It's that time of the year when the mornings are cold but the afternoons are warm....so I have more layers than an onion. When I step into the bus I get hit by a wave of heat. I start losing layers. The AC is on but it can't compete with the heating system.
A few stations away the lady that was assigned the seat next to me gets on board. She notices the AC and starts putting on more layers, puts up the hood of her jacket. She keeps fussing around. At one point put on perfume, offers me some too, as if the bus wasn't getting stuffy enough already. A bit along the way I manage to convince her to switch places with my friend who got to sit with another stranger in another part of the bus.
By the time we get comfortable we reach the border and....we stay there for about two hours staring at a squirrel while some of the people on the bus get back some stuff they had detained at a previous crossing. We eventually get to pass and we stop in the first little village that has 6 shops where we stay another hour for people to shop for cheap groceries. Till now the trip was boring but the promise of visiting the Kalemegdan fortress and the place where the Sava meets the Danube keeps our spirits up.
The next stop is on the bank of the Danube, at Stara Palanka. Beautiful scenery, a few restaurants to choose from. We settle on a restaurant called Staro Sidro, which from the outside doesn't look like much, just a small old house, with fishing nets thrown over the patio for shade. The food was good and the portion size was BIG. Had to share my grilled cat-fish with the fish loving cats that soon were next to my table. It was sunny, chill and we goofed off on the pier and between the boats. Stuffed, we boarded the bus for the next stop: Belgrade!
The trip home was slow. The driver blew through a bunch of red lights. Pretty sure the idiot in the back smuggled illegal shit in the country. So that was my trip to Belgrade and my first border crossing for the matter.
Would I go again? Definitely.
Would I go with the same agency? Hell no. I paid for a bunch of destinations and instead I got grocery shopping and rushed visits. I would very much like to go there either with a serious agency or on my own terms, which is more likely.
Belgrade seems a lovely city to explore. Wish I could have done more of that!