Big hand, little hand, Novi Sad, Serbia

Saturday 9th June 2018

We left Belgrade last night and headed for Novi Sad, our chosen camp was Coffee Kamp 75 kms away and we didn’t mind driving this late or in the heat as we figured with the windows open we would be better off than sitting in a hot van at the RV Centre, the air con isn’t doing much good at the moment either, when we arrived at the camp it was about 9 .10 pm, there were electronic gates with an instruction to call a number, We tried and an automated voice in Serbian spoke to us, we considered parking outside the gates but I didn’t want the owner charging us €20 at 7.am when he opened up so we moved on, finally nearer to Novi Sad I spotted a huge store next to the river much like a Costco and there were delivery lorries parked up, we drove down to it and decided it was ok for an overnighter, it was late and we just needed to go to bed, this morning we called ahead to Farma 47, luckily Dave’s phone worked this time, the lady spoke good English and told us her husband would be there to open the gate.

On arrival we were greeted to the sight of a lovely orchard and the owner explained that the trees were quince, he showed us into a homely undercover area and took us into the campers’ kitchen which was huge, cooker, sink, microwave, draught beer on tap! Just write down what you’ve had in his little book, Dave is impressed, we try it and it’s lovely and cold too! Oh, dear this could get dangerous!

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Farma 47, help yourself to draft beer

We have a little chat to the guy using google translate and his bit of English, I tell him we are going into Novi Sad this evening as it’s cooled down and he arranges a taxi for us at 4pm and to bring us back at 9 pm, he calls his wife for her to translate it to us, he says €10 each way but she doesn’t agree, it’s approx. 12 kms, oh well we will wait and see what happens. Taxi arrives on the dot at 4pm and when he drops us at the theatre square he says that it’s €10 as agreed with Farma 47 man!

We wait outside the National Theatre for a free walking tour of the city, meeting up with our guide Jovana and a guy called Nishant from Malmo in Sweden who is also taking the tour, it was a lovely evening spent walking around the city and hearing the stories of Novi Sad, the city is small and calm with a youthful vibe mostly because it’s children’s festival week, held in June & December and there are little ones everywhere, music is playing and there is laughter everywhere. It feels homely, Jovana was a good guide not rushing and allowing us all to chat too, it’s nice like that when the group is small, there are some beautiful buildings of pastel colours, little alleyways with cafes and restaurants and cool courtyards.

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Childrens festival Novi Sad

The children’s festival is named Zmaj after Serbia’s most famous poet and writer Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj (1833-1904) although a physician by profession he is best known for his children’s poetry, and today his nursey rhymes are sang all over Serbia. There is a statue to commemorate Zmaj in Novi Sad centre outside the Bishops Palace.

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Bishops Palace and Zmaj statue, the childrens poet

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street art

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makes a drab corner interesting
The tour ended at a statue on the Danube overlooking the fortress high up on the hill in the old town, the statue was to commemorate the 1,250 sent to their deaths under a fascist Hungarian occupation in 1942, several hundred citizens were shot and many interred in concentration camps, many evicted from the town and made to cross the frozen river, they never made it across falling through to an icy death.
Jovana told us about the clock, on the tower of the hill, it has it’s fingers the wrong way around, big hand for hours and small hand for minutes. This was to help the fishermen and sailors on the river to see the hour from a great distance.
Jovana had recommended several eating places and one of them Dave could not resist, chips and cheese in the Irish Pub! Jovana says there is a lovely courtyard and to ask for the local home-made chips and not the Nachos.

[caption id="attachment_2171" align="aligncenter" width="450"]chips mmmm, needs no explanation!

We had time to spare for our 9 pm taxi so we strolled around leisurely, we sat and had a glass of red wine and it came chilled, I’m not complaining anything cool in this weather is ok with me.

The next day was spent blogging and chilling out, the farm has goats and sheep, and a few came to visit Dave whilst he was working, they ate all the plants in the pot too until they were herded away by the gardener, Dave enjoyed a draught beer or too!

We have arranged to meet Jeanne and Tai again tomorrow in Novi Sad, they’ve decided to come here for a visit as it’s not far from Belgrade before heading Southwards on their adventure.

Later that evening the lady comes to collect the rent, she will not be here tomorrow, and we can make our own way out, whilst she’s chatting she tells us they do not have mosquitos here but we know they have lots of flies, normally I hate flies but these are preferable to the bitey mozzies!

