Monday, 16 August 2010
14.08.2010 No alarms and no surprises! (Novi Banovci via Belgrade to Kovin, 80km)
We left the Kondor in order to face the hectic city of Belgrade and continue our trip along the south side of the Danube. In a Belgrade suburb however, we had an acquaintance which changed our plans slightly. We hopefully correctly remember his name as Bicycle-joe, anyways, he is the owner of a tiny tiny bike-shop on a bumpy street in the aforementioned suburb. We stopped in order to get some quick advice on a few issues, as the wear and tear has been slowly but surely affecting the rideability of our bikes. Free technical advice, hints on what to look out for, contact numbers and new road directions were given to us. What a passionate guy. What a service. We kinda felt guilty not buying anything from him. But so it goes, and we were off on a new track - along the north side of the Danube.
One could argue that we cold-shouldered Belgrade. We certainly didn't spend weeks in the Serbian capital - yet we can tell you that one gets a pretty decent first picture of a place when cycling around in it for a day. Which we did. Belgrade is big. So loads of cycling to do. yeew!
It was a bit of a struggle to eventually get to Kovin. Not having proper maps of the area made it hard at times to navigate, especially as most street signs were now written in Cyrillic. So it took a bit longer, but hey, we got there in the end. In Kovin, the plan was to check out a couple of hotels and compare the prices.
The first place we approached had even German sign posts. The German speaking host though was a little too full on, and a little too friendly. We still checked his rooms and told him that we would check other places now and maybe come back to him at some point.
Thereupon, we had a look at another hotel, which was located just a few meters down the road from the first weird guy. We hadn't even stopped our bikes yet as a massive, bold guy jumps out of the hotel\restaurant door and welcomes us in fluent German. Another guy followed, shaved had and a similar shape. They were both friendly and the rooms they offered were cheaper than the first ones we had looked at. Not feeling like we had found the right thing, we told them the same thing and tried to find another, more inviting place to sleep.
Our cycle in town didn't prove too successful, so we opted for a night's stay at the bold bear hotel. The price was right, and the rooms okay, so we unpacked our stuff and went into the town center to enjoy some local dishes and beers.
We got back to our hotel around 11 pm, yawning and longing for a good sleep. As we were just about ready to go to bed, our beds started shaking. What the hell? There was music playing right underneath our beds with a bass turned up to the max. At that point we realized that we had checked in into a hotel which is built right on top of a night club. Andreas usually sleeps like a log and could even fall asleep with the weird Serbian dance music. Manuel however couldn t really appreciate the lullabies and went down to check out the club, just to discover the village club for the under 18 year olds and the hotel owner and his friend working as bouncers. Oh dear...