Day 40 - Novi Sad

Europe » Serbia » North » Novi Sad
August 10th 2015
Published: August 11th 2015
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Another day, another country. Border control is on board this morning but we don't have to front then this time, however, we have been told that we need to carry our passports while on shore. As we walk off, the Hotel Manager reads my t shirt (the perfect man one - has a giggle) and then says he is happy that I didn't have my Croatia t shirt on today - might not be politically correct - or good for my safety either..........

Our tour this morning takes in the local town of Novi Sad. Our local guide is a cracker (Jelena). She is about 40, has a 2 and a half year old, is a single mother and we nearly also found out lots of other info as well. She certainly didn't conform to the local tour guide handbook. I think we only got a couple of "wonderful ladies and gentlemen" comments. She was also very outspoken about the government (and their lack of real work ethics), the way that women were treated and lots of other gems.

We wandered around the town, went into a local church, then had free time to ourselves for a while. Changed some money into their currency, did some shops then went back to the allocated meeting place (outside Maccas). All there but 2 are missing - work out who and as our guide was calling the ship to see what to do, they ambled across the square. She was not happy and I think gave them a bit of a tongue lashing. Suffice to say that those 2 went on a different afternoon tour bus. Back to the ship for lunch. Tried to call Jesscia on Viber but the internet was really flakey so the call kept dropping out - bit of a bugger...

Back on the bus for an afternoon in the country. We go Vojvodina where we see lots of grape production, stone fruits and apples and pears. Really pretty countryside with different patches of growth intermingled together. Stop at some old monastery and go in and have a look. Jelena tells us about the difference between priests and monks and how they live. A priest here must get married, whereas a monk doesn't marry. The churches here don't have seats, everyone stands. Some elderly are allowed to sort of sit on seats that are around the edges. The altar is actually behind doors. These doors and walls beside them have pictures of Jesus, The Archangel Gabriel, Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity in every church. There is also a picture of the local patron saint relevant to that area. All in all, there can be up to 37 of the cryptoplates in each church.

This one that we visit is really old and as we walk in there is a monk standing guard. No photos, but Jelena says to do it while he isn't looking - but no flashes. A few get caught, he yells in Serbian, she says not to get caught, then another one caught, and finally someone takes a flash shot. By this time, the monk is beside himself. We make a hasty exit and then there is a commotion outside. A couple with 2 young kids are trying to get in but the kids are only in the knickers. The other door guard is telling them in Serbian that they cannot go in. Jelena to the rescue, she tells them that because the kids are near naked they aren't allowed in.

Back to the bus and we head off for a walk around the old town of Sremski Karlovci. Here their main claim to fame is a seminary for training priests. The centre of town in closed to cars but motorbikes keep sliding through the square. Some of these bikes are old Russian single cylender 50cc bikes that splutter as they go. We walk back to the bus past a 360 year old plane tree then go to our next stop, a local winery and apiarist. Here we learn about bee keeping and how this family run business came about. We then go down into the cellar (nice and cool), and finally up to the top floor for a wine tasting. Over 100 odd people up there and we taste about 6 or 7 different wines, then some honey as well. Different..........

Back to the bus and back to the ship. Dinner again, freshen up and then as we walk in to the dining room, we are asked to join a group who have been in for the long haul (i.e. since Amsterdam). Interesting group, 2 sets of Kiwis, us and a single lady from Fremantle. Nice night, then we all adjourn up to the top deck. Another drink and all off to bed. Sounding familiar.............


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