Monday, March 06, 2006

Winter comes to Belgrade

We start today's episode with today's weather. It seems that I brought with me the snow from Zurich. They say it's the first big snow storm of the season.

The first photograph is the view outside my window at the television station. When I prepared for my first visit here, I anticipated that his is what the weather would be like. So I brought lots of cold-weather stuff -- overcoats, thick jackets -- that kind of stuff.
Then, when I got here, I found that I was burning up all of the time. I quit wearing long-sleeve shirts and wore the lightest jackets if I had to wear them at all.
So when I returned, I brought lighter stuff. This morning I walked to the office in the snow wearing only my new windbreaker and it worked out well. But the snow was supposed to stop. It didn't.

Enough about the weather today. Now I want to share with you some of the views from my hotel room. I'm on the top floor of the hotel this time. I heard about a great room they called the "Qadhafi Suite." Apparently, Libya leader Muammar Qadhafi liked to stay in this room. I asked to see it before I left for home and I quickly realized the cost to upgrade would be too much for me.

But I asked anyway. The manager said, "For you, no additional cost."

So now I have a wonderful room with a balcony large enough to run laps if I wanted to. I don't need to run laps because I decided to take the stairs up to the sixth floor each time. That's exercise enough.

But anyway, the views are wonderful. From one side, I can look over the Sava River and see the new bridge that takes people from Old Belgrade to "Novi Beograd" -- New Belgrade. As you'll recall, the TV station is in New Belgrade. So is Staro Sajmiste, the old fairgrounds that once housed the German Concentration camp. The two photos above are the view from just before dusk and the view after dark.

This is the view from the Balcony looking off in the other direction. Down below you can see the people walking in the people-only area of the old city. Each morning I walk down this walkway and then make a right turn at the first corner. That takes me in the direction of the IREX office where I report in every morning.

When I return this evening, I'm sure it will have more of a winter look. The final view is looking at the street that ends just before the hotel.

I'll share some interior pictures if anybody is interested.

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