Danube Day 7: Novi Sad to Belgrade
Total Distance 96 km
See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.
Trip overview can be found here.
Waking up in our room on the Northern end of town, we rode through the center of Novi Sad and across the river where we sat and enjoyed another coffee, are you noticing a theme here? With five cyclists someone always has a coffee craving and nobody can say no to a 50 cent cappuccino.
This time at least we had set an alarm and were out on the road by 8:30am. We enjoyed our coffees on the terrace overlooking the Danube at what must be one of Novi Sad’s nicest restaurants. We then saddled up and hit the road and it was busy.
Out of Novi Sad we had our biggest climb so far with the worst highway traffic we had experienced. By now we had rejoined the guidebook’s description of the EuroVelo 6 route. While EV claims that their routes are no more than a 6% grade and on roads traveled by less than 1,000 cars a day, the road out of Novi Sad clearly defied both of those claims.
With a lot of hard pedaling, some minor freaking out and one incidence of being run off the road by a semi, we finally made it to the pleasant country road. The road wound back down the hill we had climbed and we were finally able to enjoy the rolling hill vineyard scenery of this part of Serbia. The rest of the ride to Belgrade was mostly on this road and it was awesome.
I don’t recommend the road we took at all, and if you are using the Danube map book it will steer you on that road. I have edited our route map and GPX file to avoid the bad stretch of highway, disclaimer that we did not actually ride this route. We stayed on Highway 22.1 until the left turn to Cortanovci but I recommend veering off in Sremski Karlovci.
As a reward for our early rising we split the 100 km day up by cooking lunch on the grass outside a mini mart in Slankomen. The menu of the day was a cheesy bean and rice mess. I remember it as one of the best meals of the entire trip, but looking back at the picture it looks pretty gross.
As we started back on the road a couple Swiss German cyclists caught up with us and we stopped for another chat. It turns out they have been on the road for 4 years and only stop to work and save money. They have been all over the world and we had a great time riding and chatting. You can check out their blog (in German) here.
Our friends stopped around 20 km outside of the city and we continued into Belgrade. The ride was surprisingly ok after the scary highway in the morning. We were only on a high traffic road for about 10 km before we veered left to side streets and then a river-front promenade with gorgeous views of the city.
I say this all the time but I am a very jaded tourist and little excites me at this point. That said we were all smiles when we saw how beautiful Belgrade is from the waterfront. We made our way over the bridge and into the city, found a place to stay and after a buffet meal of oversized portions of Serbian food we all slept very very well.
This post wouldn’t be complete, however, without mention of the elevator in our hostel building. The staff let us lock our bikes up on the roof some 6 stories up. Hurray, an elevator, we thought! Then we saw this sign.
Well at least someone has a good sense of humor, right? What could possibly go wrong? Without the energy to truck everything up the stairs we took the luggage in the elevator and I am happy to say we made it out alive. That’s not to say it wasn’t an interesting ride. Take a look at Kyle’s face as the doors close on him.
The map and elevation profile of this day’s ride is here. You can also download a GPX file of the route here (right click-save as).
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