Belgrade, Serbia- My First Impressions and a visit to Ada Ciganlija

We are about ten days in to our new adventure in Serbia and all I can say is I LOVE IT HERE! We have been non-stop on the move since we landed and today is our first real day off.  The plan is to finish unpacking (and by ‘unpacking’ I mean hanging all my clothes that have yet to make it onto a hanger and then into my closet), translate the dryer from German, hang some blackout curtains, and go grocery shopping.  You know, your usual day in a foreign country.

I could regale you with a detailed description of every sight and sound we’ve experienced since landing in Belgrade, but that could get long.  Instead, I’ll make two lists- a Things We Love and a Things To Get Used To list.  Pictures will be included.

Things We Love So Far in Serbia

  • Our apartment view of the Ada Bridge and the Sava River
    Apartment and Bus Tour-2
  • Every place we’ve been so far has been unbelievably child-friendly; there has been a playground or at least a plethora of toys in almost every restaurant we’ve gone to, the grocery store (where you can pay them a little extra and you can leave your kids while you shop), and even the hospital (new-people tour, nothing tragic)

    August 13- Ada Lake-6
    Serb-merican  Ninja Warrior Course at Ada Ciganlija
  • Kaymak- a delicious creamy-buttery-cheesy spread for your bread
  • The friendliness of the people
  • There are fig newtons here.  Happiness abounds.
  • There is also a snack called Smoki and it is the strangest- it’s shaped like a cheese curl, it’s brownish, and tastes a little like peanut butter.  I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s pretty much a hit in this house.
  • There’s a Green Market in walking distance.  They have peaches.  And all other manner of fresh fruits and vegetables.  But also peaches.
  • The trees and grass and parks and flowers and COLORS

    Apartment and Bus Tour-31
    Just a friendly game of tag in a neighborhood park, filled with green trees
Just a little game of tag in a local park
  • The Embassy Commissary. Peanut butter and cheesy pasta- don’t mind if I do!
  • Freshly ground beef for $3.00lb.
  • The fact that we can walk to school, to the grocery store, to the pizza place
  • Everyone speaks English which has been a God-send because Serbian is not easy
  • The weather- we’ve already had hot, cold, and rainy days which I’m loving!  Today is beautiful with blue skies and a cool breeze, so we’ve thrown open all the windows around the apartment

    Apartment and Bus Tour-21
    A few days ago, clouds, mist, and gloom…
  • It’s so dog friendly- not that the dogs are here yet, but they will love it when they come
  • There are little alleyways between our house and school that make the walk to school and back feel like a little adventure
  • Google Maps works (thanks be to God ’cause this girl and her terrible sense of direction already got lost)
  • There is so much to do and it’s so easy to get to

Things We Have to Get Used to in Serbia

  • The kitchen is really small- like so small that I can rest my head on the hood while I cook eggs for breakfast

    Who’s having eggs?  And a migraine?  Also, that’s all my counter space.
  • We don’t have a backyard or any outside space (though we do have a nice sunporch that serves as ‘outside’ when we throw the doors and windows open
  • The washer and dryer are in German- one load took about an hour to dry… the other took all day.  I’m not sure why.
  • We have to restock the kitchen so dinner has been an issue every day- like I don’t have all the ingredients for anything and have suddenly forgotten how to make anything except spaghetti Bolognese… which we may have had three times already
  • I don’t mind the walking… much.  But sometimes, when you just need a bottle of milk, a forty-minute round-trip walk seems like too much.  Also, school is uphill from our apartment.  I have never enjoyed arriving to school in the morning covered in sweat.
  • There’s not a Hunger Line food delivery service that we know of… which is a good and bad thing.  It is good because it means less fast food.  It’s bad because sometimes you just don’t want to cook (in Bahrain we had Hunger Line- one number, several restaurants, delivered to your door… in China it was Sherpa’s… in both countries, it was a beautiful thing).
  • The closest big garbage cans are down the road which means carrying bags of trash down the road every couple of days

Today, we are going to Ada Ciganlija to take the girls swimming.  Along the river, there are beach chairs, beach bars, playgrounds, and a bouncy-floaty palace, worthy of a place on Wipe Out or American Ninja Warrior.  It’s going to be a good afternoon.

August 13- Ada Lake-15
Tiny houses line the river.  I want one… or two.  After all, they are tiny.
August 13- Ada Lake-5
That’s the Ladybug flying through the air.  Needless to say, she was a mite surprised by her sudden flight.
August 13- Ada Lake-7
The Rugby Star has a bit more training to do before the next American Ninja try-out!
August 13- Ada Lake-17
The grownups sat under an umbrella, sipping wine and beer.  The kids played happily… for several hours.  It was beautiful.





6 thoughts on “Belgrade, Serbia- My First Impressions and a visit to Ada Ciganlija

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