Tag Archives: eastern europe

Victorian Greenhouse

Jevremovac Botanical Garden Belgrade

~B~

We enjoy gardens and parks (here’s a post we did a while back about some of the local ones we enjoy around San Jose). In general, they’re a nice place to just go for a stroll – so when we explored Google maps to check out what was around us and found Jevremovac Botanical Garden we decided to give it a go.

Belgrade Botanical Garden Entrance

After a little research we also found that these gardens are allegedly actually one of the most visited natural monuments in Serbia despite not showing up on any “Things to do in Belgrade” type lists we found. If you are limited on time in Serbia you probably won’t get to it but if you’re there a while (we were there over a month) or nearby, it’s a nice place to go wander around for a little bit. In general, and this is the vibe we get from Belgrade as a whole – we found the area to be peaceful and pleasant.

Walking into the garden
Serbia

Altogether the park contains over 2,500 plant species spread over 12 acres. Some have labels to help you identify them.

Plant description
Spring

There are benches throughout certain areas of the park for anyone who gets tired or just feels like taking in the scenery and sounds of birds.

Park bench

Now, I’m sure the garden may appear different at different times of year, but also keep in mind that it’s not open year-round (info at the bottom).

RoseFlower

Anyway, you can wander about and enjoy the general park/forest garden, but there are also a few specific places within Jevremovac worth mentioning:

The Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden in Jevremovac

We really enjoy the aesthetic of Japanese Gardens. Of course, as far as I can recall we’ve only been to two others – the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose and the Japanese Garden on Margaret Island in Budapest (both impressive). We thought about visiting one in Vancouver which is supposed to be great but it was closed the day we planned to visit Vancouver (and prices were a bit high for us). This one was a little smaller than the other two but also very pretty.

Jevremovac
Japanese Garden

Not far from it there’s also this little bamboo area you can walk through which is neat.

Bamboo forest

The Greenhouse

Victorian Greenhouse
Outside the greenhouse

The greenhouse on the property was built in Victorian-style (which we enjoyed) in 1892 (and reconstructed again in 1970, 2005, and 2014) and contains over 1,000 species.

Greenhouse

Inside there are all kinds of different intriguing plants, succulents, and cacti.

Succulents
Jevremovac Botanical Garden
Cute Succulents
Succulents garden
Pretty flower
OrchidsWater drops

When we first made it to the greenhouse we also saw a couple cats and fortunately we had cat treats with us so we sat and enjoyed the company of one of them (the other one was scared).

Kyle feeding catCute cat

Old Oak

There is also a 150-year-old oak tree inside which is a natural monument itself. (Sorry, don’t have a pic of it.)

Now for a little history: the garden was created in 1874 by the Ministry of Education of Serbia. The first manager (Josif Pancic) is said to be the “father of Serbian botany”. So this place is pretty significant in Serbia in terms of plants. About a decade after its creation, the king (Jevrem Obrenovic) donated the garden to the Great School in Belgrade and named it Jevremovac in honor of his grandfather.

And here’s some basic info for a visit:
Cost: 250 Serbian Dinar (~$2/person)
Address: Takovska 43, Beograd, Serbia
Hours: 9am-7pm May 1 – Nov 1
Note: Keep in mind that this attraction is only open from May through November

Cute flower

Orthodox Church

Contest Reveal: Where did we Go this Time?

It’s contest time again! We have been leaving a trail of clues on social media (see Facebook, Instagram, Instagram) for viewers to guess our location. We made it pretty difficult this time but we do have a winner (or two)! If you just want to know where we went and who won, scroll to the bottom.

Here are the clues we provided:

1. Our last location was Cyprus.

2. We had a 1.5 hr layover somewhere. See below. You can guess this if you want as we already have a contest winner. It looked very pretty. We had considered the location and as we flew over it during the sunrise, we sort of wished we’d made at least a short stop there.

