International Female Riding Day in Serbia

The beginning of May. It’s a time of big celebrations like First of May, Victory Day and Orthodox Easter. Against the backdrop of such popular holidays, another date got lost. 7th of May the International Female Riding Day. The movement is much more popular in the West, for example in Canada and New Zealand. But Serbian motorcycle ladies decided to participate too. So much so, that the purpose of the movement is not only jolly biker party, but also draw attention to the fact that driving a motorcycle can be someone’s sister, mother, and even grandmother. We were preparing during the month. Try to meet with a girl for a coffee, yes, it’s difficult. But several girls meeting. Almost impossible. But we did it! The route was laid out, the t-shirts ordered, free days on work booked. Only the weather forecast was not good enough.

May was rainy. The forecast, which is already at the beginning of the week promised clear and +25, changed every day. Crossed fingers. Yes! Saturday is sunny, no rain. The meeting point is at the Gasprom petrol station after the Pancevacki bridge at 8.00 a.m.

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Photo memory. 10 women and a girl.

  • Marina with Yamaha TDM 850.
  • Silvana with Bandit 650.
  • Nela with Yamaha YBR 125 instead of her Honda CB450S which was not fixed on time.
  • Tamara with Yamaha r6.
  • Maraja with Honda Hornet DPM600.
  • Adela with one more Hornet 600.
  • Branka Big Mama and her daughter with BMW R 1100 RS.
  • Nevena-Nancy with Yamaha TDM 850.
  • Rada with Honda CB 1000.
  • And me with Kawasaki ZZR 600.

Let’s go. No time for talks. We have to be on the ferry across the Danube at 10 a.m. It’s naive to expect some organized ride. Different temperament, different motorcycles. Everybody is happy of the sun and ride. So, start turned into a mess on the road. Take over slow cars, lost a bag and get lost trying to find it out. Not bad. However, we came to the ferry almost without incidents. When we were passing through one of the villages, a dog appeared on the road and Tamara hit it. Fortunately, Tamara held motorcycle and a dog, shouted a couple of times, rushed back into its yard. The drama of the situation is that Tamara brave girl which not riding on local curved roads slower 150 km/h, she is a vegetarian and does not eat anyone who has mom and dad. And she hit a dog. Girls calmed Tamara and said that a dog was ok and went back home by itself.

We arrived on time. Unexpectable surprise. The price for the motorcycle with a passenger is 600 RSD instead of 450. Branka was very angry and didn’t want to pay because it was not written on the site of the ferry. So, her daughter was taken “smuggling” in one of the cars.

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Ferry looks quite amusing. It is an old barge which is pushing by a small towboat. 

Here on the ferry, another nuisance happened. Big Mama’s have dropped the helmet and one of the plastic screws that hold the visor lost. Probably decided to reach the Black Sea by itself. She had to remove the visor, and rest of the way ride with sunglasses which are some kind of protection.

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The Marina on the other bank of the Danube is situated under the walls of the ancient fortress Ram. It is not known exactly when the castle was built, but definitely, it is one of the oldest in the region. First mentioned in the Chronicles dates back to the 12th century, near fortress of Ram Byzantium Empire good broke the Hungarians. After the arrival of the Ottoman Empire in the late 14th century, at the behest of Sultan Bayezid II, the fortress was rebuilt and became one of the first artillery fortifications at that time, the task of which was to protect the border between fortresses of Golubac and Smederevo.

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Of course, we climbed on the ruins of an ancient fortress which, incidentally, is quite well preserved. But of cause need to take some photos. Just like that.

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And like that too. Valentine and her mom. Big Mama is a right nickname of Branka. How else we can call the mother of four daughters (the older 28), works as a pediatrician and a soon-to-be grandmother.

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There is a good road to go closer to the fortress. And a parking. On the way, we saw the sign “Caution, restoration works are underway”, but as you can see, there are no signs of any activity.

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Of cause selfi =)

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Grrrrr! Super motor ladies guarding the border!

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It’s time to continue the way. There is no need to hurry, but we need to be on time for a dinner. Short ride to the Silver Lake Resort (Srebreno jezero) and coffee break.

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The most difficult part of the ride is waiting for us. The gorge through the Homolje mountains.

