Friday 26 November 2010

"Minha Belgrado" - New series!

From today on, I'll be starting a new series of posts here, for those who are visitng Belgrade now or at anytime soon: "Minha Belgrado" (meaning "my Belgrade", in Portuguese).

For "Minha Belgrado" I'm preparing a series of posts with suggestions of places to go in Belgrade, nice places for a meal or a coffee, where to go for a night out, where to go shopping for interesting items, accommodation in the city, general services and so on. It's gonna be like some sort of guide, but based on what I learned from being in Belgrade for almost 8 months in the past 3 years (2 months in 2007-08, 3 to 4 months in 2008 and 2 months in 2010): things and places I was introduced to by local friends, or things and places me and my friends discovered after a long search or even things and places I discovered by chance, while walking around the city.

Hope you people enjoy it and, most of all, hope it's useful!
And don't hesitate to send me emails if you want to know any more details on something or if you have any suggestions yourself! teteglitter at


Saturday 6 November 2010

A weekend in Herceg Novi

Despite the very curvy road from Belgrade (Serbia) to Montenegro - and the group of extremely annoying and loud teenagers sitting on the back seats of the bus (giggiling ALL the way long), heaven knows how I managed to take some sleep during the first 9 hours of the trip. But yep, I did!

I was lucky enough to wake up a few minutes before we reached one of the most impressive landscapes I ever saw in my entire life: the "Skadarsko jezero" (lake Skadar), this huuuuuge lake, border between Montenegro and Albania, surrounded by impressive mountains. It's one of those places you would expect to see only in a movie, cause it doesn't even looks like it's real! Such a beautiful place!

Skadarsko Lake (from Google Images)

But still, nothing describes the feeling of reaching the Adriatic coast for the first time and glancing the sea in between the mighty mountains of Montenegro. It was breathtaking!
At that point, even my ever-sprained foot (it was hurting hard all day long, after my birthday party two nights before) wasn't bothering me anymore. We were FINALLY at the Adriatic Coast!

To cross Boka Kotorska - Kotor's Bay - our bus took a ferry boat, presenting us with a handful of beautiful views on a fine, sky clean and sunny saturday morning.

When we finally arrived to Herceg Novi's central bus station, Njego was already there to pick us up and take us to EKO Fest site: Španjola, a 15th century fortress (one of the city's 6 ancient fortresses!), were we should camp for the next couple of days.

When we arrived at the top of the mountain, where the fortress is placed, we were welcomed by Neven and a tray full of cold slices of watermelon and a box of "žu žu".
We sat by the shadow to have some rest while Andrei, Jaú, Federico and Neven started some sort of a jam session with a couple of guitars and some percussion, by the side of the festival's stage. After some time there, after we cooled down a little bit, we decided it would be better for us and our DJ equipment to find a place to stay other than the camping.

We went downhill to the city center. We split ways when we reached the Old Town Gate: two of the girls went with Neven, to search for a place for us all to stay, while me, Sol, and the boys sat for a drink by one of the many cafes at Nikola Đurković Square. Some 40 minutes later, the girls called us saying they found us a great place to stay for an even better price: an apartment with several beds, only 2 minutes walking from the beach.

With the address in hands we started heading to the apartment and, after some minutes walking under hot, hot sun, we finally found the place! We quickly changed into our bathing suits an ran to the beach to meet with the other girls.

After a little walk, we finally found what we all agreed to be a nice spot to stay, just by a restaurant/bar: the sea was almost as quiet as a lake and the water wasn't cold nor warm, but perfect temperature and the white stones instead of sand (like we have on most beaches here in Brazil) would allow us to see that amazing greenish-blue colour of the water. So, so beautiful!
Sol and I were specially amazed to realize we were really swimming in the Adriatic, something both want to for a long while. Another special thing for me was the fact that, for the first time ever, nobody - really, nobody - gave me any kind of weird look because of my skin colour. For the first time ever I wasn't looking like a tourist on the beach!

We stayed on the beach for a long while before we decided to have something to eat and go back to the apartment - after all, we had a gig to play that evening, at EKO Fest.

