Woke up way too early this mornign to the alarm going off at 720. But no rest for the weary, had to get up and shower and head to the bus station for our 915 bus to Novi Sad. Got there on time, after bananas and a croissant for breakfast, and easily (almost too easily...) got on the right bus in teh right seats after no trouble! makes me wonder how we're going to pay for that later...
Then, we arrived 15 mins earlier than we thougth we would! how wonderful! Then we easily found Jelena, my friend from Africa, and we were off for a nice tour of Novi Sad! Weather today was a bit worse, some scattered pecks of rain, windy, and a cool 2 degrees or so. first we stopped for a coffee (tea for me! - tasted like doublemint gum, but quite good).
Headed across town, on foot, to see the citadel, which is similar to Belgrade's (on top of a hill, overlooking the river and town) but not quite the same. nice old buildings, a great view, good company. Tehn we headed back down again, back across the bridge (very windy) to a cafe owned by her friend from Cuba. It had a Cuban theme, lively music, great atmosphere. Some coffee, tea, and beer later, we were joined by another of her friends. After saying goodbye to the cafe we headed out for some lunch. I use 'lunch'loosely here because this was around 3-4pm and was the only meal we'd eat today. But we did it justice. They took us to a restaurant serving local food, and we had a mixed grill for four. more like a mixed grill for fifty. haha what a huge plate of food. pork, sausages, more sausages, bacon wrapped sausages, bacon wrapped chicken, beef? skewers, all on roasted potatoes, with four kinds of salads (like potato salad but not exactly), white bread, corn bread, anotehr tomato/cheese/pepper salad.... phew what a feed. so good. then we had to roll out of there.
Then another stroll through town and eventually back to the bus station to say goodbye. It was so nice to see Jelena again, it was especially nice to have someone to go to the wicket at the bus station and figure out our tickets for us!! haha so easy, we had bought return tickets in Belgrade, but you need to take the ticket to teh window in the station you are returning from and they issue you a seat on a particular bus. We NEVER would have figured that out... well not never, but having a translator is a great help! Hopefully next time she gets to Toronto, she'll make a side trip to Newfoundland (hint hint!)
an uneventful bus ride back to Belgrade, and a quick, chilly walk back to the hostel. Stopped at the grocery store to load up on some goodies for the train ride tomorrow. We are less than optimistic about it, since both Jelena and friends were... not quite appauled, but definately not impressed, we had decided to do the train ride. apparantly its not exactly comfortable, fast or fun. We shall see tomorrow! 1010am Belgrade to Bar, Montenegro.
See you on the coast, here's to warmer weather, and long walks on the beach!
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