. The ammunition store house used to house a bar and parties until one of the columns collapsed (not during a party, luckily). It would have been cool to experience one of those parties. 20160516_143713702_iOSThe ammunition store house now houses some Roman artifacts as the National Museum has been closed for a few years.

Then we headed to the old traders city where there are caves built into the side of a hill to act as natural refrigerators for their goods. Now it’s a wine house and we got to sample some homemade wine. It wasn’t particularly good, but the German, Austrian, 2 Dutch and I at my table finished our bottle 😉

Then I headed back to the hostel to pick up some money as I had found a painting I wanted to buy. When I got back to the hostel I met my new roommates and they invited me out to dinner with their group that had gone on the walking tour earlier. Luckily they weren’t leaving for an hour so I had time to go get my painting. And I ended up also buying a sketch. I have no idea how I’m easily going to transport these, but oh well!

The group ended up being 14 of us- 7 English guys, an Irish couple, 2 Australians, an Austrian girl, a Turkish man and me! We were quite the spectacle but the English guys had been to this restaurant twice before and it ended up being the restaurant we ate at after our walking tour as well, Three Hats, so I think they’re used to big groups of obnoxious travellers. Anyway, we had a GREAT time! We were there for about 3 hours, had some delicious food and too much to drink. The English guys just kept ordering shots of Rakija for everyone. At the end, the bill for the 14 of us was almost 44,000 Dinar which is over $400! Whoops. 20160517_081406000_iOS

When we finally left, I still had to get money out of the atm to pay for my additional night at the hostel. I was having troubles with this and after a minor (maybe major) freak out, was calmed down by Sterling and Melinda and got the money I needed (thanks mom and dad!). Then I went to bed as I had to be ready to go by 8am for my transfer to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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