Ride The Flavour (en)

Serbia : how nice it is to be back in Europe !

Jul. 27th | 0 comments

How nice it is to be back in Europe… and especially when Belgrade, in Serbia, is the first city that you see! “What’s the hell is the secret of this city?!”, I’m wondering! If you decide to take a walk in Belgrade, it won’t take long before you doubt about your own eyes… On June 30th, Samuel and I landed in the capital city of models. The women of Belgrade are splendid, it is as simple as that. There is no asterisk, no footnote, no hidden clause that would deteriorate this axiom: Belgrade is a women’s fashion show on a city scale.

Imagine now that you just arrive from India. The country where long sleeves and pants are mandatory whatever the temperature peaks. During 2 months and half, you have seen of women only their face, their hands and their feet (and even less since the two last ones are often covered with henna). During this period, not even a single comparison has come to your mind, you were in India and nowhere else. But imagine that after these 2 months and half, you all over sudden find yourselves surrounded by hundreds of Western models advertising for the latest Summer fashion. Well, let me say that you’ll find it pretty difficult to believe what you see! And it won’t take long before you even doubt about your own eyes…

The anecdote will undoubtedly not arouse the same interest among you, but how could I have concealed it? “How nice it is to be back in Europe!” The article would not deserve its title if it did not speak about the first of these nicenesses! 😉

First chronologically I mean, because it is with a rain of small pleasures that Europe welcomed us…

To find good meat (and other that chicken) was also a beautiful revolution!
(Sorry, I don’t have any illustration for “Belgrade, capital city of models”)


As a result, we stayed one week in Belgrade. I have spoken about women and meat (who just said “primitive”?), but going back to a clean living environment was by far the most intense relief. I believe that it is difficult to measure how much our Western life is comfortable if one has never lived out of this comfort. To walk in trash-free streets, to be able to drink water from the tap, to find paper and soap in the toilets… After India, all these small things appeared magic to us.

Belgrade is not an incredible city in itself, but it is a nice place to live. In the morning, for breakfast, pizzerias are more popular than bakeries. In the afternoon, coffee shops are taken by storm; friends and couples spend hours there to chat (I know it because I spent hours there to write!). And in the evening, the youth of Belgrade gathers on the banks of the Save river and parties on its barges. After having lived a few of these typical and relaxing days, our legs started itching. It was time to go back on track!

The Serbian countryside really looks like the French one, very green and alternating forests of lobed-leaved trees and cultivated fields. But in the end we only spent 3 days there: not even 150 km after we left Belgrade, we crossed the border and entered Bosnia-Herzegovina!


This evening, we found asylum in the garden of an Orthodox church. The pastor and his daughter offered a guided tour of the place and explained us that we could pitch the tent here, and there too, that the toilets were behind this door, that there was a tap under the weeping willow, and (the height of luxury) that we could use the electrical outlets under the covered patio… We were in the camper’s paradise!



The following day, all the family came to see us, we took a photo together and the pastor gave us his blessing. We couldn’t generalize on Serbian hospitality after only one meeting, but in any case our discovery of Bosnia-Herzegovina had started very well!

Thank you very much for your welcome! Hvala!


At the end of the afternoon, right before arriving at Tuzla, we stop at a bakery to refuel with glucids. As we are sitting on the stairs, eating our slices of tart, we see an old couple leaving the shop and going back in their car. They drive away… but come back a few minutes later and walk towards us. They are curious about what we are doing here with our bikes, I tell them about our adventure with the few German words that have not deserted my memory (here people speak more German than English), and suddenly the husband takes 30 KM (Konvertibilna Marka), more or less 15 €, out of his wallet and gives them to us: “for your travel, for your travel”. We try to refuse but he is resolute, and before they leave he tells us with eloquence: “remember, Bosnians are really open-handed!”

5 minutes later a car overtakes us, stops on the side of the road and the driver starts waving at us. Without even asking what we’re doing here, he invites us to sleep in his garden tonight. He lives a little too high and too far for our legs to actually consider going, but the intention touches us. Within 10 minutes, Bosnia showered us with generosity… So much that we were almost tempted to generalize on the 2nd day!

Bosnians are nice!


This beautiful day was also and unfortunately our last day traveling side by side… This time, the mountains were not involved: Samuel was able to cross the Bosnian hills and reach the Croatian coast. It was not a matter of physical strength, it was a matter of mind. Samuel could not fully enjoy the spirit that Leo and I originally gave to our world tour, a spirit that I did not want to deviate from too much. He made efforts, I did too, but it was not enough: we split and decided to meet again in Split.

From Tuzla, Samuel went directly towards Split via Livno, and I rode South to pass through Sarajevo. The road was beautiful, mainly rural and natural, but also dotted with several towns steeped in History…

From Tuzla to Split, via Sarajevo and Mostar.

300km in Bosnia-Herzegovina and 100km in Croatia.

This is what awaits you in the following newsletter!


To be continued…

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