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Thread: Imposter thread! Belgrade to Belgrade on a V-Strom!

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    Cool Imposter thread! Belgrade to Belgrade on a V-Strom!

    Preface [I'm not the scribe in the family, but it felt sort of right to try to pick up the pen, so here is my first attempt - apologies in advance!]

    P1010879 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Sloth scribbling somewhere in the Baltic

    Our 10th anniversary. He should be here, he was meant to share my adventures, and my life and my love and his rightful place is by my side. 10 years was not the joyous occassion it should have been, but still something to celebrate. I remember the night we met in exquisite detail - it truly was love at first sight. I don't know if I believed in it before that night, but I certainly do now. I still love him, and everything I do I carry him with me. So, in an effort to mark the occassion, I scoured the flights for something interesting and new to do to celebrate in a way that would do him proud. Belgrade. Marvellous. As teenagers of the 90s Belgrade means bombs. Serbia means violence and war crimes. I feel like it ticks the right boxes.

    Sloth and I were both fascinated in modern history, but he was the bookworm and I was the willing student. He would read up on things before we travelled to a country and as we rode through these places and saw dates and memorials he would be able to tell me what they related to. He was so very intelligent and wanted to try to understand the nuances of continental history, which has a fluidity to it that an island nation can barely understand. I loved to listen to him retel stories of conflicts, of horror, but also of people power, the rise of the underdog and the overwhelming bravery and strength of the oppressed. In our lifetimes these struggles have occurred in many places on the continent whilst we have lived in our bubble of ever larger TVs, ever faster cars and holidays in the sun. Only a few miles, yet chasms apart.

    A very potted history from the BBC
    .

    So, Belgrade looked good. Sloth would approve. After I found flights with good times (Monday - Friday) I looked for something that might both occupy and perhaps expand my mind whilst I was there. As if a gift from above, a motorcycle tour company, who offer 3 day trips around Serbia no less, and who could fit me in on the dates I wanted - it was clearly meant to be!

    Go Beyond Usual tours is run by a Serbian chap called Mladen - nicknamed Tosh. They offer tours all over the Balkan region, but for 3 days they offer to do almost everything from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. It's not my normal method of travel, but I think it will work well for me this time. The price is a bargain - 2 airport transfers, 2 nights of hotels, motorcycle (650 V-strom) and pannier hire with the first tank of fuel, along with Tosh's time and knowledge, all for the bargain price of 550euros! It was settled - flights booked, phrase book ordered... sorted.

    Not all who wander are lost......

  2. #2
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    Belgrade arrival (non riding day)

    Lots of rambling, no riding! Perhaps I need to work on my edit??!

    Air Serbia did me well - 2hours from Heathrow, and I can recommend the in flight magazine! It was excellent and kept me enteratined almost the entire flight! Thankfully the seat next to me was empty as I must admit there were a few tears. When we land I note there is only one page of departures and arrivals. Although their capital city and Air Serbia is a fairly busy little airline, it is still a very different experience to the mini city that is Heathrow I have just left. At the airport Tosh is waiting with a HUGE smile - what a friendly chap! Within 500m of the departure doors is his car - 500m! Crazy.

    As we drive into the city I take some photos whilst Tosh chats about the driving (pretty crazy, and completely defensive), the weather (it's 5pm and about 35C), and the buildings we pass. There is a communist era tower, with residential apartments one side and offices on the other, joined by a footbridge on about floor 18. The offices are no longer in use, but the residential apartments are. As we cross the river there is a round tower - a very old tollhouse, you can just about make out under it's new use of advertising hoarding. Progress innit . The riverside is a building site - the government and it's cronies are building a massive and lavish riverside development. It should have been completed already, but they've not even completed the footings. It's clearly a bone of contention with locals. We get further into the city and I am shown a government building, or rather, the shell of a government building. Tosh explains with guided missiles you can literally see them drop from 90degrees onto the target with incredible accuracy. The buildings all around are unscathed, but this rubble stands as a battle scar. The only one I noticed from the 90s conflict in my time there.

