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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello my friends after quite a while :)

This year was very hard on my family psychologically, so my motorcycling wanderings were put on hold but after a difficult summer the planets finally aligned and I am delighted to share another trip with my beloved Er6-n with you...

Around mid-September I set off for the Serbo-Romanian border and river Danube, which, as per usual, is the dividing line between Balkan countries. With the temperature just a tad higher than perfect and almost zero traffic on the road, the nearly 700kms I had to cover were exactly what I needed in order to clear my mind and get going. After crossing through our northern neighbors and then into Serbia, I made a right turn near Pozarevac and after a few more miles through the Serbian countryside I was welcomed into Golubac by sunny skies and nice, sweeping bends right next to the shores of Danube, with my smile already back inside both my helmet and my soul.



The hotel I booked was also on the waterfront and had an excellent restaurant, a bar with fine Serbian rakijas, wines and dry-aged beef. So after a small walk on the promenade, I enjoyed a hearty dinner with an ice-cold Jelen beer (I am not a wine person), a nice steak and many other homemade delicacies.







The next day, after a cup of coffee on the balcony, I packed up and got dressed in order to ride to Golubac fortress.



Nothing better for the soul than a beautiful morning ride on a winding road with perfect weather conditions!



The ride was exquisite with the road carved into the rocky shores as I was approaching ever closer to the castle.



And when all of a sudden the fortress appears in front of my eyes, in all its glory, in this fairytale-like scenery, my experience approaches motorcycling nirvana!



The riding pleasure continues along the waterfront with nice views of the whole castle where the combination of natural rock and fortifications shows why this fortress stayed unassailable after more than 120 attempts against it.



As I’ve already conquered it in my very own way though, it’s time to leave this lovely Game of Thrones–like setting for my next destination!

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Moving westwards, I am approaching the Vojvodina region in sunny and cool conditions but just before I join the motorway for a short stint, a policeman stops me next to a long line of cars and trucks. I was eventually informed that the road was closed due to a cycling race for at least half an hour, and since it was impossible to persuade the policeman in order to let me backtrack a bit, I decided to have some rest and a sip of water instead…



Cyclists or motorcyclists, you are all completely crazy if you ask me! says the officer, my friend, you simply don’t know what you are missing I reply!

After a while my Er was flying like a butterfly through the vast plains of Fruska Gora between small villages and multicolored fields and, almost without realizing it, I entered the town of Sremski Karlovci.

My room was already waiting for me and I was very welcomed at the establishment by a wonderful Serbian family along with their lovely and loveable Dutch hound…



… and after the usual treats of coffee and rakija I eagerly set off in order to discover a place relatively small in size but extremely rich in history and surprisingly calm and peaceful for the soul.





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its main characteristic is the high accumulation of historical buildings of fine architecture over a small area, so my eyes and mind instantly fill with beautiful images, and a stroll through the historical center becomes a joy!







My super wide-angle lens proves its worth and practicality again and whenever possible :)



As the former seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the location where the early local independence was declared, there is everything here, from Cathedrals and Patriarchic Courts to numerous administration and university buildings...







 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Right next to the four lion fountain is also a restaurant with the same name and it is totally recommended as it offered me a lovely meal at a great price…



…and adorable company :)



Sremski Karlovci and the whole area are famous for their wines and there are many small wineries where one can taste their products. There are also excellent cured meats around here, really worthy of a try (I shared an excellent cold plate of ham and cheeses with the doggo). And since the rhythm of life is so slow and calm, my meal lasted a really long time and relaxed me even more.

Alas though, the next morning my personal armor was calling me to hit the road again…



…despite the dog’s sweet opposition to my departure!

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So on the road again towards Topola and a very special destination, the temple/mausoleum of St. George on Oplenac hill.

After a beautiful ride through the still vibrantly green Serbian countryside I arrived at the foothills of the hill, parked the bike at the local hotel and, after leaving my tank bag, helmet and leather jacket at the vestibule and drinking a cold refreshment at the foyer, I set off for the top with my camera bag on hand :cool:

After crossing through a huge park…



I finally arrived in front of the temple, looking even more imposing under the cloudy sky!





It was founded by King Peter I with the intent of turning an underground crypt into a family mausoleum for the the Serbian and Yugoslav royal house of Karađorđević, but he only managed to see the outside structure completed before his demise.

But what makes this church really stand out is the amazing interior that was commissioned by his son Alexander, decorated fully and only with mosaics. With 725 compositions, 1500 figures and more than 40 million tesserae used, it took more than nine years to complete but the result is unique and fascinating!







 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After this thrilling experience, there are three more small museums in the park to visit...





The guys at the hotel told me that I will be definitely impressed despite having seen many awesome interiors until now, and after telling them that they were right, I said goodbye and started my ride back towards the south.

One last riding hurrah before joining the motorway to Nis as I jumped the queue behind a temporary red light on the course of an extremely pleasant country road, with the conductor informing me that they’d just completed paving the rest of the route after three months of work! As you can imagine, as soon as the light turned green I was off to enjoy the delicious new tarmac glistening under the sun, before arriving at Nis where I was to spend the night.

Along with my evening stroll through the birthplace of Constantine the Great (originally bearing the Greek name of Naissos), a beer, and an unusually big Serbian hamburger (pljeskavica) came an appetite for night photography next to the Nisava river that gives a special character to this city…











 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The next day was, inevitably, time to return, a procedure that becomes much happier after a chance meeting with a group of Greek riders near the border! A happy gang returning from Romania and demonstrating that motorcycling is ageless!



This year especially I can assure you that independently of distance, duration, or destination a motorcycle trip can definitely offer mental invigoration and a more positive general outlook.

I wish you good health above all, many beautiful miles, and a will to follow your passion no matter what, as life can change in a heartbeat, turning what we thought to be given and obvious into something impossible and unachievable.

Keep riding and smiling 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, yes, yes!

So good to see you posting again!

And what a come back, another awesome trip :)

Please keep posting and keep us travelling with you.
Thank you my friend, I (we) still need a lot of time to heal to be honest.

This trip was so good for the soul though and I am so glad you liked it
too once more - thank you for your support.
 

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I absolutely love these trip reports from you. This is part of the world that I will never get to see so I'm thankful to at least see it through your camera lens. Thank you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good to see you back.

Amazing landscapes and images once more.

Thank you for sharing and congratulations on a wonderful journey.
Always a pleasure, you know what I've been through this year and I am so grateful to finally be able to travel with my motorcycle again...

Honestly, being a motorcyclist is one of the best things to ever happen in my life, nothing can clear my mind better than a ride so you can imagine how cathartic this trip was for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I absolutely love these trip reports from you. This is part of the world that I will never get to see so I'm thankful to at least see it through your camera lens. Thank you.
I am always glad to know that my friend :)

Since my motorcycle traveling "range" is around 3000 miles and my time allowance about a week, at some point it seemed like I was running out of meaningful destinations.

It seems though that the Balkans always have something new and exciting to offer!

Thank you and the forum for the chance to share my experiences, I really appreciate everything for nearly ten years now (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The church was one of the few pics with cloudy skies that you've ever posted and it made for a better photo :LOL:
You've been to a million places and the weather always seems to be sunny and perfect. How do you do it?!
There is no secret really, just good planning, flexibility, and of course luck!

I remember a few years ago during my nine countries in one week trip changing my whole route to counterclockwise as a nasty weather front decided to change its course too. If it wasn't for that decision, I would have to choose between seven days of riding in the rain or canceling the trip altogether.

Riding in the rain with the right gear is perfectly normal and acceptable but not for many days in a row and especially when you want to discover new places while riding.
 
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