Although it is the second biggest city, the atmosphere was calm and relaxing.
Our guide, Sara, told us “When I had finished renting a flat here and wanted to return the key, my landlady told me to leave the key on the table in the room”.
It sounds like a lovely safe city.
It was Monday afternoon when we visited there, but some people were relaxing in the park near our parking spot.
We walked in the pedestrian street where there was a statue of Zmaj (meaning dragon), the famous Serbian poet, and came across a lovely pink building on the right.
This was the Bishops Palace and we went into an Orthodox Cathedral of St. George next to it.
Unfortunately, no photography was allowed.
In the cathedral, there was a separate room for candles next to the entrance and Sara and my husband lit a couple of candles.
There were two layers of candles.
The top layer was for candles for living people and the bottom was for dead people, apparently.
The street from the cathedral to the main square, Trg Sloboda, is the main place for passeggiata for the citizens.
Many cafes had their tables on the street.
In Trg Sloboda, there was the Catholic church in the shape of a rocket, which apparently is always closed, the gorgeous city hall which was built copying the one in Graz in Austria and the statue of Svetozar Miletic, the 19th century politician.
Here we stood talking with Sara.
I cannot remember why, but the topic was about Kosovo.
Many countries recognise the independence of Kosovo, but not Serbia.
According to Sara, the first united Serbian Kingdom was born in Kosovo.
She said “We can say that Serbian people were born in Kosovo”.
She said that the reason why Kosovo has increased its Muslim population is that, about 30 years ago, many Albanians started buying property there, paying higher prices than the market price so that they could deliberately increase the Muslim population.
“It is not an historic fact” she said.
Listening to this kind of story, I always remember the book called “What Is History”, which I read when I was a student.
Roughly, it says that because history is very different depending on where you stand, one objective history does not exist.
Sara also said “Personally, I think it is better for us to give up Kosovo and choose a way to become a member of the EU”.
She is 25 years old and already married.
Her husband is working in a hotel, but studying to become a guide, too.
She said that they are talking about having a child during the low season of tourism.
She looked really young, but both her driving and her opinions were sound and steady.
The plan of the tour was for 7 hours, but by the time we arrived in Novi Sad, it was already over 7 hours, but she gave us the half an hour free time as promised.
We walked in the main streets, looking at the shop windows, and I found a very nice knit wear shop.
It was called IVKO Woman and it is a Serbian brand, designing the clothes using the bright and cheerful motifs of their traditional costumes.
The prices were reasonable, too, so I did some shopping.
Sara said “Chinese people like this brand, too”.
It is appealing to Asian taste, then.
By the way, she told us that the main foreign tourists in Serbia are Turkish and Chinese.