Belgrade Serbia


 

Orthodox Church of St. Mark Belgrade

I arrived in Belgrade Tuesday evening open to a new experience but feeling a bit apprehensive and uncertain about what to expect. One writer compares the Serbian culture of “historical, religious, culinary, and psychological narratives” to “knots that must be carefully untangled”.

Subotica Synagogue Belgrade – Living+ Nomads

It takes a few days to acclimate, and I’m exploring areas near my apartment but haven’t used the trams. I got lost last night, but friendly locals were helpful. Transportation is above ground – no subway. Drivers seem impatient, and crossing the street in the wrong place resulted in a severe horn honking rebuke – I won’t do that again

Novi Sad (Freedom Square) – visitnovisad.rs

Sometimes, crossing Belgrade’s streets is complicated. For example, underground stairways and passages along the city center thoroughfare are used to access the other side of the street. Maybe this is because of trolleybus tracks characteristic of former socialist countries.

Trolleybus Belgrade – Wikipedia
Vojvodina District Belgrade – Aegean Airlines

Food

My first Serbian food experience – karađorđeva šnicla a Serbian version of schnitzel named after Serbian Prince Karađorđe – was interesting but not a favorite. Meat and roasted peppers are popular in Serbia.

Gibanica Cheese Pie – bitemojo
Serbian Roasted Peppers – Itinari

_____________

Some describe Serbia as “fascinating, baffling, captivating, frustrating, and vibrant”!

_____________

Serbian Dolmas – Culture Trip

Most restaurants have live entertainment with small groups of musicians, including a singer, accordion, Serbian guitar, bass or cello, tapan drum, and violin. To my ear, the sound is a combination of Balkan Gypsy, Greek, and Russian folk music. All smiles, the locals love it!

_____________

When drinking rakija (fruit brandy) with friends, the process is “clinking glasses, locking eyes, and saying ZIVELI”!

_____________

Gardoš Tower Belgrade – Destinelo

There are many Serbian breads – pogacica, pogača, lepinja/somun, đevrek, proja – can’t pronounce them. Bakeries and snack kiosks are everywhere. Kiosk vendors are friendly and helpful. I’ve asked them silly tourist questions, and they’re always helpful and kind.

Saint Sava Temple Belgrade – Vogue
Street Art Savamala District Belgrade – belgrade.com

As in Montenegro and Croatia potent rakija is popular. In the Balkans, rakija is said to “cure all ailments known to man”.

Domaći Devrek Looks Like a Bagel – Kurir
Pogacica Looks Like a Buttermilk Biscuit – pictaram.me

Serbian Time and Communication

I’ve learned that the meaning of time in Serbia is up for grabs. In some cases, an hour means a day or more. There’s no mercy for those who don’t understand this. Complaining and being uptight doesn’t help. You must remain flexible, unless you want to be unhappy and frustrated. There are layers of understanding in Serbia – each somewhat right but not always inaccurate – communication is challenging.

Lepinja Somun – Sourdough?

_____________

One writer compares the Serbian culture of “historical, religious, culinary, and psychological narratives” to “knots that must be carefully untangled”.

_____________

Hotel Moskva Belgrade – serbiancoming.com
Belgrade National Theater – Serbia Tour Operator

Orthodox Church

I was in Dubrovnik during Serbian Orthodox Christmas in January. Orthodox celebrations, food, traditions, feasts, slavas (patron saint’s day), and dos and donts seem dizzyingly complicated.

National Museum Belgrade – Narodni Muzej

There are many spectacular Orthodox churches to explore throughout Belgrade. From what I’ve seen, you should learn basic Orthodox Church rituals before entering.

Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky Belgrade

Smoking

Smoking is popular in Serbia, where per-capita cigarette consumption is high – enough said. Although I have a problem with smoking, there’s no point in being judgmental. Soon enough, smokers discover the error of their ways and that there’s really no winning scenario.

Tamburicas Small and Large – 123RF.com
Serbian Musicians Belgrade Restaurant

Attractions

There’s much to explore, so I’m staying in Belgrade through March. The second time around I found a comfortable, reasonably-priced apartment in the city center. The first apartment wasn’t for me, but since I had only booked one week, it was manageable.

Terazije Square Belgrade – Belgrade Cat

Points of interest include the Savamala District, Hilandarska, and Terazije Streets, National Museum, Gardos Tower, Zemun Neighborhood, Vojvodina District, Novi Sad Trg Slobode, Subotica Synagogue, and Hotel Moskva. That’s just the tip of the list and doesn’t include day trips to villages, parks, rivers, music, museums, or galleries.

Serbian Musaka – belgradeatnight

_____________

“Where there is Slava, there is a Serb.“  Serbian Proverb

_____________

Stairway Zemun Neighborhood Belgrade – Redddit
Serbian National Kolo Folk Dance Ensemble – Wikimedia

Street Scene

Words don’t do justice to Belgrade’s street scene – it’s colorful with plenty of local “hipsters”. Younger women go all out with their attire, wearing skin-tight clothes with lots of leather and makeup. Fancy boots, spike heels, rhinestones, and sequins are indispensable. Most of the younger men are fit and well-groomed. Except for artistic types, older men and women are more conservative and low-key.

Karađorđeva šnicla – Explore Serbia Online

Serbian history is complicated, and there’s so much to grasp. I’ll begin with the basics and learning how to get around Belgrade efficiently :o(. More later…

3 Comments

  1. navasolanature

    Sounds like a wonderful experience to be in the city for a month. I like that idea as it gives lots of time to wander and get the feel of a place. I was in Belgrade for 2 days travelling through in the 1970s. Must go back huh!

    Like

    1. suemtravels

      It’s a marvelous place, so many layers of history and culture now mixed with new ideas – it will take at least a month to even begin to grasp Belgrade… You should visit again. Tons to do and it’s very reasonably priced.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.