Belgrade is a city of contradictions. It has a rich history but there aren’t many buildings more than 200 years old. The city has been rebuilt approximately 40 times by the different people who invaded this part of the world.
Mostly the city is concrete blocks that are falling into disrepair; the public buildings on the other hand look like they have been recently renovated, probably to enhance the city’s attractiveness to tourists.
There main roads are wide boulevards and yet if you venture off them then you can discover tiny squares hidden in the middle of buildings, little hidden café’s litter the city in these squares.
The Serbian people though are incredibly friendly, almost to a man everyone I have met has been extremely helpful and friendly none more so than the owner of the hostel we stayed in, ‘the three black cats’ Mladen was the perfect host and we felt more like welcome friends than paying guests.
The first night we spent wandering around the castle, a massive rambling fortress that seems to have been added to by every conquering army, and sat in a café on top of one of the battlements to watch the sunset over the Danube.
There is an island in the middle of the Sava River and the government built up the land at each end of the island to create a long narrow lake where people can safely swim. After spending the day at the beach we headed back to celebrate Craig’s 30th birthday, in the Hostel we were staying there were another group of people who were celebrating two more birthdays on the same day, so Bianca and Eva created a happy birthday sign and bought a cake. We then went out to a boat run by gypsies.
On the final morning we took ourselves off to the House of Flowers to see Tito’s grave (Tito was one of the few communist leaders to say no to Stalin), which was suprising devoid of tourists. Built around the house that the grave is in they have built a museum showcasing all the gifts to Tito from other heads of state.