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Belgrade Sprint

This is probably all you need or want to see of the October 2009 Canonical Translations sprint in Belgrade (Београд), Serbia.

Our sprint included not just the Launchpad development team but also our main colleagues involved in translation. In all there were 7 of us. In alphabetical order: Arne, Danilo, David, Henning, Jeroen (yours truly), Kyle, and Ursula.

Don't expect to see a many pictures of us working; for some reason there was often work to do when that happened.


We were at the Hotel Moskva. As you might expect from the name, the hotel was stately and roomy but not extensively wired. Plenty of wireless access points though!

Those bronze hotel keyrings were massive—the picture really doesn't do it justice.

Closing off the sprint. We've been using this conference room all week. So why does the whiteboard say "Hazardous Waste Management Conference"? and why is Danilo lifting a chair off the table? Tell us how you would reconstruct the events that produced this scene!

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Near the hotel

Hotel Moskva is on Terazije, the very centre of the city.

It had some nice scenes to photograph. I kept coming back to a little square next to the hotel.

Some of those city scenes make you wish for a wide-angle lense... Lines of sight are often too short to let you get an entire building or street view in one shot.

As you can see we had perfect weather all the way. From what I heard afterwards, it changed to non-stop rain the moment I left.

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The fortress. Young Belgrade drifts up there at night to look out over the river and the older parts of the city.

The naked man on the huge pillar with the huge sword, flipping the world a literal bird is The Victor. Or Victor, as we called him. We kept asking ourselves, is he compensating for something?


Medium-sized Orthodox Church

A quick photo-op within walking distance from the hotel. Then again, everything we saw in Belgrade was within walking distance from the hotel.

Large Orthodox Church

Largest in the world, in fact. Hard to tell from here but it's far from finished. Inside it's mostly bare concrete.


Kyle found a TV station that was bombed by the US in 1999. A nearby stone commemorates the employees who died. Their names are listed with their professions.

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Bohemian Quarter

Worth more photographs, but alas. You'll have to go see for yourself.

The first time we ate here, a band played traditional Serbian music that reminded Kyle of Mexican music.

The second time we ate here, another band played a mixture of Mexican music, jazz, and Serbian songs. Must be similar arrangements.

World War I

The Web tells me this is the house where the murder of Franz Ferdinand was plotted—the event that triggered the first world war. It seems to be a bookmaker's shop now, or something along those lines.

There's a smudged and forgotten plaque, but it's about a singing society, not the cloak-and-dagger variety. I'm not so sure this is the right place!

Update: My Inside Sources™ now tell me that nobody's really sure who plotted the attack. That makes it unlikely that we have their address. Is this just a story someone made up to entertain a tourist?


For some reason my flight out was booked one day later than those of the others. This left plenty of time to hang out with the locals, observe their mating habits, and try out the local hangovers.

Time for a last look about the place. Hitting the sack early seems like a good plan the night before a 05:30 wake-up call. Less so once the national football team has defeated that of a neighbouring country and the crowds run wild.

Next time I hope to get a look at the aircraft museum nearby. As it happens my batteries ran out just as I was on my way there.

The End

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