Well, after a night (and morning) of heavy drinking, I woke up at noon, which gave me about four hours of sleep. I then showered, dressed, and got ready for today’s adventures. I hung around the hostel’s common area for a couple of hours before it was time to go to Republic Square (with most of the rest of the hostel guests) for the 15:00 Communist walking tour in Belgrade.
We departed the hostel at 14:50 and made our way to the square, where we met our tour guide (a young man; sadly, not the beautiful young woman who guided us through the Underground tour and who spoke better English). In our large group, we had the three Londoners from the University, the French-Canadian woman, the Canadian woman, the Aussie man, the man from Oklahoma, a bearded man (I don’t recall his nationality – no doubt due to the overdose of alcohol) the Egyptian-American man (who is now living in Australia), another woman (the only one not from our hostel), and I. We began our tour with a thirty minute history of Yugoslavia, leading right up to the twentieth-century AD. We then walked to a bus stop and took a bus to the Museum of Yugoslav History, which is also the final resting place of Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980 AD). Once at the entrance gate to the museum, we entered inside and were given some more historical facts about Yugoslavia at a statue of Tito. We then walked to the House of Flowers, which is where Tito’s tomb is located (as well as the tomb of his last wife, who recently died in 2013 AD – she was thirty-two years younger than the Communist dictator); inside the House of Flowers, were also a number of artifacts that were owned by Tito, on display for us to see (the man did have style). After touring the mausoleum, we all met up outside again and walked to an open area in front of the actual Museum of Yugoslav History (we never did go in to the museum, other than to use the restroom – bit of a shame); here, we were given another thirty minute lecture about the good and bad under Communism, the history of Yugoslavia, and the subsequent breakup of the nation in to Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. The guide was obviously biased in his lectures and this proved slightly annoying; also, it felt like we should’ve been in a classroom for this tour since it was mostly lecturing and little sightseeing. After that history lesson, we walked out of the museum, to the bus stop, and took the bus to Bulevar Franše D’Eperea, which was a short ride. From there, we walked to the site of two bombed buildings, destroyed by NATO in 1999 AD with the aim to stop human rights abuses in Kosovo (a fact the guide failed to mention). We were given some more history before we walked northward to another building that was bombed by NATO; this building, like the others, are protected historic sites, thus the reason why they are left in a state of half-destruction; also, this last building we viewed, was an achievement in Soviet architecture, with two parts, made with a gap that resembles a “V” over a road between them (“V” for victory); furthermore, part of the building is still being used. After this building, the tour was finished; however, we all walked back toward the center of Belgrade together. We passed by the President’s Building, the backside of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, and the Hotel Moskva while walking on Kralja Milana Street; on the way back, the woman (not from our hostel) and the Egyptian-American man departed our group. The guide then met up with his date at Republic Square and took us to a nearby and inexpensive restaurant, where I guess his date was too, since he and she sat at a table near ours. Inside the restaurant, we had some massive Serbian hamburgers (us meat eaters did anyway) stuffed in bread; we also had some beer.
After dinner, we returned to the hostel and got ready for the next part of our night: a wine bar. The wine bar was located very near to the hostel and once ready, we walked to the establishment. We then sat down inside and looked through the wine list; we decided to get one bottle at a time (only Serbian wines) and share it so that we could compare and contrast our tastes.
-The first bottle of wine was a Marselan red wine that tasted of cherries, raspberries, and blueberries; it was also tannic and dry; overall, it tasted fine and we enjoyed it.
-The second bottle was a Prokupac red wine that tasted of sour cherries, strawberries, and raspberries; it was slightly tannic and dry; we like this wine better than the previous bottle; although both were quite tasty.
-The third bottle of wine was a Tamnjanika white wine that tasted of flowers and lemons; it was also dry and crisp; as far as white wines go, I really liked this one.
-The fourth bottle of wine was a Pinot Grigio white wine that tasted of lemons and pears; it was crisp and tasted fine, but my preference was for the Tamnjanika grapes from the previous bottle.
After sharing four bottles of wine, most of us decided to head back to the hostel; however, the Aussie man and the Londoner that looked like a blonde Jessica Biel decided to stay back and enjoy another bottle of wine together (I admire their perseverance!).
Back at the hostel, the plan that the Romanian Londoner, the French-Canadian woman, and I concocted was to watch a classic film (such as ‘Casablanca’); unfortunately, the hostel only had recent films and there was no means for us to stream or download the classic film; so, we put in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ instead, and enjoyed that film between beers until it was 02:00 and we all decided it was late enough. After turning off the film in the game room, I walked to the common area and was surprised to see so many people still up (including two American guys traveling around – both had worked for the same Engineering firm); I chatted for a while whilst I finished my last beer, but once the can was drained, it was time for me to bid everyone adieu. I then got ready for bed and went to sleep.