A SHORT VISIT TO NOVI SAD, SERBIA

in Pinmapple4 months ago (edited)


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October 12th to October 15th I visited Novi Sad, Serbia. The main reason was to transport 2 works of art for a upcoming exhibition, but also to visit dear friends there, fellow artists with whom I had exhibited before. This was not my first time there, but the last time was already a few years back, when one of my large works was shown in Belgrade in 2018.
Last time I travelled there was by train from Vienna, through Hungary. I remember once past Budapest, what was supposed to be a "Express", it slowed down and stopped at every milk can along the way, particularly once after crossing the border to Serbia. Since then, this line is not open anymore, track works have been going on for years now. There is no more direct rail connection to Belgrade (and Novi Sad is on the way). One could go the long way around and find a train to Zagreb, and from there to Belgrade and then Novi Sad. But no schedule would even suggest this.

20231012_140743.jpgthis picture was taken at the border between Hungary and Serbia
So this time, it was a trip by bus. Since I tried booking on short notice, and all that Google would primarily give me was Flixbus, which has scheduled trips several times a day, but all were booked out except a night connection to Novi Sad that would arrive at 1 AM! So what would I do there at 1 AM when I booked a hotel for that night? There are no check-in times at such ungodly hour!
But I don't give up that easy - after sifting through what can be found on the internet, I eventually found Omio, which showed me that indeed that there are other bus routes available, and the one that I eventually booked was with a Serbian company, Lukic Tours. Not only was the ticket much cheaper than with Flixbus, but the time was ideal: I departed from Vienna at 9 AM and scheduled arrival time at 5 PM (this was, in spite of delays at the border, quite on time). The return trip to Vienna from Novi Sad was again from 9 AM and took about 8 hours. Actually, this bus service is for Serbians to visit Vienna primarily, and indeed, the return trip to Vienna was filled to the last seat!
Now lets talk about ticket prices: when I travelled by rail 5 years ago, the return ticket cost well over € 90,-. Searching for a bus this time, a one way ticket on Flixbus was billed at € 44,-, so the return ticket would cost nearly the same as the train. Booking with Lukic (via Omio) the return ticket cost was € 51,41, so a win-win situation: most convenient travel time, direct and cheapest by far.

Lets backtrack - here I entered the Lukic Tour bus in Vienna, at the International Bus Station on Südtirolerplatz (next to the Main Railway Station) and found myself a comfortable seat:
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while I was one of the first to board, the bus had still many seats open when we departed.
Other than at the Serbian border, we stopped a couple of time at rest stations - mostly as courtesy for the smokers to have a smoke break.


Interesting one:

somewhere in Hungary, in the distance at one of the stops, I seen a truck parked under trees in the shade (it was a rather warm day);

I couldn't at first make out what he carried, but I seen movement, so I got out and went closer, taking these pictures of a load of turkeys!

Did they know thanksgiving was coming up?

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... and was I the only one that noticed?
... maybe I won't eat turkey for a while.

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About Accomodation
the place is called Centar Novi Sad Studio No.4


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these photos show the room I was in


The significance of this place is that I had stayed there on my previous visits. Every room at that place is decorated with art by my Serbian artist friend Slavko Krunic.
The cost for 3 Nights stay: € 115,- which I paid in cash, right away. The booking was done with Booking.com (I got an account with that company since I used their services before). Actually, I was lucky to get the last free room: my contact and artist friend Snezana Petrovic had called them on my behalf before, and they said only one room is still available, and I should move fast to get it.

THIS IS NOVI SAD
My hotel is right in the center of Novi Sad, and the area is a pedestrian zone

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There are numerous passages that interconnect, and my hotel is nestled right in one of them, so in order to find my way back, I took this photo of the one entrance, and then below, the other one on the other end that leads to the marketplace ▼

IMG_0951.JPGso now I made sure I don't get lost! Right inside that passage, and at the ground level of my hotel, is a great little restaurant, my first meal was right there, a delicious chicken salad. I ate there with Snezana, who had picked me up from the bus (it stops at the railway station). We were later joined by her husband Alan and our mutual friend Slavko. Against my protest, Snezana insisted on paying for my meal and desert. Done eating, and just before saying good night, Alan took this picture ▼
WhatsApp Image 2023-10-25 at 23.20.24.jpeg but just for the record, I liked the chicken salad so much, I had it again on my last night before leaving. That is me, once I like something as well as the very reasonable price, which with the beer was less than € 10,- (roughly converted from Dinar)
20231014_174950.jpgThe reason for my trip was that I brought two pieces of art with me for a scheduled exhibition in November. I am participating in this invitational exhibition in honor of Serbian artist Milena Pavlovic Barilli with one painting and one drawing for the 19th Biennale at the Gallery of Milena Pavlovic Barilli. Official opening is on November 5th, the birthday of the artist.


