Maybe we’ll get there……
11th May 2016
On Tuesday, we had been out with Egor and Maldin for a meal. This morning though, they were treating us to a traditional Croatian breakfast of homemade cheeses, homemade jam, home cured meats and home made bread. Our experience in this small remote place in the middle of a natural park, had been wonderful!
After the delicious meal we said our goodbyes, packed the truck, and set off back on the road towards Serbia.
The road out of town was bumpy and there were many potholes that Geoff had to avoid by swerving across the three and a half metre road-(This made Geoff feel like James Bond, in a car chase)- we did have to stop once though, because The Geoffs bag kept on falling onto Asenas head, it was hard for her to get comfy wearing Geoffs luggage!
As we were at a stand still with the engine still running, and mum and Geoff focusing on tying the bag down, the stereo burst out with music which Geoff had searched for from the night before, music by a soul singer from America called “Lou Rawl”.
Only really amusing to ourselves and our new Croatian friends as we had taught them some new bits of English language, one, for example was the slang for Toilet paper, Ie;” loo roll”!!
Back on the road I thought back over the times I had been to Serbia before. We all enjoyed Serbia and had stayed in the country several times.
Once in Belgrade, which is the capital of Serbia and also in Nis-(pronounced “Nish”)-which is in the south of the country and also a place called Smederevo, just east of Belgrade- This is were we were staying again.
After a while on the road, I fell asleep, and before I knew it we were at the Serbian border.
At the border in our lane there was a short queue. On the truck lanes though, on both sides of the road the queue stretched for miles, further than the eye could see. It appeared that each truck was being examined going both ways! The drivers looked grumpy.
That was the moment I remembered that Serbia is not part of the European Union, this would mean we would have to show our passports and maybe even open the back of the truck ( a VERY dangerous mission) If they decided to do a search of out vehicle.
They also have a different currency, called the Dinar which is very small compared with the main currencies we are used to, for example 6,000 dinar is only fifty euros!! Mum asked me if I had any Dinar in my money collection, I produced 45 dinar…….erm, not much!
When we get passed the border, without needing them to search the truck, or needing to buy a vignette, we got back on the road. We came to a junction, one sign saying Belgrade, one saying Nis. Geoff asked mum which way to go, mum said to go to Nis, so we did…..and thats when the calamities started.
As we followed the road which was going past Belgrade, we realised that really we needed the road going through Belgrade. It is quite tricky to navigate your way through Serbia though, all the signs are written in a foreign language so they don’t correspond with the map. Plus Sabina the Sat NAV refuses to recognise anywhere in this country other than Belgrade…. If youre going there fine! In the past its proven tricky getting through.
Thankfully, it turned out that we were actually going the right way, it was the roads that were going the wrong way ! As we continued along the one lane motorway we started seeing signs for Smederevo, this was a relief! When we got on the road going towards the town, it became more and more bumpy and more potholed….which shook up all of our spines and made Vodka need a wee.
At first it was all going well, the signs for our hotel, -(called the hotel Hamburg)- where very visible, clearly marked and easy to read, however thing quickly changed when a diversion got us lost – and everybody else too – it seemed!
At the choice of going left of right ( again ) signs were not visible, so we went right. This took us out of the town and into to the middle of scary nowhere! Coming back the way we had gone a kind serbian man took pity on us and bravely approached the crazy Brits and told us which way to go. This however, was incorrect too, because he only knew how to say ” first right ” in English, and he said it like five times, so I think we went in a big circle…… Five times!
For half an hour, we searched and searched for our hotel, but we could not find it!- Plus side, at least I got to see lots of the town😄!
Eventually though, we got to the hotel and sat on mums and Geoffs balcony in their room. My room was well equipped and to me , reminded me of a student flat, small, cramped and dark. Geoffs and mums room on the other hand was large, spacious and they had a mini bar😏