Three Rivers Tour – Serbia

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Colin and Maggie looking out from castle in Croatia to the camp in Backa Palanka, Serbia

Here we are in Serbia, yet another country on our trip. Running out of Europe!
Had lovely ride, all on roads today, but fairly quiet. Even four hills which needed one walkie. Tell the truth, I think I could have ridden it, but it was hot and we have loads of time.
Ma took a 3 km detour and I had to ride my butt off to catch her and put us back on track. Long story for another day!!!!
Supposed campsite does not exist so I went to tourism office for accommodation. Doesn’t exist either. Took first Panzio I could find. Old Commie building. When we went in there was a party going on for really old Serbians. Nearly two hundred of them dancing and eating in a restaurant big enough for fifty. It was madness. Our room clean and with aircon but very 1960’s.
Ate in “posh” part of town. Interesting food when you have no idea what you are ordering. Fun though.
I am on the hotel WiFi. See, I can do it! Also got Serb sim so can go online anywhere. Man, coms is getting easy for an old man.
At breakfast we chatted with a Swedish rider, he mentioned the P word, the idiot! Let’s see what happens. He took pics of my amazing single speed bike. Nice.
On to Novi Sad tomorrow, another 50k in this hot weather. Trying to arrive in Belgrade on Monday for two day stay. Museums and galleries are shut on Mondays so we plan to be there Tuesday and leave Wednesday.

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“Breakfast at Panzio Ilio. Weird decoration. Still 1953. Ordered Continental Breakfast, which apparently in Serbia means six slices of bread with a huge pot of plum jam. Odd but good bread and tasty jam.”

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Maggie arriving in Novi Sad.

Nice comfortable 45 k along roads and then on top of dykes. Roads were a bit busy but most drivers very courteous so no problems. Still hot, 33, but easy compared to our SA.
Arrived in Nova Sad, quite a big city, and Ma terrorised the traffic pushing all the buses out the way. Not quite, but they don’t scare her anymore.

Last night we stayed at the Panzio Ilio, an old Commie hotel, which had luckily been renovated. Unluckily it was renovated in 1953 when I was born. See pics at breakfast. Clean and safe though.

Picked a Panzio at random on internet and Ma was rather dejected as we rode into industrial area. Me too. Knocked on huge wooden doors and we were let into a little paradise. All brand new renovation, workers still at it, and welcomed in English with a sparkling room and a free beer. Kitty in presence too, so perfect.
65 k tomorrow then a short ride into Belgrade for a bit of r&,r.
Camping in short supply now, only again in Romania.

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The accommodation, adjacent to a strip club and some industria.

Made it to the big city after a gentle 30 k ride with some great diversions through old town with so called cobble road. Just a series of massive holes joined together with a few boulders. Made for great video. Then onto Monte Carlo type Danube beach front with all the pretty people parading, even on a Monday.
That reminds me of a little Tea Room we passed in a cute village back in England. They had a sign on the door saying “All Hippies must use the back entrance. No exceptions”.
Any way, Beograd is rocking. We went out for cake and coffee lunch followed by beer and popcorn lunch two, and finished with dinner in so-called French restaurant. I had fab starter ruined by main course of gorgonzola stuffed turkey with cherry yoghurt. It’s a long story. Washed it all away with Serbian beer and Portuguese red wine. Stomach holding out so far!

As we came into the city we crossed the Danube on bridge and caught the bicycle lift down to river level. Yes a lift just for cyclists. Super duper.
Tomorrow we walk to castle and nose around in antiquities.

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Apartment accommodation.

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Free drink in the garden on arrival though.

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High end shops incongruent with dilapidated surrounds.

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Another great day in Serbia. Cooled off a bit, around 28, which is nice.
Had enormous breakfast at fab Panzio. Very friendly hosts. Serbs just seem to want to please their guests.
A few biggish hills including one 4 km long but ridable. Fab to do a few hills for a change.
Pot luck wins again and got brill Panzio for tonight, just opposite the DHL depot in Novi Banovci.
Only 30 k to Belgrade and r&r.
Went through 4000 km yesterday and didn’t even notice. We have a good routine and days are all ordered and fun.
It’s a different world here, but much easier than riding in Africa. There are horror stories about Eastern Europe but at least we can get a choice of  b&b every night!

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Colin experimenting with some Serbian wine, reportedly good.

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View from the Panzio.

Last night in Beograd. Dinner tonight in Greek taverna. Mmmmm! Edible when washed down with large beer. Fun night out in the old town.
Made contact with the single speeder going around the world but we are going to miss each other by one day , I think. Maybe we can meet in UK as he is nearly finished.
Shortish 60k to Kovin tomorrow and we head nearer to Iron Gate Gorge and some hills. About four days from Romania and some harsher biking and overnighting according to all reports.

Spent the morning rummaging around the old fort, interesting but needs some care and maintenance. Millions of ciggy stompies everywhere.

Ma got new sunglasses, paid 2000 for a pair of Ferrari shades. That’s Dinar, about R150 for Ferrori, but close enough.

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Bridge into Beograd.

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Subtle warning signs.

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View from fort over Danube.

 

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