~ Slower pace on right ~
We are staying just outside Novi Sad, Serbia, in a smaller town called Backi Petrovac and there's an upside down mark over the c in the first word. It's a nice town, a lot of people get around on bicycles and, as usual, the farmers use horse and cart. A lot of the Romani people also use horse and cart as transport but the more affluent Romani have very nice automobiles. In Backi Petrovac there is a large Slovak community and, next Saturday, is the anniversary festival, celebrating the Slovak lifestyle, contributions, etc. Truthfully? I'm not sorry to miss the festival as it will be extremely crowded and very expensive. If you visit their website, you can see Serbians and Slovaks living and working side by side, no troubles.
Backi Petrovac has earned the designation "Safe Village" which means there is no drug problem, you don't see people drunk on the streets or begging...a huge benefit! The town has to re-apply every 3 or 4 years in order to keep this designation. There is a high school, next door to our inn, and about 80% of the students not only finish but they go on to college and finish college!
~ our room ~
Helene, the tour guide, is my room mate and we have been blessed with cooler weather. She tends to become cold very easily and I am more comfortable with cooler weather; we've been sleeping with only the window open and no air conditioner...thank you God!
~ stairs from our rooms downstairs ~
These are the stairs, going downstairs from our rooms. Just imagine carrying two heavy suitcases and a carry-bag; not an easy task!
I've begun taking, somewhat, detailed notes in my journal, as well as trying my hand at drawing with water color pencils. The results cannot be confused with an artist but, at least, what I'm drawing is recognizable, a huge plus when I'm home and trying to remember (smile).
~ Greek Orthodox ~
Yesterday, we went to Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia. It was a fine day and spent wandering around churches, city square, people watching, eating ice cream and, in general, having a lovely time. The primary religion is Greek Orthodox but in Backi Petrovac there is an inter-denominational church and two couples from Texas were here doing marriage counseling classes. The regular pastor speaks Serbian and English and translates.
~ shepherd playing Duda ~
This gent is playing a traditional Duda; a sheep's stomach with drone pipes and finger holes. The music was hauntingly beautiful, especially if one enjoys bagpipes...which I do but in smaller measures than the Duda. His skill is a lost art and speaks to a time and place we'll never see again...sad!
~ Petrovaradin Fortress ~
The Petrovaradin Fortress is on the Danube, guarding a corner of Novi Sad. It's imposing, even from a distance, and we didn't have the opportunity to visit. Just so much to see and do and we've only about two days total to "do it all"...not!
At the end of yesterday, we visited Sremski Karlovci which is famous for wine especially something called bermet. It was a desert wine but 18% alcohol and very tasty. We also visited the Four Lions Fountain and it's rumored if a girl, perhaps a boy as well, drinks from this fountain, they will marry within the year.
~ Four Lions Fountain ~
Today we went to the market, a combination farmers' market and flea market. A variety of things could be purchased...everything from food, tires, household goods, clothing, shoes, boots, pets and hand work.
~ farmer's wife ~
This dear soul was 73 and had been married 58 years; she said it was tradition for women to marry dressed in total black. Now she wears a kerchief, covering her hat, both of which are only removed in the privacy of her home.
~ traditional dress ~
Some women still wear the traditional dress...shoes, hosiery, aprons, skirts, vests, shirts and kerchiefs.
~ scythe and hoe handles ~
I wasn't sure if this man was selling the scythe and hoe handles or merely standing nearby. At any rate, it's time for me to go to bed, my room mate has crashed out on her bed, fully dressed, so that's my clue!
Blessings ~ markets ~ travel ~ clean, safe places to stay ~ beautiful cities and villages ~