On June 4th, BIS students and teachers began their journey to central Serbia and the wonderful and peaceful spa town of Vrnjacka Banja. Happiness and excitement could be seen on the students’ faces as they eagerly boarded the coach and waved goodbye to their parents.
After a short ride, the group arrived to Svilajnac, a town in central Serbia where everyone enjoyed the guided tour of Dinosville, the permanent exhibition in the Natural History Center of Serbia. The breathtaking sight of the Jurassic scenery, the lifelike figures of dinosaurs and a gigantic replica of an erupting volcano amazed everyone and called for numerous photographs to be taken. Some of the students were able to learn about the Earth’s crust and volcanoes, while for others this created an opportunity to revise their science knowledge. After Dinosville, the students toured the Natural History Centre where they were able to see how the living things evolved since the beginning of life on Earth, the evolution of human beings and communities as well as huge dinosaur skeleton replicas and an exhibition about the original human settlements on Danube in the east of Serbia. After the tour, the student had lunch in the Dinosville restaurant, and enjoyed the dinosaur shaped desert.
After a pleasant ride on the couch the group arrived to Vrnjacka Banja and checked in at the Hotel Zepter. Everyone was extremely pleased with the accommodation and the immediate proximity of the town’s pedestrian area for which it is well known.
On the first day in Vrnjacka Banja, the students visited the Belimarkovic castle, an endowment of a nineteen century Serbian general and the second oldest building in Vrnjacka banja, where they could see the nineteen century furniture and learn about the way of life at that time. After the visit, the students enjoyed some free time, the dinner which pleased everyone and a play time on a nearby playground.
The second day in Vrnjacka Banja was reserved for sightseeing, a wonderful train ride through town, shopping and swimming in the hotel’s swimming pool. The students could hear the story about the ‘Bridge of Love’ and why the tradition is to put padlocks on the bridge. Also, the group visited three thermal sources of mineral water this town is famous for and were able try some of it. Everyone seemed to enjoy the visit to the Japanese Garden in the center of Banja, a place of serenity and peace. The students loved the big wooden Japanese gazebo and the waterfall immediately next to it. In the afternoon, the students did their shopping and played with the most popular shopping item ‘the squishy’ and had ice-cream. Soon after, everyone enjoyed a fun swim in the wonderful swimming pool at the hotel.
On the third day, the group set off to the Goc Mountain where they had an adventurous hike, a visit to Lake Goc and a traditional lunch. Later that day, the group had a sports day and a fun run as a part of the Global Running Day. The vast greenery and an abundance of fresh air as well as the beautiful sights of the Mountain cheered everyone. The story of the Goc Lake monster, and the beautiful lake captured the students’ attention and startled their imagination. The sightseeing was followed by a lunch in a restaurant on the Mountain. The students enjoyed a traditional Serbian lunch and desert which gave them energy for the sports day competition, the fun run at the Vrnjacka Banja stadium and a swimming session at the hotel. After this, the most popular event was held- the disco party! The students showed off some incredible dance moves and enjoyed the casual atmosphere.
On the last day in Vrnjacka Banja, the group had another shopping session and immediately after lunch everyone set off to Kragujevac, our final stop before returning home to Belgrade. In Kragujevac, a large town in Central Serbia, the group visited a Memorial Park Sumarice, where they learned about the tragic consequences of the Second World War in Serbia, and had a panoramic tour of the monuments to the victims from that time. After seeing this historical site, the students visited the aquarium at the Faculty of Science in Kragujevac where they were able to see different kinds of fishes, amphibians and reptiles. After this visit, everyone boarded the bus once again and began their trip back to Belgrade.
All the students were very happy with the trip and they provided some quality pieces of writing about the school trip the following day in the Friday’s Assembly at school.
This was a beneficial trip for the students’ education, social skills development and their general independence.