Our route into Serbia’s capital city was going to be relatively short, but again, allowing for rough tracks and slow progress, we thought it best not to go too far.
As it turned out our way was along asphalt roads, which were busier and busier as we got closer to Beograd. For our lunch stop we chose to make a detour along a minor road for about 1km towards a signed campsite beside the Dunav; fortunately the caretaker was quite happy for us to have a picnic in the shade of the tree… the days are getting quite hot now… approx 30°C and fairly humid.
The campsite was slightly above the river and we could see our destination in the distance.
Pressing on we passed through the old part of what has now become a suburb of Beograd, Zemun, on cobbled streets which were so rough we had to walk on the sloping downhill bits… we passed a cycle repair shop and thinking we might be able to buy some chain lubricant we stopped outside.
The owner, Katić Slobodan, came out and asked in good english if he could help. Unfortunately, he had no chain lube to sell, but he was very keen to give us advice on our route through the Iron Gates. It turned out he led occasional bike tours himself ( Bickilane ) and also went on long distance cycle journeys with his wife and, later on, with his children.
We spent about half an hour there after he got a map out and told us all sorts of useful information… where to stay, things to see… he also told us why it was better to travel on the Serbian side…. it has better views, is less busy, and although going through tunnels and one or two steep climbs is, importantly, on the shady side of the gorge. Very important now that the days are getting quite warm.
After Zemun, our way into Beograd was along a traffic free cycle path and promenade, clearly very popular with the locals. So we stopped at one of the numerous cafes and had an ice cool beer and home made lemonade.
Refreshed, we then continued on to the city…
Crossing a busy bridge we were pleased to come across a special lift for cyclists to take us down to the riverside path that was to take us to our Airbnb accommodation near the city centre.
Arriving in late afternoon we were able to begin exploring the older part of the city at the start of a 3 night, 2 full stay day.
We saw a church with the most amazing glittery gold decoration on the steeple catching the evening sun, and also came across one of the pedestrianised streets with an attractive collection of umbrellas strung up over the street to provide shade from the sun – not much good when it’s raining we fear… but for now we have sun!
A search on trip advisor came up trumps again with a vegetarian restaurant.
Comments said it was difficult to find; this was true. As well as the location being tucked away, the entrance was inside an apartment block with a small sticker on the door indicating it was a restaurant.
We were standing outside looking at the restaurant trying to work out how to get in, when the waiter opened a door length widow and invited us in.
Surduk to Beograd: 32 miles
Distance travelled so far: 2019 miles… our second thousand miles!