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Coming to Serbia

SERBIA | Sunday, 6 November 2011 | Views [911]

Fourteen hours - and 360 miles - from Bucharest to Belgrade!

Fourteen hours - and 360 miles - from Bucharest to Belgrade!

There aren't many attractive travel options from Bucharest to Belgrade. Flights on Austrian Air go through Vienna and cost a fortune.  Sitting up all day on a bus wasn't very appealing either.  So once again we opted for the overnight train.  This one wasn't Russian and it both left and arrived more or less on time.  The 600 km trip, however, took 14 hours, an average speed of 25 mph.  But we sort of slept and didn't have to pay for a hotel, so it was OK.  If you are contemplating train travel in Eastern Europe - anywhere in Europe, for that matter - buying your tickets at the station, not from Rail Europe, will save you a bundle.

When the Serbian immigration officer came to our tiny cabin around 6 AM to collect our passports, he asked what our destination was.  I told him Belgrade and asked if we would enjoy it.  "Yes," he replied.  "Our politics are bad but the people are nice."  Sounds all to familiar.

Serbian money is loosely tied to the euro, with 100 dinars worth $1.40.  Strange to fork out 580 "anythings" for lunch at MacDonalds.  And even the "hostel" we are staying in costs 6000 dinars, or 60 euros.


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