Danube Day 6: Subotica to Novi Sad
Total Distance 100 km
See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.
Trip overview can be found here.
Wow, Northern Serbia looks a lot like Southern Hungary…or Kansas for that matter. When you choose to tour somewhere unforgivingly flat you get lots of easy mileage but you also pay when it comes to scenery.
We woke up in our spare bedroom, I mean, hostel room in Subotica pretty late. We had all slept for nearly 11 hours when we started making movements at 9am. There’s nothing like touring to make you hibernate. We made breakfast in the tiny kitchen that creepily included a toilet and bidet, hmm. We lagged as usual enjoying ourselves over coffee and by the time we got on the road it was 12:30, yikes. We had a goal of 100 km for the day.
While we have Garmin City Navigator for Europe this somewhat unsurprisingly doesn’t include Serbia. The evening before our tracks showed us going into the yellow GPS abyss as soon as we crossed the border. Luckily Kyle found a site with downloadable bike maps of most every country in Europe.
We loaded up the Serbia one and used it to navigate out of Subotica and on our way down Highway 22-1 to Novi Sad. The VeloMap was far from comprehensive and I have found that it is pretty useless when searching for addresses but it is a great resource when nothing else is available and when used with a map provides all the navigating power you need.
We took the 22-1 all the way to Novi Sad. The road had pretty heavy traffic and was fairly boring the entire way. We tried to stay together and cranked our way as fast as we could, stopping only for some road-side snacking.
It was interesting to see the stark contrast of development between Serbia and Hungary. The houses in the small villages we passed were much more run down and general poverty was far more evident, making the countryside look a lot more like Bali than Budapest. While not surprising given recent history, it was incredible to see, especially having biked here from much more developed areas only a few hundred kilometers away.
We stopped for a cappuccino (of the instant coffee variety) at a bar in Mali Idos. When we entered we were confronted by the usual scene in small town Eastern Europe: a think curtain of cigarette smoke, a friendly middle aged woman behind the counter and a room full of men drinking the day away. They were all happy to see us and insta-friends were made. We had to enjoy our coffees on the front patio to save our lungs, and after showing our new friends the map we had and where we planned to go we set on our way.
We spent the night in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, in a somewhat creepy but mostly endearing hotel on the outskirts of town. Apparently Albert Einstein and his then-fiancé used to dine in the restaurant way back when. Here we are feeling bonked as usual.
All was well and as Kyle and I sat in bed working on our computers we heard some rustling. I was sure it was a mouse but then looked to the corner of the room to notice that our room wasn’t actually completely closed. When they made the hotel they put a wall right where the window was. So rather than moving the wall they just made it so both rooms had access to the window via a large opening. We could see the light from the room next to us and hear everything our neighbor was doing. It was a bit unsettling but in the end harmless and kind of funny.
Here is a link to the GPX file. (right click – Save as)
View Danube Day 6: Subotica to Novi Sad in a larger map