What was different about Slovenia? It was difficult to say for
the two travellers. The local people take care of their nice little
houses just the way Germans and Austrians do. Everyone here was
polite, friendly and the people obviously enjoyed giving good advice
to the Germans. Jutta and Gerhard felt under pressure somehow. They
neither had much time nor did they have the chance to get to know
the countries the way they would like to. The plan said to ride
90 kilometres a day. They were at the Slovenian-Croatian border
already – about to enter another new country. And the further
the two cyclists got south the more attention they attracted.
slowly enough they also noticed the damages the war had left on
the Balkans. But most cities were being built up again; you see
lots of new houses, even though the impacts of missiles in some
of the walls were still visible. Some of the houses had suffered
impacts in every single wall; the strikes must have hit the buildings
out of every direction. Gerhard somehow felt reminded of the Second
World War. He was born in 1928. Today Croatians and Serbs insist
on getting along with each other. At least that is what Gerhard
and Jutta heard when they asked. “We do not have any problems”,
Not only therefore Gerhard and Jutta were curious about Serbia.
The people on the street were obviously excited about the two strangers
with bikes. Especially little children seemed to be astonished at
the bikes and their owners.
reached Belgrade, they were surprised by the town’s vitality
that had returned after long years of war. People hope for their
country to become part of the European Union one day.
The Germans got slowly used to their bikes and the facts that the
weight wouldn’t allow high speeds. And Jutta caught up with
Gerhard concerning fitness and staying power.
Donau (Danube river), Gerhard and his wife approached the borders
of Bulgaria. Crime rate is said to be very high in this country,
friends had warned them not to cross Bulgaria by bike. Gerhard and
Jutta were nervous. But just the first contact with locals made
their prejudices disappear. They spent their first night in a Bavarian
style hotel named “Werner”. The hotel owner, a woman,
had been married to a German and lived in Germany for a couple of
has been going through a big change for almost ten years now. But
democracy has not reached every corner yet. Some Bulgarians even
claim, young people don’t want to work. Most of them are just
yearning for money and wealth. Corruption is rampant. But new motorways
like the E 79, which was built in Bulgaria and Turkey with the financial
support of the European Union, bring globalisation and trade to
Bulgaria as well.
you will find pictures at the end of each report