Serbia

Serbia

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  • Day39

    Until the point we reached Serbia we could hardly imagine what it would be about. One thing we've noticed quite from the beginning was the way Serbians are welcoming us in their country (yes, that started right behind the border crossing). People passing by are waving at us and quite a few of them do speak German what makes it a lot easier for us to decode Cyrillic letters.

    Not only the people, but also
    the landscape has impressed us. Especially the section around the Iron Gates where the Danube passes through a narrow long gorge.
    From the little-used road alongside the river we obtained several panoramic views over the gorge - paired with sunny weather we enjoyed perfect days (and one day passed through 21 (!) tunnels along this brilliant road).

    For unknown reasons, we are meeting more and more other cyclists compared to the weeks before - a French guy cycling to Greece, a couple from New Zealand cycling all around Europe, a German women cycling to Istanbul, another one cycling to the Black Sea, a Serbian couple enjoying an extended weekend trip, a French couple cycling the Danube up to Vienna with backpacks on their bicycle racks.

    Right now we're staying in a cosy guesthouse at Bojan's place in Negotin, decided to take a rest day, enjoy tasty tea and pastries and wait for the rain to pass. Tomorrow, we're going to continue our journey and probably reach Bulgaria :)
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  • Day34

    The fact that we came up against the town sign of Belgrade almost 20km before our hostel in the city center, made us aware of the size of this city. Novi Grad (the new town) welcomed us with new buildings made from steel and glass while on the eastern side of the holy river Save, the old fortress at the outlet into the Danube and a mixture of a few remaining pre-war and concrete buildings are dominating.

    We did not expect too much of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, as the inside is still under construction. However, the outer appearance of it (inspired by the Taj Mahal?) and even more the crypt are impressive. We can hardly imagine how it will look like when it is finished and provides space for more than 10,000 people.

    Rakija enriched with honey sweetened our days walking around, exploring the fortress and discovering delicious food in the countless bakeries - and for some reason, Belgrade, 'The White City' reminded us of Berlin.
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  • Day31

    Travelling from Budapest by car, we were picked up by our Ride Share driver, Simon, a French student from Lyon. From Kelenföld station, we headed south for Belgrade. At the border, not far from Szeged, the normal immigration processes occurred: the Hungarian immigration officer stamped our passports and handed them back. Then we drove 5 metres and handed our passports to Serbian immigration, who stamped and returned them. After the formalities, which by the way we're only applied to us and not to the French student, who only needed to show ID, we were off again, travelling through the Serbian countryside.

    We arrived in Belgrade and quickly set-out to see as much of the city in the shortest amount of time. We only planned a night in Belgrade to break up the journey to Bulgaria and Greece. The history of Belgrade is one of war: 115 wars throughout their history and razed 44 times. To say that we weren’t expecting much more than bomb-shelters and a city torn apart by war was an understatement. But we were pleasantly surprised to see that there were some historical buildings still in existence.

    Our first stop was the Belgrade fortress, which gave us a great view of the city. The evening was topped off by some great Serbian cuisine, pljeskavica, which is a grilled meat patty on bread with salad and sauce. It was much more delicious than the dessert that were bought. We thought we had bought a Serbian version of baklava and caramel slice, neither of which tasted like what we thought.

    See link below for video footage:
    https://youtu.be/aLHLqjdhjZI
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  • Day34

    A very long 12 hour drive day..
    It is such a shame we only spend about 12 hours here. I would love to learn their side of the war, the Why, the how.

    Republic square trying to change name to freedom square.
    The Church of Saint Sava is beautiful.

    Belgrade Fortress has an old citadel and Kalemegdan Park on the meeting poiny of the Rivers Sava and Danube

    And to finish off this horrible day the drain didn't work in the shower and I flooded out the bathroom and room. Also happened to someone else. That made me feel better.Read more

  • Day32

    The day didn’t start so well when we realised that we had booked the bus for the wrong day. Fortunately, we were allowed onto the bus, after we paid a fee to access the bus station platform and paid the driver to store our bags. Apparently, this is standard practice in Serbia and isn’t included in the price of your ticket.

