Београд - Beograd - Belgrade
Battled over in 115 wars and razed to the ground 44 times, it is one of the most battled over cities in the history of the world.
Now Belgrade is the capital of a Serbia that is at peace with its neighbors. Formerly part of Yugoslavia, Serbia gained independence in 2006 (via a long, sometimes violent, road from the Yugoslavian breakup in 1991)
Todays Belgrade is a surprisingly cosmopolitan and modern city reminiscent of larger Western cities.
...and now they have lacrosse!
I was in town on behalf of the European Lacrosse Federation to help run 3 days of lacrosse clinics and scrimmages. The local team, The Zombies, did a great job of organizing everything including social events and showing us around Belgrade.
Probably my favorite thing about doing these kind of trips is getting to hang out with local lacrosse guys and learn about their culture. Not in the academic sense, more in the sitting around drinking beer and getting to know them sense.
"Chris, we want to take you to a traditional Serbian tavern....they will have good Serbian folk music, Serbian beer and very strong rakia"...lead on new Serbian friends, lead on....
It was a great weekend. Belgrade is a wonderful city and I had a fantastic time. This is exactly why I travel.
The weather was beautiful. I got to experience Belgrade with new Serbian friends, eat Serbian food, sing Serbian songs (never really got that part down) and even got to teach some lacrosse.
The Zombies have the lacrosse bug and are a great addition to the lacrosse community. I hope to visit them all again someday.