As you may expect, we are going to talk about how amazing and great Serbs are. It’s true. But maybe this time we can start with something different, we’d like to talk to you about a Serbian culinary specialty; Burek.
Burek is the most famous breakfast food in Serbia (and other parts of the Balkans). It’s basically layers of dough filled with either cheese or minced meat and it’s just delicious. We have discovered that it’s always best eaten warm and that if you eat a standard portion (a quarter) you can cycle most of the day and never feel hungry ! Others cyclists agree with us on both points.
And now, as promised, people; Serbs are just incredible ! For the first time since the beginning of our trip we were stopped while cycling by people who were just curious and were asked many questions including “do you need any help?”. The first time this happened, in the little bordering town of Novi Knezevac, we though that was weird, maybe a warning to travelers to be aware, but immediately we realized that Serbs are just super welcoming and open-minded and it is very natural for them to behave this way. We could give you so many examples as to bore you into stop reading on … so we won’t. Just please take our word for it.
Thinking about it now, this, amazing people, is a recurring topic in our blog and we’d like to make a small reflexion about this. At the end of a day spent cycling, we often talk about how we wouldn’t have enjoyed that particular day if we had been traveling by any other mean. Sometimes we go through highly agricultural areas or unattractive landscapes but there is always someone who surprises us in some way and which makes the day worthwhile. One evening, for example, we were “adopted” by a theater troupe and one of the first questions we were asked was; “But how did you end up here?”. They were referring to the fact that we were literally in the middle of nowhere.
Cycling can do that. It makes you closer to people, closer to Earth and closer to the trip itself. You enjoy and suffer every right and wrong decision you take and take the time to have more little adventures. We also love the fact that it’s also forcing us to widen our confort zone beyond the limits we had perviously imposed ourselves!
We crossed Serbia from north to south and we will never forget its variety of landscapes. North of Novi Sad was mostly flat and very agricultural but we met lots of really interesting people. Not least of all the guys at Eco Kurir who put us up for two nights in their incredible venue, cheered along with us during the World Cup final, who are bike lovers and made us feel like at home. There, we also reunited with Camille and Alex. Remember them ? We mentioned their amazing trip around Europe in our entry about Hungary. If you haven’t done so yet, check out their cool website here. Well, they are continuing their willy shaped tour (if you don’t believe me, click here) and we bumped into each other quite a lot in Serbia. Happy times !
Between Novi Sad and Belgrade we hit hills for the first time in yonks (and loved it), followed the Danube for a few days which took us to the breath-taking Iron Gate and then spent the last few days in Serbia between Negotin and Zejcar where, once again, we hit some small mountains and absolutely loved it.
This diversity of landscapes, together with helping and welcoming locals and a very good behavior from drivers makes Serbia a great cycling destination. Maybe the only downside is the fact that there is very little infrastructure for cyclists such a campsites and bike lanes (although this was never a problem, as mentioned earlier we seldom if ever had problems with drivers in Serbia) with a few exceptions of course; Novi Sad was incredibly bike friendly and following the Eurovelo Route 6 along the Danube there was always somewhere to sleep nearby although sometimes the price was higher than in the rest of the country.
The result was that we stayed in this amazing country a lot longer that we had initially planned and why wouldn’t we ? Great and different landscapes, tasty food, friendly people and all of this in a easy-to-cycle environment meant that we just didn’t want to leave.
We also have an amazing YouTube channel with lots of different videos (in lots of different styles) from the road; 421adventure on YouTube
And please don’t forget that part of our adventure consists of fundraising and raising awareness for two incredible NGOs so please help us to spread the word and, of course, if you’re feeling generous, donate here; DONATE