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Old April 24th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #881
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when one certain Serbian forum member came to visit me, he didn't have to pay anything. this is the first time i hear something. did you get a bill for that? if not, then it is probably something as MareCar explained. i think it was "invented" by Bulgarians because i heard such a stories from Kalotina/Dimitrovgrad.

but you can always solve it by creating your own lower level of mafia you find a person who has more illegal things than you and tell him that you are not paying anything, and if he wants, he can pay for you. of course, it is not €5 anymore, but €8. +operational fee of €10 if he doesn't want to, no problem, customs officer will check the bus
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Old April 24th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #882
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Originally Posted by MareCar View Post
Well it's only logical. They can strip-search every bus completely, and they will always find something ridiculous that should've been declared (carton of cigarettes, alcohol, prosciutto, cheese and other local specialties that can not be bought in the country that the bus travellers come from). So they can either search every bus and find something on every 2nd bus that will bring them taxes+a fine of, lets say, 100-200€'s, resulting in ridiculously long lines at the border crossings (which are already long for buses when they search only 1 out of 20 buses), or they can take 100 €'s from every bus that passes through (so the bus driver asks the passengers to each donate a euro or two), because every bus has something illegal on him, and even if not on the one journey that you're on, then on the next, you can never know what other people try to get through with, and you as a passenger won't have to spend 6-12 hours in the line on a border crossing just because someone on your bus or one of the buses in front of you tried to smuggle a carton of cigarettes or 2 liters of sljivovica, and the border crossing guards will still make their daily income that pays their salaries. As a passenger you should see it as a good investment, as it will easily spare you 6 or more hours of travelling time. And this is not only the case in Croatia and Serbia, but also at Hungarian Border Crossings.
Yes, but that is corruption. It is not normal. What if someone is smuggling something and they don't find that, just because they don't care. That is serious issue.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #883
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Beska bridge progress:



Cool bridge! This is the second bridge spanning the Danube currently U/C in Serbia, is that right?

How wide is Danube there?
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Old April 24th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #884
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Originally Posted by Belgrader View Post
That at pay toll is nothing, if you are traveling by bus through Serbia and Croatia, you will have to pay for border crossing. When entering Croatia from Slovenia, every passanger has to pay 5 euros, so that they won't bother us at the border, the same thing when leaving Croatia. Then at Serbian border you have to pay 5 euros too, in order to pass the border easily. So 15 euros in total. This is really true, I travelled few times, and the first time they asked us to pay I was shocked. But they only ask you to pay when you travel by bus, and I don't know for the other border crossing,s just theese.
Never heard anything like this before from anyone visiting or leaving Croatia.

Besides, I must also have crossed Croatian-Slovenian border by bus like 200 times at least, and never had to pay anything on my way in or out of Croatia or Slovenia. Don't know about Serbia, though.

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Old April 24th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #885
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It's true, and I explained it.
If you say so...
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Old April 24th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #886
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I have passed several times through Serbian and Croatian customs but I didn't had any problems about corruption at these borders. I encountered such problems only at albanian border and only one time at the bulgarian border (Russe), but before Bulgaria joined EU. After 2007 I passed the bulgarian border like 10 times, but haven't encountered anymore such practices. The Balkans are changing, and very fast.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #887
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when one certain Serbian forum member came to visit me, he didn't have to pay anything. this is the first time i hear something. did you get a bill for that? if not, then it is probably something as MareCar explained. i think it was "invented" by Bulgarians because i heard such a stories from Kalotina/Dimitrovgrad.

but you can always solve it by creating your own lower level of mafia you find a person who has more illegal things than you and tell him that you are not paying anything, and if he wants, he can pay for you. of course, it is not €5 anymore, but €8. +operational fee of €10 if he doesn't want to, no problem, customs officer will check the bus
There's no bill as you don't have to pay the borderguard, you pay to the bus driver who pays the border guards. And you don't have to pay, you can just say that you don't have money on you or whatever, no one will force you to pay. But don't be surprised if the borderguards are not happy with the ammoung they get and decide that they need to check the bus...

