The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Friday, 28 June 2013

Serbian Madness

We got another night train to Belgrade, forgetting to factor in the border control which woke us up repeatedly around 2.30am. I say woke 'us' up, I personally didn't sleep a wink but the others were getting pretty annoyed by the third passport check.

The train arrived at the station so early in the morning I'd rather not think about it. We crawled into the hostel and straight to bed before taking in any of our surroundings. Night trains always seem like a good idea at the time but we ALWAYS forget about how difficult they are to sleep on and often you end up losing time by making up for the sleep you missed.

Belgrade was surprising, though I'm not sure what I expected it to look or feel like.  They are without a doubt the friendliest people we've met so far (closely followed by The Polish). One Serb we met in Bratislava explained how it's due to the desire to change outsider's perspectives of the country, after so many years of war and human rights abuses. And I can truly attest to what a lovely nation it has become, everyone wants to help you out and I even felt safe walking the streets at night, a notion I don't even get in some areas of London.

Ice cream AND free wifi?! A travellers dream. I'm sold.

On our first night we decided to try some tradition local cuisine at a restaurant called the 3 Hats, as recommended to us by Srdjan, owner of Madness Hostel (highly recommended!) and absolute legend. The food was once again, really tasty. I love Eastern European food! We also had to try Rakija shots which are traditional in Serbia to drink before and after each course. These on the other hand, were disgusting. I am not a shot or spirits person at all.

Our American friend being serenaded by the restaurant's live band.

Fake smiles at the prospect of Rakija.

We managed to rally a group together in an attempt to try out the local nightlife but unfortunately Tuesday night isn't the night in Belgrade so Steve, Josie and I along with the guys whose cabin I shared on the train and two lovely Swiss girls chilled at a local bar and then called it an early one after failing to find a club. Oh and I also mentioned the 'Liquid Cocaine' shot we tried in my last post... Possibly the worst thing I've ever put inside my body. It was a mixture of all my least favourite beverages plus you have to snort a bit of the liquid too... First time I've ever snorted anything and my last, thankyouverymuch.

Day two consisted of CAITLIN'S RETURN (!!) and sleeping a lot once again (the others are starting to hit the travel wall after going hard for so long and I'm still a little poorly) but Josie and Mitch powered through and whilst on the walking tour discovered the oldest restaurant in The Balkans called '?'. I tried some special Schnitzel with cheese which the waitor refused to give me ketchup with... He was right though, it was so tasty by itself! 

Absolutely stuffed and nuturing rather large food babies we strolled around the markets in the park and took a little train around the castle for an incredible view over the city. 

Being real Serbs. Mitch legitimately considered buying this hat.

That night I was so tired I decided to have a chill one with my train buddies Will, Chris and James whilst the others went on a bar crawl, with a few beers, playing cards and eating watermelon out of a frying pan... (There was some logic behind this, though I can't rightly remember it...)

However I somehow managed to only reach my bed around 4am, making the 6.30 get up for our bus to Bosnia rather painful. Though at least I had it a little easier than Steve who hadn't actually slept, bless him.

I realise this post is made up entirely of sleep, food and drinking, it's been a lazy couple of days! However I'm determined to get my tourist hat back on today and do some proper exploring. Come at me Sarajevo!

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