After making a reservation for the journey from Budapest to Belgrade David and I found ourselves sharing a cabin with three young Swedish guys who were embarking on their own shorter tour of Central Europe. We spent the journey discussing the finer points of Europe’s most important religion; football. After several hours too many on the train we finally arrived in Belgrade, a city so popular it was battled over 115 times. We emerged from the station and took a short walk to the Backpackers Lounge hostel. On arrival we were given a brief overview of the city before passing out from fatigue.
The next morning we woke up and headed out at a reasonable hour to check out what could have been the largest or one of the largest Orthodox Cathedral’s in Europe, or Eastern Europe or the world depending on who you spoke to, regardless it was a very impressive structure.
We then headed towards the city centre passing the parliament buildings and ending up on Skadarlija; Belgrade’s bohemiam quarter. As breakfast had not been included we checked out a restaurant and ordered the recommended Karađorđeva šnicla which consists of a rolled sheet of breaded meat stuffed with cheese.
After lunch we hit the city’s number one attraction Kalemegdan; the Fortress of Belgrade. Within the towering walls is a vast park, The Victor statue that overlooks the city, and several museums.
During our stroll around the park large drops of rain began to fall and we took shelter within the Military Museum which houses weapons from as far back as the Roman ages up until the captured weapons of the Kosovo resistance fighters.
As we approached the end of the exhibits we found that military history stopped rather abruptly in the late 90s. As the day drew on we headed back to the hostel to clean ourselves up and head out to a restaurant so hip it didn’t even have a name, it was simply known as “?”. We enjoyed some more authentic Serbian food and tried the local Rakija, which is a fruit based brandy that tastes mainly like fire. We then returned to the hostel just in time to avoid a soaking as electric storms moved in over the city.