Whoa, a week in Belgrade flew by. It seems like just a couple days ago that Snežana met me at the airport after the long day of travel from Boulder. I arrived on time (well, within an hour). My duffel arrived later the same day, and the bicycle the following day, all on different flights from Munich apparently. The bags were delivered right to Sneki’s flat which is extremely convenient, more so if you know to expect that ahead of time.
In an attempt to stay awake the first afternoon, we went for a short walk by Ada Lake, near Sneki’s place in Banovo Brdo. In my dazed state I was so cold, but the cold did keep me awake. Not much later in the evening I was falling asleep showing Sneki a picture book of Colorado that I had brought for her.
On my first full day in Belgrade, still without a bicycle, we took a tram downtown and then walked to Kalemegdan, the castle overlooking the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Still not accustomed to Belgrade’s chilling wind, I was a bit too cold to enjoy it fully. We spent more time inside at the nearby Ethnography Museum looking at traditional outfits from various regions in the Balkans.
As we got ready for our first bicycle ride, Snežana said it was so warm outside. She had already been out to pick up some burek for breakfast. “What temperature?” I asked. “Two degrees.” Sounds crazy, but she was right — so much warmer than the days before. Once we had bikes, the days were even busier, and we found ourselves pedaling back to Banovo Brdo in the darkness each night. We rode around Ada Lake, through the city a few times, out to Salaš Stremen, up Avala. Each day was warmer then the next, and one morning we were sitting on Sneki’s terrace in shorts.
Sneki has great friends. We spent a few hours hanging out and riding and chatting with Raša, and he took us out for a wonderful welcome lunch at a traditional Serbian inn. At a café in Ada I met (another) Snežana, Sima, and a few others, and very briefly was introduced to Tanja, a long time friend and colleague of Snežana’s. There’s still so much more to see and so in Belgrade, but we’re off to Palermo this afternoon.