Good morning dear friends!
I’m sorry for the delay in posting this week: we arrived in Argentina last Tuesday after a grueling travel experience, and we have been enjoying some wonderful family time, greeting friends, walking around, re-discovering (for me) and discovering (for my husband and my children) my home of city, Cordoba. This week, I have been fully immersed in the preparation of my children’s belated birthday party, which will take place next Saturday. So it has been hard to keep the blog updated!
Today, however, I won’t talk to you about Cordoba, but about Belgrade, Serbia, which is the city where my husband’s family is, and where we spent one week before flying to Argentina. I had been to Belgrade many times in the past, but this was my first time in Autumn (my favourite season) and I must say that I found it particularly stunning. The trees of Belgrade’s many parks were gloriously red, orange and yellow, and the streets were covered in dead leaves, which crunched under our steps. The weather was fresh, but not yet completely cold, which allowed us to walk along its streets with ease, with our children comfortably sitting in their double stroller.
Walking is actually one of the things I enjoy doing in Belgrade the most, because it is a very walkable and walked city. I love its parks and its cafes (they say the coffee house tradition was born in Belgrade, before Paris and Rome) and, of course, its poslasticarnica, or traditional pastry shops. Actually, one of the city’s oldest Poslasticarnica, dating from 1936, belongs to one of my husband’s brother in law, Max (whom you can see in the picture below, making the decorations for a traditional Serbian bread, traditionally served during the Family’s Saint’s day).
Traditional pastry shops are generally small, with just a few tables, where you can sit and enjoy a cup of strong Serbian/Turkish Coffee with delicious pastries which denote Serbia’s mixed past: traditional European cakes and oriental delicacies such as baklava. Regarding baklava, for example, you can have it in three different ways: Turkish Baklava (with home-made phyllo pastry), Greek Baklava, and Baklava with Plazma (a Serbian variation, characterized by the inclusion in the filling of a the crumbs of Plazma cookies)
Another favourite spot in the city is Kalemegdan, the old fortress with its beautiful surrounding parks, that overlook the confluence of the rivers Savva and Danube.
Kalemegdan is a great place to walk and, if you have children, you may want to know that the local zoo is located there too. It is also a very common spot for retired people, who play chess in the chess tables located there, a tradition that seems to exist since the times of Tito.
At the entrance to the Park (coming from downtown’s main shopping street, Knez Mihaijlova), one can find small shops selling handicraft goods such as copper pots for making coffee, lace works, knits in traditional patterns, militar memorabilia, etcetera.
The picture below is of a type of street shop that is very common in the city and that I haven’t seen elsewhere: a place where one can find shoe laces of all types and colors. These shops were one of the first things I noticed when I visited Belgrade for the first time-and the variety they offer is deeply missed by my husband when we are abroad!
Have a great week and weekend!