More correctly ‘Beograd’. I happened (as they say) to be there, just for one night and the following day, not long ago. It wasn’t planned and I don’t know the city; as the Germans say ‘Ich weiß nur Bahnhof’, and I had in fact at various times spent the odd hour between trains in Beograd station, but not ventured further into the city.
After a night in the excellent, luxurious, but cheap Beograd Astoria Hotel, I simply wandered aimlessly around, watching all the interesting-looking people getting on and off the very frequent and efficient-looking trams, drinking endless unwanted cups of coffee, and going back to the hotel to sit in the comfortable baroquely-furnished lounge reading. Killing time, in fact.
It’s only now, a month later, that I realize what I should have done: regular readers (both of them) of this blog will know that the great inventor Nikola Tesla (oh no; not him again) is one of my heroes. Although he spent most of his life, and did his most interesting work, in America, Tesla was a Serb, and Serbia is justly proud of him. There’s even a make of television called a Tesla. There is a Tesla museum in Beograd, and having done an internet search I find that it must be quite large, though even were it tiny I could, and should, happily have spent the whole day there. ‘Next time,’ I tell myself, but, realistically, unless I go specially, what are the chances of my again ‘finding myself’ (as they say) in Beograd with a whole day to spare?
I know I’ve put it in the blog before, but here again is probably the most famous photograph of Tesla: (It is in fact a double exposure; not even our Nikola would be so foolhardy as to sit reading while million volt discharges played about his head.)