September 27, 2010 Jeselnica, Mehedinti, Romania

Donji Milanovac - Turnu Severin

by Christian , published on September 26, 2010

distance: 73.39km
duration: 8h 37min

I had my preconceptions about Serbia - not anymore. The serbian part of the trip helped me a lot to find into this journey, mostly because of the kindness of the serbian people. I was often greeted and approached on the street - a lot of people speak english which is probably a reason for not beeing shy to talk to the (obvious) stranger.

Sleeping in Donji Milanovac downtown

I'm a hole in the mountain and i'm going to eat you alive, probably.

Serbian streets are mean - never in my life have i seen so much roadkill - dogs, cats, mice, moles, martens, rats, undefinablely smashed bloody stuff - lying in the ditch, emitting rotten stench you can smell a half mile. I've also never seen so many memorial plates, mostly depicting faces, names and birthdates of men in their twenties who drove themselves to death. I'm not surprised though, i've seen a few very risky takeovers and i myself have clenched to my handlebar when 16 wheel lorries where taking over within 50cm proximity of my left mirror, their airflow first sucking me closer to the vehicle, then, after it had passed, pushing me to the ditch. After a few of these maneuvers i started moving to the middle of the street when a truck appeared in my back mirror, thereby having more space to move to the side when the driver didn't give in.

Foodwise my fears where right - i didn't see and eat anything but the serbian variety of hamburgers(Besides 3 slices of pizza in Belgrade) - supercheap and tasty but you really wonder what happens to the huge mountains of vegetables you see on the markets.

I had to look twice when i saw this face in the rock

Today i decided to go to Romania instead of going south and staying in Serbia for another few days - mostly to avoid the mountains and staying to long in Bulgaria - at least 3 independent sources expressed a not too high opinion on this country.

However, i'm surprisingly sad to leave Serbia, partly because i got to like this place and its people so much, partly because i'm also a bit uncertain about Romania as it is a lot less wealthy than any place i've been before(A programmer from Galati that worked for us remotely told me he gets EUR 600.-/month, and that's a relatively high income for Romania). The long and unorganized line of cars and the poor road condition after the serbian control post and right in front of the romanian one didn't lift my qualms(I didn't row up though but bypassed the cars).