The 5 Stages of Reading Belgrade Travel Articles…
RHOB’s 5 stages of reading travel articles about Belgrade
- Pleasant surprise: “Oh, look, a travel article about Belgrade!”
- Curiosity: “I wonder what the author thought of the people, food, music, scenery…”
- Hope: “Perhaps I will learn about something new.”
- Disappointment: “This is…alarmingly similar to every other Belgrade article.”
- Frustration: “Did this person just copy the last article I read? It looks like the writer blindly followed his guidebook. This is cliched, hackneyed crap. If someone offered me money to write about travel…” Mumbling and sighing ensues.
Reading Belgrade travel articles is like Groundhog Day: it’s the same experiences/language, again and again. Sure, some repetition is necesary-there should be discussions of Kalemegdan or Ada-but the impressions are usually the same. “It’s nice. The women are pretty.” I wouldn’t mind if a writer hated Belgrade, as long as his experience wasn’t passive or totally cliche, like “There’s more to Belgrade than its war-torn image.” You get the idea.
So I’ve decided to do something about it, and I hope my BGD readers will help. Here’s the first installment of
Travel Writing Tips for Belgrade
Part 1: Dining.
Readers, if I have to read about Iguana one more time, I’m going to scream. Look, I like Iguagna-it has nice food, it’s on the water and has live music. What’s not to like? But it’s one of the ONLY places mentioned in articles.
There are tons of other restaurants with a fun atmosphere and good food. Here’s my short list: Lorenzo and Kakalamba, Public Dine and Wine, Whatever @ the Corner, Restaurant 27 (though that’s a bit in the ‘burbs). Communale is also nice, and it’s even owned by the Iguana people-give it a try! There are surely other great places, but I wouldn’t know because people rarely write about them.
Now, let’s talk about Serbian food. Almost every article goes to a place on Skadarlija. I don’t blame them for this; it’s a very pretty street, and the live music is nice. Personally, I think the “Big Three” Serbian restaurants there are touristy and overrated. But I can’t deny that it’s a lovely street to linger on during a warm afternoon or evening. So in addition to Skadarlija, please go to another kafana: Vuk, Srbksa Kafana, Cucina Kafana, Kalenic Kafana…the list goes on.
The chances that a travel writer will actually read this post are slim, I know. But perhaps my Serbian readers can help me out. What restaurants are writers missing out on? And what, if anything, would you change about travel writing in Belgrade?