Serbia, A reality Check
October 5 to october 10, 2015
I called this post a reality check because this was the first time during my trip that I ran into Syrian refugees travelling North West, looking for a better life. I had heard a lot about their migration but had yet to see actually how they were making their way. I have no photos from the park in Belgrade where a tent city was set up for months, nor of the trains emptying out into the station, full of scared families; I felt it wasn't for me to document. They were their though, just as it had been described by the news. What was different from what I heard though was the response of individual citizens to the migrants. The people of Belgrade happily opened themselves and their country up to the Syrians, they didnt believe in the official policy of their state. To the park that housed most of the refugees in the city people brought food, clothes, water, and even cell phones and wifi daily. The people of Belgrade have known to recently the struggles of conflict and losing a safe place to call home and with that recently in their memory they warmly welcomed and looked after those passing through or attempting to stay.
october 5 to october 8, 2015
I was lucky to meet up with a friend I'd met travelling Zanzibar a few years ago, Nemo, who is very successful in the tech start-up world. A city presents itself to you in a completely different way when experiencing it with people who live there and it was through Nemo I was able to find a great hidden bar called Beerville. We were there for trivia night and I would 100% guarantee visiting if you enjoy good beers and low-key pub feel. https://www.facebook.com/beervillebeerbarandstore
Belgrade will keep you busy for a few days, garenteed, and its an easy city to walk around in. I took in a umber of sights here and none disappointed. The old fortress, the Nikola Tesla, the Church of Saint Sava, the Museum of Yugoslavian History....they all live up to their reputation.
The Museum of Yugoslav History is my mind is a must visit location. I visited it while on a $10 walking tour focused on Yugoslav history in Belgrade. The museum overflows with love and adoration for Tito, even including a 15 minute video with a compilation of Tito's best moments.
Lapovo train Station
So, meaning to go to Novi Sad, I got on a train that left at the right time from the right platform, and found out 2 hours later (11pm) that in fact I was heading the wrong way i would be left at the Lapovo train station. A conductor who spoke very little English said I may be in luck and a train may come at 1:30am back to Belgrade or I may not be in luck and need to wait until 5am. It turns out I was not in luck and I spent my night in something like a horror movie. The station was small, deserted, and decrepit. The trains cars parked in the yard smelt of piss and were filled with sleeping people who may or may not have been planning on taking the train. I didn't know if it was safer to stay hidden in a shadow or in the light of this bare waiting room. I passed a very scary and long night going between station and train cars until 5am when I embarrassing headed back to Belgrade.