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Another short break at the Gornjak Monastery which is situated on the small river Mlava. The monastery was built in the late 14th century as “zaduzhbina” of King Lazar, and, according to the records, until today never ceased to operate. From medieval buildings survived only a church and a small chapel in the cave above the monastery. Tsar Lazar, who built a monastery, one of the key figures in the history of the medieval Serbia. He created the most powerful State on the territory of the former Serbian Kingdom with the capital in Krusevac. Under his leadership, the Serbs went forth to meet the Turkish army in the battle of Kosovo in 1389. At the cost of enormous losses the Serbs defeated the Ottoman Empire army and didn’t allow to go further into Europe. The Sultan was killed, the only time in history. The Turks were forced to retreat, but Tsar Lazar and other commanders also died on the battlefield. This battle delayed the onset of Turks in Europe in 50 years. After his death, Tsar Lazar was canonized.

The initial meaning of the Serbian Word “zadužbina” is “gift for the soul”. Rulers built churches and monasteries in the name of the salvation of souls. 

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New generation =)

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There is a wonderful word “vukojebina” in the Serbian language, which referred to this wilderness where only wolves… hmmmm … engaged in reproduction. 

So here, in the heart of the local “vukojebina”, a nature miracle is hided. The spring Krupajsko Vrelo. But the road is terrible. It is still asphalted, but…. It was very difficult part for Branka on her heavy BMW and for Nela riding not powerful YBR.

Last shop on the way to Krupajsko Vrelo. It is necessary to buy Turkish delight for coffee.

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And play with a dog.

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Bad road with turns. Max speed 20-30 km/h. I still wonder how my ZZR didn’t lose plastic fairing. Finally arrived.

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We go to the waterfall while preparing dinner. Grilled trout from the local fish farm.

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In these artificial creeks with fast and clean running water trout grows. There is a big swimming pool with hot spring water in front of the guest house. The temperature of the water is 26’C.

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It is a very beautiful place. There are also cheap rooms at the guest house.

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For the lunch, we had the grilled trout, French fries, and traditional Shopska salad. Of cause, coffee. And all this meal cost only 800 RSD per person. A bit more than 6 Euro.

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Really like to sleep on the grass near the swimming pool, but the road is calling.

Important crossroads. Turn left to go to Resavska cave and waterfall, turn right to go to Manasija monastery.

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Manasija monastery built in the early 15th century, by despot Stefan Lazarevich, the son of Tsar Lazar. The monastery was the real fortress. The Church and other buildings surrounded by a high wall with 11 towers. The big tower behind the Church is a keep or a donjon tower. It has only one entrance. If enemies will break into the fortress, this tower can protect up to a hundred people. And grain stocks was enough that they hold one year. On the roof were made special drains, which collected rainwater.

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By the designing of the despot, the monastery was supposed to be the richest and the most beautiful one. And he did it. The Church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, painted by the best and experienced artists in that time. The best and experienced meant that the artists had owned the secrets of making bright and persistent paints for murals. Only one-third of unique medieval frescoes survived till now. The painting has experienced repeated invasions by the Ottomans, when Turks desecrated temples and destroyed the faces of Saints on the frescoes, carried out all jewels and gold from the images. The church was using like a stable and a powder warehouse, which blew up several times. Before leaving, Turks remove domes and the unique images were not even covered from rain during three centuries. But survived until our days. Photo from my phone, it is forbidden to shoot at a church because the frescoes are sensitive to light from camera flashes.

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There was a painting school at the monastery. Remains of walls of the former refectory chambers. It use to be drawing workshop upon the light of day. That’s why the building has so many windows.

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From the beginning, Manasija was the friary, but it is convent now. In 2006, during the reconstruction of the floor and underground of the church, the burial was found. Archaeologists supposed that this is the remains of despot Stefan Lazarević. DNA analysis of the found remains and samples of the Holy relics of Tsar Lazar showed 99.9% match, which means that it is indeed the remains of the son of the great King.

Beginning to get dark, and we went to the end point of our journey to the town of Jagodina. When we reached the center of Jagodina, we parked our motorbikes on the main square in front of the fountain, evoking an incredible curiosity among townspeople. Ten motorcycles and nice girls. Everybody was taking photos of us.

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So. 300 km passed during the day. Without incident and with an excellent mood. A woman driving a motorcycle is not the same as “the girl in the little Peugeot”. Self-respect on the road.

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