The last day of our stay in Serbia arrived. Our aim was to depart from the capital and move east to reach the fort Golubac, with a stop in Smederovo. From there on we didn’t know the point of entrance in Romania, as the reporting was incomplete.
I hardly woke up a little earlier in order to deal with the calendar. When Sakis and Giorgios Z woke up there was a proposal of bringing breakfast at home instead of going outside in order to save time. Thus the boys returned with some delicious sandwiches, chocolate sweet and coffee, perhaps the most substantial breakfast of the trip.
We prepared our staff and went to the central square to return the key of the apartment. Leading by the GPS, we started in an eastern direction at 10am. Shortly before reaching the highway E75, we passed through a bombarded site, reminiscent of wartime. I was impressed by the fact that it was remained in the same situation all these years... A few meters further I saw the U.S. Embassy! Then I realized that the crummy Serbian people left this part of town as memory of war...
Some works were barriers in reaching the highway, forcing us to do 3-4 km further, reaching the seafront of the city. A lot of people were moving there and I realised that a ticket was needed to enter the area with a vehicle.
At the highway, it was the first time, I met a payment method with kilometre counting apart from Italy. We were given a piece of paper and directed to Smederovo. After about 65km we left the highway paying 1,3€ and continued approaching the town of Smederovo (11km). Entering the town we met a convoy with a flag honking continuously ... we realized that it was a wedding!
As we arrived, we headed to the port. There is a castle that is actually not as impressive as depicted in some photographs. We sat in the shade of a mulberry tree near the river enjoying the view and we discussed about the rest of the journey.
Looking at the map and after asking a policeman who happened to be nearby, we discussed about the direction we should follow to leave the country. Because we wanted also to visit the fortress of Golubac, we hoped that there would be a pass point to Romania, for example in V. Gradiste.
We started with direction to V. Gradiste, hoping that there the situation will be different and it will be possibly a pass to Romania. Upon our arrival in the town, we went to the police station to gather some information. Unfortunately the news were disappointing. We could pass over only at Kladovo or Nadias. In the second case we should be doing a 150km ride on dubious state road having no idea how long it would take.
The die has been cast... we would go to Golubac and then we would continue our journey down the Danube till the pass point. We had to stay either in Serbia or in Romania. The decision depended on the time and the mood. Driving through a relatively comfortable and beautiful 70km route, we reached the Danube fortress.
This is a small fort located on a strategic point on the bank of the Danube. The fact that the two banks at this point are close to each other, explain its important role in controlling the region. The start of construction is unknown but the biggest part was built in the 14th century. It consists of 10 towers, 2 entrances and a moat.
Giorgos Z was not impressed, as he believes that the castle’s fame is bigger that its real value. I do not know if I agree with him. Personally I liked it and it is a beautiful sight. The fact that we had to change travel plans because of it may made us more strict spectators.
From there we continued on a comfortable, with nice curves route (about 100km) with good pavement, plenty of vegetation and too many points with spectacular panoramic views. The majestic Danube River flowed on the right side, causing awe with its volume. The width of the river varies, giving the impression either of a lake or a canyon! In many places we stopped to take pictures and moved further along rediscovering another beautiful spot ... The opposite shore was Romania.
The villages we met were beautiful with small touristic development. Most of them had rooms to rent and at some of them restaurants. However, the level of development was not the same with its attraction. It was the first time in Serbia, which I saw so many vehicles with foreign numbers, and several motorcycles. This fact approves the interest for the route.
The route was easy and in the afternoon we arrived at D. Milanovac about 30km from the pass point. We decided to continue and, depending on whether we would find somewhere to sleep we would stay. In the Tetriat village, we thought to search for accommodation. But we imitiately changed our mind, as there was something like a festival. Everything was full! Certainly, there was the possibility to camp, but generally we were not in the mood.
Thus we continued with destination to Kladovo to find a hotel. Unfortunately, a nasty surprise expected ... this place had very bad facilities. The employee in the first hotel we visited gave us a card of a pension about 2-3km outside the city.
We went. The problem was the complete lack of street name labels in combination with the nightfall! After wandering for a long time we had to return to the first hotel, in order the receptionist of the hotel to call herself the pension and got back again. This time we were lucky and found ourselves in a nice and clean pension where the owner didn’t spoke any English at all. We paid 10€ per person. Initially we decided to return to town for food, but eventually George and Stratos brought food and we ate in the garden.
By discussing, the time passed without realizing it... and we went to sleep, with me and Stratos going to the rooms at 3 am as it began to get freezy! Discussion about travels, makes you lose the sense of time...