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The Great Overseas Trip

Serbia : Sept 15 - Sept 17

SERBIA | Thursday, 17 September 2009 | Views [524]

September 15

Today we saw the sights of Belgrade (Belgrad, Beograd), Serbia.  We started with the Kalemegdan, is a big park that has the Zoo and a big castle and war museum.  We caught a train that took us all over the park and a much better way of seeing everything that walking!  Moving south we passed the Saborna Church which is the tallest building in Serbia, and meant to annoy the Turks, just not sure how though...then onto Parliament, the courts of King Aleksandar and Milan, St Marko's church, the Sveti Sava Temple (largest Orthodox Church in the world) before heading back home.  Walking around Lisa and i commented to each other how it had a similar feeling to Melbourne.  That was until we encountered the bomb sites...Wow...talk about surreal, was like a set from Holywood, in the middle of the city.  The photos don't do justice.

September 16

We road tripped to Novi Sad this morning, a town about 75kms from Belgrade.  On the bus it took just under 2hrs.  We went with the plan to see the fortress and the museum of WW1 & 2 history.  We arrived in Novi Sad and went to find an information centre.  The first one was closed (seems to be a running theme for information centres to be closed or under construction here in Serbia), so we went to the ticket information booth.  The woman spoke little English, but enough to tell us to catch the #4 bus to the centre.  So, once at the centre we spent about 20mins looking for the information place.  No luck.  Lisa went into a hotel and was given the directions, right then right.  I'm like, that will take us back to where we were though?! but we did as we were told, and as expected we arrived from where we came from...so instead of the second right we backtracked and went left.  We finally found the information centre about 3.45pm and we greeted with the fabulous news that the centre closed at 3.30pm!!!!!!!!! FARK!  So in a town were noone really spoke English, no map, no idea what these places are called, what to do.  We decided to wing it and jump on a bus.  Lucky for us the bus driver basically understood what we wanted after a few minutes of charades and then we were on the right bus to the fortress.  What a disappointment haha! I was expecting a big fortress and castle, but instead was just a few walls in the ground! haha! We hiked up the hill and found the museum, but the guy in the doorway motioned no, said closed and then proceed to close the door! What a pisser...we clearly not our lucky day!  We caught the train back to Belgrade (only $3.50AUD!!!!!!) and got back to the hostel about 8.30pm.  We then got talked into going out (twist my arm), so a croatian guy, an american guy, two germans and us headed out to get some fruit flavoured beer.  We were supposed to meet up with the croatian guys friends and see them play in a heavy rock place, but they called and cancelled (bugger, hehe!), so we headed to a club.  O..M..G! i can't even describe where we went to! Was underground in a basement and was like 70's, 80's, 90's mix with some serbian/german folk songs chucked in...ridiculous!  Was such a fun night! Lisa and i left the guys still partying about 3am, stopped for some food, and was in bed about 4am.

September 17

Up late this morning for obvious reasons and have just bludged all day.  Might head to a football match this evening with some french guys who have come over to watch Toulouse play a Serbian team.

So the 4 guys from last night, Lisa and myself head out to the football stadium.  There are tons! of people there and the thing that caught my eye - or actually ALL of my attention - was the 300 hundred (or so it seemed) riot police! There were sooooooo many of them and they were fully decked out in their riot gear...much more gear than i have seen or guys were on the news and stuff...the noise from the crowd inside the stadium is pretty crazy, sounds like there are 100,000 fans all screaming at once!  We buy our tickets and are walking around to the entrance, when all of a sudden an ambulance comes screaming out of the ground and in the window i saw the ambulance crew putting and holding gauze on the side of this guys neck and shoulder...i immediately thought stabbing, and on the news later on we found out it was...lisa and i were like, what the hell have we got ourselves into! The croatian guy was telling us not to worry, because i think he could see us starting to slightly freak out!  Getting into the stadium was worse than going through australian customs! They searched our bags, threw away lighters and then we got padded down (like police do on criminals) as well!  So finally into the stadium and two ends are totally packed...our side and the one opposite to us is pretty full, and then you have the section where the Toulouse fans are sitting.  Freaking hilarious!!!!!!!! There are about 20 of them, and they are fully guarded each side by a line of riot police as well as security people not to mention a huge fence!

Toulose scores first, and luckily there are all those security things in place, because some of the serbian fans are nearly over the fence, and are eally abusing the hell out of the Toulose guys, and not just your run of the mill stuff you see at afl, but really "i´m going to kill you, if i get you" kind of thing!  The end to our left, is totally chockers and the whole way through the match they have drums, chants and songs! Was very entertaining!

We had thought about meeting up with the French guys after the match, but Toulose won, and apparently visiting team supporters have to wait for the arena to empty, before they are escorted out to a special bus to take them back to where they were picked up from, crazy!

They arrived back at the hotel not long after us and went straight to the computer.  Apparently they were sitting in a bar in the city an hour or two before the match started and a group of Serbian guys walked up to them and started a punch on...clearly the French guys were outnumbered, and two of them were taken to hospital (as well as one serbian), with one of them in a coma!!! Glad i didn´t hear that before hand, or i probably wouldn´t have gone! Can´t believe how ridiculous soccer fans are...apparently stuff like this happens at most soccer games, just stupid!  Hello, is a game people!

Packed our bags, and went to bed, as have an early flight out to Stuttgart in the morn.


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