On Top(ola) of The World

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Oplenac

Flag of Serbia  ,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Poor Polly woke with a bad headache.  The annoying Greeks next door were making lots of noise (singing "Livin' On A Prayer",  UUUGGHHHHHHH).  I was pleased to get out of the hostel.  We had the pleasure of another lovely waiter for breakfast, there have been so many nice people in Serbia.  This guy even offered to help load the bikes up.  I then pulled off a cracker to get us out of Belgrade using only map images I had memorised from the night before.  It took about an hour but we did not get lost once.  The traffic was surprisingly not too nuts but it was pumping out a huge amount of black fumes.  As we climbed out of the city we had a great view back of the concrete mass we were leaving behind.  It was really nice passing the packed bus stands with people coming and going in their daily business.  Avala was high and this morning proved to be mostly up hill.  After days of flat it was actually very nice and good to once again have a view.  We felt much safer on these roads compared with Romania.  The scenery was great, rolling hills either side, so distant from the despair of Romania only days before.  We were forced into a bus shelter for lunch as the rain came in.  We were joined by several amused locals as we scoffed our tuna sandwiches.  Scrappy dogs from the other side of the road looked on longingly.  Waterproofed up we pushed on and did the final 27 miles without a break ( it is amazing how our fitness has increased over the last few weeks).  The final hill into Topola however we could have done without.  It took us all the way up to a hotel where a lovely lady (spoke absolutely no English) checked us in and then served us very punchy Turkish coffee.  The ride back into town for dinner came up negative so we risked the hotel restaurant.  It proved to be a gem.  The absence of any other guests was not a problem (even the wasp climbing up Polly's leg did not put us off).  The lovely lady who was doubling as receptionist and waitress ( and possibly chef and cleaner) left us with the menu only to return to basically tell us we were having mixed grill!  It was a cracking meal.  Аn old couple who had joined us in the restaurant also enjoyed their meal of hot rice pudding.  We returned to the retro room, complete with brown dial telephone very pleased with another day of good cycling.
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