After a shower and some little rest we dressed up, took a taxi and headed to Španjola Fortress. The taxi driver - a woman, to our surprise! - we took couldn't speak a word of english, but each and every communication trouble was surpassed when one of our favourite tunes - and appearently, the driver's too - started playing on the car radio: "Gas gas", by Croatian singer Severina. The 4 of us plus the driver went all the way singing it as loud as we could!

When we reached the fortress we went directly to the backstage to leave our equipment. There, Neven told us we would start playing around half past midnight, so that meant we had a couple of hours to enjoy ourselves at the festival.
More and more people were arriving at the festival during those couple of hours, and by the time we started our DJ set, it was pretty crowded already! We divided our set in 3 parts, so each one of us could spin whatever we felt like. Andrei started first, with some balkan dub. I was second, with my electro jazz and swing set and Sol was the last - but not least! -, with some electro jazz and house. It was SO, so cool! The crowd was really excited cheering at every mixing we did!
Federico managed to record our DJ sets with his camera, he should be sending the video material to us really soon (and as soon as he does so, I'll post it here ;)

When we finished our "job" and came down the stage several people came to us saying they really enjoyed our DJ sets, where they could find us online and that sort of stuff - really nice feedback!
The DJs that took the stage after us kept the electronic beats with really cool sets and we stayed there, dancing and drinking for several hours before we decided to go back - walking! - to our apartment.

As soon as we were all up the next day, we rushed to the central bus station to buy our tickets back to Serbia: instead of going back directly to Belgrade, we would stop by Čačak for a couple of days, for the highly awaited Guča Festival.
To our dispair, all the night buses to Čačak were sold out and the only bus with seats still available would leave from Herceg Novi some 10 hours before what we first planned - which meant that that day was actually our last entire day in Montenegro. Or else we would loose one festival day at Guča.

After the bus station, our group split into 2: some went directly to the beach from there and me plus some others went back to the apartment where we had lunch and just then went down to the beach.
We all met again by the sea, where we talked for several hours, had some cold drinks, palačinka and even had some free entertainment, as a very funny guy, sitting next to us, was giving a showcase of clumsy dives and crazy stunts at the shower, splitting water on everyone and everywhere. The guy's crazy behaviour kinda reminded me of the wolf from the soviet animated series "Nu, Pogodi!".

Gotta love the sense of humour

Anyways, after the beach we went to a really nice restaurant by the beach, where we had diner under a wonderful moon.

After that, we split in 2 groups again: some went back to the apartment (as they wanted to wake up early and enjoy their last hours on the beach) while me, Marina, Andrei and Jaú wanted to go to another restaurant, where there was gonna be a "tamburaši" evening that night. We couldn't have picked a better place to go: good musicians playing claaaassic songs we could sing along, a wonderful view of the sea and good variety of rakija to choose from. When the show ended, we decided to go for a night swim - best decision ever! The water was warm, the beach was, of course, totally deserted, allowing us to be as noisy and silly as we wanted (oh, the rakija!). The coolest last moments in Herceg Novi we could possibly have.

The next day I woke up around noon. Those who didn't have much to drink the night before were already up, actually coming back from a morning on the beach. We all met, called a couple of taxis and went to the central bus station, where we would get the bus to our next - and most awaited! - stop: Guča Festival!

Monday 1 November 2010

Marakana, bre!

On July 29th, after the craziest night ever at the Blek Panters and Kafanica (promisse I'll translate the post into english real soon!), we woke up around 3pm. We had until 5pm to take a shower, have something to eat and get dressed up (in red shirts!) for one reeeeally cool occasion: Neven and his friend, Djordje, arranged to take us to a football match at Crvena Zvezda's stadium, known as "Marakana"!

Unfortunatly, Crvena Zvezda didn't win Slovan Bratislava but we had a lot of fun nevertheless, after all it was my first time ever watching a match in a stadium - and the coolest thing: from the VIP area ;)

And here's a short video Sol recorded with her cam: