Dobro jutro, Beograde.

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Yo 🙂 Let me guess what your first impressions are when you are asked to think of Serbia. Perhaps these words should come out.
Wars, magazine, depression, darkness and Russia’s best friend. at least those are what had crossed my mind when I knew nothing about the country. Serbian volleyball players are the only fact that I knew about, since they are one of the best worldwide.

Getting out of the Schengen zone

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On my way to Belgrade. Bye bye Budapest, I’ll perhaps see you later.

As a common knowledge, Serbia doesn’t belong to EU yet, hence going to Serbia from Hungary where I moved from meant I’d be out of the Schengen zone and I’d have to get my passport checked and stamped. First off I was a bit worried about taking the night train since I’m not so comfortable with sleeping on the train and getting asked to wake up all the night round due to passport check is not so pleasant, nonetheless, everything went fine, of course my body got extremely worn out when I just got in Belgrade central station, but leastwise I got to sleep a little bit and contacted my couchhost Aleksandar.

Ajde brate!

Man, Belgrade is completely different from what I had imagined! I expected it to be extremely gloomy, quiet and probably dark, I was actually ready to adapt the atmosphere and probably people getting so unfriendly. But my answer to this is NO, Belgrade is definitely full of energy, a lot of young people walking on the street, very modern music being played, besides everything, the weather gave me a very warm welcome.

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I hoped to find at least one decent cafeteria that would be open at 5:30 A.M and thank got there was one, the barista was such a macho man, funny to talk to him and get a coffee made by him. He may look super macho and unfriendly but never judge people by how they look! He kindly let me know all the directions in order to get to my host’s place.

I love cro-serbian language, learning it and speaking it on a decent level has been on my bucket list, of course I wasn’t able to make an actual conversation with locals, but I really enjoyed speaking with them in english and saying such easy expressions in serbian. Let’s take a look.

Good morning – Dobro jutro.
Good day – Dobar dan.
Thank you – Hvala.
I’m felix – Ja sam Felix.
Come on bro! – Ajde brate! (Brate is used by young people in whole Balkan, not only in Serbia)

ajde-brate A perfect description of the expression 😀 

My host Aleksandar was such a fun guy to hangout with, unfortunately he wasn’t able to do anything with me since he had a very rough schedule with work and studies. Nevertheless we had meaningful conversations and laughed together. I might have looked a bit weird because I was super eager to know everything about serbia and speak serbian. Oh god, I love his jokes as well.

Serbs are…

  • Tall – both Men and Women, no matter what age they are.
  • Curious – If you’re not serb, or not european looking, people may stare you from time to time, but that doesn’t mean they dislike you or something. They are just curious what country you are from and what you do in Serbia.
  • Party addicts – Not to wonder at all, Belgrade is a party paradise. Its nightlife is one of the best in Europe, obviously not according to me, but everyone who’s been to Serbia.
  • Talkative – Once they notice the topic is theirs, they tend to speak a lot more. One thing for sure : If you love Serbia, they love you back two times more! 😉
  • Good looking – both Men and Women again, many foreign tourists I met in the hostel I stayed agree on it, hence it’s not so uncommon sitting at the park and seeing beautiful people.
  • Always with C – Most of balkan surnames include “ć(sounds like Chi)” at the end. Ivanović, Nikolić, Krsmanović, Ninković are good examples.

Belgrade is such a paradise when it comes to eating out. I could have eaten all the time at Aleksandar’s place or the hostel but in Belgrade eating out is very cheap and no food I ate was unpleasant. Serbian coffee and national beers are worth a try.

Your accommodation must be located nearby Knez Mihailova Street, (Serbian: Улица Кнез Михаилова (Улица Кнеза Михаила), Ulica Knez Mihailova, (Ulica Kneza Mihaila) which is Belgrade’s main street practically, so anywhere you go should start from the street, also anything fun can happen there, shopping, nightlife, eating out and so on.

Man, seriously, I was like “WTF”. Putin t-shirts in Serbia? 😀 I know they are quite good friends, but isn’t this too much? (Kidding)

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You always have to hear from both sides, not only one side.

I was impressed by Belgrade’s architecture and outstanding city structure, I mean what I had expected was pretty much worse. Oh, I gotta mention about this building, you guys definitely MUST have seen it at least once in a lifetime through news or whatever.

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A very ugly but meaningful building, it was destroyed in 1999 by NATO, Serbian government doesn’t seem to rebuild it or remove it properly in order to remember everything that has happened.

Belgrade’s night is always so busy, the best time to explore it is definitely on the weekend 😉

Novi sad

One day I got to visit Serbia’s second biggest city Novi Sad, obviously not planned but just happened anyways. As much I would have liked to sleep over in the city, things didn’t let me do that. First of all the city is quite small, hence a couple of hours is definitely the best shot for an exploration, second off, Belgrade is five times more interesting to stay in the night. I had a great time there though.

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Traveling from Belgrade to Novi sad and vice versa is as easy as my thumb. Just use the train, because buses are a bit slower and sometimes even more expensive.
All the information about serbian railways (Click)

I’m not so much fond of correcting people, but after my trip to Serbia, I try to tell people that Serbia is not like what it has been presented in the media.
“Never judge anything before you actually get to know it.”

Peace and love.

Felix.

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Hello world, I'm a treasure hunter of life experiences. I'm curious minded with a strong force for discovery and adventure. These days I spend most of my time living out of a backpack, traveling from one country to the next.

3 thoughts on “Dobro jutro, Beograde.

  1. I was in Belgrade just once, and my timing couldn’t have been worse. My Bulgarian husband and I went first to France for our 1991 honeymoon and then boarded a midnight train in Nice for our trip to Bulgaria. The idea was to sleep through the night and wake up in Belgrade where we were due to change trains. From Nice to Trieste, the trip was uneventful. Then we crossed from Italy to Yugoslavia. On June 25, the republics of Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Troop movements started. We were sleeping when the train stopped unexpectedly. Soldiers boarded and asked for our documents and we sleepily complied. This happened again and again, sometimes only minutes apart, perhaps in each village we passed through. No one explained the reason for this extraordinary vigilance. Eventually we arrived in Belgrade. My husband had been in a refugee camp there for six months in 1985 when it was still the Communist country with the highest standard of living and the most goods. In June 1991 the capital was desolate. The central train station had straw on the floor, no water available, and no information about when the next train would arrive. We squatted by the tracks until it became clear that far from risking missing our train it would be hours before it would appear.
    We decided to wander a bit around Belgrade. My husband was depressed by how degraded the shops appeared. Slobodan Milosevic’s presidency had begun only four years prior, but already many had reason to be nostalgic for Josip Broz Tito’s multi-decade rule. Men huddled grim-faced, some standing, some squatting on the sidewalk playing the shell game with a variety of currencies. We made our way to the post office, the only place to make an international call, to tell Rumen’s family we would not arrive on time and in fact had no idea when we would arrive. Eventually we were able to board the Orient Express, a train whose spartan condition belied in every way the image fostered by its fabled name. It’s good to hear that Belgrade seems to have revived. Thanks for giving us so many good reasons for a return visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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