    P1040465 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Crazy communist tower
    P1040470 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    The military building skeleton

    I get to my hotel and check in. From the front it is a busy plaza with bustling restaurants and shops. Across the road is the 5* hotel Moscow and a fountain dedicated to the peoples uprising of 1860. We eat in the hotel restaurant on the pavement watching the world go by, and it feels like every other capital city I've ever visited - vibrant, and energised, and safe. My room is a different story. The door lock looks like it's been forced at some point, and the maid tries to let herself in whilst Im there! I think it is all harmless, and I don't feel ill at ease, but it does feel like a 3rd world hotel room. Still, the view is beautiful, so that is a plus. Even though the tour starts the next day Tosh kindly joins me for supper. He manages to order me a vegan salad which was lovely - grilled veg, houmous, grated carrot and celeriac and lovely juicy tomatoes. After we've eaten Tosh offers to show me the city, and I am keen to see it with a local. We walk along the main shopping plaza, past a fountain with people drinking from it - I am surprised and ask him about it. Apparently the government check the public fountains twice a year and issue a statement confirming the water is safe to drink. Wow. I can't remember the last time I saw a working fountain in the UK, and even if there was, would you drink from it?! We pass other interesting buildings spanning the history of Belgrade - the theatre is the oldest continuously working National Theatre in Europe (a fact I actually gleaned from my inflight magazine). It is explained to me that during WWII there was also a sort of revolution in Serbia, where the royals were ousted - the crown prince went into hiding and his families estate taken by the communists. Fast forward to more recent times and the prince has been allowed to return and regain control of some of the properties, but he is no longer royalty. I knew none of this. There are brutalist buildings, renaissance buildings, and even timber framed Tudor type. There are buildings that are being well maintained next door to crumbling facades and no paintwork. But everywhere you look people are in the streets, not like the UK at 10pm, nooone is drunk, or shouting or going to the toilet where they shouldn't. It's peaceful, and friendly, there are families and dogs enjoying the cooler evening after the oppressive heat of the day. I feel comforted. I feel as though even if I was by myself here I wouldn't feel like I was. There is a marked lack of tourists. People are Serbs, some are Bosnian and Croatian, but I don't hear any German or French and certainly no English being spoken. Sloth would love this place.
    P1040476 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    The 5* Hotel Moscow, as viewed from the decrepid balcony of my 1* Hotel
    P1040485 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Drinking from the public fountain on a warm summer evening

    We walk all the way to the mediaeval fortress of Kalamegdan. There has been a tourist fair and some of the stands are still there- tourist boards from Montenegro, and West Serbia, and Croatia selling their own brand of beautiful. The walls were erected in the 1600s, and the original wooden gates still meet you. The moat is now dry but they display the usual array of cannons and a couple of tanks. What I haven't ever seen before is self propelled missiles pointing to the heavens! That sent a shiver down my spine! We walk up to the city walls, and the young people of the city are sitting atop them chatting and smoking. There are a few beers, but there is no litter, no graffiti, and no menace. It is a really lovely place to be, looking out over the meeting points of the Danube and the Sava rivers. The other overwhelming sense is the heady scent of the Lypen/ limeaflower trees. They are everywhere and the smell is divine. It adds a richness to the city that I've not felt in ny other. As it happens, Lypen is the name of my little Kawasaki back home. I had learned that Ukraine month names are not Gregorian, but based on harvests, so Lypen in Ukrainian is limeflower, and is also the name for July as that is when they are harvested (their flowers create a lovely sweet flavour that can be made into a drink, very similar to elderflower). Lypen seemed a fitting name given I bought him for myself as my 40th birthday present from Sloth, and the intention was to travel to Ukraine for my 40th birthday. (The lack of V5 put pay to that, but that's a whole other story!). I mentioned all this to Tosh and he told me Croatia is the only other country in the region to do the same, so there is a link between Ukraine and Croatia that no other Balkan country shares. Strange how things go.
    P1040482 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    National Theatre
    P1040490 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    War relics of a more modern conflict than I have ever seen
    P1040486 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Kalamegdan at dusk


