Put on those shades – the weather forecast for Belgrade is bright sunshine, with temperatures in the mid-20s.
No trains today – we’ve got a driver to take us there in a mini van. Due to a lot of confusion about where the trains stop going into Belgrade and not wanting to take a chance of missing the surprise birthday party, this was the only way to ensure we will get to Belgrade.
Our driver, Dragan, was not only a very safe driver but also very knowledgeable. Along the way, he pointed things out to us – and mentioned that Novi Sad, a city in northern Serbia on the banks of the Danube River is worth a visit. Well, let’s go check it out.
Since we were going to be in Belgrade for three nights (what a luxury!) there was time to do a little detour. And he mentioned that it’s also a wine growing region – and Mum thought it would make a nice present for Markus who had organised this surprise gathering.
According to Dragan, the Kovacevic vineyard is the place for the best wines of the region.
I stopped to check out what was behind the counter – and the staff there thought that I was cute. (Wink! Wink! – got them fooled.)
After having made the intended purchase, we made progress towards Novi Sad, crossing the Sava River as we approached the city.
The main centre of attraction is the main Liberty Square (Trg Slobode) where the main cathedral, the Name of Mary Church stands.
While we were trying a different pose,
Sofi and he mum were watching us and she applauded my posing abilities. LOL!
It was a quick stop, as we now had another hour to get back on track to Belgrade. The sun was already lower in the sky as we headed towards our destination for the night.
During the course of our journey, Mum suddenly realised the benefits and freedom of having our own driver. And as we have a whole day in Belgrade tomorrow, her and started working as she discussed with Dragan about distances of nearly cities, of other countries in the Balkans. What about Skopjken in North Macedonia? 4 hours each way – well, that’s enough hours in a day. Mum decided that would be our next stop. Belgrade wasn’t our farthest stop.
Arriving at Belgrade, we checked into the Hilton – for one night before moving to the Belgrade Art Hotel when the rest one the party arrives the next day. After the amazing welcome at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel and even allowed to dine at the Michelin-star restaurant, at the Hilton, we were told that dogs were not allowed at the Hilton’s restaurants – except for a cafe with outdoor seating that served finger foods. That sounded like a let down and Mum wasn’t going to settle that for dinner.
The concierge suggested one of the famous Belgrade restaurants, Madera. We even had the option to sit inside the restaurant but because the weather was warm, everyone was sitting outside in their garden. And so we did too.
After a delicious dinner, Mum noted there was a park across the street. Though it was already dark, there were lots of people out and about. Couples hanging out, groups of friends gathered for a chat and dog walkers. Tasmajdan Park is Belgrade’s second largest park.
And there looming in the night sky was the well-lit St. Mark’s Church.
How cool is this?
Ok, let’s go back to the hotel now. Its late and we need to go to sleep because we have another long day tomorrow.
On our way back to the hotel, we walked past this very “sweet” place.
Slatkoteka is their version of our Peggy Porchen in London.
Back at the Hilton – once again I showed Mum how I always seem to know which is our room.
Maybe I can read numbers – LOL! In any case I know my way to our rooms – so far at all the hotels we’ve been staying at. 🙂
For this night, this is my bed that the Hilton Hotel had offered us. But you know where I always end up.
Need to have a good night sleep. Another early morning tomorrow, another long day – but thankfully in the car.
May’s comment: Just catching up – been days of crazy travels, going further than planned (more about this in next post) … and then the friends arrived – and there was no time to write.
Back to just us … back to catching up.