The walk back to the bus station seems easier than the walk from the station, and after a little confusion we’re onboard the bus (I ended up only buying one ticket, after some confusion with the seller, but sorted it in the end). The ride is an easy 70 minutes over flat country before we arrive on the outskirts of Belgrade – fairly grim-looking tower blocks. We cross the river to the old town which is still fairly industrial but OK.
We fight our way past taxi drivers and walk to the apartment. Of course, it takes far longer than we’d expect because we get lost (street signs here are not good) but luckily we can text the owner and he gives us better directions. The building isn’t promising – bit rundown and rough looking, but the apartment itself is great, really spacious and modern.
We go for a walk to see a bit of the town. It’s not a pretty city, as the guides say, and our impressions aren’t helped by taking a few wrong turns that put us in an industrial/motorway type part of town, rather than the centre as we’d hoped. We refuel at McDonalds (the radio, brilliantly, is playing the Smiths’ ‘Panic’, probably the least appropriate possible song (OK yeah, they could have played ‘Meat is Murder’ instead). We gradually work out where we are meant to be and find some more interesting buildings, though there’s a lot of dodgy-looking subways as well. Kinda a Bladerunner vibe, but without the rain. All that said, I think I like the place.
We go for a beer in Serbia’s “first Irish bar” hoping that they’ll be showing football (usually a safe bet in Irish bars) but they’ve got the sound off so we head home and stream the game instead. I keep myself awake until past midnight as I have to go out and meet Vana and Anthony from their bus. Of course, it doesn’t stop at the bus station so I once again get lost but manage to track them down eventually on the side of the road.