03 August 2012

Eastern Europe chapter 3: Beograd

I think Beograd may have been my favourite city of our trip. It was the one I was least eager to visit, but it turned out to be an extremely charming, friendly, surprising and interesting city. We spent two days there walking around, drinking Serbian coffee, laughing, partying, kissing and looking. It was great.
 We got off the night train from Budapest around 6am, tired and wrinkled from another bumpy sleep unable to lie down. So I wasn't happy when this toilet was the first thing I saw at the station.
We met two Danish girls at the station who were just as lost and tired as we were so we walked around the city together trying to find a hostel. Two hours and a shower later we were on the streets looking for adventure. We had traditional breakfast - burek and yoghurt - in a little shop with low chairs and only men. It was good.
  We stumbled upon a little food market that was opening up as we came. Here we looked at shiny red tomatos and old people.
 The city was less shiny and polished than Budapest, and we really got the feeling of arriving in Eastern Europe. I like when the buildings are rundown and chaotic and I snapped so many building-photos here...
 We came by another market where we spent a significant amount of time. The people there were sooo friendly, which really took us by surprise coming from slightly rude Budapest. Here, they were so eager to talk to us, even though they didn't know English, and they were so laid back. I fell in love with this cool old lady sitting in her little booth smoking and yelling at the people passing by.
 Beograd was full of Yugos, and the people there seemed to be very nostalgic about Yugoslavia. Several of the cars still had YU-stickers, and the market was full of old Yugoslavian gems. I bought a children's book from 1969 called Televisia about this modern thing; a television.
 We went down to 'Bohemian Street' Skadarska and were terribly disappointed by the touristic appearance. When we saw a sign saying 'Second Hand' leading into a narrow courtyard we quickly escaped. The 'second hand shop' turned out to be in the back room of a copy shop, and we had a good laugh at the random stuff in there. The owner sat behind stacks of paper looking quite surprised that anyone had found his 'second hand side geschäft'...
 The next day was very warm. We started at the bus station getting overpriced tickets for the night bus for Sarajevo that night. While having a break we had the worst coffee of the entire trip; some sort of weird wannabe-nescafé-thing that none of us could swallow.
 After walking around the hilly streets of northern Beograd we found this hipster bar-café-shop called Supermarket where we had a very interesting ice coffee and some food while the summer rain drizzled.
 When it cleared up it got warm again and we took a walk by the water. We sat down for an ice cream and two guys came cycling by. They came back with beers and we had good fun before we had to run to catch a taxi taking us to the bus station in time to catch the night bus for Sarajevo... Ah, Beograd.

No comments: