So waiting with great nervousness and excitement for my impending trip, the day finally arrived. Contrary to every travel plan, I was anxious and a nervous ball of energy. My flight was at 11am but I barely slept the day before. I guess I was just packing and unpacking. 16 days of packing for summer is a new thing for me. I have always travelled 3-4 days in WINTER where you can recycle the same clothes maybe twice without them smelling at all. I had to pack shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and sunscreen so that I don’t look and smell like a beggar child and also so that I don’t get tanned beyond what I already am. I DONT enjoy the sun a lot. So sunbathing isn’t for me. But anyway, so I slept for a measly 3 hours and got up at 5.30 to catch a train to Eindhoven. Why so early you make ask? Past experiences with train delays at Eindhoven have made me wary. You can never be too cautious when it’s a matter of your highly anticipated trip. After obtaining all the proper visa and permits, I wasn’t going to let my travel plans get thwarted by some delay in train schedules. So I reached the airport almost 2 hours before boarding time, finished all the routine flight stuff and landed at 13:05 in Belgrade.
I knew I was going to struggle with Belgrade routes because it took me some time to figure out the exit itself. But once I did that, I exchanged some money at the airport and started looking for way to get to the main city. The main city and my hostel happened to be 18km away from the airport. And apparently there were just taxi stalls everywhere in the airport. I couldn’t find any bus/ train information. So I somehow managed to find that a bus runs from the airport to the main bus and train station in Belgrade almost every 30 minutes. It’s nicely air conditioned and costed only 300 dinars to get me to the main station. That’s roughly 2 €. Yep, cheap for 18km. Taxi would have cost 11.5€. Once I reached the main city, I had to locate my hostel which was almost a km away from the station. Without the help of friendly GPS ( no wifi), I opened the offline maps app that I had downloaded a day earlier at the advise of a friend. You basically download the country or the city maps and it navigates you without Internet. I think I managed to travel because of this app! So thanks to its creator.
Belgrade is a sloping city. I had to keep going uphill while dragging my suitcase. In hindsight, maybe I packed a lot!? But anyway, it was hot, I was sleepy and tired and hungry! So the whole route did me no favour. After some initial hiccups, I managed to reach my hostel Belgrade Eye. I think I had high expectations from the hostel considering my previous experience in another hostel. This was just modest. I guess decent enough for what I was paying (5€/ night). I was expecting at least a bathroom in every room and not one bathroom to be shared by everyone. But well the people at the reception were pretty friendly and allowed me to pay a part of the money later on since I did not have enough cash with me. Once I freshened up, I got ready to explore. Unfortunately it was already 4pm by then and I had missed the last walking tour that the hostel people knew about. But my internet research has shown that another walking tour is held at 6pm also! (Research helps). So I had a late lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant Dva Stapica. Their menu seemed good to me. I ordered one chicken noodles with seafood and vegetables. The portion offered was amazing and their prices are also modest. I knew at that time that I was going to love my stay in Belgrade as far as food was concerned 🙂