A significant change of scenery
Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
129Trip End Oct 01, 2007
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Where I stayed
Vojvodina is where the mountains of the Balkans fizzle out and disappear
Subotica is a pretty little town. Naturally its outskirts are peppered with hideous tenement blocks, but the downtown core is a charming mix of Baroque buildings, humble Hungarian-style houses and grandiose Secessionist edifices. It's the latter that brings in the tourists, as the dramatic Hungarian-style Art Nouveau buildings are the best examples of their kind outside Budapest, Kecskemet and Marosvasarhely (today Targu Mures, in Romania). Overall, the town feels like a Hungarian city that somehow ended up on the wrong side of the border - which, if you ask the Magyars, is precisely what happened. It makes for a dramatic switch from the minarets and Turkish bazaars of Kosovo and Macedonia.
Though there is tourism about, the numbers remain low and likewise so does the number of hotels. As a result, I had to go for somewhat of a splurge this evening, staying at the bleakly Communist Hotel Patria. The location is nice, in quick striking distance of the train station, but it feels a little silly paying $35 a night for a small, bland room in a dim, Socialist-era block without any character. Still, the place is quiet enough, so at least I should rest well. And they offer free breakfast, which is another plus.
One day is exactly enough for the town, fortunately, as - while it is a lovely place to look around - seeing the sights takes little more than a few hours. So it makes for a good city to have a relaxing, unhurried visit before heading off elsewhere. Which is what I will be doing from tomorrow then. In the morning, I will take train back southwards to Novi Sad, spend the afternoon there and then return to Belgrade for a few evenings. It should be interesting noting the difference between each place.