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Stanislava Ponjevic | University of Sunderland

Pharmacy MPharm

My Trip to Serbia

I’m exhausted and finally back in my flat in Sunderland but I’m going share with you some main highlights of what I saw and did during my stay. During my mini trip to visit my family, I had the pleasure of doing some sightseeing in the capital city Belgrade and in Novi Sad.

I spent the first half of the trip in the city Novi Sad; this is the second largest city in Serbia and one of my favorites to visit for its smaller city charm. I spent an evening climbing through the Petrovaradin fortress, which is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. The fortress overlooks the Danube River and has many underground tunnels that I’ve explored before, but due to my time constraint, did not have a chance to this time. It has ties to Austrian-Turkish wars and many other historical events that are worth reading about. Situated on the top of the fortress is the clock tower in which the long hand normally shows hours and the short hand shows minutes (said by locals that it helps fishermen see the time from afar). Nowadays it is most well known for hosting the EXIT festival, which is a music festival that takes place every July and has had artists such as Billy Idol, Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg, Guns N’ Roses, David Guetta, Axwell and Carl Cox perform. Speaking from personal experience it is a festival that must be experienced at least once as it mixes the rustic scenery of the fortress with a diverse range of music that will please any listener. Our walk through the fortress ended with a slice of pizza from Caribic (located in the city center) and authentic Serbian Jelen Fresh beer that is infused with lemon flavoring.

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The next day I had managed to take another trek to Fruska Gora, which is a mountain that is home to several small towns with wineries and Orthodox monasteries. I had gone into the Velika Remeta Monastery to light a candle for my family and buy some literature that I could bring back with me to Sunderland. It was stunning how serene the area was and I even managed to find some interesting brick lay on the path through the garden (as seen on my Instagram!). Before we left we went down to road to the local fountain; people from neighboring towns and cities usually come to this fountain with empty water bottles and fill them with natural flowing water from the mountain.

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My last few days were spent in the capital city Belgrade; which holds a great place in my heart as the majority of my family resides here and I recognize its streets like I had never left all those years ago. I watched the sun set along the Danube River in a neighborhood called Dorcol; it is one of Belgrade’s oldest areas that is lined with numerous cafes and restaurants and is located near the Kalemegdan fortress. There are stairs and also an elevator for cyclists that gets you from the edge of the waterfront area up onto Brankov most (Branko’s Bridge). From Branko’s bridge you continue into the core of the city called Zeleni Venac; from here sprouts the main walkway down Knez Mihaila (Prince Michael Street). Zeleni Venac is also where most of the cities buses can be found that extend to suburban living areas such as Kotez, Zvezdara, Novi Beograd and Zemun. Knez Mihaila street leads into the Kalemegdan fortress where tourists and locals can be found enjoying the sights at all times of day. These areas, including the Republic Square (commonly known as the “Trg”) are heavily populated during the night, to my surprise with more tourists than in previous years. Although I did not have a chance to visit all of my favorite spots, here are some worth mentioning:

  • Skadarlija: a vintage cobblestone street located just outside of the city centre. It is considered to be Bohemian and is often compared to being similar to Paris’ Monmartre. Here you can find authentic Serbian cuisine at more than reasonable prices.
  • Ada Ciganlija: if you’re visiting Belgrade during the summer, venture here for a swim, water skiing drinks or even bungee jumping.
  • Usce Shopping centre: this mall is located just before the start of Branko’s bridge. It has a wide variety of stores that include: Marks & Spencer, Sephora, Diesel, Bershka, MANGO, Zara and Levi’s.
  • Splavs: these docked restaurants and clubs are located on the Sava and Danube River and provide exciting live music during the summers.

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If you have any questions about Serbia or travel, feel free to post a comment below. Stay tuned because the next post will be about how I spent Freshers Week!

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  • Name: Stanislava Ponjevic
  • Age: 22
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Alberta, Canada
  • Ambitions: To explore as many countries as I can, promote healthy lifestyle choices and get a PharmD degree to teach at a university level.
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