A Travellerspoint blog

Operation Plan B - Macedonia to Serbia

sunny 35 °C

Day 57 Thursday July 20 2017 / Plan B / Ohrid to Mladenovac / 562 KM / Border Crossing Macedonia to Serbia

  • A day to remember family Birthdays - SG's Mum now 87 years old & still going strong. And AG's youngest niece, Millie, also doing very well at the tender age of 19. We hope the cards have been posted on our behalf.
  • Plan B starts today. In anticipation of a house move that is not yet confirmed, we have revised our journey home and cut it short by nearly 10 days. It means no leisurely meandering around this part of Central Europe, known formerly as Yugoslavia: Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzogovnia.
  • A few destinations from Plan A have been retained. But daily distances are now significantly longer and there is little scheduled sightseeing.
  • It will mean much longer days in the car, shorter blogs and fewer photos.
  • It's a gorgeous morning as we leave Ohrid - sunny, 19C @ 9 a.m. Perfect.
  • We manage to escape the twists and turns of Ohrid without further blemishes to the truck's paintwork.
  • Much of the 175 km journey to Skopje is through wooded & undulating countryside. Very pleasant indeed. We were meant to be stopping over in Macedonia's capital but now with Plan B in operation, we just bypass - on a new impressive peripherique which is wonderfully traffic free. If only, if only, our M25 was as quiet.
  • As we approach Skopje, temperatures are back up to 30C and its only 11 a.m. It's going to be another long hot day after all.
  • The highway to the Republic of Serbia's border is dedicated to Mother Teresa. She was Macedonian.
  • So we are again crossing non EU borders. For us the process is very quick. No search of our vehicle and no checking of our truck documentation. Serbia is fortunately covered by our European insurance and so there are no extra charges to pay either.
  • We have hardly seen any British vehicles for weeks. It seems not many of us venture this far by road. But once in Serbia it is noticeable that cars using the highways in Central Europe originate from many different countries. This is the reason road tolls are charged. It is a lucrative source of income. Add to that the EU financial support for Serbia's road development ( signage confirms this ) and we understand how Serbia can afford the huge road projects that are under construction.
  • Lucky them.
  • By the way in both Macedonia & Serbia, you can pay in Euros. It's a pain to buy local currency if you are just travelling through. Change is given in local currency in Macedonia, whilst in Serbia you can opt for euros. However the rate of exchange is not the most favourable.
  • The motorways may be fast and relatively traffic free. But there is a dearth of good service stations of the kind we take for granted in UK. If travelling long distances on the Balkan road network it pays to bring healthy, nutritious food with you. Otherwise you may have to resort to a pastry or worse, a bag of crisps for lunch.
  • Another tip is to use toilet facilities at the petrol stations themselves. We have found others on the motorway to be quite vile.
  • Parked up for our last boil in the bag lunch, in temperatures of 35C , we see the first campervan of our journey to date. From the Czech Republic and towing a fair sized boat behind. Its driver is on the large size too.
  • Mladenovac, our destination for tonight is situated in Belgrade's rural hinterland to the south. There seemed little point in going back to the city we visited some 7 weeks ago. We leave the motorway and drive through beautiful, mellow countryside - rural Serbia.
  • Incidentally we are still seeing the odd stork nest, both in Macedonia & Serbia. But not in anything like the density of Turkey, Georgia & Armenia. If storks bring luck ....
  • There is nothing noteworthy about the town of Mladenovac. Our motel is set a few KMs away, well off the road in amongst fruit trees. It's a strange place really - geared to hosting large events such as weddings & conferences. Apart from a very large banquet hall, facilities are non existent. However our room is comfortable & cool. Unusually we must drive to supper. The only restaurant reception can recommend in town is a pizzeria. AG devours his pizza but SG picks at her very poor choice - a veggie pasta.
  • There really is no good reason to come to poor old Mladenovac.

Posted by sagbucks 07:48 Archived in Serbia

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