from km 9632 to km 10 111 total 479 km
Somewhat exhausted I arrived at the Serbian border. My passport was checked and when the custom officer came back, she asked me to take the Croatian flag off. I was a little bit surprised, but she said, she could not guarantee that not some hothead wanted to harm me.
I drove to the nearest village. I was already a bit late and it was getting dark, therefore I was looking for accomodation. Suddenly someone shouted at me, that it would be better to get a beer. I heard these words, slowed down and turned. In this garden restaurant sat a few men and I asked them for a overnight accommodation. A few kilometers away is a hotel, was the answer. I found this place, stayed there for little money and got the morning coffe on the terrace overlooking the Danube. It was a glorious morning with a fantastic ride along the Danube and an interessting ferry across the river to the north bank.
From here there were only a few kilometers through the suburbs of Novi Sad to the city center. During the war, I mentioned already in Vukovar, the Americans have the entire city razed to the ground and burst all the bridges. Today there are only a few old buildings such as the castle on the south shore and some churches. The whole town and the bridges are now rebuilt.
After lunch in Novi Sad, I decided to ride the missing 60 km along the maine road to Belgrade. A terrible effort which only ended in the dark at the campsite of
Zemun. The next day it was possible to cycle from the town of Zemun along the Danube. The cyclepath was seamed by restaurants untill Belgrade.
From the bridge over the Sava one sees the whole historic Belgrade with the castle, various churches and parliament buildings. On the Sava, below the castle, is also the berth of the Danube ships. Between the ancient, renovated monuments were built again banks, insurance companies and other business houses. From the park next to the castle you have a nice survey of the surroundings of the town.
To continue the ride from Belgrad along the Danube, you have to cross the river over the old bridge to the north shore to the little town Pantschowa.
From Pantschowa I drove for hours along corn and sunflower fields. In between, I passed small sleepy village and in the evening I was looking for a campsite.
Here began once again a tremendous frustration, but which ended with a beautiful and cozy evening. I couldn`t find the campsite which was mentioned in an official Serbian Camping Guide. I asked then a nice men who did some work in his weekend house where this campsite could be. From here, exactly 7 kilometers l was the kind of response of the Serbian. When I arrived there, the people in attendance refused me admission because this place was only for Serbs. I got (very) angry and went back to the nice gardener to give him this information. He then invited me to a dinner and even offered me to sleep in his house, but for me it was enough to put the tent in the garden. We had a nice evening and I got a deep insight into the Serbian life and the concerns and needs of these people. It is not surprising to me that this old man has a grudge against the Americans who bombed his country and destroyed many jobs and this is because the government, for which he hardly felt sympathies, had instigated this unnecessary war.
In the early morning I cycled again through agricultaral land, but suddenly the landscape changed in a magnificent heathland until I was back on a canal that led to the Danube. Here I met a Belgian family who were traveling with their two little children. Along the canal, I met herded sheep and larg cattle herds. The cattle enjoyed to swim in the channel a gorgeous, image. Husbandry at their best.
Shortly before 20:00 the ferry drove to the other side where Astrid was alresdy waiting with her motorhome for me.
Since it was already late and more than 20 km up and down to ride, I put all my baggage, for the first time unceremoniously into the camper. It was already dark when we arrived in Veliko Gradiste and without the help of two friendly Serbs, we would never found te Campsiteb “Silverlake”. From here I cycled the next day to Veliko Gradiste and along the Danube to Golubac. In this part the Danube looks more like a lake until the entrance to the Iron Gate.
The castle at the entrance of the gorge, is actually in total restoration. On the road, you have to pass under the castle through a tunnel and that means for the owner of the castle that he possessed total control ofver river and road.
After this entrance we passed again smal villages and sometimes we had to leave the main road and to ride along and through small tributary rivers.
The narrowest point is only about 100 m wide and here, so I was told by a Serb, the Romanian soldier were shooting when one of theire people tried to escape from
Romania to the at this time "free" Republic of Yugoslavia. But the old monastery was there built before.
A few kilometers after this narrowest point was the river wide and there I saw again cruise ships but many less tha further up. I guess the sluice capacity are
probably not very big.
The Serbian bank of the Danube is quite natural and up again and again I passed beautiful spots. After the great dam of Novi Sip then led the cycle path completly away from the river and I was lucky that I got warned by the coordinator for the Serbian part about a landslide along the shore. I drove therefore quickly the main road to Negotin. A last look back to Kladovo and to the slowly flowing Danube becaus further down the view of the Danube got very scarce.
From Negotin our last overnight stop in Serbia, there were only a few kilometers to the Bulgarian border and that meant that another country was behind me and Dimitri.