Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday, July 10

Today is Wednesday. Our cruise finished yesterday in Lom, Bulgaria. From there we made our way by bus to Bucharest in Romania. The tour schedule has kept me too busy to do much writing.

We had today in Bucharest. Tomorrow we will be bused north to Brasov in Transylvania for some more touring.

Let me recap the past couple of days. After visiting Pecs in Hungary, we sailed on to Serbia. In Serbia we visited two cities. Nova Sad first, and then on to Belgrade. Both cities were bombed by NATO during the conflict in the late 1990's.

Both Slovakia and Hungary were clearly not as developed as Austria. We were told that salaries in Slovakia are about one third of the salaries in Austria. Yet both Bratislava and Budapest were tourist-friendly and looked like they were on their way to a more prosperous future.

Our first impression of Nova Sad in Serbia was not so positive. Many building were in disrepair. There were a lot less BMWs and Audi's and a lot more Yugo's on the streets. This row of old buildings seemed to be crumbling.

As our guide lead us for a walk around the city, she told us that Nova Sad had a lot of historic old buildings like the ones in the picture above, that if restored could be quite special. But for now they remain in rough shape.

We visited a ruined fortress that will host the very large Exit music festival next week.

As our walk continued we reached quite a nice pedestrian area with cafes. Our guide was engaging and I think proud of her city and its potential for the future.

By the time we had finished our visit to Nova Sad, my impression of the city and its people was more positive. There is a lot of hardship here. We must remember how lucky and affluent we are in the west. But there was a lot of potential here and a lot of positives.

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