During summer 2017, I spent six weeks travelling around Europe by train. I visited Belgrade, Serbia on two occassions as stop-overs: en-route between Budapest and Montenegro; and en-route between Montenegro and Romania.
As with most of the countries on my travels, Serbia was new to me. I came with very little knowledge, other than that it was part of the former communist Yugoslavia. Much of the country's rail network was developed in the Tito era, but change is now occuring.
Serbia is not part of the European Union or Euro, though it is currently an EU 'candidate' country. Its currency is the Serbian Dinar. Notably (pun intended), banknotes (or cards) must be used for virtually all transactions, as a Dinar is worth less than one British penny.
Belgrade Main station
A communist-era steam locomotive from Marshall Tito's 'Blue Train' stands outside the soon-to-be-demolished Belgrade Main station.
The past glories and present-day delapadation of parts of Belgrade can be seen here. The communist emblem still stands on the front of General Tito's locomotive, which could do with a little bit of love and care - as could its surrounding environment.
The taxi rank and frontage of Belgrade Main railway station.
The Main station closed in Summer 2018, which was a great shame for such an ornate building - the massive, ornate booking hall hints at its its past importance. Part of it is supposed to be preserved as part of a museum.
As water trickles out of the broken water fountain on the platform at Belgrade Main station, the night train from Prague stands to the left, whilst my night train from Budapest is on the right.
As the above photograph shows, the station was not in a good condition when I visited, being run-down for closure. There has been some railway investment, with a newer train seen on the far right of the photograph.
Tram arriving at Belgrade Main station.
Belgrade has a good tram network, so I took one to the large Fortress, which lies between the city centre and Danube river. Obtaining tram tickets seems to be difficult: news stands are supposed to sell them, but there isn't always availability. The locals tend to have smart cards.
Looking towards the river Danube from the top of Belgrade Fortress.
The fortress occupies a large area.
Bridge at the fortress.
Walking through the fortress.
Bench overlooking the nightclub boats on the river.
A notable feature of Belgrade is that in the summer much of the nightlife occurs on the river, in the moored-up boats pictured. The nightlife is different to the UK as reservations usually have to be made in advance, and smoking is permitted even inside.
Bridge across the fortress' moat. The monument can be seen in the background.
Looking over Belgrade from the other side of the fortress.
The Museum of Yugoslavia and House of Flowers
Statue of Marshall Tito outside the 'House of Flowers'.
The 'House of Flowers' comprises part of the Museum of Yugoslavia. It is the mausoleum of former dictator Josep Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia between 1953 and 1980.
The museum is very interesting if one is interested in communism, as it features Tito's mausoleum, his collection of torches and a varied collection of gifts to Tito and the regime throughout his leadership.
Tito's final resting place. His wife is buried alongside him.
Torches at the 'House of Flowers'.
Band-stand outside the Museum of Yugoslavia.
The Museum of Yugoslavia stands in the grounds of Marshall Tito's former residence. It has been argued that the tower blocks seen in the distance were built as a form of a 'human shield', to prevent air attacks.
Cars parked up in Belgrade.
Old communist-era cars such as this one can still be seen on the roads - though most are now Western European marques.
Mosaic inside a church.
An interesting element of Serbia, and something that definately adds to the 'eastern' vibe, is the fact that it is an 'Orthodox' country rather than Catholic.
The interior of Belgrade post office.
Before leaving Belgrade, I had to post a postcard. It took a month to reach the UK.
Ornate post box outside Belgrade post office.
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