A Pretty Cool Princess, Bombings, and Wine on a Train

Belgrade Travel Blog

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Princess Ljubica's humble home

I'm not entirely sure why Mondays are the let's close most of the museums and cool stuff in Europe day of the week, but we were glad if was a Tuesday and the Military Museum was calling our names. While most actual products are regular price for us, the museum entrances and food here are dirt cheap, and we paid only about 50 cents to get in. While many of the 'artifacts' from previous wars were actually replicas, the time was definitely worth it and I feel good having a better grasp on the history of the countries in this region. Once again seeing how war has devastated so many countries and affected every day life of citizens, I feel so blessed to live in a country that yes, we are at war, but I don't have to fear for my life every day.

On the hunt to find interesting things in this city, we stumble across one of the few tourist offices that isn't closed, and find a pretty informative grouping of photos explaining the life of Princess Ljubica and her home.

Look closely...his teeth are made of buildings!
This residence, built between 1829-31, has modern western influences as well as those from the Ottomon Empire. Personally, I looked at it and wondered why she and her husband didn't demand a more luxurious, grand residence, but it seemed to suit her as the strong woman she was, still helping others even when forced to estrange from her husband after his affairs. I definitely admire a strong lady and was impressed that the city took the time to honor her.

After finding more delicious food and buying some fantastic earrings (love earrings-only unique thing I can wear that's all my own at work as a server), we decided to find the bombed out buildings on our way to the train station. When we did, it was a sight to see and incredibly moving. In March of 1941, Hitler initiated an attack he called Operation Punishment, which devastatingly killed between 5,000-17,000 civillians.

Bombed-out building from Operation Punishment
Belgrade decided to leave it just as it was as a testament to what they went through and how they've come out of it. Towards the top of one of the buildings, there's a tree full of life and sprouting Spring leaves, which made me smile. New life, new beginnings growing out of tragedy. Beautiful.

The real excitement of the day came on the train though. It wasn't long before we met Craig, and English guy my age who'd just quit his casino job and decided to travel solo for 6 months. For the number of people I've heard travel alone, I haven't actually met many in the past 5 weeks, and it was great to meet someone else doing it on their own. And he's even going to SE Asia as well! It was a pretty unanimous decision to grab some wine at the first stop, which we did with our new Romanian friend, John, who must've thought we looked terribly lost at the train station we were supposed to transfer at and asked us if we needed help.

From 4 to 6 people in 2.5, we all crammed into a cabin in the train, opening our second bottle of wine and playing card games.

The second transfer meant a farewell to John, and a move by the girls to the sleeper train for some z's, which I knew I probably wouldn't get anyway if I tried. Craig and I stayed up for several more hours, talking about anything and everything, polishing off his fairly weak brandy mized with ice tea (great combo by the way). I think I might have gotten a grand total of 1.5 hours of sleep, but the night was well worth it!

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Princess Ljubicas humble home
Princess Ljubica's humble home
Look closely...his teeth are made …
Look closely...his teeth are made…
Bombed-out building from Operation…
Bombed-out building from Operatio…
Serbias pre-historic public trans…
Serbia's pre-historic public tran…
photo by: tj1777