The European Capital You Should Visit Right Now: Belgrade

Shawn & Tricia Mitchell have visited destinations in more than 47 countries on 5 continents and they recently visited Belgrade.

Belgrade is awesome

Tricia Mitchell put up a great blog post with amazing photos – Belgrade. It’s an old city with a new vibe. And her husband made a video to share the story of their experience in Belgrade, from Kalemegdan fortress, Nikola Tesla museum, the House of Flowers, Saint Sava cathedral, to delicious Serbian food and wine. Shawn P. Mitchell wrote on Facebook and Youtube:

On a recent visit to Belgrade, Serbia, my wife and I had a chance to experience the tourism offerings of this capital city. Situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers on the Balkan Peninsula, Belgrade is emerging from the turmoil of the late 1990s and early 2000s as a regional center of commercial activity.

The hospitality we received in Belgrade was outstanding, as was the wine, thus ensuring that we will be returning the city again soon.

In the attached video, I share the story of our experience in Belgrade and some of the reasons why this city is well-positioned to be a thriving tourist destination in the years ahead.

Great video. Thank you Shawn. And thank you Tricia for your great article with amazing photos of Belgrade. More tourists from all over the world, and more American people like you, should come to visit Belgrade to disvover and share the truth: Belgrade is an amazing European capital!

Please Stop Confusing Serbia With Siberia

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who confuse Serbia with Siberia. Three days ago, The Siberian Times wrote a story about a mysterious giant crater which appeared at the ‘end of the world’ in… Siberia. And three websites (yes, 3) in only one day went on to confuse Serbia with Siberia.

For the website “Ghost Theory” (article written by Javier Ortega, an American writer living in Los Angeles) Siberia is Serbia, and Serbia is in Russia!
Siberia not Serbia

For the Deccan Chronicle, the largest circulated English newspaper in South India, the Siberian crater is a Serbian crater in northern Serbia as reported in the Serbian Times. Oh yes! It is the Siberian Times!

Siberia Serbia The Deccan Chronicle

And for World’s Largest Hindi Website, bhaskar.com, Serbia is Siberia:

Serbia Siberia

That’s it. For many people and “journalists” Serbia is Siberia, Serbia is in Russia and so on. But NO!. Serbia, the country I live in and promote in the world is not a region of the Russian Federation. The Republic of Serbia is an European country located in Southeastern Europe. See the map below, and please stop confusing Serbia with Siberia!

Serbia Siberia Map

American Family – Vidimo se Srbija (See you Later Serbia) – We Will Miss You

Monestel family - Serbia

After almost three years in Serbia, an American family, the Monestel family – Robert, Julie and their three kids are moving to Seoul in South Korea. They liked Serbia from day one, and will miss Serbia and its people.

Back in August 2011, Robert Monestel wrote a blog post talking about their first week in Belgrade:

Our family arrived in Belgrade last week for our next post overseas. They say first impressions are everything, and so far this promises to be a great place to call home for the next few years…

The people of Belgrade are very welcoming, and my staff at the clinic are particularly helpful in every step of the way. So, we start our discovery of this region and particularly of Serbia. From our initial exposure this promises to be a great gem not yet fully discovered by many in the West.

And yes, Serbia was a great place for this American family. Last week, the Monestel family moved to Seoul and Robert Monestel posted his last blog post from Serbia titled “Vidimo se Srbija (See you Later Serbia)

We say goodbye to Serbia this week, after three wonderful years in this beautiful country. We’ve had many great memories here and will always remember it fondly… From day one in Serbia, we knew this was going to be a great post. Sure enough, it has been a great place for our family; and the school and work environment were excellent. We have highly recommended it to other colleagues.

We’ll miss the walks near Kosutnjak Forest, biking or playing in Ada Lake park, or simply just having a great meal at any one of the thousands of cafes that permeate through the city of Belgrade…. We will always remember this region with warm memories and hope to visit again in the future… We will surely miss this country and its people.

Thank you Robert, Julie and all your family for loving Serbia and Serbian people. Serbia warmly welcomes all guests who know how to appreciate its hospitality.

Tourists Hitchhiking In Serbia… With The Police

Hitchhiking In Serbia… With Serbian Police

Aimee is from the United States of America, and Tessa is from New Zealand. The two young women are hitchhiking across Europe, and they arrived in Serbia from Romania last week.

After crossing the border (Jimbolia) into Serbia and a few minutes walk, Aimee, the young American woman was wondering if hitchhiking in Serbia was legal. “I don’t know if hitchhiking is legal in Serbia“ she wrote in her blog post talking about their adventures in Serbia.

And what? It’s a police car that took them to the next town:

The police car slowed to a stop. The policeman in the passenger seat rolled down his window and addressed us in Serbian.