Clue 13- Layover

3. There’s a fair bit of street art here.

Clue- street art
Clue- street art 2

4. The food is pretty cheap. Kyle had a large burger for about $1.50 and we had a nice lunch at a cafe for $5. Yesterday at the store we bought a nice box of chocolates for under $1.

Clue 2- Burger
Clue 8- Cafes
Clue 10- Donuts

5. There are lots of parks and playgrounds. It seems very family friendly.

6. There are lots of dogs and kids to use the parks and playgrounds.

Clue 7- Kids
Clue 6- Dog 2
Clue 5- Dog

7. There is a big cafe culture.

Clue 8- Cafes

8. The people are very tall here, especially the women. Many people smoke as well.

Clue 11- tall women smoking

9. We provided a picture inside a church which is iconic for the city.

Clue 9-In Church

10. We also provided various pictures around the city.

Clue
Clue 12-Worn building
Clue 12- around town
Clue 4- building
Clue 3- Street
Clue 1

Here was our methodology for choosing the location:

Step 1: During early August the homeowners of the place we were watching let us know they would like to come back around early to mid-September. We looked at flights from Cyprus to various locations during this time frame with a preference for mid-September as we preferred to stay longer without paying for accommodation, and because we were enjoying our time there. I then narrowed these down by price. We were probably looking at somewhere around 20 countries, maybe a few more. I went farther down the list to potentially balance flight and accommodation costs (knowing some cities may be cheap to fly to but expensive to live in/visit).

Step 2: I eliminated cities we knew would be too expensive for us and scoped out the remaining options for accommodation. I eliminated locations that did have places which met our standards (we wanted a place to ourselves, internet, and a kitchen) and fall under the cost cap we had set.

Step 3: Next, we eliminated places that didn’t have at least a few options which matched our conditions (so in the case that one did not accept us or canceled on us that we would have other options). We also decided we wanted to be in a good location in relation to the major things to do in an area which helped us eliminate a few more. It’s far more convenient when you can just use your feet as transportation. This was the factor that made us eliminate quite a few cities (including ones in which we had a strong interest). We’ve definitely stayed out of city center in the past, but we just wanted things to be more relaxing and easy this time.

Step 4: I was down to just a few places at this point. The particular city we ended up choosing seemed to have more accommodation options available to us and was within reasonable train destination (~9 hours) to our next destination (Budapest). The state of accommodation is really important to us because that is where we actually spend a lot of our time living, working, eating, etc. We really liked that we would have the option to ride the train to our next location (but could still fly if we found it necessary for some reason) because we found flights to be more expensive within Europe than they were within Asia. At first we were a little hesitant about the city as some people call it “gritty” rather than “pretty” or describe it as having little to do but we also found plenty of people who judged it as underrated. We were okay with somewhere which wouldn’t overwhelm us with things to do as we thought it might make us feel more stressed (we were feeling a little burned out of doing things at the point we were choosing this destination) and we also enjoy going to places which fall a little bit under the normal radar of travelers. There were a couple other locations in the country to which we could make day trips as well. While I went back and forth between this city and a couple others for about a week, and I actually thought I wanted to go to the others more, this one really both felt right and logically seemed like a decent choice.

Where did we go?

We are in Belgrade, Serbia! So far we have found the city to be very nice and counter to some opinions on the internet, we find it to be pretty with plenty to see. It’s quite a nice place to take a stroll around and feels fairly safe as well (as much as any major city). I can explain why we eliminated other cities (various reasons ranging from Airbnb hosts didn’t message me back to we actually wanted to see too much in a particular country!) and more information if you are curious but we are happy with our choice! 

And the winners are…..

They did it again! Jutid (and Larry) and Marilyn are the sleuths who figured out where we went. As Jutid is from Eastern Europe (Hungary) this may have given her a slight advantage in insight but we still made guessers, including her work hard to figure it out! Postcards will be in the mail shortly. We were quite happy to have some further engagement in our contest, with several good guesses! It was fun for us and I hope it was fun for all of you as well!