Sense of a city
We cannot not notice and mention, in a very cliché manner, that spring is finally here. Your inner awakening and blossoming is in accordance with the one occurring in nature. That is why I think it is stupid not to notice it. Why would not we just stop for a moment, take a look around us and indulge our five senses to the core. Indeed, I am thrilled that spring is coming. I am even more thrilled that I am in the most amazing place to feel it, Belgrade. Inspired by Zlata’s articles about sensing Belgrade, as well as one of my favorite songs from Yugoslavia’s most famous singer, Zdravko Colic Cola, called “April in Belgrade”, I decided to embark on this journey of enjoying Belgrade during this glorious month. Listen to the song below. Despite the fact that you do not understand the lyrics, I hope it will set the mood, and prepare you for this journey.
April in Belgrade. Vainly looking for a girl that touches beautifully. April in Belgrade, touches her hair gently. Maybe that is her, but someone else is kissing her.
While Cola is talking about a girl, her luscious lips, the way she touches and the wind that moves her hair, I will go a bit broader and attempt to allure all your senses in Belgrade.
It is a shame that many people have precious power of sight, but they are not really seeing much. They think they do, but in fact, they are just walking by, without actually acknowledging and perceiving their surrounding. There are always so many things to see in Belgrade. Apart from two glorious rivers of Sava and Danube, the most precious things in this city during spring are its parks. Kalemegdan and Tasmajdan are my warmest recommendation. You will see yourself there among people aging from 3 to 103 years. And you will love the sight of those lively people in the blooming nature.
In Belgrade, especially during wonderfully warm April, apart from blossoming flowers, fresh pastries and fruits, my favorite smell is definitely coming from the extremely delicious popcorns from the Pecina (The Cave) chain. You may recognize them by the yellow trolley, and well, intoxicating smell that I am sure will not leave you indifferent. They are mosty found at Knez Mihailova street. Treat yourself with one big bag and in return you will get a nice motivational note. Those are almost never true.
The most organic, delicious, sweetest things you may try in Belgrade in April are, simple as that, fresh fruit and vegetables from the most authentic Belgrade open markets. Get into the crowd, try out different sorts of natural delicacies and negotiate prices. My warmest suggestion is Bajloni market, at the city center. I have spent a great deal of my childhood there, accompanying my mother and grandmother.
While feeling the spring breeze on your skin, no matter in which city you are, and where you go, always touch your loved ones. Hug them as intensely as you can, and really enjoy the moment. Quite often in the center of Belgrade, there are organized several “free hugs” initiatives, where complete strangers simply approach each other and hug. It is strange at first, but you will instantly feel the love spread among people.
Finally, take advantage to have a lovely stroll at Knez Mihailova street and listen to extremely talented street performers,varying from jazz to classical music. If you catch yourself just passing by, then stop for a moment, maybe treat the musician with some change and really indluge the whole atmosphere. And, of course, in the meantime, play Cola on repeat. Because Apri in Belgrade is that magical!
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