“Do you speak English?”

“Yes,” the younger cop said with a grin. “We were wondering — where are you from?”

“I’m from New Zealand,” Tessa played the trump card right off.

The cops looked at each other and laughed.

“And you?” they directed the question at me.

“I’m from the United States. America,” I played what felt like the Queen of Spades.

They cracked up harder.

“We had a bet,” the talkative cop explained to us. “He thought you were from Romania and I thought you were from Ukraine. We both lost.”

“I don’t know which of you lost more,” Tessa grinned.

“Where are you going?”

“We’re trying to get to Novi Sad.”

“Well, we can take you to the next town.”

Are we hitchhiking with Serbian police? Is this really happening?

It was definitely really happening. So I guess we learned that hitchhiking is legal in Serbia.

The Incredible Thing An 8-Year-Old Girl Did For Serbia…

Natalija helps Serbia

Like most 8-year-olds, Natalija likes playing with her toys and dolls. But this 8-year-old girl living in London wanted also to try to help children flood victims in her home country, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Natalija is from Serbia. She is living in London with Susie Ambrose who adopted her. Natalija’s ‘mother’ was born in Belgrade to a Jewish/Serbian family and is the founder of luxury matchmaking agency, Seventy Thirty. Susie Ambrose told Britić magazine:

My greatest achievement is adopting my wonderful child in Serbia and providing a loving and caring home here in London

Susie Ambrose and Natalija

We shall be proud of Natalija, this 8-year-old girl who wanted to raise funds for flood victims in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina via JustGiving. She wrote there:

Hello,

My name is Natalija, and I am an 8 year old girl living in London, but originally I came from Serbia.

The terrible floods affected beautiful Serbia, and the picturesque Bosnia, and thousands and thousands of people lost their secure homes. There are many lovely children that are now homeless, hungry and scared. If I lost my home, I know I would be frightened and I would feel vulnerable.

Please be kind and help me raise awareness and funds for affected children in Serbia and Bosnia.

Thank you very much for your support.

Love Natalija

8-year-old girl Natalija helping Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

And what?

Natalija, this 8-year-old girl, raised £12,295.79, more than 15,000 euros fo children flood victims. Incredible!

Natalija, it’s amazing what you did. Words can’t express the thanks I send to you. It is so wonderful that there are kids like you who care so deeply for Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bravo!

Update: Natalija has received a new donation: Natalija Serbia Bosnia Help

Franck Burns (England)… Nice Ride Through Amazing Serbia

Welcome to Serbia

Frank Burns is cycling 3000 km – 2000 miles from his home, Kimbolton, a village in England, to Istanbul in Turkey for The Motivation Charitable Trust , an international development charity supporting people with mobility disabilities.

It seems that some of Frank Burns best days have been cycling across Serbia (From May 24 to June 1, 2014). He met wonderful Serbian people, discovered the charm and beauty of many Serbian towns. Franck Burns wrote:

The Serbs are an outgoing friendly people, who will go out of their way to help. Like the young lady this afternoon who, instead of giving me directions, cycled with me to the Information Office in Novi Sad.

I was impressed with Belgrade, especially since I expected to be disappointed by it. Maybe my thinking still hasn’t moved on beyond the Cold War years.

I particularly wanted to go to Nis, my penultimate stop in Serbia, because it is clearly documented that the 1st Crusade of 1096 passed through here. What I find in 2014, is a vibrant city with appalling memories of the destructive exploits of the Ottoman Turks in the 19th century, and more recently the murderous attentions of the Nazis during WW2.

Well, here are some photos taken by Frank Burns:

Niš

The three ‘fists of defiance’, commemorating the 10,000 inhabitants of Niš who were killed by the SS.

"When the Ottoman Turks finally took the city of Niš, they beheaded the Serbian soldiers, and inserted their skulls into the fabric of the tower walls."

“When the Ottoman Turks finally took the city of Niš, they beheaded the Serbian soldiers, and inserted their skulls into the fabric of the tower walls”

Hram Svetog Save -  Belgrade

Orthodox Church in Belgrade

Welcome to Novi Sad

"Panoramic views of the Danube" In Novi Sad

“Panoramic views of the Danube” In Novi Sad

"Now tell me honestly, did you know that Serbia has a wine industry? I was nearly distracted completely from my route by signs like this"

“Now tell me honestly, did you know that Serbia has a wine industry? I was nearly distracted completely from my route by signs like this”

Frank Burns first ever glass of Serbian wine

Frank Burns “first ever glass of Serbian wine”

 "this old gentleman came up to me and greeted me first in German, then in French." In the city of ?uprija

“this old gentleman came up to me and greeted me first in German, then in French.” In the city of Cuprija