Danube: Osijek – Backa Palanka (Serbia)

Stayed at Rooms Lišnić in Osijek, run by people who couldn’t have been nicer. Sensing that all the staff looked similar, I asked Ivan if it is a family business. “Yes, you saw my brother last night, and my father gave you breakfast”. Right on cue another elderly gent walked in through the gate. “And here is my 90 year old grandfather who started the business”.

Onward, to Vukovar, where I presented myself at Hotel Lav for a TCR03 / CP3 stamp in my brevet card, but the checkpoint volunteers had left 22 months ago, so I had to self-validate with a photograph!

Croatian Highways agency seem to have bought a job lot of 8% gradient signs, so the flattish road high above the Danube was interspersed with steep dips into and out of every village along the way. Always 8%.

And finally, across the river and into Serbia. Ivan Lišnić seemed a bit scornful when I told him our next stop was Backa Palanka in Serbia. There has been peace for twenty years but enmities are not forgotten. Still, we found more delightful people here. Woman running the Dunav Čarda restaurant: “Here is menu but you can’t read it. So. You want meat or you want fish? Fish with bones or no bones? With bones is better because river fish. I tell you what people eat here. A lot!” We had the traditional thick fish stew/soup flavoured with tons of paprika, together with noodles and lots of nice bread. 4 large beers. Total price £8.

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