Photos from Serbia

Trip Start Jul 2005
Trip End Jul 2005

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Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Thursday, August 25, 2005

We (Nick, myself, Richard and Alison) headed out to Serbia to visit friends and see the Exit festival. After traveling by train from Budapest with some very classy Brits also on their way to the festival ("Are we in Siberia yet?") we arrived at Novi Sad station. Met up with our friends and proceded to drink beer and eat meat for the next few days. Helpfully Lowenbrau used to have a factory nearby but had pulled out during the war years (I think) but the beer is still made, presumably exactly the same, except under a local name!

The festival is held in the castle in Novi Sad with various stages around the different parts of the castle including the moat, the main stage takes pride of place at the castles highest point. The music goes from indie through to dance via some local folk and Mongolian throat singers (it is rather impressive - in case you were wondering). Saw various bands including the northen monkey Ian Brown - who did a good mix of his stuff and The Stone Roses tunes, and The White Stripes. We managed to miss Garbage due to perhaps the worst thunder storm I have ever had the pleasure to stand on a high building for. Decided that being high up and next to trees, speaker stacks and balloons attached to metal wire perhaps wasn't the best way to spend the storm.

Also managed to fit in some time to hang out at the beach - well beach on the river Danube. It is amasing how many hours you can pass throwing a ball about in a river and the day was finished up with a delightful Burek all for the price of 50p!

After the festival was done and dusted we had a couple of day trips one of which was out to a town in the heart of the wine growing district. Definitely worth having a local with you when you go to these places. The buildings with grapes above their gates (that is metal grapes not an actual bunch) are the places that sell wine. You go in taste what they have on offer - a couple of reds, a white and a desert wine - pick your container - standard glass wine bottle, 2L coke bottle, small plastic barrel - and they fill you up and off you go. Felt very classy wondering through town swigging wine from a coke bottle in a bag. From here we went over the railway line and down to the Danube where there was a fishermans hut / bar with benches among the trees and exceptionally cheap beer. Here we spent the end of the afternoon chilling out before heading back to town.

Nick had gone to Serbia with Richard a year or two before and returned with stories of the meat there and how no one can do meat like the Serbians etc. etc. Their particular favourite was what they named Fatty Goodness and you know when you hear how good something is over and over again that when you actually have it it is a total anti-climax, well this wasn't one of those times. Wow that stuff is good, it is basically smoked pork belly where the meat and the fat just melt when you eat it - so good. It's proper name is slanina, if you ever get the chance tuck in. In order to enjoy this finest of local produce we headed to a restaurant where you can order a 'boat of meat'. A large carved wooden plate (kind of like a boat) arrives with various bits of meat and sausages and the odd potato and you basically just gorge. All fantastic and for extra excitment the candle set fire to a napkin half way through dinner so we had a mini bonfire on the table as well.

The Serbians are also perhaps the finest BBQers in existance. So we headed out to Lecki's grandparents old house for a BBQ and despite a massive downfall where water was coming of the roof was like a waterfall, the best efforts of the boys won. Chopping wood, stoking the fire and generally holding umbrellas over the fire to stop it all going out. The house was amasing two, the living quarters were all on one level with a big kitchen and there was a cellar for keeping your wine, a couple of smokers in the back garden (that is for meat not just random people having fags in the back garden), a hanging room to hang your smoked meat, corn store, hay barn.... I could go on. Myself and Alison wanted to move right in. But after slight footballing injuries and eating to much food again we headed back home.

Our last night involved us drinking in a pub in town - all quiet again now the festival masses had departed. Well quiet apart from us lot dancing around like fools, drunken fools. Hvala Serbia!
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