Serbia 2

Serbia Travel Blog

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Recent photos of the mythological yeti suggests he's taken up the sport of snowboarding

15th January 2009

New Years 2009: Serbia 2 and Bosnia

Current Mood: Excited

Category: Travel And Places

 

ZLATIBOR

 

Last summer I met a girl in London from Serbia.

Sanja is her name and she's a really cool chick, and I have to say that cos she's most probably reading this blog, but so much fun she was that when she insisted I come over to Serbia to meet her it didn't take much consideration. Fast forward to December 29th, one flight to Hungary and a 7 hour train journey to Belgrade and I'd finally fulfilled my promise. In Belgrade we had just enough time to go out and buy a jacket as apparently I was going to need it for the minus 15 degrees weather before heading to the city of Zlatibor where we were to celebrate the new year.

 

Zlatibor is a ski resort in Serbia where the pro's would stick their nose up at the slopes, but for people like me who despite being aware of the consequences still can't resist the urge to lick the ice from a ski lift, Zlatibor was the perfect place to fine tune my rubbishness at snowboarding.

Just like the Olympic snowboarders do before their run, I stood staring at the slopes and envisioned myself zooming down the mountain at 30km per hour. And soon I was too, albeit on my arse sitting on a sleigh rather than a fibreglass snowboard costing £15000. But with my sunglasses over my eyes and a Russian Chapka hat resembling something like dead racoon resting on my head I was sure to look cool, if not cooler, than the Olympic snowboarders. And what's more I was faster, quicker and pretty much better than everyone else at it as I had a distinct weight advantage over all the other children on the slopes. All rivals conquered on the slope and an imaginary Olympic gold medal to take back with me to Britain it was eventually time to tick one of my life ambition goals and along with Sanja, her brother Milos and his girlfriend I celebrated the New Year in a different country and culture. We rocked out in an open air concert listening to a gypsy band either singing or placing a curse over us as we drank Serbian beer and sipped a Bosnian hot spirit that was so foul I resorted to sucking on some yellow snow I spotted to take away the flavour.

 

With the children defeated it was time to spend New Years day taking on the big boys at snowboarding on the beginners slope. Immediately though I was faced with a big problem, I couldn't manage to use the rope pulley to take me up to the top of the slope. This required some serious brain storming and problem solving between Sanja and me about how to navigate this rope pulley, until many minutes later we reached a plan that with a bit of luck, might just possibly work. With my heart thumping against my chest, drool coming from my mouth and my left arm becoming numb, I finally walked to a point which, for moral boosting purposes, declared was the top of the slope. And thus my snowboarding career began! And surprisingly I wouldn't say I was all that bad at it. Sure, turning was a big issue. And stopping. But as long as I set off in the general direction I wanted to go at the beginning of the run then there wasn't much problem speeding down the hill.

And if any children crossed my path and got run over in the process then that's their own fault - a guy wearing a dead racoon on his head is clearly not a pro snowboarder and should be avoided at all costs.  I even gave skiing a go to and having previously skied in America many years ago, was able to twist and turn on the slope and pretty much pick off any children for running over as I pleased. My total for that day was a career best of 16 casualties.

 

Eventually it was time to wave goodbye to the children at Accident and Emergency as Sanja was talking me to the country of Bosnia and its capital Sarajevo.

 

EDITORS NOTE: To follow this story make you way over to the Bosnian Blog.

The text below is followed from the Bosnian Blog...

 

BELGRADE

 

Back in Belgrade we were staying here for just enough days to be shown off by Sanja as this 'odd English guy from England.' The city I had already seen from a previous trip here the year before meaning there isn't too meant new things to chew your ears off about this city. There was an advertisement for an English course I considered signing up to just to experience being the cleverest student in the class for once. And then there was a Serbian protest which was legendary! After seeing a load of women dressed in black chanting and protesting about a war happening somewhere in the world, we later came a across a group of Serbian men several metres away from the women also moaning and protesting too. Asking Sanja if they're protesting about the war too and if so why not join the Women In Black, she listens for a second to see what they're banging on about and says, 'Nah, they've got together to protest against Women In Black' They weren't there to protest for the war - they grouped together to protest about a protest, most probably cos they weren't allowed to become part of the original protest cos they don't met the requirements of being a woman dressed in black. And amazingly I also spotted another person who was also wearing the same dead racoon on his bonce, who commented on my nice headwear as he walked past. And there's me thinking no one was daft enough to wear a hat  like mine so Sanja and I went searching for more people with daft hats and we soon found ourselves on a train heading towards the northern border of Serbia and Hungary.

 

SUBOTICA

 

Arriving in Subotice with Milos on tow we were greeted at the train station by Sanja's cousin and her family. We only had a few hours in this northern city of Belgrade so we had to do our best to make it memorable  and what better way then to gatecrash a wedding. And I do mean gatecrash too. Everyone was looking amazing and beautiful as you can imagine at a wedding. Then there was us lot - casually dressed, dead racoon on head, being stared at every few seconds by a family or friend of the bride and groom who you knew were thinking to themselves, 'Who the fuck are you guys?' You might also be very surprised to know that this was my first every wedding, so you can imagine I was more nervous than the groom. Milos and I considered a rescue operation for the man about to have a ball and chain placed around his ankles but by the time we hatched a scheme involving helicopters, rope ladders and a one way ticket to Rio de Janeiro the ring was already on his finger and the contract signed to be subjected to a lifetime of housewife nagging. Afterwards we were taken to a bloody massive lake that had completely frozen over. A bit like being in Sarajevo again but without the bombed buildings resting on top of the ice. Anyroad, this lake was huge - so big it was that I couldn't see the other end. To see a lake this size frozen over way pretty impressive.

 

And thus soon after it was time to leave and catch a 4 hour bus ride back to Budapest, where my private Ryanair jet was waiting for me. The journey back had nothing eventful with the exception I slightly helped a Hungarian girl sitting next to me on the buss who appeared to be studying a book on English. Her book was opened on a page with information and conversation on the British weather, which I somewhat believe myself to be an expert on. I leaned towards her and said, 'You want to know about British weather? It's shit. There you are - I saved you reading a whole chapter there' I think she appreciated my help and once she goes on to master the language of Britainland I can proudly say I contributed to the knowledge of conversation regarding the British weather. She's like the daughter I never had nor wanted.

almond72 says:
Just what exactly were you doing in Serbia last summer anyway ? Looking for the loot you buried while you were blowing up the place during the last shoot out there ?
Posted on: Nov 12, 2009
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