    On a personal note, I've made my first boo-boo. As you can imagine, packing for this trip was very last minute. I always travel with a small pair of walking shoes that I carry on the bike, and use of an evening. I have had the same little red pair bought about 5 years ago, and they are perfect - compact and comfortable. They are showing their age, and their somewhat hard life, and so when I saw the exact same pair in the Pavers sale I bought them. I had almost forgotten about them until it was time to pack, but I dug them out and thought nothing of it. The first time ever wearing them was this walk around Belgrade. O.M.G. How stupid am I?? CARDINAL rule - you DO not try out new kit on tour. EVER! By the time we had reached the city walls I could feel the blisters on my little toes. They were killing me. Fook. Oh well...

    I am relieved to get back to the hotel and excited for the next day. The room is non-smoking, but non-smoking in Serbia is kinda like me on a diet - I know I should be, and I talk about it, but I never actually do it! I sleep badly as my lungs feel like they are breathing in 40years of unfiltered cigarette residue with every breath. I wake with a headache and a sore throat. Excellent start to the day! Breakfast was good - yes it was in the bar, and yes the smoking tables were right in front of the buffet, but hey... this is cearly how it is gonna go!

    Not all who wander are lost......

  3. #3
    apriliaforum Member
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    Imposter indeed - but an interesting read
    I think I'll suggest this trip to Mrs M for one of our half-term jollies.

  4. #4
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    Day 1 of riding!

    In the morning Tosh waiting in reception, looking fresh despite the already 25+ temperature, and he is beaming smiles again. I am running late, and already melting in my bike kit. This scenario is the recurring theme of the trip! We get to the bikes and he buys me some local juice for the topbox before we hit the road. The lady in the kiosk admires the UK lady about to set off on a bike tour, and her and Tosh have a good chat. Another recurring theme - Serbs are clearly a friendly people and even here in the city there is a lot of chatter to strangers. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. We set off, and I remember how heavy a cable clutch is! We have to get across a pavement through rush hour pedestrians, down a kerb, and into morning rush hour traffic. I am glad of all my previous experiences on a bike as this is a pretty full on start to a tour on a strange bike in a strange country.
    P1040509 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Belgrade in rush hour!

    Traffic is busy and slow, but better than many cities and after 20minutes we are clear. It's still busy but we're moving, and rising up over the city. We're heading East. The hotel isn't booked for this night so we are going to see how far we get, but Tosh has high hopes! Before I arrived I had told Tosh I was interested in the history of the region. I had meant modern history but hadn't specified. As such, our first stop of the day was Viminacium. It is the largest Roman burial site ever discovered, and they are in the process of building a museum on the site. As such you ride through a factory grounds to get there! There is a tent with some tombs laid out as they were discivered, and you walk into a crypt and see painted tombs with pagain and religious daubs. It tuns out no fewer than 17 Roman Emperors were Serbian. It is interesting, but it is hot, and I am keen to get moving. Tosh had got me on a full tour, but after the crypt I say we should get moving again. We set off. Roads are mostly poor quality, and although they're quiet the driving standards are interesting. You need to be on your toes at all times to miss potholes, gravel and oncoming traffic. I decide Serbia is not for the faint hearted, but I am loving it none the less. We travel through forests and along the river. Our next stop is Golubac fortress. We stop for coffees and to look on from afar. I have since learned it too has a very intersting history - reflecting that of it's country. It has been in the hands of the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, and also the Austrians and Turks along the way, before being handed to Serbia in 1867.
    20180529_122553 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    The infamous Sloth and Nicky at Golubac fortress!

