11/19 – Belgrade (or Beograd, as the Serbs call it), was the capital of Yugoslavia when I was in school, and now is the capital of Serbia. It is a big city. There are things we would like to see here, but without our GPS and not being able to read the road signs, we’re feeling a bit daunted. We walked back to the train station, and decided to take a taxi to Kalemagdan Park to see the Belgrade Fortress. Online, we were warned to use a government regulated taxi with a meter, but all the cabs at the station were meter-free. “How much to take us to the fortress?”, we asked the first cabbie. 800 dinar (8 dollars). The second cabbie said 700, the third offered 500. Sold! Crosstown ride for 5 bucks. He brought us right up to the entrance.
This sign gave us pause:
The fortress was built around the year 535, then rebuilt every time it was attacked. It oversees the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. The skies over the city looked a bit smoggy.
The fortress is part of a big park with lots of green space, walkways and benches. It contains a military museum, and lots of tanks, armaments, and WWII stuff.
There is a zoo, with some pretty impressive reptiles:
From the park, we could see the spire of the Belgrade Cathedral of Michael the Archangel, so we walked over to take a look. An Eastern Orthodox Church, there was no high altar, and no seating, but lots of beautiful artwork and gilded icons.
Down the street was the Residence of Princess Ljubica, which was a museum on our list. It showed a typical upper class residence of the early 1800s, and is full of uncomfortable-looking furniture, but some pretty neat indoor plumbing and a Turkish bath.
Jim was able to navigate us home without any trouble, and we’re feeling a little more confident about the city. Tomorrow, we’ll explore some more!