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Belgrade Synopsys

Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

Our visit to Belgrade was great. We stayed in the old part of Belgrade close to the cafes and restaurants and the beautiful fortress built by the Romans around 900 AD. The first night we visited the area of Skardarska and ate at the oldest restaurant in Belgrade. Our waiter let us know George Bush Senior had eaten there in 1983. The food overall was excellent. The traditional Serbian salad consists of tomatoes, feta, basil, green and yellow peppers and red wine vinegar and oil. This was delicious as well as all the proscuitto, olives and cheeses. The second night we ended up in a trendy area eating delicious pizza and cheesecake. The service was excellent and people were very helpful. Everyone we interacted with from our shuttle driver from the airport who was a national table tennis champion for Serbia to our waitress in the café where we had our morning espresso. The apartment we stayed in was over a chain grocery store called Maxi and the grocery store was immaculate and had wonderful selection of produce, fresh fish and bakery items.
Rick had met a tour guide at the conference he was at and had arranged Barney as he called himself (Branislov) to give us a tour of Belgrade on Monday. Barney knew everything about Serbian history and he was not going to leave out anything for us. We were all on overload after about 4 hours he was a bit like Tour guide gone wild….regardless we ended up seeing things we wouldn’t have on our own and learned a lot about the Turks and the Austria-Hungarian empires. The men and women were very cosmopolitan and dressed beautifully. Many men wore suits and the men are very tall with incredible long legs. Rick looked small by comparison next to the men. The people in Belgrade are very good looking and the men were very manly. To me Belgrade has a great opportunity to increase their tourism business. They have a beautiful European city sitting on the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers with great shopping, restaurants and cafes and the whole city is anchored by the fortress. They have several hotels that have been bought by foreign investors and are sitting empty because they need to be renovated. There are many projects that have been started and appear to have run out of money to complete.
We are now driving across to Zagreb and then into an area of Croatia that our waiter Toni tipped us off to yesterday. We were planning on staying in Zagreb but Toni said an area called Instra farther west is so beautiful we decided to head that way. As we drive across Serbia Rick and I are amazed how much the landscape looks like Iowa. It is very flat and there are fields of soybeans and corn everywhere. So many Serbs settled in and around Chicago (it has the largest population of Serbs outside Serbia) I wonder if the Midwestern landscape reminded them of home.
One more thing, who doesn't love a country that on every tv in a bar they have Wimbledon playing. This is a tennis loving country and they support Novak Djokavic in a big way! BTW, we didn't make it to Istra so see Grace's blog for information and pics on Slunj where we ended up before we hit Dubrovnik.

permalink written by  RHarrison6 on June 28, 2011 from Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro
from the travel blog: Serbian Croatian Roman Vacation
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The Danube photos are wonderful. What a view!

permalink written by  TamaraB on July 12, 2011

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