20 Feb I went to Belgrade to see a friend and ended up having a Serbian Cooking Experience
Last month, my travels brought me to Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. I travelled here from France to meet a friend I had met while I was living in Kinshasa, Aurélia. Since I was in France and it’s a quite a short trip, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet up with her again! What’s more, destinations where you know someone are always so much fun, the perfect excuse to travel (if I ever needed one).
I only stayed there for 4 days but I managed to spend quality time with my friend and visit some key places in the city, shaped by two rivers, the Danube and the Sava.
On my first day, we booked a bike tour of the city but we were quite disappointed with the tour. It was supposed to be 4 hours but lasted 2 hours, with no explanation to why and they still asked for the full price! This can happen anywhere in the world unfortunately. I left a bad review on Google Maps and they offered to reimburse half the price. I wish they had offered this without having to leave a bad review, but oh well, they tried!
In the streets of Belgrade
If you ever go to Belgrade, you cannot miss the political vibe around the city who suffered many wars. The headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Defence, were hit by NATO forces in 1999 and the ruins are still there 18 years later, that’s quite a strong statement! The blogger Michael Turtle devoted an article to this topic, you can read it here.
Belgrade is still scarred and many parts of the city seem today as though they have just been hit. Physically — and maybe psychologically — the recovery continues.
While walking around, I couldn’t help but notice some great street art pieces expressing strong feelings. Some were also expressing the Serbians’ passion for football. I love street art and I cannot imagine a city without this form of expression.
In some Belgrade neighbourhoods, the building’s facades are quite damaged (time and pollution mainly) and very grey. As a consequence, the street art pieces give the city a brighter look.
The Cooking Experience
For my last day in Belgrade, I booked a cooking experience with Vladimir and I had a great time! This is exactly the kind of experience I love having while travelling: we visited Vladimir’s old neighbourhood, where he grew up and where his parents still live, and we had a great time cooking in a beautiful kitchen he built in his parents’ garden, how cool is that?
We first went on a quick market tour in the neighbourhood and stopped for some breakfast borek, baked filled pastries from the Balkans.
Then, we started walking in this pretty neighbourhood called Zemun, on our way to Vladimir’s parents house, and enjoyed the great vibes of its narrow streets. We also walked by the oldest building in Zemun, which used to be a tavern.
When we arrived at his parents’ house, I was astonished by the place and the remarkable restoring work Vladimir accomplished to make the most of the house garage and garden, such a pretty place, even better with the sun shining that day. We were also accompanied by Bug, a cute little dog.
We cooked the following dishes:
- Shopska Salad/ Serbian salad
- Ćevapčići / Serbian meat balls
- Plum dumplings
As you can see, Serbian is not easy to read nor pronounce, but it was a pleasure to cook those dishes with such good company. The experience is really hands-on which I love and the location is perfect.
You can book this experience on www.takemecooking.com, a must-do if you ever go to Belgrade.