But if you have to pick just one essential starting point, perhaps it is best to drive south from the capital toward the still-disputed border with Kosovo and follow the serpentine mountain road to Kopaonik, Serbia’s leading ski resort. Like so much of this diminished nation, Kopaonik has seen better days and is preparing to see them again.
It was here that Novak Djokovic’s family, much more familiar with schussing down slopes than hitting balls over nets, once operated several small businesses — including a pizzeria, a sports equipment shop and an art gallery — on the ground floor of a large complex during the winter and summer. And it was here that the state-owned Yugoslav company Genex, which developed much of Kopaonik, chose to build three tennis courts just across the parking lot from where the Djokovics opened their Red Bull restaurant in the late 1980s.
Now full of cracks, holes and undulations, the green hardcourts are hardly a playground for the elite. It is hard to believe that the world’s third-best player, the man who held off Roger Federer at the United States Open in September, emerged from this.
We are spending the weekend at the biggest ski resort in Serbia, Kopaonik. Kopaonik is a national park located in southern Serbia near the Kosovo border. It is a beautiful region of mountains (peaks to almost 7,000 feet), valleys, pine trees, and sweeping vistas.
As you can see above, we rode up in one of the ski lifts to the top. We had a fantastic day yesterday! The weather was perfect and the cool mountain air was a relief to hot Belgrade. We spent a lot of time in the pool at the Grand Hotel and went for a hike in an amazing gorge.
The kids are having fun and Nadia and I are re-charging our batteries after a month of tough work getting school off and running. The pine trees and fresh mountain air is really refreshing my soul! We are all impressed with the beauty of the park and we will definitely be coming back for skiing trips this winter.