    We continue on along the cool shade of the Danube river valley, through numerous hand carved stone tunnels. The road here is good although busy. The scenery is beautiful and the freshness of the air wards off the worst temperatures of the day. We continue to Lepenski Vir. Anther history tour stop. Even older history this time! In the 1960s Hungarian archaeologists started a dig on the site, not expecting to find anything much, but what they actually found was the oldest evidence of human civilsation in Europe. I stop to give a stray dog a drink from one of the public fountains (he had been licking the dry taps as we parked up, and I watched him, thinking he might leave before I had time to reach him, but he stood patiently waiting for someone to come along. He has clearly done this before! I could happily have taken him home, but it seems like he has a nice life in this lush park. It is reassuring how comfortable the stray dogs are around people - they are clearly well treated (unlike the poor strays of neighbouring Bulgaria, Romania and Albania where strays are beaten and abused). We take a long hot walk to the museum to watch a video about the 60s dig, and see some of the artefacts. It is fascinating, but it misses a trick - there is a very prominent rock across the Danube, looking fown on this site. The video suggests the rock may have been signifiacnt in the placement of the settlement, but a recent visitor centre has been built which you can't see the rock from! D'oh! Shoot and a miss architect types. It was also a solid glass structure, with no windows, so is a veritable hothouse, and a butterfly graveyard as it happens. They are clearly drawn to the heat and then die on the white tiled floor, creating a colourful but tragic carpet. Oops.
    P1040600 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Rocky Road!
    P1040608 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Refreshing the locals

    We sit at the cafe, and Tosh has another bemused conversation with the waiter regarding what vegan means, and I am offered a Serbian salad, which I think should be fun. A small bowl of tomatoes, cucumber and raw onions arrives, and although it doesn't look it, it is clearly doused in paprika!! The flavour is beatiful- really tasty, but it's a side dish, and they haven't thought to bulk it out with anything else. I nick Tosh's bread, which turns out to be possibly the best bread I have ever eaten, and I enjoy my fresh and tasty lunch watching the stray dogs sunning themselves on the grass.

    We head on, and take a small road up across the hill tops. Shortly into the ascent we come across a deserted factory, with the red star of communism crumbling atop. It is a little sad. We touch on this later on and I am told the older generation miss the days of communist rule - people had jobs and were given a house with no mortgage. There were schools and parks, and life was gnerally good. Their brand of communist was not harsh, but was relatively fair and non-corrupt. The downfall of communism has seen massive corruption on a local, national and global scale, In Belgrade a number of the people getting rich off of public services are the US figures who were involved in the war, along with one or two Serb politicians. It's quite sad really. There is logging in these hills so althouh the road barely fits the bike we meet several trucks in a hurry on weendy-windy roads. We don't see much else. Not many houses, or villages. Those that are there tend every inch of land they have to grow vegetables. Life here in East Serbia is hard, and I'm seeing it in Summer. In Winter it will be really tough. We carry on through pretty scenery and tiny villages - people often wave as we pass. We pass 'Silver Lake', clearly a local tourist area, but it doesn't appear to be in season yet. Maybe it barely gets a season anymore. Tosh explains the population in East Serbia is falling as the youngsters leave to try to forge a better life in the city or abroad, and we pass many houses that are simply abandoned.
    P1040584 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr

    At one point on the trip, a thing was up ahead, and when we got close I realised the thing was actually a tortoise crossing the road! I was shocked! I never knew wild tortoises existed here! I stopped to help him across the road I don't think he took too kindly to being scooped up, but he would have taken less kindly to one of the crazy drivers going over the top of him I'm sure.
    P1040635 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Local wildlife!

    We finally get to our destination - Bor. The town name means Pine owing to the forests we've ridden through to get here, but it's main function is Copper mining. This entire large town is founded on the copper mine. The hotel we are staying in is built to accommodate the mining corporation, and we are greeted with a tombstone sized slab of Copper at reception. It is nice and comfortable and the AC works - hurrah! It is already 8pm, but Tosh says it is normal that Serbs eat about 9pm, so we head out to a local pizzeria. There is a party going on with lots of young locals and loud music. They are enjoying themselves, but they are not rowdy or direspectful or even drunk. It is a nice atmosphere. Tosh and the owner both apologise, but I am enjoying the happy. Again, Tosh explains what is means to be vegan, and I am offered grilled veg. I am happy with this. When it arrives it is literally a plate of grilled veg and some bread, simple fare, but so tasty. There is a lot to be said for small-holding farming and local produce. Of course a mediterranean climate helps too, but still.

