Belgrade: Bully of the Balkans
Upon arriving in Belgrade, I noticed that the bully had taken a bit of a beating. The town was quite shabby, and that much of the bombing that Nato undertook went unrepaired. It’s a mostly filthy capital city with scruffy graffiti riddled buildings, showing the by-products of financial sanctions. It has been claimed that Nato owes them $100 billion in reparations and that this would turn things around for them. Perhaps they would take the cash and sort themselves out. Maybe they would use the money to beat up on their neighbors. Perhaps they should have left Kosovo alone in the first place since it was comprised of 90% ethnic Albanians. But they don’t call it the Balkans for nothing.
verb (used with object), Balkanized, Balkanizing.
I’m going to show you some of the nicer bits, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to visit here any time soon. Many of the people you pass on the street look like they just got out of prison or are still there for that matter. I’m sure there are prettier parts of the country. Better yet spend your money in a Balkan country where they appreciate it and treat you well, like Bosnia or Kosovo.
Actually, this is a fairly typical shabby structure.
The only mosque remaining out of 160, a testament to Serbia’s religious tolerance.
A gift from France, but its significance escapes me.
Belgrade Fortress – The Kalemegdan Park
Tennis Court in the moat.
A secondary perimeter within the first wall. Some of the hardware they used to beat up on their neighbors with.
The Victor Statue
One of our hostel mates trying out the local hooch.
Some souvenirs in the park. Looks like they are fond of a particular flavor of Russian bully.
Main Square with the National Theater in the background.
Something for the kid in everyone.