Sunday, 28.04.19, Belgrad – Timisoara – Hermannstadt

Day 5 for the records. Early start about half past six. Easy going out of the city of Belgrade. Fill up the tank and get the daily cappuccino with croissant before the border to Romania. Border procedures relaxed, a very attractive lady on the Romanian side. She advised me that I can drive until Timisoara and only then by the road tax. So I did. The guy at the fuel station was kind. Instead of forcing me to by for 30 days, offered me 2X7 days. First surprise. Was more work and less income for him. Looking for parking there was quick. I asked at a another fuel station near the city center and they said I could even stay overnight. Second surprise. On the bike with pullover and wind breaker, it was chilly and windy.

Another Orthodox Church with broadcasting the service to the outside via speakers. The priests and the choir sing alternating and that very beautiful and I for myself and some others were pulled towards the entrance. As I described from Belgrade, movements, coming and going was accepted throughout the mess.

In Chinatown in San Francisco they have their red balloons. Here in Timisoara they are more pragmatic, but not less colorful.

The big main square with other historic buildings and my fitness and transport aid mountain bike.

As Timisoara was not as large as I thought I decided to drive on to Hermannstadt, Sibiu in Romanian. The weather was cold and wet anyway and gusty winds as usual. But this time I had strong tailwind which was welcome for the mileage of my vehicle.

Here the small village of Sibiel. On arrival I forgot why I planned to visit that place. Walked around, enjoyed my time, found no hint. Left soon for Hermannstadt. After about 20 minutes I remembered: they host a famous collection of Ikonen. But they had closed when I arrived anyway. Getting old slowly…
Parking in Hermannstadt (Sibiu). After a short circle around the center I found this public parking lot for 2 Lei/hour (= 0,25 E/hour) for max. 24 hours. In perfect walking distance to the historic city.

I must mention this. I cannot count any more the number of little prayers for little things like parking, a reasonable coffee shop with Wifi, a currency exchange and so on. It makes me very grateful that God is watching over me.

Saturday, 27.04.19, Belgrade, P II

After posting from the Cafe a few more shots afterwards. The Dome of Holy Sava has escaped me until then. As it is probably the most visited place in Belgrade, it would have be a shame to miss it.

Some of the nuns who visited held their hand in front of their mouth, surley in awe, but maybe also asking how much help for the poor could have been provided…

At the end of the day I had cycled some 38 km, 50 % of it quite up and down, but never steep. At the camping ground I quickly reparked my motorhome to a spot where the Wifi is strong enough to do some posting. What a smart move, one hour later the yard was full again.

Saturday, 27.04.19, Belgrade, P1

Day 5 for the records. Took my bike and rode to town. Found another Castle and although riding at least one circle, found some or most of the places of interest. As so many big cities, also Belgrade has many faces. From posh to poor and neglected. I followed partly my offline map and partly my nose and had a great day so far.

As the rain caught me about 01h00 when I anyway looked for a coffee place, I was forced to stop at one near the merger of the river Sava with the Danube. And they have Wifi on top of it where I managed to catch with up some postings. My guardian angel seems to be a great tour guide as well…

Overview of the merging rivers Sava and Danube
The classic from southern side of river Soave

The service was in full progress, actually the holy supper was celebrated and the bread and wine was offered, still the people moved around all the time also with visitors like me coming and going. It felt a very peaceful place to me. A source of strength.

Friday, 26.04.19, Budapest, Novi Sad, Belgrade

Day 4 for the records. Looking at a large scale map yesterday I wondered whether I had chosen the most sensible route at all. To cut it short, I decided to change: instead of going to Timisoara in Romania I headed south to Novi Sad and Belgrade. The latter I had in mind on the way back from Skopje and turn off to the Madura Caves in Romania
I had to sacrifice the caves, but the total distance was reduced by almost 1.000 km. Timisoara would come then on Sunday, 28.04.19 and not further changes until Thessaloniki.

Caste Novi Sad with my faithful companion
A location of a life time

Street parking. Asked another cyclist for the parking arrangements. There was a board with a mobile phone number. He said it is a Public Holiday, actually Easter Weekend for the Orthodox Church. The parking is free then. He also explained a short history of Novi Sad with Queen Maria Theresia awarding the town rights to them.
Took me some circles in town until I found my way back.

It was not the day of successful navigation at all. Near Belgrade I ended up in this rural area following my Garmin with correctly spelled address, but it was one of more of the same. This gentlemen, obviously a keen cyclist as myself, followed me because he guessed my misery. In his mother tongue Serbian he explained to me, I must go back to town. Cost me about 20 km over all and one hour.

Not the most romantic camping ground, but very well located and very friendly welcome and fellow travelers.
Good end, all well…