On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

To the Balkan Mountains

By Stuart Lowe on

I left the campsite on top of the hill in Jagodina (Jагодина) and headed down the other side. Not before getting a view of Jagodina itself.


In nearby Ćuprija (Ћуприја) I stopped in a sports bar for a toilet trip followed by a drink because I felt guilty just using the facilities. In the main square there was a nice finger post showing where I've been and where I'm going.

Handy sign in Ćuprija showing distances to where I've been and where I'm going (cycling distance is longer)

Man on a bike

It was a lovely sunny day and I was starting to head up into the famous Balkan mountains. After the relative flat of the Danube since Austria, I knew the Balkan Mountains were my next (and last) major hills to get over. I wasn't really sure how steep they'd be. They couldn't be any worse than what I've been over on this trip.

Heading towards the Balkan mountains

Off to the distance in the east was an amazingly conical mountain which made me think of Mt Fuji or mountains that kids would draw. It was very distinctive.

Heading up into the Balkans. The view to the east (left).

Serbian farmland

Serbian church

I was now heading up the Morava valley but on a local road that wound its way from side to side of the major motorway that continues on towards Bulgaria and Turkey. After a drink stop in the same town where Stevens had lunch, I headed out of town a couple of miles following the edge of the hill. I decided to stop for lunch at a high bend that commanded a stunning view of the Morava valley. Weirdly, the blue skies, flat farmland, big highway, and distant mountains reminded me of California between Fairfield and Davis.

Serbia is somehow reminding me of California between SF and Sacramento today

Having a late lunch with a view of the Morava valley

The riding was fairly pleasant as most of the traffic was on the motorway. I arrived into Niš (Ниш) an hour ahead of Stevens.