Eurotrip – Belgrade, 9 November 2013

This was one of the better days on the trip. We booked an Underground Tour of Belgrade with Get2Serbia, and it turned out really well. We were the only people on the trip (the guide said that sometimes he’s had 40 people, which would be ridiculous).

The trip was quite cleverly done and took in all different eras of Belgrade’s history – beginning with Roman ruins found in the basement of the city library – the library had to shelve some of its plans to expand into the basement level and instead leave the ruins (fortress walls and a water pipe) as a meeting room only. We then moved back to the fortress and got some history about the French friendship memorial and the Pasha’s tomb, before heading into a recently-discovered German observation post that was buried under a hill on the fortress. We got some quite fascinating stories about what life was like for the soldiers – 14-day shifts, tiny beds, poor ventilation and light provided by a bicycle-powered generator. We then headed to an old Ottoman gunpowder storage room, which had previously been used as a rave venue in the 1990s and was now used to display various stelas and other Roman sculpture from the area.

We finished up in an underground club built into the side of the hill, somewhere we had walked past but never noticed, drinking the local speciality of red wine mixed with Coca-Cola. Sounds horrible but it actually tasted quite good. We also schemed up our own plan to develop walking tours in Wellington, so look out for those…

Lunch at a Mexican restaurant on the waterfront was pretty good, it was more fusion food than authentically Mexican, as far as I could tell, but it was still good. We headed home for a while then finished up with dinner in the bohemian district, in an Italian restaurant that for some reason was serving pavlova. I had to try it – it came with cocoa dusting and with a layer of chocolate mixed into the base. It was great.

We made a last minute decision to try to get into a gig by Efterklang, a Danish band who play at End of the Road sometimes and who I thought might be worth a shot, but tickets had sold out so we had a quiet night.

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About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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