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Serbia and Montenegro

Novi Sad

Novi Sad is an industrial city with the prettiest little walking street smack in the downtown and an imposing fortress towering over the Danube. We found it to be one of our favorite cities to walk around in, as the downtown area is compact, pretty, clean, friendly, and full of back street shopping!!

In the "olden days," there were actually 2 towns on either side of the river. Petrovaradin was the more important part, as it was the fortress that guarded the trade route and marked for a time the southern border of the Austrian Empire.

Looking down on the sprawling village below, Petrovaradin fortress was worked and reworked over hundreds of years of invasions by the Turks and Austrians. It has quite an extensive series of underground tunnels, complete with firing slits for rifles and airholes to let the discharge from the black powder to dissipate. Aboveground, it seems much like Kalemegdan in Belgrade, although in much better repair.

At the river's edge of the fortress stands a huge clock tower, "famous" for the hour and minute hands being so close in size. Something about the expansion of metal in hot weather makes this significant, but I forget exactly why. Of far more interest to me was the group of young adults singing, dancing, and drinking at 10 in the morning at the base of the clock. Were they just getting started or just winding down...?

The streets of Novi Sad are filled with a riotous array of colorful buildings, including one with a suit of armor tucked away near the roof. The Catholic church in town had a black drape hanging down, due to the death of the Pope the previous week.

As it turned out, the day we were there was "International Day of the Gypsy" or something like that, so the Roma were out in force without worrying about being hassled. This street musician was playing at the corner of the walking street to a rapt audience.

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