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Originally Posted by Belgrader View Post
Yes, but that is corruption. It is not normal. What if someone is smuggling something and they don't find that, just because they don't care. That is serious issue.

Of course it is corruption, what else should it be? And corruption is the most normal thing in the world, it serves both peoples interests, the one gets money, the other one gets a favour or advantage (in this case, lower border waiting time). If you have a problem with that you can feel free to spend 11 hours sitting in line at the bordercrossing when you would've already been at home/at your destination in that time.
No one is gonna smuggle an atomic bomb, what are they gonna smuggle? Alcohol? Dairy products? Cigarettes? There's nothing dangerous about it, and all that is just about a fine, which they get/compensate through collecting money from all buses. It would be impossible to check every 10th bus, let alone every bus. So chances are high enough that if someone smuggles something it will get through anyway, so they might just as well spare the travellers that farce. And they still do controls, and not only on non-paying buses, but they are very basic.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #888
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If you say so...
I know what I went through, I know that everyone I know who either owns a bus company or frequently travels by bus does this, so spare me the "no in our innocent holy motherland there is no such thing" crap... it exists, and it's there for a reason, and it's positive for the average traveller.

@ 200 times guy

Maybe they don't hassle buses that are either registered in Croatia or whose destination is in Croatia...
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Old April 25th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #889
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I have passed several times through Serbian and Croatian customs but I didn't had any problems about corruption at these borders.
Neither did I, but I remember my little "trips" to Hungary about 9-10 years ago, before both Romania and Hungary to join the EU. I was a student back then and like many others I was a little smuggler , like MareCar said, bringing goods from Hungary and selling them in Bucharest to have more money for girls and booze . I made about 50-60 trips in Hungary, all of them by bus, and every time I had to pay the Hungarian customs officers to cross the border faster. The buses were filled with little businessmen like me , but there were also tourists or people who were simply going in Hungary to visit their relatives. But everyone had to pay. If not, the bus could wait up to 12 hours (!!) to enter in Hungary. I remember long columns of buses waiting at the border crossing of Nădlac/Nagylak, sometimes 1 km long. Same thing happens at the return in Romania, this time paying the Romanian customs officers.
So I know what MareCar is talking about.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #890
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Cool bridge! This is the second bridge spanning the Danube currently U/C in Serbia, is that right?

How wide is Danube there?
For now, it is the only one, as construction of the new bridge across Danube in Belgrade should start sometime this summer.

Danube is about ~500 meters wide at that spot.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #891
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Some random photos of various Serbian roads:

Belgrade-Nis motorway










Last edited by CrazySerb; April 27th, 2010 at 06:28 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #892
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #893
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Belgrade motorway - reconstruction of the ~30km section between "Nikola Tesla" international airport and Bubanj Potok has just started










Last edited by CrazySerb; April 27th, 2010 at 06:29 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #894
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #895
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #896
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Are they gonna widen the motorway through Beograd? I believe it's around 100,000 AADT...
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:37 PM   #897
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #898
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Old April 26th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #899
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Awesome pictures! Thanks for posting them!

@ ChrisZwolle

I don't know, but I really see no way how they could do that. They are building a bypass instead, but sadly it's progressing a little slow... There are just too many projects that need to be done in Serbia right now, and it looks like the Ministries are overwhelmed by the task so that they don't finish them one by one, but start one, then delay it because they think another one is more important, than they change again etc etc... Several motorways need to be built and completed, railway lines need to be overhauled, bypass highways need to be built and completed, Belgrade Central train station needs to be completed, new rolling stock needs to be bought... I think it's a classical case of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.

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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #900
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Are they gonna widen the motorway through Beograd? I believe it's around 100,000 AADT...
I don't know what exactly they intend to do - from what I've read, this ~25 million euro contract was awarded to Austria's construction firm "Porr" who now have 18 months to rehabilitate this motorway. Gazelle bridge represents by far the biggest problem along this strech, considering the state of its disrepair as well as its AADT (~160k)
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