My perception of size and distance has changed a lot since I was a little boy. Growing up in Belgrade, many moons ago, I remember thinking how Italy and Rome were very far away. Almost like in a fairy tale, over seven mountains and across the seven seas. Even the coast of the Adriatic Sea where we used to go every summer, seemed like a faraway place. Today, I flew from Rome to Belgrade, in about 3 hours, in Cessna 182. Less than 400 nm does not seem like much indeed. Even when we lived in Mississippi years ago, day trips to New Orleans, which was 180 miles away, were nothing. Drive there in the morning, have fun the whole day, then drive back in the evening.
But, back to my flight. I started around 3 am local time from the ever busy Rome airport. It was interesting that the airport itself was again in a dense fog, just like yesterday. Even though the fog was dense, it took me only a minute or so to get above it once I was airborne. The city, which I did not take pictures off this time, was above the fog as well. It seems that the Rome international airport is located at the very inconvenient place, just west of the city and very low.
On the way to Belgrade, I flew over several places I used to visit quite often, in what now seems like, the previous life. Split, a beautiful city at the coast of Croatia, the island of Brac to the Southeast... I even flew close to a town in Bosnia I spent a year in, Tuzla. But as I said, all that was so long ago that it seems like it was in another life, and that is just as well.
The weather was still on my side, and I was able to get decent ground speed. The heading of 061 took me directly to Belgrade. The approach was interesting indeed. I could see the confluence of the two big rivers, Danube and Sava from far away. As I was getting closer, I was able to pick out the outline of the city. I did not get any closer, as I am sure it would look nothing like the real one, so I decided to leave it at that for now.
Ready for a takeoff
Leaving the foggy Rome airport behind
The island of Brac and the city of Split in the distance
Somewhere down there in the fog is Tuzla
Flying over the river Sava, lining up for the approach
Belgrade is at the confluence of two rivers, Danube and Sava
Final approach to Belgrade airport
Taxi for parking
List of countries:
Serbia and Montenegro