expat blogger

living in Serbia

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas trip to Novi Sad and Belgrade part 1 (& Smederevo)

For Christmas this year we planned a trip to Novi Sad and Beograd (Belgrade). Our trips as always was filled with excitement. We left our sleepy little town early Christmas Eve Morning. An adventure  ahead of us..., Meeting American friends in Novi Sad, and seeing friends and family in Beograd. We were excited! Oh, and not to mention the jacuzzi tub awaiting us at our hotel!!! :)) good times, I would have been giddy with excitement if I weren't so tired from baking pumpkin pies, and lots of cookies for Christmas, as well as wrapping presents.

Not long into the trip  the oil light kept coming on, we stopped to check the oil and it was fine, so we were afraid there was something really wrong with the engine. We made a pit stop in Jagodina, (Strawberryland is a literal translation).

Not far of the toll road there was a mechanic. We had to wait about a half an hour before they could fit us in and soon our car was up in the air for an exam. The news was good, unbelievably GOOD! It was just a little part that breaks easily and is quickly and cheaply replaced! Less than $20. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US!!!! Thank you GOD!   We were thinking we would have to return to Knjazevac and wait for a lengthy and costly repair. In no time we were back on the road for our Christmas vacation, first stop, Smederevo.

Smederevo is a town that has a gorgeous fort on the Danube. The entire city was at one time enclosed in the walls of the fort and within that was the kings home. It was the last town penetrated by the Turks. But it took great effort for them to take it. Not it is a large town outside of the fort, with a beautiful Fort that is now basically a city park. It is being restored, it will take time, but we recommend a visit. Both of us loved this place. Though,  I am sure it would be much lovelier in the summertime.

The town itself seemed to be a thriving metropolis. Close to the fort is a large beautiful Crkva Svetog Georgija or Church of Saint George (V) The town was decorated for Christmas and New Years and had a lovely ice skating rink close to the church.
This was a quick stopover on our way to Novi Sad, and we arrived there in short order. After a short rest in our place, we had coffee and some wine with my delightful friend Sanja. I was so excited! Finally I got to meet her, her children, her mom, and her best friend. We had been emailing, skyping, and talking on the phone for the last 2 or 3 months and now we got to see each other in person. :))) OH the JOY!

That evening was a short meet and greet before retiring to our hotel or more accurately Apt for rent, for the rest of the evening.

We had stayed at the same place last time we came to NS. This time we got a room with a jacuzzi. It was relaxing, but not without a Serbian hitch. The hot water heater was so small we had to plan ahead to taking advantage of it. First we had to fill it full with hot water, and then wait for the tank to fill up again so we would have enough warm water in the tub for the jets to work. ;p  yep it was a bit of work to get it worked out, but once we were in, it was well worth it.

And having a place to ourselves  with no phone ringing, or sister popping up, or someone knocking on the door was complete heaven!!! There were no dirty dishes, or messes left anywhere. Lets just say my Christmas was perfect!! I was only missing our little cat Tomo.

Christmas day we went over to Sanja's house, gave the children their presents, and got some warm hugs. Then while making our improvised Green bean casserole Sanja and I had some girl talk. Again, I must say I was in Heaven! it was so good to talk to someone who understands what it is like to live trans-culturally and married inter-culturally. It is harder for her in some ways because she has kids, and that creates complications I cannot understand. 

After Spending the day with Sanja and family, we took a short walk in Novi Sad, it was cold and snowy, but we managed to get a few pics that weren't ruined by the snow falling on the camera's lense.

I have only one regret, I didn't take pictures of Sanja and the kids. Drugi put! (another time!)

Overall, it was a memorable Christmas to savor. I hope you all had as great of a time!
A little late Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

lots of love,


Abby said...

I am just now getting caught up on your blog! I am so glad you had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was hard, as it was my first Christmas in 31 years away from home and home traditions. We drove 3 hours south to be with Charlie's family for a few days, and ended up sleeping in the van because there were 22 people staying there and they wanted to put me with the girls and Charlie with the boys. NO WAY! My first Christmas with my hubby away from my family, and you want to seperate us? Anyway, we were able to take the two days after Christmas to go up to my parent's house and spend time with Grandmpa Pitroff (Aunt Gladys to you). So cool! Miss you, but love reading your stories and seeing your pictures :)

Anonymous said...

Happy (belated) Holidays! I was wondering, will you be celebrating Christmas again on Jan. 7th? When do most Serbs celebrate Christmas? Spending some of the holiday in a hotel/apt. away from the family sounds very relaxing. How much did it cost to rent your place in NS? It looked pretty nice!

Lafemmet said...

We are celebrating Serbian Christmas! Today we got our tree and we are all workig on the Christmas eve Fasting dinner. Merry Christmas, ili Srecan Boazic! Going to Town tonight for the dancing and warm wine and the Oompa Band!! ready for a little kolo.