----------- soulful transformation through the stars. -----------

3 Oct 2011

Serbia {travels}

We arrived home late Saturday night. 
Utterly exhausted but having had a great road trip.

Serbia was rough and busy and lots and lots of flat and dull agricultural land dotted with tiny energetic towns, all with their own plaza lined with cafes and the people chatting and laughing and the children included in the lifestyle whether day or night.

Many people struggling, unable to include luxuries into their lives, while some others have carved a decently comfortable place for themselves in the country they love. The youth range from those seeking far-off lands that they believe hold the answers to their struggles, to those proud of the hard work of the generations before them and with a desire to be part of an ever better Serbia.

While the older generation is, understandably, bitter towards the bully countries who bombed their land under false pretexts (just about always the case these days right?) .... the younger seem keen to move forward, almost aggressively so.

Belgrade grew on me within 24hrs. As the guide books say, it isn't a good-looking city. But man, if you want food, cafe culture, books, or a pumping night life, this is one place to be. It may not have Le Louvre but it has art on the streets and artists in abundance. And even the war didn't wipe out all the beautiful (if worn and dirty) buildings, nor the relaxed and hip attitude. Novi Sad, it's smaller brother, was nice on the eyes and thriving in a student and more relaxed atmosphere.

the new alongside the old
strong police presence

Our road trip included bribing police, getting out of a fine with Miss 3's help, getting lost often, hitting a fox (I know, I'm an animal lover, I was heartbroken), bad roadside coffee, good roadside sandwiches, Miss 3 stung by a bee at a 5 min stop, smooth motorways and small roads with potholes the size of Europe, and utterly gorgeous sunny weather.

We drove back through eastern Bosnia, just because. Stunning scenery.

Thanks to everyone who popped in while I was away and unable to visit you all as much as I would've liked.


  1. Oh the art there is killing me! So good! What a great trip this must have been!

  2. This all sounds wonderful, well most parts! Welcome back home ;-)

    PS. I'm going to dig into your Kerouac post with my latte later today!

  3. Great pics. I remember old people selling flowers from my trip to Russia. I always find it heart breaking. No one that age should be forced to do something like that to make a living. Maybe (hopefully) in Serbia they did it because they wanted to, when I was in Russia it sure was out of necessity.

  4. hard to say Petra, each story is different. there were plenty of older people that looked quite destitute, and there are the gypsy families which looked even worse.
    some people sell little things out of necessity others as part of what they do (especially farming families).

  5. lol - Isn't it great when you can use the kids to get out of an icky situation?

    Glad you're home safe, and with, hopefully, many happy memories. :) Sounds like an amazing trip!

  6. Very cool! Thanks for sharing your impressions of Serbia, a place I've yet to visit.

  7. Welcome back!! I loved all your pictures, especially the art in Belgrade. And your description reminded me of my FIL's description of Beirut, he loves visiting there and raves that one day we must go. And yay for Miss 3 and her powers of persuasion! Though I am sorry about her bee sting! And the fox, too. And Bosnia is beautiful!! Makes me miss where I've been ;).

  8. I love these images you've shared -- there's such amazing visual expression in the artwork. It sounds like such a fascinating place.

  9. Thank you for sharing your journey because of you, I have many wonderful images and descriptions lodged in my mind. Now when I hear the names Bosnia and Serbia, images of wonderful towns, I will think of places with artists, cafes, bookstores, architecture built by wonderful people trying to have fantastic lives just like the rest of us. I thought the horrible war had left total destruction but the human spirit prevails.

  10. Wow- it sounds like you had an amazing trip! What places to visit. I can't imagine seeing that part of the world- it sounds so raw and real. Thanks for sharing it with us. It's not one's average vacation. I love that last pic.

  11. Welcome back and thanks for the insight into the heartbeat of Serbian life. I'd never thought about Belgrade being a fun city. I think I still associate it with war. Your post is a good antidote for that.

  12. Hi Monica! Thanks for your kind wishes. Happy to see you had a great time. Such wonderful places! Oh, that last pic... really stunning scenery!

  13. sounds like you had a really interesting experience!

  14. you have me intrigued about bribing police?? what an experience. love the photos monica.

  15. Bribing police? I want to hear more! Traveling is always enlightening and Serbia sounds like a truly special place.

  16. Thank you Mon, I understand how Belgrade grew on you like that. I fell in love with Belgrade, passionately, and likely because I wasn't expecting to. Bribing police is standard practice in the Balkans folks. Mon, you MUST explain in greater detail :-). I certainly have my fair share of stories on that subject xo