Serbia Bike Touring – ep. 4: Along the Danube

Wow, talk about a good night’s sleep! We’re in Donji Milanovac, right on the banks of the Danube, in Serbia.

Yesterday we rode our bikes from Bor over the mountains, towards the Danube. We biked on local roads through some really beautiful scenery, the best we’ve seen so far in Serbia. Stol peak was hanging above us like the stern of an anciend ship and autumn was painting the trees with the hand of a genuine artist.

Donji Milanovac is a nice town. We had a blast with our waitress the last evening. She was Vlach and we talked and laughed a lot. Only later we realised that we should’ve film her a bit, the knuckleheads that we are! We slept at Hostel Trajan, a clean, cheap and cozy hostel, very popular with bicycle tourists. In summer, cyclists are abundant, being on Eurovelo 6 and all. Now, it was empty, except for me and Adelina and an elderly German couple whose e-bikes broke down. While waiting for the parts, I advised them to visit Romania (easily accesible by bus from here) and especially Băile Herculane resort, a gem of Habsburg architecture in a wonderful natural landscape.

Stuffing our panniers full, we leave behind the small town and go on our way. The plan for the day is pretty straightforward. We’re going along the Danube for as long as we can, towards the Golubac fortress. The waters of the Danube are pretty grey, compared to the calmness of last evening. The wind is blowing hard and there are small waves forming on the surface. We enjoy seeing the homeland after a few days, especially seeing places we’ve never been before. The mountains of Almăj dominate the Romanian shore, with Trescovăț hill immediately catching the eye.

We make good time and soon have our bit of fun bufooning in road tunnels. There are very few cars or trucks on the road and we just can’t stop making fools of ourselves. After all, these are the first tunnels we bike through ever! Nevertheless, road tunnels are a serious issue, especialy for bicycle tourists. Make sure you are visible to all road traffic and keep safe at all time. Lepenski Vir is next on our checklist.

A Mesolithic archaeological site on the shores of the Danube, in Serbia, Lepenski Vir is one of the first examples of prehistoric culture in Europe and possibly the first city in Europe. The site consists of a central settlement and some villages, all built on the same pattern. Prehistoric sculptures were also found at Lepenski Vir, displaying some very interesting humanoid figures.

I very much enjoyed visiting the site. I also enjoyed the grilled cheese we had after! With strength regained, we bike further along the great river, getting closer and closer to Golubac fortress. On our way, in a place called the Golubac Klisura (basicly a narrow gorge on the river), there was a huge quarry. I mean, it litterally dug through a whole mountain, all the way from the top to bottom. WHY? HOW? How could a being born on this planet, fed by this planet, assume it is his own property and destroy it like this? I get so angry and curse all ofer. I feel like I could bomb this place and never look back. Humans will have to learn to love and respect nature, once and for all.

Up ahead we spot the Golubac fortress, perched on a mountain top overlooking the valley. It somehow makes me think of Tolkien’s Minas Tirith. The road passes straight through the mountain below it and we get to the other side, where the view of the fortress is impressive. Unfortunately, the fortress itself is still under reconstruction and public acces is prohibited. Anyway, we enjoyed a few moments of relaxation in the park and hope to return one day to visit the old fortress.

Nearby is the town of Golubac. It looked deserted at the time, with only a bunch of businesses open and few people in the street. There was a nice bike pathway right on the shore and we caught a great view of the gorge at sundown, with the fortress in the middle. It was getting late and we had to find a place to place our tent, so we rushed ahead. Villas, there were a lot of private villas everywhere! It was like a Serbian Hollywood or something, a place for rich people to spend their summer vacation. Some of the yards were truly beautiful and the urge to trespass was considerable. We pedalled further, nevertheless, like civilised monkeys that we are.

Our camping spot was in a corn field, close to the shore. At first, I felt like we were too exposed there to anyone who would use the road through the field. That feeling quickly disappeared. We were all alone in the middle of nature and that is all we desired. Only the nuts falling from the tree above bothered us from time to time.

Tomorrow, we are heading to the ruins of Viminacium, the capital of Roman Moesia.

The route we took is here. Watch below our video for the day:

Feel free to drop us a line if you like this

Also, make sure you check out the Adventures page for inspiration on outdoor activities in Romania.


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