Backpacking 130 Miles Through Serbia
After crossing all the other countries of the former Yugoslavia, we could not ignore Serbia, even though it created a detour on our route. Now that we were in Bulgaria, we had to head northwest while Istanbul, our destination, was southeast. But hey, as you know, we like to take our time, otherwise we would not have decided to cross Europe on foot.
Serbia in Autumn
Our crossing of Serbia lasted almost two weeks as we crossed the eastern part of the country, the region bordering Bulgaria. When visiting any country in the Northern Hemisphere in November, we should always expect a special show. Summer is well and truly over. In general winter and its white coat are not there yet. This mid-season is not necessarily the happiest. But when you take such a long trip, you can’t be everywhere in the best season!
A Canyon in Serbia?
After several days of walking, mainly on dirt roads or small asphalt roads, we discovered the Rosomac canyon in Slavinja. Behind the village, after a few kilometers suddenly opens a small canyon composed of rocky strata where water flows in its heart.
Holidays by the Lake
Farther on, Lake Zavojsko welcomed us on its banks for one night. In summer, the place must be teeming with life, but there… nobody! Beautiful, uninhabited houses and these little cabins on the water that made us want to spend the night there, but we had made up our minds to camp.
The Vodopad Bigar
At the edge of the road, between Pirot and Knjazevac, is the Vodopad Bigar. Behind this funny name hides a 35-meter high succession of waterfalls and ponds in a riverbed. Again, the display must be very different in spring, but the whole area covered with orange leaves also had its charm.
The grandmother’s tooth is the name of this vertically shaped feature, similar to the shape of a tooth. It culminates at 1780 meters and marked our first steps on the Stara Planina mountain range. We will follow this to Bulgaria, almost to the Black Sea.
At the end of the day, arriving at the top, an extraordinary surprise awaited us. A sea of clouds on the slopes of the mountain, slowly engulfing the surrounding peaks until they made them look like islands in the middle of the ocean.
In the Right Place at the Right Time
Before leaving the country, we were fortunate enough to meet Vladimir and his parents in one of those villages. We were looking for water and they were here to spend a few days in their family home. They offered us water but also to have lunch with them. They came here to kill the pig, as they do once a year, so their smoking room was full of meat, which we all enjoyed sharing.
This last meeting gave us some relief because we were about to leave Serbia, saying that the word we heard the most there was “Syria?” Here too people seem to be on edge on the subject of migrants. Again, we have not encountered any, and from the few exchanges we have had on the subject, it seems that the media is doing a lot of harm to this subject.
Here we are again in Bulgaria to continue our crossing of the Stara Planina. In two months we will be in Istanbul, after more than two years on the trail, ready to start new adventures of a new kind.
Talk to you soon!
Marie & Nil
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