    Niš is a small town in the South of Serbia, although it’s the third largest “city” in the county. It’s claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (and lesser known Emperors Constantius III and Justin I ). It was, however, a nice reprieve for a night from the big cities. The afternoon included the obligatory stroll around the city, and a visit to the Niš fortress, where there are a few Roman ruins scattered around the site.

    Next stop: Bulgaria.
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  • Day13

    This is Polet a famous cafe/bar/eatery, from years gone by, with the academic elite and students which was closed for many years but recently re-opened and doing great business once again. Girice is smelt, like whitebait but a bit larger, fried whole in a light dusting of flour... just delicious with a dark, cold beer!

  • Day200

    Got up and packed then waited for our shuttle bus.

    A HAPPY 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO US 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    I have really enjoyed Turkey.
    I have felt safe the entire time. Istanbul, not Turkey, is currently orange on trip advisor which is the second highest alert.
    Potential danger at every turn but I haven't felt threatened by the people. In Morocco some people really set off warning bells and individuals in other countries too. Not Turkey. I have felt very relaxed and welcomed. They get very excited when we are Australian and despite some people with obvious woman issues I have been treated with respect which I wasn't expecting. I enjoy answering for Will way to much. When a man ignores me and will only talk to Will I always butt in 😂😂😂 like hey I'm boss hahahaha

    Turkey also is quite pretty.
    Even though everyone tells me it's a non denomination county, not a Muslim country (bull, it 100% is) people have not had judgement in their eyes towards foreigners.
    A really nice place and I would come back.
    I find the Ottoman Empire interesting and we didn't really touch on it.

    Our shuttle took 1.5 hours to reach the airport and it was so bumpy we both felt sick. We had to scan all bags before entering the airport and then Rush rush into McDonalds
    😝
    Hooley Dooley we got some American sized meals. They were ridiculous. They don't put ice in the Coke though which was shit.

    We waited for our checkin to open then went and dumped our bags.
    Through more customs - a blue stamp this time woo!
    I even saw a lady lift her burka to the man customs officer. A first.

    Another bag check and we were through!
    We already had a gate number so we went there but a plane to Saudi Arabia was yet to board and we got the strangest looks 😂 definitely didn't fit in with that crowd.

    We waited the 1.5 hours and have now hopped on the plane and didn't die during take off 💪🏻
    We should land in an hour. Will is greatly uncomfortable because he doesn't fit and I am very very hot and want a drink. I went to buy one at the Airport but flat out refused because I bought water yesterday for 1 lira - the airport was charging 17. Get stuffed.

    Landed - as we exited we had to show our passports. Being Australian we got let straight through but half the plane had their passports confiscated and all went on an excursion through the airport for further questioning. Hahaha
    Turkish people were let through - it was the Saudi Arabians and others that were stopped.

    The customs lady was really nice but laughed at my picture " it Looks like your brother, sorry"
    Heh 😒
    Why do customs insist on using the same page to stamp? I'm trying to fill the book, pick a new page!! Lol

    We got picked up at the airport - my Angharad sign was easy to spot.
    I love the stress it takes off.
    Dude drove us to our apartment. He gave us suggestions on the way of things of to eat and drink.
    There was lots of traffic so it took a while to arrive.
    I organised a private driver through our Bnb for 15€
    A taxi would have cost the same but this saved the whole finding the address debacle we so often experience .

    The house is nice. Cosy feel.

    We went out for food and it was so cheap :)
    I finally had another shopska salad 😭😭👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼YAYAYAY

    Only issue was I accidentally ate a pepper because I thought it was capsicum. MOUTH ON fire 🔥🔥🔥

    We went to the supermarket and bought staples.
    I found Mi goreng ** so I'm keen to try their version.

