After getting to the hostel ridiculously earlier and some decent sleep in a bed. I get up rather late-ish and grab a burek and a great big bottle of ice tea. After a slight chill out in the hostel I head on up to the Kalmageden fortress.
The lucky thing is that its just up the road from my hostel. So a short trek up and I start to wander in to the fortress. Its got a prime position on the Danube and Sava river. I notice a few tanks and weapons around the grounds which are a part of the military museum but I’m so tired I head for the wall that overlooks the junction of the two rivers. And just chill there and not do a whole lot. Yesterday kind of took it out of me.
But whilst watching the world pass myself by on top of the Fortress I do spot some thing of familiarity down below in the park. A bunch of white clad people in what appears to be a game of Cricket. Something I see a tonne of back in the home land, but seeing it in the Balkans is a first.
Back at the hostel, and a few games of pro evo soccer, I mean Futbol, and the stomach starts to rumble. So off to the outside world and to the nearby supermarket where I come up with the usual ingredients to make the most luxurous pasta known to man kind. Oh and don’t forget the liquid dinner of a 2L bottle of Jelen pivo!
In the tiny kitchen of the hostel – it might be small but it does the trick – I cook up the sumptious Tuna Pasta dish that I’ve made countless times on the road. Tuna is always cheap, as is pasta sauce and spaghetti. You can add some more veggies in if you desire but it fills you up nicely. The beer on the other hand goes down exactly how I thought, fantastic.
I get a message from Miki (a friend I met last time in Belgrade) to meet him at Trg Republike. Which is a bit of a walk from my hostel so I set off on foot up the hill to Knez Mihajlova. The Knez Mihajlova is a massive long Pedestrian mall and at this time I’d thought it’d be brimming with people but there’s only a few out. Then I realise its raining and thats probably why there isn’t many about.
At Trg Republike, which is the main square of Beograd. And is lit up suprisingly well. The statue of Prince Mihailon as well as the National Theater and Museum. Its decisively wet, though the other ‘sights’ are quite spectacular in their own right. The girls here are some of the finest looking girls you will lay eyes upon. Miki takes me to meet up with his mate, before we set off for the bar.
I was just keen to drink and get my party on. Which in a city like this isn’t too hard. But we end up at a quiet bar somewhere that is actually a Karoake bar. Not that I know a word in Serbian but Živeli, Pivo, zdravo and hvala, I did an alright job of trying to sing along. It was pretty much all locals and something I hadn’t really seen. A good experience. And too many Jelen Pivos!!
The next morning is spent nursing the hangover from Karoake. It’s not that severe but it certainly makes actions a bit slower and things a bit dusty. I should probably get used to this for next weekend. After cooking some eggs at the hostel (yup good thing about this hostel is the eggs they provide for breakky!). I don’t get moving til about 12…and then its across the road to the pekara for a Burek and Iced Tea.
I meet up with Miki at the Trg Republike and this time its overcast but the ‘sights’ are well and truly out. Definitely an experience having to turn your head every 2 seconds but its an experience you can keep relieving I suppose. We meet up for a drink and chat over the usual stuff (mainly serbian football and basketball) before he invites me out to watch the Serb vs Turkey game the next night.
I wander back around the Stari Grad with no real direction til the sun starts to dip over the horizon and I get back to the hostel. I get conned into a kilo of meat from a take away store. And it was truly greasy and delicious. It certainly went down well with a 2L bottle of Jelen Pivo. It did give me a food baby of epic proportions. The night is a bit of a miss – I get in contact with Alex but we’re both really not feeling up to drinking the house down and decide to catch up tomorrow night after the Partisan football and Serbian Basketball game. And the evening is spent in the hostel sucking back the Pivo and watching a movie at the hostel.
The following day is spent wandering around the Stari Grad without any sense of purpose. And not a lot really gets done but a bit of a feed on Burek from the local Pekara and that’s about it. A bit of xbox football and then I head off to meet Miki over on the other side of town – near the hostel I stayed at last time. We head off on a bus to his friends place to get our Rakija on and watch the Basketball game.
Rakija, for the uninformed, is an alcoholic drink that puts hairs on the chest of the hairest of men. Its distilled from fermented fruit and is roughly about 40-60% alcohol. Its a fiery mouthwash. The kind Miki has is apparently a very special type of Rakija. At Miki’s friends place we start to get into the Rakija. It goes down as well as a 2 dollar hooker but is washed away with carbonated water which makes the whole process much more bearable.
The big game between Turkey and Serbia is a nail biter. Its the semi of the Basketball World Championship and its basically a play off to see who’ll come 2nd after the US make it through to the final. Pretty much everyone loses their shit in the 4th quarter – lots of swear words and jumping up and down in front of the tv. Its kind of funny to watch but its also very passionate. Sadly though they get done by the Turks and are out. But we finish off the Bottle before heading into the city.
We end up at a bar and meet up with others there. Its full and packed to the brim like a can of sardines. And there isn’t a bar but bartenders bring drinks to you on the floor (which I find as quite useful). Its the typical boozy night in Belgrade. And I make the customary stop at a 24 hour food store for a kebab.
The next morning is hazy. Its good they have eggs for breakfast at this hostel and I devour a few of them. I get a text off Miki and he wants to take me to the beach and says to meet him at the train station. I have to go there anyway so its good timing. However after buying my ticket to Ljubljana (which wasn’t too expensive about 30 euros) and go to find him but with no credit its a difficult task and after about half an hour I head back to the hostel. Highly disappointed I didn’t get to see the famed ‘beach’.
I meet up with Alex for a few brews before I head off. And its a shame we didn’t get to hit the town. But I’ve got a feeling I’ll probably head back in the future sometime. I don’t think my time in Serbia is over and there will be other opportunities to visit here again.