The journey on the night train was fairly painless, and around 9AM, we arrived in Budapest, where I had an hour before boarding the train for Belgrade. The Serbian rail service was reminiscent of the Polish, as is was over an hour late, and lacked air conditioning. When I finally did make it to the station, my host, Nikola, was waiting for me. He was hosting a Danish guy named Simon at the same time, and his train was arriving about an hour after mine, so we sat and had a drink while waiting for his arrival. Once we were all three accounted for, we headed to Nikola’s apartment, and shortly after our arrival, he produced a delicious meal for the both of us, which was paired with Sangria; Nikola was the perfect host. We talked about going out, but when it came time to do so, I decided that I was too tired to join, so the boys went out, and I stayed in and got a good night’s rest.
On Sunday, we went for a walk through a park along the Danube; the weather was unbearable. If felt as though all that you could do was complain about how awful the weather was, it got up to 40°C (104°F) with over 60% humidity. We walked until the confluence of the Danube and the Sava, and walked to the train station so that we could inquire about train and bus times. We then took the tram back to Nikola’s because we wanted nothing more than to be inside, sitting in front of a fan. For dinner, Nikola cooked stuffed vine leaves, which were incredible; Nikola was an excellent cook, and I’m kicking myself for not getting this recipe from him! We talked about going into the city that night, but decided against it.
On Monday morning, Simon left for Istanbul, so it was just Nikola and I left. We spent the day in to avoid the heat, and that night went into the city to walk through the fortress and get some drinks.
On Tuesday, we went to the Nikola Tesla museum, which was interesting because they had sample experiments, but I was surprised to discover that the museum seemed to consist only of the experiments. Once done at the museum, we went back to Nikola’s, and hung out for about an hour before I had to leave for the bus station so that I could catch a bus to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Some boats sitting on the bank of the Danube
Simon and me
From left to right: me, Nikola, and Simon
Due to heavy rainfall, the Danube’s waters were higher than usual, as you can see by this totally flooded play area and restaurant.
The confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers, with the Belgrade Fortress in the background
This statue, in the Belgrade Fortress compound is called ‘The Victor” and has become a symbol of Belgrade.
So, after several days of sweating profusely, I was off to Sarajevo, in hopes of finding better weather.