Countdown to Zero: Day 30

Today’s throwback: Pliva Lake, an hour’s walk outside Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, early August 2013. Clean and clear, calm and peaceful, and practically devoid from any other people, it took practically no effort to find a secluded place along the lake to go for a swim, soak up the sun, and relax before a bus ride to Mostar.

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Belgrade rising

There’s an energy and authenticity to this city, one of the largest in the Balkans, that I can easily appreciate. Often during travelling, I feel like I’m just one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, walking around and doing the same thing. It’s a feeling that I dread and most times do my best to avoid; it’s usually not an issue here in Belgrade…

Zemun

Zemun – once the limit of the Austro-Hungarian Empire when the Turks controlled Belgrade

The beauty of Belgrade is that by and large, mass tourism is non-existent, or at the least much less obvious than most European cities. As such, it doesn’t put on a show for tourists and I can walk around the city and feel like I’m getting a sense of what the capital of Serbia is about. I think this is what makes Belgrade unique. True, a city like Belgrade has many similarities with other large cities – that faster pace of almost everything compared with being in the countryside or a small town; the pollution and noise of crazy speeding cars; higher prices (though still one of the most ridiculously cheap places I’ve visited in Europe). But to be sure, Belgrade as a city has its share of unique gems that easily attract the traveller’s eyes.

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