I made it. The last trip of the year is over. Well, when I say last travel, I mean last work related travel. By the time this post goes live, I have done one more trip, this time back home for Christmas.
This last travel now saw me venture out to yet another new country, this time Serbia. Which is new country number 5 for this year (well on track for that 50 before 50 challenge since I so failed the 40 before 40).
I was really excited about going to Belgrade, as I’ve never been, but then I got a terrible cold the day before and all I really wanted was to stay in bed.
To get there I opted for a connecting flight via Zurich and arrived in Belgrade mid afternoon. There are also some direct flights between London and Belgrade, but outbound it wasn’t suitable. I did however take the direct flight back to London Luton the next day.
Getting through border control meant a new stamp in my passport (to my utter surprise, it hadn’t even crossed my mind that Serbia wasn’t in the EU). And by the time my suitcase made it onto the luggage belt, my phone had gone crazy with messages about roaming charges and had decided to switch off internet altogether for the remainder of my stay. Whoops.
My client had booked me into a hotel in New Belgrade, just across the river Sava and in easy walking distance to the old town and castle.
By the time I’d checked in and was ready to leave the hotel, dusk was setting in, so I’ve seen most of Belgrade in the dark really.
A quick check with the front desk of the hotel and armed with a map I left the hotel for a short walk across the bridge into the old town of Belgrade.
My first destination was the Republic Square.
But I followed the lights and got a little distracted along the way. Eventually I found myself in the middle of a Christmas market, surrounded by loads of Christmas lights.
Republic Square itself unfortunately was closed for building work, so it wasn’t quite as impressive as I would have hoped for. And all photos had to have a slightly weird angle, trying to avoid all evidence of said building work.
Next stop was the Belgrade Fortress. It is surrounded by a nice park (Kalemegdan) and thanks to it being elevated above town, you get great views across the rivers.
But as by now it was pitch black, I didn’t walk around too much.
As I headed back towards the town centre in the hunt for food, I came across yet more beautiful houses and streets.
As I only had that one evening, I obviously didn’t see all of Belgrade. But it was worth the trip and who knows, maybe I’ll be back one day.