From Croatia, we had to cross the Danube to get to Serbia. Before we did that, we spent the night in Ilok; a cute town on the Croatian side of the river. It has a beautiful old fortress and is known for its wineries. At night, the sunset on the water of the Danube was mindblowing!
Getting into Serbia was easy; we had to show our passports three times, but nobody asked for our Covid-documents. The first things on our to-do list were to get Serbian money and to buy a Serbian SIM card. We parked the van in Novi Sad to get these things done, but buying a parking ticket was impossible without cash or internet! Thus, we left the car in the parking without paying for it and walked into the city. Novi Sad is a lively and very modern city and it gave us a good first impression of Serbia. Although it was a very hot day, we enjoyed walking around to see some of the interesting sites. In the afternoon, we drove to a nearby lake to spend the night. Luckily, there was a small beach with showers, because we desperately needed one!
The next day, we visited one of the many monasteries in the area and after that, a little town called Sremski Karlovci. The temperatures were still very high, so we looked for a parking spot in the shade, next to another lake. On Thursday morning, we went for a run and jumped in the lake afterwards. Next, we drove to Belgrade to find the spot where we were supposed to do a Workaway. Unfortunately, our contact had sent us a message the day before that the start of the project was going to be postponed.
We left the van next to the old ship, which is hopefully going to be a meeting point for artists and other creative minds in the future. We won’t be a part of it now, but it was still very cool to know about this project and to see the ship. In the burning sun, we walked to the center of Belgrade, where we immediately sat down on a terrace for a cold drink. Afterwards, we visited the fortress, the main shopping street and the orthodox cathedral.
On Friday morning, Tamara went back to the city center by bike. Nienke had to work and Tamara wanted to visit some other sites, so we decided to spend the morning without each other. When you are living in a van and you spend every moment together, it is definitely recommended to take some time apart once in a while!
On Park4night, we had found a place to stay for the night in a town North-East of Belgrade. It was next to a big company and we had to ask the guard if we could park our van in their parking. In the morning, we were invited by the owner of the company to have coffee in his office. It really felt like we were in a movie: his office was incredibly big and had a large oval table with ten chairs around it in the middle. We talked with him for a long time and even received a bottle of his homemade wine!
That same day, we drove all the way to Tara National Park. We arrived late in the afternoon and were exhausted, so we went to bed early. This morning, on Sunday, we woke up and were happy to feel that it had cooled off. Sparta loves it too; he has so much more energy when the temperature is a little lower! We went for a 12 km hike in Tara NP and had an amazing view over the Drina canyon.
So far, Serbia has really surprised us! The cities are modern, people are very friendly and the nature is beautiful. We are looking forward to see more of it!
Sparta’s diary (2)
Finally, it’s not so hot anymore! Last week, when we arrived in Serbia and visited some big cities, it was way too hot for me. Usually, I have a lot of energy, but when it’s so hot I just want to sleep all day! I do like it when my bosses take me to a terrace, though. Only a couple months ago, I thought it was very scary to lie under a table and see all these legs moving around me, but now I know that it’s a lot of fun! My bosses feed me bread and meat and sometimes strange people come to talk to me and smile at me. I really like these breaks!
Today, I was finally able to walk without my leash for a long time again. Going on long walks makes me extremely happy! I even made a friend and I played with him for a while. This dog liked me just as much as I liked him! Too bad that we live in a van, otherwise my bosses might have taken him with us…
All this walking and playing has made me tired, so sleeping for the rest of the day is all I want to do now. Oh wait! Can I have my dinner first, please?