Boy did we strike luck this week in Belgrade. We’ve had sunny skies with just a handful of showers and temperatures that required bare arms! At the moment is is in the high 30s with heavy rain so I'm afraid the sun won't come out tomorrow as Annie promised, but at least we had an incredible time in Belgrade with memories of warmth to last us through the winter.
Another reason why Princeton is so awesome is because of the connections everywhere, even in Serbia. After graduating from Princeton, Katarina Petrovic moved back to Belgrade to work as the main advisor to Božidar Đelić -- Serbia’s Minister of Science and Technological Development. When she heard about Princeton’s BYP she reached out and offered for the five of us to talk to her and Minister Đelić during our Belgrade excursion. This was among many really neat discussions and lectures that Ceca planned for us. We spent two hours inside the American embassy talking to five men and women who made us all interested in foreign service. We met with the co-directors of the Gay Striaght Alliance in Belgrade and heard their take on the Pride Parade and future plans for integration. We played hopscotch with a group of Roma children at a Roma youth drop-in center. We had an extremely stimulating discussion with a professor in Serbia about defining differences between cultures which made me miss school a great deal. We met with a woman in charge of the Serbian V-day (Eve Ensler’s movement to end violence against women) and made tentative plans to bring “The Vagina Monologues” to Nis; we spent three wonderful afternoons around the exquisite Kalemegdon fortress. We were led on a private tour of B-92, a popular news and radio station that survived government control in the 90s under Milosevic. We went to classes at a Serbian high school and told those interested about applying to college in America. We heard “pricaj jos” (tell me more) in the Serbian translation of Grease. We spent one afternoon rollerblading around Lake Ada and eating crepes; we went to more than a dozen domestic kafanas (cafe/restaurants) and sampled different desserts and traditional dishes each time. And that only names about half of our week.
One week in Belgrade... take a look!
The city center/pedestrian zone of Belgrade:
Ceca, volim te!
St. Sava Cathedral
A meal which consisted of lamb intestines and cow glands
b-92 newscasters during our tour of this popular news and radio station
Team Serbia in New Belgrade across the river
Asja and I were the early risers so we went on daily breakfast runs to different bakeries and markets and here we are showing off our findings
Near lake Ada, right before an afternoon of rollerblading and slane i slatke palacinke (substantive and sweet crepes)
A park right by our hostel with a swings, monkey bars, and see-saw which were fully appreciated by our group. I'm so thankful that although were legally adults I have found four others who choose to play at every opportunity.
Belgrade nights from the Kalemegdan fortress
This type of cobblestone is called Turkish road and is one of the few Turkish influences in Belgrade and Novi Sad
I love these tigers