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Clare
Clare

Day 15: Zemun

The weather didn't look too promising this morning but it wasn't actively raining, so we decided to go for a walk along the river to the suburb of Zemun. Zemun was a separate town until it was absorbed into the greater Belgrade area in 1934, and still boasts an attractive historic centre.

The guidebook suggested it would be an easy walk from central Belgrade, and so we set off without really thinking about the distance. We walked through the main city centre towards the fortress, then climbed down to the river. As we crossed the Sava on Brankov Most, we had beautiful views of the water and back up towards the fortress and the victory monument which we had visited on Friday.

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Once we had crossed the bridge, we were able to stroll along the banks of the Danube and through the leafy Park Prijateljstva. It was very pleasant, with the riverside lined by floating restaurants, bars and cafes. Perhaps this explains why we have struggled to find many restaurants in the more central part of town! In the park itself we found this monument - 'Eternal Flame' - which commemorates the victims of the NATO bombings.

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We were having a very nice walk but we didn't seem to be getting noticeably closer to Zemun, which we'd assumed was only a few kilometres away. It turns out that the park is extremely long, and that it's actually 8km from central Belgrade to Zemun!

We made it in the end and were immediately impressed by the pretty buildings in the main square...

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...as well as by some of the attractive churches.

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We climbed through the narrow cobbled streets until we reached the Gardoš Tower. It was built in 1896 to celebrate a millennium of Hungarian settlement on the Pannonian plain. This site was chosen for the construction of the tower as it was, at the time, the southernmost point of the Hungarian empire.

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From the tower we were treated to beautiful views back over Zemum.

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There was a cafe next to the tower so we sat down with a drink to enjoy the view for a bit longer.

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There then began the long trek back down the river into Belgrade. It was at this point that it became apparent quite how far we'd walked (you can just see the spire of Belgrade's cathedral in the distance in this photo).

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We needed to get back to Belgrade as soon as possible because we had arranged to have lunch with an Esperanto-speaking friend, Rade, who lives in Belgrade. When we eventually met up with him in the main square, he took us to a really nice restaurant where we all shared a massive plate of mixed grill. It was amazing: there was sausage, schnitzel, kebabs, chunks of beef, pieces of chicken filled with cheese... It would definitely have been a vegetarian's worst nightmare :D Afterwards we went and drank Turkish coffee in one of Belgrade's many cafes. That too was delicious, and even came with a slice of Turkish delight! It was a lovely end to what has been a wonderful holiday :)

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