Finally we reached Leskovac – our final destination in Serbia. We had written Slaviša our couchsurfing host already two weeks earlier as the couchsurfing website put his location wrongly on the map, but now we’re finally here. Slaviša and his wife Vesna are German teachers 🙂 He picked us up in the city and took us home to a beautiful house in the outskirts. We enjoyed a shower and a chat over (german) beer and headed to town to meet up with their colleagues – two math teachers – who were involved in the seasonal task of making Ajvar. We love Ajvar. It’s a yummy vegetable paste made mostly of red paprika peppers. These are roasted over a grill and then peeled and ground with other veggies. Lot’s of work that you taste with every spoon. Also one of those dishes, like our daily salads, that have improved our diet a lot since we’re on this trip. We spend quite some time on preparing food. No wonder we never find time to read the books we drag around! After a good night sleep we bid farewell in the morning, cycled about one kilometre and checked in to a hotel. That’s a first.
When we accidentally met our friend Petra from Prague with her friend Ognjen in Belgrade a week ago we were invited to join Ognjen’s friends Nikola and Marija’s wedding. We gladly accepted and decided to stay a day longer in Leskovac.
Thank you very much to everybody who made our balkan wedding dream come true. Seriously. When planning this trip last year I had a vision of cycling through a green valley and hearing trumpets and brass instruments from a wedding that I’d join then. Folklore, dances, singing with gypsies and enjoying copious delicacies. Well, this wedding was very close to my vision. Luckily lots of pictures were taken to aide my memory.
We were introduced as “the cyclists” to our table quickly and an occasional drink doesn’t only help our Serbian language skills, but also my ability to dance. Then the food came. It’s difficult writing these lines while laying in our tent after camping dinner. Mouthwatering memories of meat overdose and so delicious. I certainly didn’t become vegetarian that night. Though the salad plates were so delicious that the waiters brought us an additional three. We are still amazed by the taste of tomatoes. The tomato taste that is. While for Nastya this is memory of home I have to travel out of the EU to enjoy tomato that doesn’t have the plastic taste of all the other supermarket veggies. Once we settle down we’ll definitely grow them ourselves.