Goodnight,

Cathy

Chilling with our travel mates

Monday 11th June 2018

Woke with huge red lumps, the lady at the Camp Farma 47 said they don’t have any mosquitos, not sure if they’re mozzie bites but they itch like mad grrrrr! Ourselves and Jeanne have both decided to stay at a free parking spot on park4night, (N45.25195,E019.868161),  we met them in Novi Sad at the side of the fortress under the clock with the dodgy fingers, we are all sweating even Jeanne and Tai and they are used to hot weather being from South Africa, we went and had breakfast together, Tai made light work of a big fry up and Dave tried a custard slice type cake recommended by the guide from the night before, he washed it down with cold beer, we took our time and spent a couple of hours in the shade discussing travels and life. We can’t decide what to do, beach, fortress or town?

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a long leisurely breakfast with good company

It’s too hot for decision making and too hot for walking, we tried to go into the fortress museum, but it was closed for cleaning.

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Cathy & Jeanne taking in the sights

On the site of Petrovaradin fortress archaeologists have discovered that the history of the locality is more than 2000 years old, inhabited by the Celts in the 3 & 4th century BC, the Romans in the 1st century AD, the Turks had a go in 1526, then the Austrians played their part in 1692, constructing the fort now known as Petrovaradin fortress and is said to be the most preserved fortress in Europe, it was demilitarised in the 20th century.

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Petrovaradin Fortress and the clock tower

There are 16kms of underground corridors spread over 4 levels, it was considered unconquerable as it covers 112 hectacres, had 13 gates and 400 cannons, it was given the nickname Gibraltar on the Danube.

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overstaffed maybe?

Jeanne and Tai are on their bikes, Jeanne took hers back to her van Miles McFlattery and Tai brought his over the bridge and into the town, we wandered around the pretty streets and crashed out in a pretty little alleyway at a bar in the shade, literally melting! Tai went whizzing around on his bike coming back with various bumps and scrapes and bits falling off his bike, he still has energy even if we haven’t.

It cooled just slightly so we set off to find the synagogue in the arts quarter and unfortunately that was closed too, not having much luck today.

Novi Sad is also famous for its annual music festival called the EXIT festival, each year in the upper town in July and thousands of music lovers flock here from all over the world and the campsites are rammed packed full, glad we will be out of here by then!

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Reggae at the EXIT festival!

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The Name of Mary Cathedral built 1892-1894

We all wash our feet when we get back to try to cool down, buckets and bowls outside but we don’t care.

Dave is fixing Tai’s bike, his bike rack has come off and his chain too, he shows Tai how to fix it and the box of cable ties comes out, they’ve also been dragged around Europe and of course he knew they would come in handy lol!

I wander on down into a field as I can hear a brass band practicing, sitting in the shade listening to them was one of those moments that you come across when your hopping from one place to the next, you never know what’s going to be around the next corner.

Jeanne and Tai had been to a pizza place the previous night so we all decide to go there, the wifi is good so Jeanne catches up on a bit of work, Tais’ phone has been confiscated but he’s happy to accept mine whilst his mums not looking! Pizzas were great and once eaten and work is finished Jeanne shows Dave some more tips for making our blog writing and photo resizing easier and quicker. Dave is very pleased, maybe now we will catch up!

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We ordered a medium pizza to share, wonder what the Large looked like!

Back at Pogo it’s hot and Dave and I will have all the windows open, our van is higher than Jeanne’s and she’s not so sure about keeping hers open, I can understand that, we say good night as we plan to leave at 7.am in the morning en-route to Hungary.

Bye

Cathy x

Zlatibor – Ski village and summer sports town-Serbia

3rd June 2018

Cathy posting,

Stopping for fuel this morning and Pogo is given a free face wash!

P1060420And he needed it too, even better Dave has managed to get a good Serbian map so we are all sorted, we can find our way finally and we are heading for Zlatibor and the scenery changes again back to softer meadows and extreme green pastures, we are surprised by Serbia its beautiful, its much like Montenegro but slightly rougher around the edges of the towns, the roads are mostly bad with more holes than a sieve!

Zlatibor is a very popular tourist resort in Western Serbia and it lies on the road linking Belgrade with the Mediterranean coast, Zlatibor means golden pine and it’s a big winter sports destination, a 30 kms long and 12kms wide plateau Continue reading