We are going in the direction of Ilok in Croatia and arrive in the Serbian town Bac where we meet Zoran. He is a passionate biker, friend of Predrag and Ivanka and has invited us to spend the night at his families place. We experience awesome hospitality, drink Rakja, eat delicious food prepared by Zorans wife Milana, and have a night walk to the ruins of the old towns castle. On the following day Zoran and Ivanka accompany us to Backa Palanka by bike where we pitch our tent at a lake directly beside the Danube.
The next day: It is very hot and after a few kilometers we pass the border to Croatia – a country where I have never been before. Ilok is the name of the most eastern city of Croatia. Fresh homegrown fruit is served to us after our arrival in a small pension with a great view over a part of the town.
The region is known for its good wine. So, what is the first thing we are going to do!? Correct – wine tasting! Marija is originally from Ilok and guides us through the nice cool and very old wine cellar “Old Cellar” right underneath castle Odescalchi. There are huge wooden barrels and very old wines. Some of the bottles are totally covered in dust but still enjoyable of course. While enjoying a glas of “Ilok Traminac” we are philosophizing with Marija a bit about traveling and life.
After our visit of the impressive city museum we take a walk with Goran who works at the tourism office. Imposing historic buildings, the old city wall and church of the todays rather small town shows that Ilok has history. The old cellar where we had the wine tasting, belongs to the restaurant Stari Podrum. While sitting in the shade we are enjoying cool drinks and fresh pikeperch at the end of this interesting day. During a long bike tour like ours along the Danube it is recommendable to take some time for history and cuisine as well.
Shortly before leaving we get to know 19-year-old bike traveler Sarah. We plan to cycle together and to leave EuroVelo 6 the next day as we want to go through national park Fruška Gora. This means many hills, hot temperature and more than 1000 vertical meters. I am wondering how this is going to be….