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  • Sue Stipek

Belgrade .... delightful surprise

We spent 4 nights in Belgrade with a day trip to Novi Sad. Belgrade was quite a surprise. It was a challenge to find our hotel as it is located on a pedestrian only street in the downtown. We had taken a bus from the airport and that was the easy part. But when we got off at the end of the line - we had no idea where to go and it was dark.

Following the map, we went in what we thought was the direction of the hotel. It soon was clear that it was a very hilly city and we had no idea where we were. Stopping at a pub, the waiter was very helpful and I started Google maps. After about a half hour we made our way to the hotel - a beautiful boutique hotel and they gave us an upgraded room.

The room had a terrace over looking the National Museum and the main Republic Square. Great 4-star hotel with a wonderful breakfast. The experience may have clouded our view - but Belgrade is just a fun and lively place with lots to do. We extended our stay for 2 nights (though we had to move to another room) and decided to take a day trip Novi Sad which was recommended.

We took a bus to Novi Sad. The bus is run by a private company and the bus station was not far from the hotel. It was just down a whole lot of stairs. The cost was only $9 dollars to Novi Sad one-way for the hour and a half trip. The WC was 50 cents. It was hot.

Finding our route to the city center was easy enough. Very typical European city. We found the main plaza and walked around some. Not a lot going on. I really don't know why this city was recommended. It just seemed sad. We had lunch at a cafe - one of many - but were ignored by our waiter and had to track someone down to pay our bill. We walked back tot he bus station and got on the first bus back. I must say it was a wasted day.

The best thing for the day however, was a delightful surprise on Republic Square. They were setting up for some kind of a concert. And at 8:30 pm we were treated to a concert by the Opera Belgrade of many pieces from a variety of operas. Delightful.

Tomorrow, after 4 nights in Serbia, we are off to Sarajevo.

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