Travel Diary: Bosnia & Serbia, Part 3February 21, 2014
Drumroll please! This is the final instalment of my travel diary - Bosnia & Serbia edition!
While we were in Bosnia for a total of 10 days, we got away for 3 days and drove over the Bosnian/Serbian border to Belgrade. My boyfriend (who is Bosnian) had also never been to Belgrade so it was a really fun trip for the both of us :)
In the photo above you can see widdle tiny me in front of the HUGE Serbian Orthodox cathedral called Sveti Sava (Saint Sava) in Belgrade. This is the largest Orthodox church in the world!
I was really excited to see the interior of the cathedral since it's so well-known and enormous.
And THIS is what we saw! Just our luck - they were renovating :( I was so disappointed! Earlier this year we visited Venice, Italy and they were renovating the main church there too, just on the outside and this time on the inside. Ugh! But if you disregard the (stupid) crane and plastic you can still feel the vastness of the building.
They kept some decorations and set them up during the renovation for all the visitors to see.
And, of course, you've got your usual knick-knacks which you can purchase.
They also set up metal boxes with sand where you could stick your purchased candles into the sand and light them.
Look at me with the beautiful crane and metal gate in the background! Gorgeous! (sarcastic much?)
This is on the side of the cathedral where we actually were able to enter. The doors at the front of the building were closed and locked.
Here you can see the hustle and bustle of Knez Mihailova street, which is the shopping center of the city. It was incredible how busy it was all day and evening! We spent quite some time here just walking around, doing a bit of shopping and getting froyo (yumm)!
On New Year's Eve we went out to eat at a fancy restaurant in the late afternoon and when we were walking back to our hotel we passed the parliament building, the National Assembly. The city was setting up a huge stage in front of the parliament for a free - yes FREE - concert that was going to happen that night.
Sorry for the blurry iPhone photo but you get the picture. There were SO many people at the concert! Right in front of the stage there's a wide street and after the street there's a huge square and both were completely filled with people squeezed together. It was a fun experience though and the singer, Ceca, is one of the most famous singers from Serbia so it was awesome! (I featured her on my playlist HERE, by the way.)
Us right after midnight :)
The next day we ventured out for a walk in the city and decided to visit Sveti Marko (St. Mark's church). This one's not nearly as large as the Sveti Sava cathedral but it's still one of the largest churches in the country.
There was no renovation going on in here, thank God (haha, literally). Funny thing about Serbian Orthodox churches is that they don't have any benches (or whatever you call them). The floor is completely empty! When there's mass, the visitors either stand or kneel. That must be so tiring!
This trip was really fun and it also included visiting two huge shopping malls in one day *sigh*. The prices were crazy though. Most people in Serbia don't have very high salaries at all, maybe an average of 500 Euros? And the prices at the mall for clothes, shoes, etc. were the same as in Switzerland! Which is so disproportional. So I didn't end up buying as many things as I expected but I did get to go to Sephora (which we don't have in Switzerland) so that was fun (see my haul HERE)!
I hope you enjoyed my 3-piece travel diary of Bosnia & Serbia! If you missed the first two, check them out here and here :)