    P1040654 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Our steeds at the mining hotel, tucked up for the night

    Not all who wander are lost......

  5. #5
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    Day 2 of riding - East to West!

    Breakfast the next day is not vegan friendly, but is smoker friendly. Of course! The other tables are foreign workers at the mine. They all seem of various nationalties, and speak to each other in English. We take a look at the manmade lake before setting off for the day. I've been warned today is a big day. Out hotel for the night is booked, and it is in Western Serbia. The breadth of the country. It's also already 30 degrees at 9am, so it's only going to get hotter! Half of the day is spent on the peage as a result, but they go along well and are cheap. Tosh explains they are time stamped, and if you are speeding a policeman will come and take you straight to a police station to pay a fine! We see German cars for the firs titme, and even a UK plate, but mostly they are Bosnian and Serb. Here they are expensive cars. Before now we'd mostly seen cars from the 70/80/90s, and suddentyl we are seeing modern cars. A stark rich/ poor divide. We had previously spoken about how there isn't really a lease culture, so 90% of the cars we see are owned outright, unlike the UK which is probably more like 90% are leased. We stop for fuel for the first time - holy moly - it is UK prices??!! A 2 course meal for two is about 12 - 12!!! A tank fo fuel for a DL650 is 18. Seriously. It's crazy. Fuel stations are nice though - clean, well stocked, AC and wi-fi. It's a good place to recoup a little.

    P1040693 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    The crumble of communism
    P1040686 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    I liked the addition of pictures to illustrate natural beauty spots on the road signs
    P1040720 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Beautiful countryside
    P1040824 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr

    P1050001 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr


    Central Serbia is flat. Flat and hot. It is still interesting to me, and pretty, but it's a long slog across to the West, and it is already early evening when we reach the edge. Western Serbia is the mountains, the tourist area, and also the rich part of the country. It is beautiful. The roads on the evening where much better. Wider, painted, slightly better maintained, but with this the driving got a bit more crazy. Take your pick?!

    P1040965 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050034 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr

    We got to the hotel after 8pm. We'd covered 475km in searing heat and we were both tired. The 'hotel' is actually a rich mans retreat. A film director who decided he wanted his own town, so he has built one! It has rooms, it has a barbers, a bakery, a nursery and a business school. A cinema and restaurants and it's own church, all in the most amazing setting in the mountains. The room is huge with views across the valley, and we go for food in the cool of the evening. Again vegan is not understood (despire the fact that one of the main draws of this place is a yoga retreat - go figure), but there is a local dish on the menu 'baked beans', so I give that a go alongside my grilled veg. Turns out baked beans are butter beans in a ruch tomato sauce baked in a terracotta dish. They were lovely! Peasant food as Sloth would have called it, and he would have been most pleased. It is full of flavour.

    20180530_201042 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Baked beans Serbia style

    P1050112 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    I got the Che Guevara room

    P1050089 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Room with a view

    Today is the 30th. The actual anniversary. It was a good day to cover so many miles, nd I have not had much time to think about what I am missing, but I get into my room at night and the tears start to flow. I miss him every day, but I try to push through most of it. This evening the pain is consuming and I have no option but to have a bloody good cry. It's so bitter sweet doing things I know he would have loved, but what choice do I have... I fall asleep, but there are many nightmares. It was to be expected.

    Not all who wander are lost......

  6. #6
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencapo View Post
    Imposter indeed - but an interesting read
    I think I'll suggest this trip to Mrs M for one of our half-term jollies.
    I might get the Capo there one day, but as I can't even get it out the garage right now the V-Strom was a pretty good stand in

    I can't recommend Serbia and Tosh highly enough! I loved it The riding is not the best, but it's nice to find a European country still mostly untouched by globlization

    Not all who wander are lost......