Back to photos of the center of Novi Sad
I surprised myself how many pictures I took within what amounted to 2 days of free time

I started taking photos with my old Canon TX1 pocket camera, but ran out of batteries very quickly, and though I thought that I had everything I needed with me, a charger for the camera was not one of the items I brought. Lucky I brought my cellphone charger, so most of the images taken were with my phone.

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20231013_112115.jpgThis ▲ is a very interesting development: since last time I was there, a mural was painted on this building, creating a rather impressive trompe l'oeil effect.


DUNAVSKI PARK
Walking around was a bit tiring on my old bones, so I decided to take a break. Right at the edge of the downtown pedestrian zone is the entrance to the Dunavski Park (Danube Park). I sort of walked from one area to the other sitting down frequently on one of the benches.
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20231013_134001.jpgThe young lady behind me played some nice soothing tunes on her guitar and sang with a soft melodic voice. I sat there for a while, and she smiled at me after she noticed I took a photo.


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Statue of Serbian poet & painter Djura Jaksic
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I tanked up on fresh air and rest in this park, so now I think I return again to downtown


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I tried to get a selfie with him, but my arms were too short! Maybe one of these days I should invest in a selfie stick.


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◄ The most unusual tree in this park - it reminds me of the Greek statue 'Lady of Ephestus'. Seems to be popular with the kids!

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20231014_155200.jpgOn my way back to the hotel, turning around to see where I came from. The Danube Park.


..... more photos, I am not done yet!


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.... and then there was this wedding I stumbled upon on my second day
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Actually, what made me investigate was the loud music of the band, so I turned into that street to see what it was all about!

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some more pictures while walking around
most interesting were the many passages that opened up some quaint views, stores and bars tucked away inside.

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this pooch patiently waiting for the owner to return from shopping ►

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the reflection in this shop window creates some interesting illusion20231014_155103.jpg

.... and more from the church where the wedding took place

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◄ now turning the corner to head back ▼20231014_154502.jpg


.... not done yet - more street scenes
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Note: the photos in the above section are from my first day, taken with my Canon SX1 camera. After this, the battery died, and the spare battery was toast as well, so I continued taking pictures with my cell phone after that.

My last day on Saturday
I already posted most of those, but in the evening we all met at our friend Slavko's place
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above ▲ one of the rare occasions Alan is in the picture (and the mug of yours truly)

◄ a candid camera shot of Slavko


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This was a great party, I tried Rakija that Slavko offered (it was very strong) but the time became rather late, it didn't look it was going to end any time soon, so by around 11 PM I asked Alan to walk me home (it was not far, but I was afraid to get lost by myself). Snezana was supposed to pick me up next morning to drive me to the railway station bus parking to catch my bus at 9 AM. She told me then that the party went on till well past 1 AM. Long story short, I caught my bus on time for the return trip to Vienna.

Prior to this on Friday evening, Snezana, Alan and I went to the Matica Srpska Museum to check out the opening of Gustav Klimt and Paja Jovanovic Exhibition
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the crowds were massive, long speeches by dignitaries, and music performances

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I was not up to wrangling my way through the crowds, so we went to a nearby burger place for something to eat, then Snezana and Alan went back to check out the exhibition, while I just stayed behind and enjoyed my coffee after the food, which was the most unusual and very tasty burger I had ever eaten (sorry, no photo of it). I had to be careful not to drop any of the sauce on me. Like afterwards when I ordered my coffee, the waitress said she could have given me a knife and fork, lol

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A few stragglers from those days
there are some pics I didn't post in the above sections

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it says 'Free WIFI' on that sign, but it didn't work there, nor at the city hall where I tried it later

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Vladicanski Dvor - the Orthodox Bishops Palace

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that was when I clued in a wedding was taking place at the church



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I hope you got to drink some rakija!

was a short visit, but yes - was prime stuff!

Hiya, @livinguktaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in Travel Digest #2040.

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