One of my dearest childhood memories was when I would wake up on a lazy, warm Sunday morning and my parents would walk into my room. They would just whisper to get dressed quickly. I was over the moon as I knew where we were going. My father was packing all the necessary things for the barbecue while my mother was making breakfast that we would eat in the most beautiful place nearby Belgrade. Because why vasting any time, when we can spend every moment possible in this amazing mountain. We would all get into the car,that was usually followed by several, where there was every member of our family – from cousins to more distant relatives. We would all gather and spend our Sundays in the glorious mountain nearby Belgrade, called Avala.
The most amazing things would happen every Sunday at this rather small mountain and I must recall all those family field trips and barbecues as happy times. Children were playing all different sports in the nature – from tennis to volleyball. I found that the most intimidating and extremely demanding as I was the only girl among all my boy cousins and relatives. I was the shortest and could not cope with the demands of the sports and the boys. Instead, Avala Mountain offered me myriad of other options for entertainment. With its amazing nature, easily accessible and manageable hiking trails (as Avala is only 511 meters high and it is precisely those 11 meters that have "rescued" it from the status of the hill and made it to be classified as a mountain) and the most glorious flaura and fauna, Avala Mountain is absolutely glorious. As a child from the city, I have always found that fact fascinating and Avala Mountain the most suitable spot for my games filled with imagination.
While my father and his peers were in charge of preparing barbecue for our traditional family Sunday lunch, the oldest members of the family were in charge of telling the most interesting stories. I have learned from my grandmother that Avala Mountain is also a place of great historical and cultural significance, covered with monuments including the Monument to the Unknown Hero, a Monument to Soviet War Veterans and many others. However, the part of history I do recall well, as I was seven years old, was when the trademark of the mountain – Avala Tower- was ruined during the NATO bombing in 1999. As a child, I only felt sorry that the epitome of grandeur was destroyed, but also every possibility to go for another family field trip to Avala Mountain. Nevertheless, the tower persisted through obstacles and turbulent times, and was reconstructed and reopened for visitors in 2010.
Finally, this is what the amazing mountain Avala means to me. To you as a visitor it will be even more, as it is a place with many tourist sites, hotels, hiking and ethno camps, and of course, the tower. This is a great place to enjoy the nature and the panorama over Belgrade. Give it a chance to became your favorite spot for a weekend escape.
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