After a fairly interesting stay in Bratislava, we jumped on the train again to head to Belgrade. We stopped at the border to check passports, and then it seemed that the train just never gained much speed. We ended up arriving later than scheduled.
Here we had found someone who had space for us to couchsurf. It was actually in the suburbs to Belgrade, which was fine. However, this just meant some interesting experiences when taking the local train into the city center. The first day our host kindly took us out to see some of the sights in Belgrade.
So the first day taking the train we quickly found out that people outside the city center don’t have much English. And that it doesn’t really say where the trains are heading. This gave an interesting challenge. We had to figure out what trains to get on and where to get off, by asking people. Let’s say that we always made it into town, but not really to the central train station.
One day we got off at the last stop and didn’t know where we were. We asked a woman for help, but her English wasn’t really that good and she just pointed in a general direction. We started walking and suddenly found ourselves near something that looked like a military base or something in town. There was a man in military uniform at the entrance anyway, and we asked for help again. He really seemed to want to help, though again language was a bit of a barrier. It became an “us there” pointing on center of town on our map. However, we were pointed in a direction and after a while we got an idea of where we were on our map. Some additional walking and we found ourselves at st Sava temple. We hadn’t planned going there that day, but decided we might as well since we were there.
The great thing about couchsurfing is meeting new people. We had a really nice host. Which became more evident a morning we woke up and two new people had arrived. Two cousins from Sophia (Romania) had hitchhiked for the weekend (I think it was the weekend) to Belgrade. They had no place to stay and our host had let them come and stay. We all spent the day together doing some sightseeing and just hanging out. Part of the fun is the unexpected.
Sights we saw
- Belgrade fortress: It’s history includes a Celtic tribe, the Romans, Goths and Huns. Apparently Attila’s grave is somewhere in the area.
- Statue of the Victor: Originally meant for a fountain.
- Bajraki Mosque: We only saw it from the outside.
- St. Michael’s Cathedral
- Princess Ljubica’s residence
- Hotel Moskva
- Old and New Palace
- St. Sava temple: Amongst one of the 10 largest church buildings in the world. There were some reconstructions or touch-ups going on inside when we visited, but you could still go in.
- National museum
- St. Mark’s church
- National assembly
- Nikola Tesla Museum
- Janos hunyadi tower: Also known as Gardos tower or Millennium tower. You can go up to the top in it and look out. You will also notice that people have written their names and dates on the bricks. What’s amazing, is looking at how far back they go in time.
- And the areas of Skadarlija and Plaza beach.