Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Hotel California

Having left the twisties of Romania behind on Sunday I headed for a border town ready to cross over in to Serbia in the morning. I picked a name on the map and headed for it. On arrival though, it was not a great place to say the least. This place was a dump, with nothing but bordered up hotels and truck drivers everywhere. It had looked so promising on the map, situated on the river and surrounded by forest. Sometimes things only look good on paper. This was one of those times! 

I must admit I felt a little vulnerable here on my own with all my belongings on display. It just felt dodgy and it was getting late. Soon I would lose the light as well. My only comfort at the end of this particularly long day. I set my Garmin to find me a hotel and ended up heading back up the dirty riverside road the way I had come and towards the last town, which now looked inviting despite my thoughts as I had ridden through it being “You couldn't pay me to stay here!”

After a couple more failed attempts at finding a hotel in working order - my heart sinking and my brain doing it's best to compensate with positive chants - I finally came across a fully functional hotel with the bonus of secure parking for Rhonda. 

I was the only guest and as I sat eating my dinner, a band started setting up. I wondered if they were really going to play just for me. Being tired and wanting an early night I starting planning how I was going to make it for the door without feeling like I had let them all down! I made it before they started and from my room I heard two songs being played before they decided to call it a night. I had my own band playing in my head that night. Welcome to the Hotel California by The Eagles was stuck on repeat. 
On a dark desert highway,
cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas,
rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance,
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night.......
Last thing I remember,
I was Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave! "

The next morning, after a good night sleep and the promise of several hours daylight ahead, the place seemed far less intimidated as I suspected and I set off on route to the Serbian border, wondering what lay in store for me from this country that I knew so very little about aside from what I had seen on the news in my mid twenties.

The border guards were lovely and very impressed that Rhonda and I were going around the world. I
was soon on my way with a “good luck” and straight on to a beautiful twisty riverside road with no lorries, barely any cars and a good feeling about the day ahead. 

A few hours later, I met Sean, Dejan and Marko in a small town just outside Belgrade. They had arrived on their Vespa's to welcome me with a coffee and then would escort me in to the city. 

We had a lovely ride in together with my sound track of the day being AC/DC’s Back In Black. 

I couldn't wait to see what Belgrade had to offer.


  1. When traveling, it seems like there are those lows of expectations unfulfilled.Not always easy to remain upbeat but, its part of the experience.One should trust their instincts as you have done.Those instincts protect you! RIDE ON!

  2. Those bikes look more like Vespas to me:)

  3. Lambrettas? Sheeze Louise. :)

  4. ha ha! Dear lord forgive me Sean! Changed!!! I am currently in the process of beating myself over the head with a large wooden object by way of punishment!

  5. It's okay, all is forgiven! Happy trails. And good luck in Turkey!

  6. Its my real pleasure that I've come to know about hotel California through your post though I'm pretty sure that everything that you have shared here really sound for everyone. So thanks :)