Eastern Europe’s hidden gem

Its neighbour and sometime nemesis Croatia might have all the beaches and sunshine, but Serbia and its beguiling capital Belgrade have plenty of mystique and charm of their own, writes Isabel Conway

7th October, 2018
Sunset over Belgrade where the Danube and Sava rivers meet

Two elderly men in Serbian army caps, playing chess at a picnic table, are so absorbed in their game that they barely glance up when formations of deafening F16s and Hornet fighter jets streak across the noon sky, followed by military helicopters, whose choppers catch the fading plumes of emissions.

It’s a symbolic moment here above Belgrade’s formidable Kalemegdan fortress, which dominates the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, looking out over one...

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