Serbia – Belgrade, Novi Sad, Tara National Park, Zlatibor, Novi Pazar, Niš, Zaječar & Subotica

Serbia has been on our radar for nearly a decade so this was a long overdue visit. Our friend Rebeca was able to join us for a long weekend and the 3 of us hit the ground running – Belgrade to kick things off, followed by Novi Sad and Fruška Gora National Park, then on to Tara National Park, Mokra Gora and Zlatibor. Rebeca had to fly back to Spain while the two of us continued our adventures. From Zlatibor we drove towards Novi Pazar and visited several beautiful viewpoints (Kablar & Uvac) and a couple of monasteries (Žiča, Studenica, Crna Reka, Sopoćani & Đurđevi Stupovi) along the way. From Novi Pazar, we then drove to Niš and visited the Bubanj Memorial Park and infamous Skull Tower before making our way to the Roman ruins of Felix Romuliana. From here, we skirted the Iron Gates (river border between Serbia and Romania) while getting pummeled by heavy rain. Once the rain eased up, we squeezed in a visit to Golubac and Smederevo Fortresses. Next up was a return trip back up north to take in the highlights of Palić and Subotica. After leaving Subotica, we returned our rental car and spent our last 3 days in Serbia in the capital. Belgrade was easy to explore on foot at a relaxed paced. Overall impressions? Serbia was just as amazing as we’d hoped it would be while being easy on the wallet, and it lived up to our high expectations, both in sights and food. Poland is up next and we can’t wait!

