Usually I tell trip stories, day by day, to bring the feeling of the development of the trip. But this was a different year. And just as the year, this was a different trip. This time we postponed the experience of a motorcycle trip somewhere else, and exchanged it for a long weekend in Belgrade, one of the only destinations open to Israelis at these pandemic times, and for which Israel did not require a 14-day isolation upon return.
The first impression: that looked like a very lively city, comparing to the Israel we left, which was coming out gradually from a 2nd lockdown, where shops are closed and you can't find much people in the streets. In Belgrade, just the opposite: all commerce is open, people are working as usual, and there are many people in the streets.
SInce at the moment we arrived to the hotel we had 3 hours until our room would be ready, we went to visit the commercial center of the city, Knez Mihailova, and the Republic Plaza.
In the streets, despite the fact that it is not compulsory, around 50% of the people wears the masks as well. So different from Israel, where masks are compulsory both in closed places and in the streets, there are policemen giving fines to whoever isn't wearing the mask properly, and people find all kinds of ways to overcome that, wearing the masks under their noses, and so on, even on closed places, and still complain when someone reminds them to put the mask properly. Very sad!
We arrived back to the hotel after sunset, received our rooms, rested for around 1 hour, and went out to dinner.
We knew that the following day would be rainy, so we planned it as a day for indoors activities.
First was a visit to the Cathedral of Saint Sava.
As you can see in the pictures, the church is yet to be completed. In 2017 they completed its exterior. The interior already looks very beautiful, and now they are completing the floor, which I think is the last part to be done. For what we've seen there, it is going to be stunning when it is ready, just like the rest of it.
After that, we went to visit the nearby Nikola Tesla Museum.
He had some very interesting breakthroughs there, like the more important invention of his life, the Tesla Induction Engine (also known as Tesla Coil), which was the base for his further research and building of the first alternate current engine, which is in our life until these days when we use every electric product connect to the wall. He also created the principle of the remote control of devices, but his prototype was so big that was impossible to be used. It took many years to get to what we know today.
One suggestion: when visiting this museum, take the guided tour. In the self-tour, you can only see the machines. In the guided tour, you get to experiment them, under the supervision of the guide, and it is thrilling.
You can see below the videos of some of the experiments.
In the first one, the guide operates a big Tesla Coil, and we can see the lightning created by the coil. Additionally to that, it ionizes the air around us, and causes the neon lightbulbs that we are holding to light, despite the fact that they are not connected to anything.
We also saw a demonstration of the Tesla Remote Control
From that moment, we splitted. The girls went to a shopping center to have fun on their way, Shmil and me returned to the hotel to have fun on our way, at the Spa.
We were at the Metropol Palace hotel which is one of the excellent hotels in the city, and located in a very hot spot where you are close to mostly anything in the historic Belgrade.
In the evening, we tried another restaurant we saw during the day, and there I tried the typical Serbian schnitzel, the Karajorjeva. It is a rolled meet with a Serbian dairy cream inside. Very good. Recommended.
There we visited also the Gardos Tower, also know as Millenium Tower, which, in our point of view, was not a tower, and if we talk millenium, then probably last millenium, not this one and not the next. Anyway, whatever it is the view from there is stunning.
At the extreme of Knez Mihailova lies the the Belgrade Fortress and the Kalemedjan Park. The area of the fortress, the Viewpoint at the park, offer the best sunset that one can expect.
We had a recommendation from a friend to go there to the restaurant Dva Jelena (Serbian for "The Two Deer"), and went there. We found an enormous restaurant, separated in different rooms. For each room they had a musical group, so we would hear live music almost all the time. It was a great happiness demonstration.
The food was also fantastic - I had some pork chops, Shmil had a fish dish, and the girls had a typical "chicken in pasta" dish called Piletina sa Mlincima, which was something better than perfect. All the food was fantastic, as I said, and the price was a little higher, probably because of the live music. So we paid 17 USD per person.
All in all, Belgrade is a city which is very interesting to visit, with nice people, beautiful park, beautiful churches, museums, great food and good prices in everything. They are dealing with COVID19 in the best way they can, trying to measure the health instructions with the financial survival of their population, with some level of success, even if not complete.
I would be happy to have one more day there, to complete all the visits I wanted to do, but this wasn't possible because if we would arrive one day later to Israel, a 14-day isolation would be required. No problem, one day I will return.