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Finding my feet in Belgrade

It was a hot summer's day, with the temperature rising to 36 degrees, I decided however, to get on a bus from the New Belgrade side of the river, where I am staying, and see how easy or difficult it was going to be to explore Belgrade. Having just spent some time in Istanbul's labyrinth of narrow hilly streets , which were hard on the legs, it was a pleasant surprise to see how the Belgrade streets, in the centre, were flat and wide and spacious. Without the crowded hemmed in feeling that I had got used to in Istanbul, it was a pleasure to wander around, like everyone else did, in an easy and relaxed way. Getting off the bus at Republic square, I was surprised to see that as well as the statue of Prince Mihailo on horseback, a few famous visitors had dropped in. These were the Transformer sculptures that everyone from Grandmas to little kids wanted to have their photographs taken with. Of course lots of big kids were there too taking selfies, when their mates weren't watching. From the Square a long pedestrian shopping street called Kneza Mihaila, stretched into the distance. In one direction it leads to the hotel Moscow and various palaces and public buildings, and in the other it goes directly to a large wooded parklands and the fortress overlooking the river. Walking the length of the shopping street wasn't too bad, even though it was a hot day, because over half the width of the street was in the shade. As well as a range of large and small mainstreet shops, all along the street were scattered cafe and restaurant umbrellas which were getting ready for the lunchtime rush. They had menu boards out, and their prices were very reasonable, although they all seemed to be competing to sell the cheapest glasses of beer ( on such a hot day that wasn't such a bad idea). The heat was clearly getting to some people who were stopped at a large drinking fountain in the middle of the main street, and were splashing themselves and pouring water over their heads and arms to cool down. I joined them later and it was a real surprise to me that the water was icy cold and tasted like it had just come from a mountain stream, it was so fresh. I wandered down a few side streets and on one I spotted a man on a very tall ladder adjusting his red umbrellas. By the time I got the camera out he was finished what he was doing, but the sight of the umbrellas ( even though I had seen streets full of umbrellas in magazines) in real life it was kind of magical. Further down the same street I came across two magnificent churches on opposite sides of the street, and further along a beautiful art deco building with three intriguing figure on the top. This was the French Embassy building, and one of many amazing buildings to be seen around the city. By then I had reached the wooded parkland (which I knew would take a full day of exploring) and after resting on a bench under the trees for ten minutes, I headed back to find a bus stop to take me 'home', to a small siesta before dinner....

main street shops with

main street shops with


interesting lanes off it

interesting lanes off it


and charming little side streets with

and charming little side streets with


useful travel books from bookshop on the corner

useful travel books from bookshop on the corner


everyone walking in the shade

everyone walking in the shade


another part of main street

another part of main street


with welcome ice cold drinking water

with welcome ice cold drinking water


graceful ballet from three cranes

graceful ballet from three cranes


and young dancer with talented violinist

and young dancer with talented violinist


one of several people selling lace on the street

one of several people selling lace on the street


a little bit of street art in an alleyway

a little bit of street art in an alleyway


back shopping on main st

back shopping on main st


Prince Mihailo statue in Republic square

Prince Mihailo statue in Republic square


sitting around fountain in Republic square

sitting around fountain in Republic square


Art deco French Embassy building

Art deco French Embassy building


freedom, equality, and brotherhood statues

freedom, equality, and brotherhood statues


The Patriarchate Serbian orthodox church

The Patriarchate Serbian orthodox church


tower of Belgrade Cathedral church

tower of Belgrade Cathedral church


A side view of the tower

A side view of the tower


beautiful facade paintings on Cathedral church

beautiful facade paintings on Cathedral church


The city is full of little surprises

The city is full of little surprises


like this one on the main street

like this one on the main street


and umbrellas hanging in the air

and umbrellas hanging in the air


above Manufaktura restaurant

above Manufaktura restaurant


Then there are Transformers around main Square

Then there are Transformers around main Square


some are big but not frightening

some are big but not frightening


others are ready to move

others are ready to move


and another is standing guard

and another is standing guard


some are bright ones

some are bright ones


some even have attitude

some even have attitude

Posted by astrix7 17:00

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