25.10.2008 - 25.10.2008 11 °C
Wow Belgrade feels like a different world. I thought that Belgrade and Sofia would be similar because of their close proximity but boy was I wrong. It feels very much older and it is very run down.The people were also very cold and not very helpful. At first I was really really turned off by how dirty it was and the people, but after learning their history I am not surprised at their negative attitude and harsh personalities. I also realized that not more then 20 years ago we had bombed this whole nation. The city was brunt down and destroyed 44 times in its history, as a result the city feels a lot like an American city, centered around shopping because the older buildings and centers have been ruined. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and most of the buildings are from the 1800s because none of them survived all the different occupations.
I started my day off at the Castle. This castle is quite popular real estate having 100+ wars fought over it because it is where the two major rivers run together in Eastern Europe, the Danube and the Sava. It was cool to wonder around the ruins and the park.
After that I wondered down the main strip, which full of shopping, tempting but I resisted. I ending my stroll at the main Temple in Belgrade. The church, St. Sava's Temple, is the biggest orthodox church in the world. It was started in 1926 and Hitler stopped it from being completed. To this day they are still working on it, as I was wandering through the church with scaffolding and tools around a tractor came in a was going beep beep beep beep (you know when they back up) while there were people there worshiping. It was so weird, but cool to be a part of a icon in the making. It really made me appreciate the time put into these buildings I am seeing. This church has been a project for the last 50 years and it isn't even close to being done, I can't imagine how much time it took the builders of the churches that are 1000+ years old. Truly remarkable.
I finished my day with a nice traditional dinner while reading a book and then continued my trek through Eastern Europe. It was a long day and I wasn't particularly fond of the city but I am glad that I stopped by to see it.