Museum day....rain, rain, rain! Oh and did anyone say Rakia...Igor takes me to a Rakia, a rakia bar!

Belgrade Travel Blog

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I woke up this morning and it was raining! So, I slept in a bit. Who wants to be out in the rain in Januay. When I did get up (still raining) I showered and had a little breakfast. I decided that today would be a great day to do a museum. The one that I was most interested in was the Ethnographic Musem.

On my way, I decided to seek out the one and only mosque in Beograd, Bajrakli Mosque. It was built in 1575.  There had been as many as 273 mosques during Ottoman rule. During the period of Austrian occupation (1717  - 1739) it was converted to a catholic church. It is now quite hidden in between many buildings.

In a very non-descript building (read: very hard to locate ), the museum had a special exhibit from Mexico on the first floor.

Cultural designs woven, embroidered, and beaded
  It was quite interesting, especially since I wasn't expecting it.

But for the main museum. I was so pleasantly surprised. Due to the fact that during the period that Beograd was the capitol of Jugoslavia, the museum's collection included artifacts from Serbia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Kosova, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia. How awesome for me. As an interior designer, I enjoy seeing the differing styles of each culture that I visit. This was such an opportunity to see so much in one space. I was in heaven.

There were so many amazing sights. Belts with obviuos turkish influence. Colorful Macedonian socks that come up to just below the knee. There were embroidered designs of swirls, flowers, and geometric designs. There were beads sometimes fashioned into designs and sometimes strung up and hanging with metal dics at the ends.

Rural Serbian housing
There were the most wonderous fabric designs used on coats, hats, vests, and aprons. There were also, displayed, some of the tools and looms to make the fabrics, rugs, and clothing.

In addition there were many stone items from the ancient past, very old pictures of life in many parts of Jugoslavia. Included in this section were many interesting models of housing from different ages and regions. They even had windmills as I saw a replica of one in this section, also.There were even also some carts and sleighs form days gone by.

What a fantastic journey through the ages and regions of the much of the Balkans. It was fantastic, a must see.

After, I ventured back out into the rain. On my way back I passed one the buildings bombed by NATO during the raids on Beograd in 1999.

Ministry of Defense - bombed by NATO 1999
. I stopped and bought another spinach and egg burek from that fantastic bakery near the hostel.

Upon my return, I was met by Igor offering me Turkish coffee or tea, again. He's so sweet. So, I had my burek and a cup of tea and chatted with him. He asked if I had ever had rakia. When I told him that I had not, he insisted that he take me to a rakia bar, tonight. He also asked the French / Canadian couple also staying at the hostel.

 So, when Igor was finished with work, we set out into the misty / light snowy, and cold night insearch of rakia. We take the tram / trolley to the destination, great because I hadn't ventured on the trams, yet. We rode for 2 stops and then back out into the cold. By now the parcipitation was lite and flakey! (pun)

We walk for a few blocks to arrive at a glass front bulding with a large sign RAKIA, which was also the name of the bar.

Brian, Anna, Philip, and Igor on the trolley
  We entered and were immediately greeted. Igor seemed to know him. We were seated and then Igor told us about rakia, how it's made and what it's made from.  He choses for us slivovitz, made from plum. The round comes and a few snacks as well. We all look frightened after smelling the grain alcohol scented clear substance. Upon toasting and having a sip, I was impressed. It is strong, yes but, there is a light flavor to the brandy that is nice. Also, it's very smooth. We all chat and toast, toast and chat for several hours. Ok, time to for the return trip. We rode the troley / tram back. It was even more fun now, after a few rakias.

It was a good night of great company and another new expience, drinking rakia. Igor asks if I would be interested in goin to a special tea house, tomorrow night. Of course, I will. It's another change to get to know Igor and to see a more of Beograd at night. This city is growing on me.

Up to bed.....what a day. I'm sure I'll dream about colorful costums or buildings being bombed, preferably the first.

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Cultural designs woven, embroidere…
Cultural designs woven, embroider…
Rural Serbian housing
Rural Serbian housing
Ministry of Defense - bombed by NA…
Ministry of Defense - bombed by N…
Brian, Anna, Philip, and Igor on t…
Brian, Anna, Philip, and Igor on …
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Main pedestrian walking area in t…
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photo by: tj1777