After a long bus ride, we arrived yesterday in Novi Sad. There wasn’t a lot of sun hours left, so we walked quickly to our hotel, checked in, and headed straight out into town. Luckily, we stayed at a (cheap!) hotel right outside the historic town centre.
In fact, by the time we got out, the sun was gone. But that’s OK – cities look great at night!
Novi Sad was formerly part of the Austro-hungarian Empire and you can tell by the architecture. It’s easily the nicest city I’ve been to so far in Serbia and it’s been named a European Capital of Culture for 2021.
There are a lot of Catholic churches in town, although some have been converted to Orthodox, it seems. Austria is Catholic, so there used to be a lot of Catholics living here. You can tell a lot of money goes into preserving this old town and it could easily be any old town in Germany!
Of course, the best part about being downtown in Serbia is easy access to popcorn!
There are always people popping fresh popcorn, also in Niš and Belgrade. Why have other countries not adopted this amazing innovation? All I know is, only a fool would pass up fresh popcorn. I’m no fool.
We continued on, popcorn in hand, to Dunavski Park, on the way to the river. There we found an unexpected final Christmas market for our journey.
We didn’t eat anything but it was interesting to check out what the Serbs sell at a Christmas market – amazing and fresh doughnuts!
We continued on to the river and decided to cross the bridge to the old Petrovaradin Fortress.
Not a very good photo but it was night and sometimes lights aren’t good. I didn’t know if I was dooming Jelena to a big climb but it turned out to be not too bad and actually kind of cool.
The views from the top were alright but there aren’t any nice buildings along the river. I don’t know the story behind that but I assume they got destroyed in the world wars or some wars before that or maybe they just never built the city to the river.
Sadly, the bridges in this photo were previously destroyed by NATO in 1999 and the furthest one only reopened in 2018!
We decided to take a break and enjoy the view from the fortress in one of several restaurants within.
I had a hot chocolate and Jelena an orange juice and coffee. It was a nice way to spend a bit of the evening, before making our way back to the hotel.
Along the way, we grabbed a pizza from a place we had spotted earlier. Weirdly (but not so weirdly for Serbia), every pizza came with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Serbs often squirt ketchup on their pizza for some crazy reason! Luckily, this “ketchup” seemed to be more like extra tomato dipping sauce and we did not use it.
It was so good that I instantly regretted not getting a bigger size. Now I know where to eat next time I’m in Novi Sad!
We also got some water with a high pH value, which, according to Miloš (our driver from Zagreb to Niš), is very heathy – but I’m pretty sure that’s pseudo-science…
The hotel even had some soap and shampoo with a truly great name, even if it was missing a t…
This morning, we had a decent but not great hotel breakfast with a pretty nice view.
And now we are on the bus to Budapest, our final destination before we have to get back to everyday life! We’re going to savour every last moment.