Autumn Glory

It was a gorgeous day with sunny skies and a high temperature of 71 F (22 C). Perfect weather conditions and with the low autumn sun, it was just a great day to be outside. We did stay outside the whole day down at my favorite place in Belgrade, Ada Ciganlija. I call it “sport island” because of the plethora of sporting activities. We watched the CEESA Boys’ Soccer Tourney, (ISB came in fourth) and in between non-ISB games, rode bikes and ran about the “lake”. The kids had leave fights and played in the parks.

We met Claudiu, Vesna, Krina, and Dane, our Romanian friends. We ended the day with nice meal at an outdoor restaurant.

One of my big impressions of the day is sporting nature of the Serbs. They are so much more active than Americans! There were thousands of people playing baseball, rugby, soccer, running, roller blading, bicycling, walking, water skiing, etc. They are also generally in much better physical condition.

The warm weather continues today and all this week, although there will be patches of rain. I am enjoying these days in the 70s in November.

Back in Belgrade

Owen Playing Chess Against His Cousin Sebey as Ocean Looks On

We are back in Belgrade and enjoying the beautiful weather and relatively empty city, with everyone on vacation. We are also hosting Nadia’s sister and my nephew for the week as they do not have to be back to school until September. I am working hard getting ready for the arrival of the new teachers. In the photo above, we had a pizza at “Brodic” one of our favorite splavovi (restaurant floating in the Sava River) and Sebey taught his cousin how to play chess.

We also are spending time at Belgrade’s “seaside” or Ada Ciganlija. The family is shown below on the rocky beach cooling off. It is an amazing place and the thing that most impressed Nadia and I was the fitness level of the Serbians. There are not many overweight people in Serbia as it is the US. We were discussing why that is so. I think it is a combination of more activity and less food intake.

Kralovecs Beat the Heat

Another Bridge Over the Sava River

Earlier this month, Owen and I were riding our bikes to Ada Ciganlija Island. Along the bike path, we stopped and watched the huge cranes as they were building the support for the new bridge. This is a much needed project, as there are not enough bridges in the city. The Sava River is a tributary of the Danube, and both rivers divide Belgrade. On our side is the older part,and the other side has New Belgrade. We cross the bridge to go grocery shopping, etc. Last night, we went to the Enrique Iglesias concert at the Belgrade Arena which is also in New Belgrade.

The bridge closest to our house, the Gazelle Bridge, is the main freeway through Belgrade. It is constantly full of traffic and this new bridge will relieve this.

I was a bit worried that the bridge would ruin the atmosphere of Ada, my favorite spot in Belgrade. I don’t think it will as you can see below, it just touches the tip of the island. There are private rowing clubs on that side and I never go there.

A Model of What the Bridge Will Eventually Look Like
A Model of What the Bridge Will Eventually Look Like

I wonder if “Sava Bridge” will be the name of it. The official web site calls it Sava Bridge Project.

Family Journal: Sunday August 9, 2008


I have been pleasantly surprised with the great amount of bicycling paths and running routes one can have here in southern part of Belgrade. There are miles of bike paths along the Sava River and acres of parks near our home. It must be watching the Olympics and seeing all those great athletes competing that inspired me yesterday. In the morning I went with Ocean for a long run through the Košutnjak Hill (Doe Hill) park. This is a huge area of forest and open areas just south of our suburb of Senjak. It gets its name to the deer that once roamed there, as it was the Royal Hunting Grounds reserve until 1903. It is very nice except for the “hill” part. Our area of Senjak is all hills and they do take it out of you.

In the afternoon I went with Ollie and Ocean over to the school’s park. Owen and I then rode our bicycles once again to Ada Ciganlija island. It should be called “sport” island as it has facilities for almost every sport imaginable. There were lots of people biking and roller blading, as well as soccer, tennis, etc. There is even a baseball field.

We spent the evening in our backyard. We have a perfect little place for the kids to run around and it was great the Calzini’s (previous occupants) left a swing set for us!

I have a week of work ahead of me, as we are gearing up for the arrival of the new teachers and the orientation program which begins next Monday.

Weekend Journal: August 2-3, 2008


We had a nice weekend, our first in Belgrade without jet lag. On Saturday we went to Ada Ciganlija which is a long, flat island in the middle of the Sava River. It is a few kilometers from our house and has an artificial 4 kilometer lake in the middle. As you can see, on a hot Saturday in August, it is quite popular with Belgraders! The island is great, with bike trails going for miles all around. 
Despite the hordes of people, we had a really good time. The boys enjoyed all of ice cream vendors and swimming. Ocean loves the water and she was laughing and playing and would have stayed in there as long as I did. Nadia and I enjoyed the people watching. Old folks doing the European sleeping under a tree in the shade and women in bikinis sauntering down the path with purses and high heels. 
We then went to the Delta City mall and Nadia and the boys watched a movie. I strolled around with Ocean and she fell asleep. 
On Sunday we relaxed around the house. I did some yard work, took the kids to the park and went for a long walk with Ocean. We had a big lunch outside and ordered pizza for dinner. I will be back at work all day today.