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Belgrade


View Athens to Australia, the scenic route on reinder.prins's travel map.

Sunday around 2 PM I got into Belgrade, where the biggest difference with Sofia the temperature was. Sofia was wet but still reasonalby warm; however, on the way to Belgrade I saw the first snow and in Belgrade itself it was pretty close to 0 degrees celcius. Once I got into the hostel, I was a little confused as there were 5 heavily armed police officers sitting in the common room, just chilling - watching TV, checking out Youtube and drinking 'tea'. It looked pretty strange, but later I found out that these guys were here to form the 24/7 guard for 14 french guests staying at the hostel to watch the finally of the Davis cup being played in Belgrade at this moment. Reason for this security measure was appearantly the murder of a French soccerfan 2 years ago in Belgrade: the police tried to prevent more Frenchies from getting killed by giving every single one of them a private detail...

The hostel itself was really nice: quiet, but a good common room and very nice staff that took us out into the city. Especially the night tour was nice as Serbia won the Davis cup, and celebrations were rife throughout the city. Also, they did provide us with free home-made Rakija from someones family farm; delicious, but very strong! A Serbian guy taught us to first rinse your mouth with it for about a minute (''you don't need to brush your teeth now for 3 days, it's great!''), but no-one else was physically able to replicate this... :)

On Monday I took the free guided walking tour through the city, which was pretty sweet as I was the only one on the tour. I was surprised by how nice Belgrade is, but also by the people from Belgrade. Example: I got told that during the 1999 NATO bombings on the city, the people were all standing on the bridges with bullseye-shirts on. They did this to form a human shield for protection of the bridges and while doing this they partied on the bridges with free beer and Rakija from the government. Sounds pretty good....

There is only 1 Mosque left in all of Belgrade; it got torched 6 times in the last ten years. Go figure how much the Serbs love the Moslims, although some claim that most of the attacks were innitiated by football hooligans. Sadly enough, one of Serbian guys I met said the following: ''Ah, you are Dutch - very good, we like you guys. You were very helpfull in Srebrenica, you helped us seperate the people and did not stop anything''. Then he got on a rant about Moslims and how some Dutch policians fullfill a great role in this field as well. I left before he was even finished, but it was pretty sad all together....

Another 'funfact' is that one of the most famous statues in Belgrade appeared to have been stolen a few months ago and molten down by some criminals. All that was left was a block of marble and some flower beds... great! Other momuments and sights also missed the copper inscription tablets - all of them stolen recently. Another remarkable feature of Belgrade is the buildings you see around town that got bombed by the NATO and are still standing like they did after it just happened... pretty unreal!

This morning I took the bus to Sarajevo together with Shingo, a fellow traveller from Japan, where I am now and Srebrenica and Mostar are on the schedule for the next few days...

The momument without a monument

The momument without a monument


Danube River

Danube River


Belgrade

Belgrade


Belgrade

Belgrade


A building bombed by Nato

A building bombed by Nato


Davis cup celebrations

Davis cup celebrations

Posted by reinder.prins 16:00 Archived in Serbia

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