Serbia has never been somewhere that I’d consider visiting, however, I was having a sort-my-life out session in Budapest, trying to work out where to spend three nights and the first response I got was Belgrade, so I booked a bus.
After almost three years in hostels and various forms of shared accommodation, I finally found the hostel that made me think, fuck it, and find somewhere else to stay during my stay. It was one of the highly rated hostels but I ended up leaving a negative review, finishing with “I’d rather sleep on the streets.” When I was getting ready to leave Australia, I had a “treat yo self” moment and spent money on a watch that got stolen, there was constant noise until 4am, from guests and staff, with people coming into the room at 2/3/4am, turning the lights on with no regard for the people already failing to sleep. I got woken up by a cat that looked like Hitler, possibly trying to find someone who was at least somewhat sane.
I tried to enjoy the couple of days I had despite getting next to no sleep, so I had a couple of walking tours, but the guide wasn’t all that interesting. They also went on for three hours each which was a bit too long. I also visited the fortress, Zemun – the old town, the National Museum of Yugoslavia which you need a fair bit of background knowledge of before going, and the Nikolas Telsa Museum, which had the potential to be great but just wasn’t.
I was really excited to leave Belgrade and move onto Romania, however, I missed the bus. When I got off the bus in the city there were people getting on, and it turned out I had to get on elsewhere, plus the bus station charge you 180 dinar to board the bus. I caught a bus first thing to Budapest, spent seven hours in the city then had a 16 hour journey to Bucharest.
When I come across a shitty hostel I try to not let it dampen my opinion of cities, however, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was making myself go out and be a tourist. I did feel as though I had done something in a previous life in Serbia that I was getting payback for. I wouldn’t say that I’m not going to visit again, but if I do, it’ll be a long time between now and then.