On the 2-nd of September, I’ve introduced Wednesday weekly posts.
These posts are dedicated to the destinations I’ve travelled to, probably, some time ago. Maybe, even, a year or two ago. The posts will be about the sightseeing places, people, my adventures, namely – everything that can be connected with travelling. Are you interested? Do you want to give it a try? Feel free to subscribe to this blog, or just the tag “Wednesday Weekly Post”.
And yes, you’ve got it right – the posts will appear on Wednesdays 😉
P. S. : This doesn’t mean that I won’t post stuff on the rest of the days, if I have what to post.
Feel free to leave any feedback! I would love to read anything from you!
An Immigration officer quickly put an enter stamp in the passport. Going forward, nobody has put an exit stamp. Perhaps, I “almost” have a freedom of movement in Serbia.
During the peak hours, the teenagers ask car drivers to clear the car’s windshield. Not for free, of course.
Serbia is carefree. When we’ve arrived to the house when we were going to rent an apartment, we’ve figured out that there’s no any sign to the apartment. We’ve had to call to the host and ask him for the details. It was actually my fault, because when I asked him before he just told me that we will be OK and won’t get lost for sure, and I trusted him. None of us had a cellphone with roaming enabled, so the only way for us was to catch someone local who would be kind enough to give a cellphone to us.
Sadly, there was nobody on the street, so we’ve entered a small shop. The cashier who was alone in the shop was able to understand what do we want but right after she did, she pretended she doesn’t understand us and started to speak something in Serbian. A guy, who entered the shop was able to speak English, but accidentally he didn’t have a cellphone! So if you want to visit a European country where people don’t have cellphones nowadays, come to Serbia, guys.
Finally, we went to the bar where nobody understood us and nobody was like to help. But then, after we’ve said something in Russian, one of the guys has finally given us the cellphone. That is how I first got acquainted with The Cult of Russia in Serbia.
In some things, Belgrade is similar to Lisbon. For example, it has lots of graffiti.
In general, it is very nice for street-art lovers.
In one of previous posts I’ve left this picture.
Serbian houses doesn’t have flat numbers at the intercom. Instead, they have surnames. Whan a family buys a flat the previous owner’s surname gets replaced with the new one.
It is amazing how Belgrade manages to keep the balance between a classical “European old town” and ex-USSR town (although it is not). Inside of the old castle there were 5 drunk guys singing Yugoslavian songs and playing on guitar.
Later on, on the opposite side of the castle we’ve met a guy who tried to learn where are we from. He was very happy when we told him that we’re from Russia (although we’re not, but it was embarrassing to upset the man). He tried to remember Russian words like “Brat” (brother) and “Pra~vosla~vie” (orthodoxy). All in all, these words did not have much sense, but it was a pleasure to see that somebody is so glad to see you. The man wished us to have a good time and we went next.
I will recommend Serbia to all my friends who speak Russian because so far this is the only place where you feel like a honoured guest. I should clarify that it is not like a resort or a tourist reservation where people are nice to you only because you pay them. Here, people are glad to see Russian guys just because they love them.
By the way, about the orthodoxy. Belgrade has one of the largest orthodox churches.
Belgrade is generally good for church-lovers.
Even as for a Russian-speaking guy there still was a fly in the ointment. Serbia is a heavily smoking country. Smoking is allowed literary everywhere: in the restaurants, in the hotels, in the rooms, in all the public places. I wonder if the national airlines allow onboard smoking as well. If somewhere smoking is prohibited, that means that you haven’t yet found the premise for smokers.
It was really frustrating. Suppose you’re walking, and, at some moment feel hungry. You will most probably go to the nearest cafe or a low-end restaurant to have a dinner. And all of them appear to be smoking-allowed ones. Finally you give up, thinking that it will be OK for you as long as you’re eating on the terrace. No, it won’t because the rain begins.
The WiFi in your four-star hotel works extremely bad. You quit your room and take your laptop to the lobby, again, breathing all this stench. Even at the buffet breakfast. The smokers spoil nearly everything in Belgrade!
Perfectly, you just need to avoid this “smoking is allowed” sign.
The picture may vary.
You’re probably tired of my cool “how I felt like a dear guest in Serbia” stories. But anyway I will tell one more. One of the guys I’ve travelled with had a birthday during our travel. We went outside to find a cake or something so we can celebrate it. We were just speaking about something, when a guy approached us and asked: “Rossiya?” (Russia?). This time I’ve decided to answer honestly, so I’ve said “Belarus”. But the guy was unstoppable. “Oh, Rus’! Rus’! We are brothers, you and me.”, he said. “Rossiya, brat!” (Russia is a brother), “Ya lubly Rossiyu” (I love Russia). He tried to hug me and said that he invited us to have a treat with him, that he likes Russia so much, well, and so on. I’ve politely refused. He felt more sad, but anyway, when we’ve left he shouted “Thank you, Russia!”. For skeptics, nothing was stolen from the pockets.
Well, there is no place where people love Russia and Russians that much. Not even in Russia.
As for European Union and NATO, Serbians hate them. Maybe “hate” is not such a suitable word, because they bring money, but the state is like this.
This is one of the government buildings.
If you come closer to the stands in the left corner, you will see lots of people’ photos along with the text: “European Union and NATO ignores Serbian victims”.
The ruins also help Serbians not to forget about the bombardments.
Some more in the centre of the town.
But in general, the town is calm and beautiful. It reminds me of Russian town Smolensk.
Nikola Tesla is the #1 person in Serbia. He is printed on 100 dinar banknote, and you can also meet social ads like “Welcome to Serbia – the motherland of Nikola Tesla”. There is also a good Tesla Museum with electricity experiments.
At last, I’ve suddenly managed to get to a party dedicated to 10 years Microsoft Development Center Serbia anniversary.
Before I went to Serbia, I was told that this country is like Russia in 1990-s. But it appeared that the country is very interesting and unique. So I will be glad to get back to Serbia again. I recommend visiting Serbia on your own without any touristic agencies, and to live in cheaper hotels / hostels / places.
Fun fact: during a week in Belgrade, I’ve spent about 80 euros in total.