    I left my phone cord in turkey so my phone won't make it through the night :(

    We Skyped Jess and Jaxon. She is auditioning with Aunty Anne (Petes Aunty) for the family feud today LOL.
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  • Day201

    I had a bath this morning even though its kid sized, I made it work 👍🏼
    Flooded the bathroom though lol.

    We walked 2km to the supposed best shopping centre - what rubbish. It had like 10 shops a level and only clothes.

    On the walk home we both bought new phone cords.

    We watched 19 episodes of Big Bang today. Heheh

    Very relaxing day.

    We went out for burritos. Very yum!

    Serbia thus far has very ugly buildings lol.

    Our Bnb is next to where the American embassy was - it got pulled down a month ago and is being moved.

    We couldn't find a taco pack in the supermarket which we are pretty devo about.

    Jess told us they made it through to the final round of the family feud auditions. They find out in a week if they make it onto the show hahahah.
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  • Day202

    The bed isn't big enough for my preferred amount of elbow and knee space.
    During the night a car alarm went on for soooo long it was so annoying!!!!!!!! I shut the window which helped a little but I could still hear it.

    We went to do a load of washing but didn't have any detergent so that's one thing on our to do list today.

    Will fart assed around for ages. After I finally convinced him to shower we got ready and headed to the Nikola Tesla museum.
    I'll be honest. I had less than zero understanding for how everything worked. There was a free tour but we couldn't hear or see so we didn't stay on it.
    Electricity and well, pretty much the process of most things is beyond my comprehension. 😂
    I know he is an important dude, he discovered lots of things the most important being radio waves and the Tesla coil.
    Literally no understanding of what either is apart from like why a remote works hey.

    Anyway his ashes were there so that was worth the $5 entry.
    He was also born in what is now Croatian so I don't know how he is Serbian but ok.

    We then went looking for food. It took an hour but we found a maccas 😂😂😂😂
    Highlight: I fed a cat my cheeseburger patty.

    Everyone is excellent at English. On par with the Norwegians.

    We tried another supermarket but it didn't sell taco packs either 😭😭

    The whole city is grey. It reminds me of a french mime skit where all the colour fades away.

    We walked through a few parks and none are overly pretty.

    We are home now and going to have another Big Bang marathon 😝

    Cooked noodles for dinner.

    Enjoying having our own apartment and space to do nothing in.
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  • Day203

    Slept like crap.
    Woke up at 9:45 to prep for my Skype date with mum and dad. Pretty annoyed with myself - I had planned it so the date was at 11 but I got the time difference wrong so I had to be up by 10.
    We chatted for a little bit and caught up on some stuff.
    I planned to go back to sleep but my talking had woken Will up 😭

    I took my sweet ass time but we finally left the house. The weather was miserable. I at least wore an appropriate jacket but Will was freezing.
    We went to Belgrade fortress. It was about 2km away but the way we went made it probably more like 3.5km
    We got to the fortress wall but there was a barrier and it continued and continued and continued 😑
    We walked along the water which was nice but not great compared to other city waterfronts.

    Got to the entrance - it didn't look too flash hot from the front but once we got in it was really cool.
    It had lots of sections and was really open. It had a redone draw bridge.
    It came out into where I assume the little village section was. It's definitely the prettiest part of Belgrade so far.
    I don't know why but once we walked through one of the big gates it became like a normal park - it had basketball courts and a dinosaur park (which was awesome!)
    Really great community spot. There was also a museum section and old war tanks on display on the lawn.
    I actually thought it was great. I'm gonna give it a 5 star review. It was also free 👍🏼
    We then went to get food.
    Emily finally messaged me and invited us out but I was soooo tired. I went home and napped. We have organised to meet up tomorrow.
    I had a nap then we went and got milk and cereal which we had for dinner.
    We have watched raiders of the lost arc and wolf of Wall Street.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

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