  7. #7
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    Day 3 of riding - West Serbia

    P1050118 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Our breakfast view

    The next day we have a more leisurely day, and so we start later, taking a long breakfast in the still of the morning air. We are heading through the Tara national park today so I determine today I shall stop to take lots of photos. I picked the right day. Today's ride is stunningly beautiful - around every corner is something new to look at. Tosh jokes at our first stop that I have broken the record for stopping to take photos! Sloth would be proud At one point we stop by some ladies selling home made jam and honey. We had massed many bee hotels along the way - I have never seen such smale scale farming of honey on such a large scale! These ladies were selling pine honey - a very dark and very specific honey made from bees living in the pine forests. Honey is not vegan, but she insisted I try a little, and it was indeed lovely. I wanted to support these old ladies living simply in the mountains so I bought some honey from her and some wild strawberry jam from her friend. The honey will make a nce gift for a non vegan back home. We stop at a look out and there are 4 youngsters eating a picnic. They re chatting in their language, and Tosh asks them in English 'how do you say 'enjoy your food' in Russian?' - they are confused, and say - in perefect English, they do not speak Russian. He is then confused and asks where they are from as their language sounds Russian. It turns out they are Lithuanian. They have flown into Belgrade and hired a car, I don't think any of them have seen their 20th birthday yet, but they have come here to the place to have a look around, and they chat to this stranger in English. I wonder how many of our youngsters would be so comfortable doing this.

    P1050188 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050210 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050327 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    20180531_112314 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    This beautiful turqoise river flows from Montenegro
    P1050370 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050389 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050402 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050392 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Home made honey and jam stop!

    P1050314 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050412 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    P1050442 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr


    We make slow progress through the mountains and the national park, drinking in the rich views, and smells, and the slightly improved roads. This turns out to be fortuitous as the final 80kms is basically carnage - a single carriageway main road into Belgrade, full of diesel beliching buses and trucks, and race car driver wannabes. It's heavy going. It's ridiculously hot, and my bum is killing me! We get to the centre, and he takes me direct to my hotel. It's a different one, in a slightly different area. It's lovely! The reeptionsist could not be nicer and the area is again full of restaurants and bars and generally convivial atmosphere. I don't wander around for long as I am tired and my poor tootsies are still killing me. So much so that the first port of call is the shoe shop across from my hotel where I equip myself with soft slipper type shoes! I decided to add my riding boots as carry on and use these new shoes as my flight shoes. This is a much better plan than wearing my boots as I did on my way there. I sit at the fountain with the local drunks and the harlequin great Dane takinga long drun whilst I don the new shoes. They're hardly a miraculous cure, but they allow me to venture a little further along the street to find some supper. Despite a couple of local vagrants congregating the city feels so very safe, and friendly. People smile at each other, and there is much chatting - from what I've seen of my time with Tosh I suspect some of this chatting may well be stranger to stranger. It is a nice atmosphere and I am comfortable walking along. I find a very odd food shop that will furnish me with some sustenance for the evening - a proper little picnic supper like we always used to enjoy! I find some vegan desserts, which look vile, but I pop them in my basket anyways. There are some pre-packed sandwiches proudly announcing they are made by Air Serbia's caterer. In no other world would that be a selling point!! I collect the usual - some local crisps, something vageuly cake like from the deli counter - in broken Serbian I might add, go me! - and some juices and biscuits. Sloth and I lways loved visiting supermakets to see what the locals were eating and how they shopped, and that had been lacking on this trip so far. I am happy with my wares and toddle off some more. I find the 'flower square', oddly known by the Italian. I wonder if this is a throwback to the Roman days? They have more restaurants and a few shops and the amazing limflower trees giving off their heady scent. I could sit on the steps a while and not feel out of place, but the air is also filled with nicotine and tar and my feet aren't getting any better, so I turn back to my hotel. Back in my room I lay out my picnic and feel such a heavy sense of loss, mine and his, that I have a little cry whilse I eat. Sometimes you just have to give in to these things. I shower and pack and ready myself for my early start in the morning.
    20180531_204724 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Lypen!
    P1050477 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    Picnic
    P1050470 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr
    My new view from the very lovely Hotel Argo Garni

    Not all who wander are lost......

