September 22nd, 2008

Old Friend

Belgrade Days 3 through 5

I've been out and about a lot over the last few days and it's been very interesting. Friday ended up being quite a leisurely day. with Jasmina and myself taking a trip over the river in a little boat and chatting for several hours by a large boating lake. The area is very busy during the summer months and in the evenings but was pretty dead when we were there - which was really nice as all we anted to do was sit down, have a drink and chat. We were both fairly knackered in the evening so decided to stay in and watch movies - Knocked Up, I, Robot and Wild Things being the order of the night.
On Saturday her parents took us both out for a very nice lunch in Old Belgrade. I was in my element as a massive mixed meat platter was served :) We had a little wander before heading back, chilling out for a couple of hours watching O Brother Where Art Thou and then headed back into the city to go to a Darkwave/EBM Club/Bar to meet some of her friends. On route we came across an open air free concert in one of the cities main squares for a Serbian Rock band called 'Van Gough' - a very popular band here in Serbia apparently and, I will say, very good from what I heard. I was intending to post up a YouTube vid of them to share with you guys and gals but everyone else is asleep at the moment so me trawling through music vids might not be the best thing right now. I'll try and remember to post one in the next few days or when I'm back in Britain. After watching the rest of Van Gough's show we headed down to the club. I'd forgotten what it was like to be in a bar/club where smoking is allowed inside... especially one in a basement without much air conditioning. Ouch on the eyes! Plus I later remembered the joys of smokey post-club clothes. The music was itself was very good, the company was excellent as I met a number of Jasmina's friends who were all very nice.
Today saw Jasmina, her parents and myself go on a road trip to the East of the country - out towards Romania - to visit a couple of historically and culturally important monastries and also visit one of Serbia's largest cave networks. The area in the east is incredibly picturesque with rolling forest-laden hills shrouded in low clouds and mist and the first monastry was gorgeous. Looking through part of the ruin ramparts at the hills looming above it with their tops obscured by the low cloud cover was quite magical. Next up was the cave tour which took us underground for about an hour - I love caves, stalligmites & stalligtites and the formations of stone and water residues that form over the millions of years. This network (the name of which I'll have to double check) was amazing and had some fantastic formations and colours. You could see images in many of the rocks but it goes to show I probably spend too much of my time thinking of fantasies as I kept making out strange gargoyles and demons or other mythological creatures trapped in stone :p
Our final stop was in Ravanica (which I had always thought was a Magic: The Gathering expansion set - but hey, there you go...) for the second monastry. Something struck me about it's aura which I wasn't keen on and it endeared itself to me even less by being ultra conseravtive and not allowing any women into the chapel who were wearing trousers (Jasmina was in jeans and her mother also wore trousers). Not that it stopped either of them (although Jasmina did borrow my long sleeved shirt to tie round her waist so it looked more like a skirt to any casual observer from behind) and both went in to have a look. I stayed outside though having my internal rant about conservative religions and listening to what sounded like wild and rabid dogs barking and attacking something in the distance.
We didn't get home too early this evening so we've spent a quite night having a family meal and then Jasmina and myself watched the remake of Dawn of the Dead and Bekind, Rewind - the latter of which I'd never seen before and, whilst starting off a bit slow, got a lot better as the film progressed.
Now everyone has collapsed asleep and I'm left wide awake in my usual "Angus needs little sleep and can't get to sleep anyway" state - plus my NintendoDS ran out of batteries last night as I fell asleep with it swicthed on in mid-Suduko game.
Tomorrow we're heading back into Old Belgrade, meeting up with some of Jasmina's friends for drinks and also popping into a place we passed the other day which looks like it might be a fantasy games shop :)
Hope everyone's well and to catch you all soon!