I didn't really have high expectations for Serbia. I'd never really given Belgrade a thought, much less the whole country. Boy, was I surprised. The capital city is definitely urban, full of neutrals, connected by trams, looked over by the fortress and the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world. It was a joy to be with the beautiful people who showed us the city. We had a few nights to simply be in their home, with incredible meals and laughing til our sides hurt. I'll go back just for that.

The Belgrade fortress and Kalemegdan park are a couple of the main tourist attractions in Belgrade. Even so, they weren't crowded on the icy day we visited. It was fun to wander the fortress grounds, see the views across the river and geek out at the perfect snowflakes that started falling midday. I can't even tell you how long it had been since I'd seen snow.

Mandy told us about a place that she'd been for some great Italian food in the city, so we headed to Guli for lunch. Coming from a place where good Italian is hard to find, this was a huge treat. The pastas were amazing, and the cheese! Also here's a picture of Bitter Lemon because we're keeping up with that trend.

Nycole had mentioned Aviator to us a few times, and we were excited to try it out. It was windy and icy still since the sun was going down, so the warm feel inside the café was extremely welcome. We sat at the communal table and took up our menus, quickly realizing that this wasn't just some coffee joint, but a sort of coffee lab.

We watched the process as Nycole ordered a syphon, Jordan got a chemex, and the rest of us got some boring lattés and tea. Everything was amazing.

The next day we woke up to what felt like three feet of snow. Hence, we spent the day playing, lazing and watching movies. Steven made us gyros for lunch (so delicious!) and we all got our fill of goofing off outside. I only lasted ten minutes, but I would still say that was my fill.

Cheese alert: Belgrade filled my little quality time tank. It reminded me that every city is someone's dear home, you just have to find the right people to open your eyes to the beauty of a place, and Belgrade is beautiful.