Week starting Wednesday 10th May 2023
We had never travelled by river boat before but we had visited Hungary and Croatia. We were very keen to explore Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia but that was a few hundred miles down the water. We started off in Budapest and travelled overnight further down into Hungary.
Our first port of call was going to be Kolacs but this was some way from the mooring place. As the transfer price was exorbitant, we gave Kolacs a swerve. I went for a walk and headed towards the nearest cache about two miles away. Luckily it was dry and dusty underfoot but I eventually reached the Road 56 leads to Szekszard #014 trad. I took a quicker route back to the boat but was alarmed to see three attack helicopters circling in the sky.
Back at the river, I was concerned to see a number of army vehicles including landing craft, armoured personnel carriers and loads of soldiers. The troops seemed jovial and older than I would have expected so I assumed that it was Hungarian Army Reserve carrying out river crossing manoeuvres. My first fear was that terrorists had hijacked the boat.😀
We set off down the river to Mohacs but later the weather changed for the worse. By the time we docked it was raining.🥴 We went for a walk around town but it was shut so my wife went back to the boat, leaving me to it. There was an AdLab series here, Monuments of Mohacs which I completed but I was after a proper cache. Unfortunately the nearest one was way out of town but it had to be done.🤔 It was probably a three mile round trip out to the Road 51 leads to Szekszard #006 trad and all in the rain.
The next day were in Serbia, in the second biggest city, Novi Sadi. A quay in Novi Sad, a defense line vs Danube trad was only 87m from the The Bistro restaurant on the boat. We ventured into town but unfortunately no other caches crossed my path so I just had to be satisfied with the trad.🤔
Caching wise, the next day was a washout as we spent almost a day cruising down the river visiting the Iron Gates before turning round and heading up to a one horse town called Donji Milanovac. There were no caches here but at least we managed to find a fridge magnet.😀
Belgrade is the capital city and I could see that there were a few caches here to make up for the last few days. I set off for a couple of hours caching and the Belgrade Travel Bug Suite Hotel trad was a few hundred yards from the boat. It was quite a climb up into the centre and I picked up the Kosancicev Venac - the burned Library trad.😀 There was one base of the Kafena of Belgrade AL series on the way - Kafana "?". This was the oldest bar in the city and we did pop in there for a drink much later on.😀
In the main drag, I tackled the Knez Mihailova street virtual cache and then gathered the information for two nearby Earthcaches. Strictly Plutonic and Metamorphic Rock - Marble were written up and sent off to the CO during idle moments on the cruise. I set off for the Studentski Park and found the easy trad of the same name. There was a multi nearby based on a concert hall and I soon sorted out Kolaracs. Time was getting on and I had time for one more trad, Salvador Dali corner. What this had to do with the Spanish surrealist artist, gawd knows.🤔 I did manage to bump into Karl Malden, the American film star on the way back. It turns out that his dad was Serbian.
Our next port of call was Vukovar, the most easterly point in Croatia. Serbia is on the other side of the river and the Serb forces heavily shelled Vukovar during what is now called the Homeland War in the early nineties. There's still much evidence of the shelling in town.🥴 I found six trads here including ⚓️, Ghost Warehouse and Eltz Family Chapel plus some with unpronouncable Croat names.🤔 There was an EC near the mooring place, Igneous, Plutonic and Intrusive, another based on Granite.
We had become aware that the cruise itinerary had changed and we wouldn't have as much time as we had anticipated. In the end, I didn't get a couple of hours to get out caching on my own.🥴 I had to take my chances on our couple of hours walk around. The 3/1 Grand Central Market Hall mystery was first on my list. I had failed here on a previous visit. However, this time, there was a lady in Hungarian national dress here helping tourists and she clocked what I was doing straight off. With a flick of the head and a wave of the hand, she directed me towards the cache.😀
We were heading towards the Grand Zenit Budapest Hotel, where we had stayed before for afternoon tea and on the way I found the Dan Szucs - 001 cunningly hidden in a disused electricity junction box. On the way back to the boat, I found one base of the City wall of Pest AL series. There was one more virtual that I wanted to get and that was Parisi Udvar, in the magnificent art nouveau Paris Court Hotel. This proved to be my last cache of the holiday.
1 Multi 2 Virtual 3 Earthcache 4 Mystery 7 AdLab 14 Traditional