Randomly rock up in Serbia

Trip Start Jul 26, 2005
1
28
74
Trip End Nov 01, 2005


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Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Sunday, August 28, 2005

Well, Here we go again!

..I wont say much as i havn't had the best day. Here we are in Belgrade (actually Beograd) and we arrive straight out of the train station to attempt to get something to eat as we are so worn out. The food is very different here, so i randomly chose something and ate it. Wasn't to bad and the lady was nice, it was some pastery, and i had a coffee to try and help keep my eyes open for atleast a little while as i was so so tired. The toilets, well thats very interesting, this is the 2nd time we've come across the infamous hole in the ground, however every single one was like that here, haha and they just hose the floor down spreading all the goodness! - nice! Oh well, only toilets, so we went to the tourist office where we found she didn't speak a word of english, but we managed to try and work out "map" and "australian embassy". She gave us a map and we managed to scrape up the address for the Embassy. The sun was hot, and it was very muggy from the polution keeping the heat in. We treked off to find ourselves run into trouble straight away. The map she had given us is in English, but the street sign's are in Serbian. Now honestly, somehow i dont think this will be helping! - I'd rather a serbian map, atleast then i could figure out what street we're in. We ended up quite lost and in who knows what part of town but it was very sketchy, but we didn't feel safe what so ever. Any second i was expecting someone to try some kind of mugging on me. We ended up at the Police staiton asking for any kind of assistance, but even here with these guys it was a bit un easy, unfortunatly they weren't able to shed any light on the ideal, but pointed me to the Macedonian Embassy which wasn't helping. Coincidentally i had just recieved an sms awaring me not take pictures of the millitary police (ones around transtation carrying machine guns). Not that i felt safe getting my camera out in this part of the town anyhow in my current situation. We found our way to the main shopping street of Beograd, which was a huge relief as its quite a nice looking and clean street there has to be a tourist office around here somewhere. We stopped and rested as it was near 9am and we were soaked yet again with sweat, hungry, tired, thirsty and really wanted to just get something sorted.

The main shopping place here actually didn't look to bad, and we did have a bit of a stroll around looking at things. We ran across this nice lady, which happened to speak really good english, and would walk us to the Australian Embassy as it wasn't far from where we were. Oh yeah!! Lovely citizen willing to help - backpackers can never get enough of these :o) We arrived, however the smile on my face soon diminished as the embassy was closed! gulp, i got a few of the emergency numbers off of the door and found a nice shady place to get on the phone. My phone was dying so i knew i had to resolve it soon. The after hours guy picked up very casually, like he was having tea or something (for a second i wasn't sure if i had the embassy). However it was, and i told him of my situation about being stuck, and unable to cross borders without a visa. The guy had literally no idea about any requirements whether australian's needed visa's for the neighbouring countries and told me to ask the local hotel's and travel shops!?!?! Definatly not impressed with the service of the aussie embassy here - so we hopped up and got treking again. 5 hours later we had been to numerous amounts of hotels, travel shops and about 6 other types of businesses untill i cracked it and waltzed down the train station again. Here i found myself yet running into another brick wall, as anyone relating to the train system just waved their palm at me indicating to bugger off and not bother me.. "pffft, goto tourist office" was popular - however, this was pointless, as there was no english speaking people at the tourist office. The train was now leaving in 2 hours and i had no visa. Very annoyed and disapointed we bought a ticket out of there for the following night at 8pm to Athens.

Now its time to find a place to stay for the night. Shitty, tired, smelly, thirsty we rocked up to the tourist office. She was a nice lady and gave me a smile as she was very helpful. We got the price for the cheapest hotel possible. But first... PIZZA!! mmm!! Ok, now i have not had a good experience so far, but sitting down and eating this was the best decision we've ever made! It was the best pizza we've ever had in our lives! I mean, it was perfect, not one flaw what so ever! We couldn't eat it all, as we ordered the 33cm one (eyes bigger than belly), but it was honestly to delicious to disgard, so we had to take it home in a doggy bag! hahaha! but oh you'd understand if you ate this... I'm not sure what the name is of the restuarant, but when i find out i'll post it up here! Italy has a big job on its hands if it wants to top this! We collected our bags and went to our hotel. It was a square concrete room pretty much, but it had a shower and 2 beds - absolute heaven! We showered, and crashed for a few hours.
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Comments

olivia_p
olivia_p on

Wrong End Of The Stick
I just read what you had to say about Belgrade or otherwise known as Beograd, I have been there twice and am on way again in 2 weeks. I have never had any of the trouble that you had and feel sorry for you, I love Serbia and will go back again and again, most Serbian's second language is English and I have had no problems with public transport, people or directions. I am a female and would catch a bus packed to the brim from a tiny village for 1 hour to the capital and sight see either with myself or friends and never feel intimidated or scared that someone may try to harm me. Yes the toilets wern't great but you have to take into account that it is a war torn, under the poverty line country and don't have the resources like we do in the western world. I have to agree with you that the pizza is great and although I am half Italian they must do something in order for the serbs not to gain the title of the worlds greatest pizza, but anyway I just want you to take into account for the short amount of time that you stayed there, there are so many great things that Serbia offers that no one else does.

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