"In My Crosshair"
Board on the old “Romantika” train to visit one of several wine harvest events in Belgrade’s vicinity
September is one of the nicest months to enjoy in Serbia. The unbearable summer heats are gone but the weather is still fair. Most people are back in town making the social life bloom once again. The markets are packed with various produce growing in the rich and sun laden soil of Serbia. The highest admiration and praise among these are, of course, reserved for wine. In celebration of good wine there are dozens of large and small festivities taking place in wine growing regions around the country.
Luckily for us in Belgrade two of these manifestations are just a short ride from Belgrade - in Sremski Karlovci and in Vršac. In these two pretty towns you can enjoy the festive atmosphere, listen to music, watch the folklore performances but - most importantly - you can sample dozens of wines from local producers and purchase them at bargain prices. You should by no means return without a bottle of Karlovci Bermet or Italian Riesling and of Vršac Kreacer or Frankish Blue.
However, there is little point in heading to one of those by car since you will either be risking your life or your good fun. The choice is hence narrowed to bus or train amongst which – without doubt – the nicest and merriest way to travel there and back is by the “Romantika” (“Romance”) train. Its steam-powered locomotive tows old cars with wooden interiors which have remained unchanged for the last half a century. Romantika’s departures for the wine festivals are always filled with cheerful crowds of all ages and interests whose stories and songs will make the journey seem much shorter.
The first in line of departures is scheduled for next Saturday, 17th September, for Vršac. The train starts from Belgrade’s Main Railway station at 7.40 in the morning and from Vršac at 7 pm sharp. The tickets cost 536, 447 and 372 dinars for the first, second and third class respectively.
The following Saturday (23rd) it is time for Sremski Karlovci. The train will leave the Main Station in Belgrade at 9.20 and head back at 18.35 leaving you with seven hours to enjoy this historic town and its wines. Tickets cost 666, 555 and 462 dinars depending on the class.
The tickets are available at the Main Railway station, as well as from the Putnik (Dragoslava Jovanovića 1) and KSR Beogradturs (Milovana Milovanovića 5) travel agencies.
Vladimir Dulovic was born and raised in Belgrade, where he studied history and kafanas extensively. Today he still studies kafanas but worldwide and in his spare time writes and edits travel guides for Komshe publishing house. He enjoys sharing his controversial views on his livinginbelgrade.com blog.
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