Arrival to Belgrade Airport Interior view of Saint Sava Cathedral Statue of Nikola Tesla; Belgrade Caryatids (sculpted female figures) on a building in Belgrade Linking up with Rebeca for a few days in Serbia! Stambol Gate; Belgrade Fortress Pobednik Monument Zindan Gate; Belgrade Fortess Prince Mihailo Monument at the Republic Square in Belgrade Skadarlija Street, a pedestrian street full of bars and restaurants Street art; Belgrade Members of nobility pose for a photo on Kneza Mihaila Street View from Gardoš Tower Karlovci Gymnasium is the oldest secondary school in Serbia; Sremski Karlovci Clerical High School of Saint Arsenije; Sremski Karlovci Lookout from Duško's Viewpoint; Sremski Karlovci Bishop's Palace; Novi Sad Monument of Jasa Tomic; Novi Sad Fountain statue; Novi Sad Steps leading up to the  Petrovaradin Fortress; Novi Sad Magnets for sale; Novi Sad Dunavska Street, the main pedestrian street in Novi Sad Central Credit Bureau; Novi Sad Artwork at a cafe in Novi Sad Novi Sad Synagogue Street art; Novi Sad Liberty Square; Novi Sad Town Hall in Novi Sad Wall mural; Novi Sad Žar Mance - Kisačka restaurant mural; Novi Sad Mural painted on the side of a building; Novi Sad Iriški Venac Tower is a 170 meter tall tower that was bombed by NATO in 1999 Sloboda Monument in Fruska Gora National Park The Sloboda Monument is dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the National Liberation War from 1941 - 1945 A scene showing a group of armed partisans resisting the Nazis; Sloboda Memorial Site Locals crammed into the tiny Staro Hopovo Monastery on Easter weekend Novo Hopovo Monastery Frescoes inside the Novo Hopovo Monastery Ceiling frescoes; Novo Hopovo The Drina River is 215 miles (346 km) long and forms a large portion of the border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina Drina River House Perućac Lake (an artificial lake) and Bajina Bašta hydroelectric power plant built on the Drina River Becky and Rebeca strike a pose in Mitrovac Soaking up the view at Banjska Stena - one of Tara National Park's most beautiful viewpoints The Banjska Stena viewpoint is one of the most popular lookouts over the gorgeous Drina River and Canyon Our cozy homestay in Mitrovac A fantastic local dinner at Manjez Restaurant; Mitrovac Frost covers everything in the mountain village of Mitrovac; Tara National Park Sculpture of famous Serbian prophet Mitar Tarabić and priest Zechariah in the village of Kremna. They told a collection of prophecies about the future of Serbia in the 19th century Wooden sculpture of a soldier in a barrel; Kremna Museum of Prophecy Advertisement for the Šargan Eight Train, a narrow-gauge heritage railway Hotel Mokra Gora, the starting point for the touristic Šargan Eight railway Jatape train station on Šargan Eight railway Šargan Eight train; Mokra Gora Wooden figure at Drvengrad Stanley Kubric theater; Drvengrad Saint Sava Church; Drvengrad Traditional Village Traditional houses in Drvengrad Ethnographic village Souvenirs for sale; Drvengrad Rakija for sale; Drvengrad Ethno Village Sirogojno Village Interior view of a traditional house in Sirogojno Traditional slate roof at ethnographic village Sirogojno Storage shed at Sirogojno Traditional Village Old bee hives; Sirogojno Village Sirogojno Serbian Orthodox Church Sheep crossing the road; Sirogojno Gostilje Waterfall Stopića Limestone Cave Tufa limestone pools inside Stopića Cave Another view of the beautiful limestone pools inside Stopića Cave Serbian Orthodox Church on the outskirts of Zlatibor Rebeca and Robby at the entrance to El Paso City; Zlatibor Pork skewers for dinner at Milunka's Restaurant Cottage; Zlatibor Enjoying our free breakfast courtesy of our apartment in Zlatibor Stari Grad Fortress; Užice Headstones; Kablar Mountain Ovčar-Kablar Gorge from the top of Kablar Mountain Žiča Monastery Frescoes at Žiča Monastery Roadside view of Maglič Castle UNESCO World Heritage Studenica Monastery Dome frescoes of Studenica Monastery Frescoes at King's Church; Studenica Monastery Church of the Virgin; Studenica Monastery Snow up in the mountain pass to reach Uvac Canyon Becky at Uvac Canyon Altun-Alem Mosque; Novi Pazar Butcher shop; Novi Pazar Crna Reka, a 13th Century cliff hugging monastery Sopoćani Monastery is a UNESCO site that was built in 1265 by King Stefan Uroš I. It was destroyed by the Turks in 1689 and restored in 1926 Sopoćani Monastery's most famous fresco - Dormition of the Mother of God Houses of Novi Pazar Đurđevi Stupovi (The Tracts of St George) Monastery; Novi Pazar Fresco of Christ with Angels at Đurđevi Stupovi Monastery Gravestones at the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul; Novi Pazar Park Bubanj is a WWII memorial complex built to commemorate the shooting and execution of more than 10,000 citizens of Niš Seventh of July Park; Niš Cross at the Seventh Of July Park in Niš Niš Fortress Niš City Hall Visiting the Skull Tower in Niš Today only 58 of the original 952 skulls remain from the Ottoman era Skull Tower (built in 1809 after the First Serbian Uprising) 11th Century Latin Church; Niš Street art; Zaječar Our best meal in Serbia at the excellent Dva Brata Restaurant; Zaječar Felix Romuliana was home to the last Roman god (Emperor Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus) Mosaic floor of a palace at Felix Romuliana Ruins of Felix Romuliana, a UNESCO World Heritage site Mraconia Monastery; Danube Driving on the Serbian side of the Danube River (Romania is on the other side) Rock sculpture of Decebalus; Danube River View of the Danube River, Europe's second longest river Golubac Fortress is one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe Golubac Fortress is located on the first stretch of the Danube River and is known as the "Guardian of Djerdap​​ Gorge" There are a total of 10 towers in Golubac Fortress Arch view of Golubac Fortress Armor display; Golubac Fortress Smederevo Fortress The walls of Smederevo Fortress next to the Danube River Smederevo was heavily damaged during WWII but has been since restored. It is currently on the tentative list for UNESCO status Inner city section of Smederevo Fortress The 68 ton monument to Stefan Nemanja is 23m high. It depicts the founder of the medieval Nemanjic dynasty; Belgrade Belgrade Main Railway Station Water tower; Palić Post Office in Palić The beautiful town of Palić is full of gorgeous Art Nouveau architecture Palić Grand Terrace Memorial fountain in Palić Women's Lido; Palić Villa Lujza; Lake Palić Owl's Tower; Palić Mongolian gerbils; Palić Zoo Mongoose; Palić Zoo Ostrich Eland Porcupine Deer; Palić Zoo Llamas; Palić Zoo Spider monkey Common patas monkey Eagle Male peacock courtship display Gymnasium; Subotica Subotica's Art Nouveau Synagogue Close up of the Synagogue; Subotica Ascension Church in Subotica Raichle Palace is considered the prettiest building in Subotica Art Nouveau houses in Subotica Subotica City Hall Subotica City Library National Theater; Subotica Blue fountain in front of the Subotica City Hall Flowers for sale at a street market; Subotica Monument of the Holy Trinity; Subotica Chimney cakes - a sweet, street treat for sale in Subotica Giant Easter egg outside of the Franciscan Church of Saint Michael; Subotica Staring out onto the pedestrian street; Subotica Subotica is a joy to discover on foot with lots of handsome buildings like this one Our fantastic meal at Fabrika; Subotica View towards Liberty Square; Subotica Architectural detail on an Art Nouveau building in Subotica Kids chasing the bubble maker; Subotica Ružica Church is a Serbian Orthodox church at Kalemegdan Fortress; Belgrade Frescoes inside Ružica Church Saint Petka Church Mosaic detail on the dome of Saint Petka Church; Belgrade Massive mural painted on the side of a building in Belgrade Artwork at a trendy cafe; Belgrade Street art on a 28 meter tall Belgrade silo Street art in Dorcol Platz Dorcol Platz has become a trendy restaurant/bar area full of street art Flower planter; Dorcol Platz Mural by Wuper; Belgrade "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy beer here" - Belgrade bar Terazije Fountain; Belgrade Mural at an underpass in Belgrade Mural at the old tram bridge next to the Sava River "Waiting for the sun" mural at Karadjordjeva street; Belgrade Monument to Vojvoda Vuk in Proleće Park; Belgrade Streets of Belgrade Flowers in front of the Mansion of Captain Miša Anastasijević (University of Belgrade's Admin building) "United Colors Of Belgrade" by Wuper & Endo Flower seller Façade of Hotel Centar; Republic Square in Belgrade Concrete statue; Belgrade Interior of St Mark's Church; Belgrade Monument dedicated to the children killed by NATO during airstrikes in 1999 Candy for sale at a fair; Belgrade Main post office; Belgrade An observation post made of stones from Kajmakčalan mountain; Pionirski Park Museum of Aviation; Belgrade The Tesla monument at "Nikola Tesla Airport"; Belgrade Goodbye Serbia, hello Poland! video lightboxby v6.1

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