Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Work required we visit Belgrade, Serbia, from Wednesday 1 to Sunday 5 February. Just in time for the big freeze that hit parts of Southern and Eastern Europe. It started snowing on the evening of February 2 and continued, almost without a break, until we left. We were much relieved when our Aeroflot flight left the white Belgrade tarmac and headed for home, only a little late.

We had an opportunity to visit Belgrade city centre prior to the heavy snow. A bit cold for too much sightseeing, but we checked out the main pedestrian mall, Knez Mihajlova and had a meal in quirky Skadarlija. The latter is a cobbled street, supposedly Bohemian. Maybe it once was a refuge of beatniks and other social fringe-dwellers, but now it just looks like a tourist zone. 
Al freezco dining in Knez Mihajlova
Skadarlija. Very pretty and a nice place for a meal.
 Outside these areas, Belgrade seems a bit shabby. There are some potentially lovely facades in the old town, but drab and much neglected. These alternate with some ghastly apartment buildings.  For the most part not a particularly uplifting place to stroll in the winter. 

Just a couple of blocks from Knez Mihajlova and the architecture ain't so charming
 The weekend we spent with friends in the city. By now the snow was a sitting half a metre deep on car roofs. Still, we ventured out to the incomplete (after many decades) Cathedral of Saint Sava and then on to Belgrade Fortress. Great castle, on a promontory overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. Well cared for and fun to explore.

Cathedral of Saint Sava.

Sitting on the bench is safe enough, it's just getting to it that's the problem. (Belgrade Fortress, overlooking the Sava River, confluence with the Danube at right)

Back in Moscow and the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) have been sunny. No new snow here. 

Finally, I have to say that Serbia is not somewhere I would have bothered visiting had the work-related opportunity not arisen. The image of this country is still tarnished after the appalling massacres of the mid-1990s.

The nations and various ethnic groups in this region are going to have to find a way to get along. But if our taxi driver’s attitude to Croatians was any indication, that’s probably not going to happen.


  1. Serbia is a beautiful country,which has a beautiful old towns Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad, Subotica, Sremski Karlovci ect ...has excellent ski centers Kopaonik, Zlatibor, Stara Planina,most beautiful Orthodox monasteries in the world Studenica,Zica,Manasija,Kalenic,Sopocani,Gracanica,Milesevo,Gradac...ect,excellent food sarma,cevapcici,musaka,kajmak,ajvar...ect national drink Rakija,beautiful lakes and fortresses........and above all, good and friendly people.I visited Serbia 4 times and I am always happy to return to this beautiful country

    1. I accept that given the limited time available to me I did not see much of Serbia, so there may well be some very beautiful areas. I concede to your greater knowledge.
      It's certainly not my intention to offend, I'm just making observations about things I see as I see them. Much of the time they will be positive - I try to see the best in people and the things they do. Unfortunately, not everything I see strikes me as being good or reasonable.