  8. #8
    apriliaforum Junkie Diablo_UK's Avatar
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    That's all folks!

    (I've written a lot but probably said very little. I am no wordsmith, but I quite enjoyed it anyways ao apologies for indulging myself on you all! ) ...

    There is not much left to say, excpet that one of my missions was to find postcards to send home. Tosh explained there aren't really postcards - the Serbian postal service is apparently a little hit and miss and as tourism still isn't such a big deal there simply aren't any. We tried many places along the way and failed every time. Finally, at the airport, there is a small post office that also sells postcards - hurrah! I again manage to buy some postcards in pigeon Serbian, and sit and have a coffee writing them. It occurs to me that if only all airtports had a post office selling postcards it would be a wonderful way to pass the time waiting for your plane! I write a few and pop back in for stamps. She kindly offers to send them for me, and I am a little crest fallen as I realise I won't get to see the stamps for myself! If I'd have known I'd have sent one to myself - I am that sad!!

    20180601_092027 by ~Diablo~, on Flickr

    But anyways.... there we have it. My time in Serbia. Short, but very very sweet. I cannot rate this country enough - it is cheap, hot, friendly, beautiful. My guide Tosh was the best - really knowledgeable, and so easy to talk to. The hotels he found were perfect and the roads were, well, intersesting! If you are looking for somewhere relatively untouched by the big global brands and relatively true to it's heritage then you can't go wrong with Belgrade or Serbia


    Not all who wander are lost......

  9. #9
    apriliaforum Junkie pugwash's Avatar
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    Excellent write up, many thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    Pugwash
    Remember, you cannot outrun a motorola!

    2003 Caponord
    2007 FJR1300AS
    2010 KLX250

  10. #10
    apriliaforum Junkie HuddsCapo's Avatar
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    An excellent write up, sloth would be proud.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us and I look forward to your next road trip report.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert haga lout's Avatar
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    Well done pippa your words told a tale of sadness and joy that made me think of going there

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert falcojake's Avatar
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    thanks Pippa

    enjoyed again, more for the punctuated photos!

    it looks like a stunning country to visit, i hope one day i can venture that way.

    for me there i something fascinating about the old eastern block and like you (being of the same generation) the memories of the balkan conflict are still very much fresh in my memory.

    thanks again

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert brmbrm's Avatar
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    Damn good write-up and pics.
    Haven't been too happy with Serbia since the wars, but travel broadens the mind, and it looked a briliant tour!
    Went on a motorcycle tour of india in 2004 to get me back to biking. If you fancy India add it to your list of places to go.
    Best wishes,
    Dave
    My name is Dave,
    bike's name is Black Betty.

    When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then.


    Caponord - Douglas Dragonfly - 1942 Harley back again
    Pegaso - Matchless G3LS - BSA A7SS - 1942 Harley - Matchless G80/600cc - Matchless G3LS - BSA C15 - Velocette

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert Leanit's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing! Fantastic write-up and pics.

    That Che thing is freaky as hell. Yikes.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum expert catfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diablo_UK View Post
    (I've written a lot but probably said very little. I am no wordsmith, but I quite enjoyed it anyways ao apologies for indulging myself on you all! ) ...

    ...

    But anyways.... there we have it. My time in Serbia. Short, but very very sweet. I cannot rate this country enough - it is cheap, hot, friendly, beautiful. My guide Tosh was the best - really knowledgeable, and so easy to talk to. The hotels he found were perfect and the roads were, well, intersesting! If you are looking for somewhere relatively untouched by the big global brands and relatively true to it's heritage then you can't go wrong with Belgrade or Serbia


    Wow, what an adventure, photos, & ride report!!! :-)

    I miss Sloth's ride reports too. He would be PROUD of yours!

    Thanks for sharing with us Diablo. You are inspiring me to share non-Caponord ride photos around here.


    Catfish ...

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