Welcome to Belgrade & back to the 80's! Posted on Tues 17th May 2011
The year is 2011, but walking down the streets of Belgrade it could easily be 1981, as it seems the fashion is either for skin tight jeans or shellsuits, with the occasional cardigan thrown in. All you would need to make it truly authentic is waistcoats and braces. Not that I am complaining about the tight jeans on the girls as there is something about a bottle blonde with curved features that brings a smile to my face every time! All this aside, we find ourselves in an overcast Belgrade on our first sojourn into Serbia. Belgrade, a city that has been bombed or invaded by every man and his dog and had the unfortunate distinction of being the first city in Europe that the Nazi's declared Judan-frei (jew free). Not the most enticing picture. Well Belgrade is a city of many contrasts, but very obviously trying to become more European by the minute. The cafe culture is booming and the cuisine in many eateries is pizza/pasta/continental European in taste and design. You will also find prices quoted for accommodation etc will be in Euros as the expected transfer over from Dinars gathers pace.
So what are the people like? Well a vox populi of who we have met has given a picture of a very friendly, fiercely proud people who will help you any way they can; they accept that you will struggle with Serbian as a language and humour your attempts. They are also very curious about your country of birth and the racial heritage of the people that live there. Never in my life have I been asked if I am from an Anglo Saxon heritage. When I went on to explain the melting pot that is Australia, Greeks and Italians were met with nods of approval, but when I said the German count was low but there was a strong Turkish community, suddenly the conversation turned to religion and the number of mosques and Muslims. There was lots of shaking of heads and mutterings until the conversation quickly moved on to tennis, and surprisingly the Australian tennis player that they most admired was Margaret Court-Smith! Most younger Australians wouldn't even know who she was, yet here 12,000 miles away in a little Belgrade bar we are discussing how she dominated the world of women's tennis for a while. The world is an odd place.
Girls in tight jeans on a Belgrade St. Belgrade, Serbia.
[Check out more photos of Belgrade at The Travel Room's Belgrade Travel Photos page here]
Baryakli Mosque, the only working mosque in Belgrade, Serbia. And this is as much as you get to see of it!
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