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Monday 5 March 2012: Skadarlija

The city centre of Belgrade is mainly dominated by the buildings and residual symbols of the period when Serbia was the capital of Yugoslavia, from 1918 until 2006 when the third, rump, Yugoslavia dissolved into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, prior to Montenegro declaring its independence. There is a smattering of Austro-Hungarian architecture, including the Serbian Parliament, which was previously the Yugoslav Parliament, and quite a few buildings along the central pedestrianised drag, Knez Mihalova. Skadarlija and the nearby district of Dorcol are remnants of an earlier age, multicultural in a very different way to the "south slav" time (Turks, Greeks, Jews, Germans, Armenians and Vlachs, according to the Lonely Planet Western Balkans guide). Skadarlija itself is supposed to be Belgrade's "Montmartre" these days, though it hardly lives up the hype. However, it is a pleasant cobbled pedestrianised street leading down towards - eventually - the Danube.

Today I am giving a lecture, having lunch with colleagues, conducting three interviews and having dinner with friends. It's going to be busy. I need to get back to preparing the lecture and stop fiddling around with photos.

[This was taken with my phone (camera battery died mid walk), and edited in snapseed for windows which I have just downloaded. I haven't quite mastered the drama effects which seemed so easy in snapseed on the ipad, but perhaps that's just as well. By the way, I'm planning to do a blipfolio of my trip when I get back, or perhaps an album on picasa or flickr, to provide more of a sense of scene and narrative. Thanks for all the comments. Sorry I haven't been reciprocating. It's always difficult when you are travelling.]

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