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In which SWMBO shares photos taken over two days in Niš, Central Serbia.  These are our amateur photos.  I invite you to also visit some outstanding photos of modern Balkan ruins at Yomadic .  My favourites are the bobsled track from the Sarajevo Olympics and the hotel in Kotor.  Outstanding.

Old Yugoslav Renault

Old Yugoslav Renault

Everything in Niš is either half built or half destroyed.  It seems that since the NATO bombings in 1999, time has stood still.  Unemployment stands at around 30% and those who are employed earn about 200 euros ($300) per month.

SURREAL: Fahbio and I saw a little girl jumping and skipping on the roof of this building

SURREAL: Fahbio and I saw a little girl jumping and skipping on the roof of this building (no railing)

The thing that I found most striking was the incredible number of partially built houses and flats that people are now living in.  Half the buildings have a second, third or fourth floor balcony that is being used despite the fact that there are no railings.  As a vertigo sufferer, I get nauseous just thinking about it.

I saw a man leave this house with his bicycle

I saw a man leave this house with his bicycle

A rare balcony with a railing

A rare balcony with a railing

This is what we did in Niš:

World War II Concentration Camp

We visited the Red Cross Concentration Camp (could there be a worse name?!).  The site was small and we were the only ones visiting.  We had an informative private tour in English.  The museum honours the daring escape of over 100 camp prisoners.  Most were successful in their escape but as a retaliation and warning, the Germans executed 800 people – mainly Jews.  It was a moving and awful place.

nis concentration grafitti nis concentration sign nis concentration tower nis concentration wache Train station

We went before visiting the concentration camp because we wanted to see the locomotive turn-table.  After hearing how the station was used in conjunction with the concentration camp, we felt bad.

nis train station fence nis train

High school

We couldn’t believe this building was a high school but it was confirmed.

A strong argument for homeschooling - this is the local highschool, Niš

A strong argument for homeschooling – this is the local highschool, Niš

These kids have to play basketball next to the concentration camp

These kids have to play basketball next to the concentration camp

The back of the high school looks over the concentration camp yard

The back of the high school looks over the concentration camp yard

Philip Morris

The fanciest building in Niš is the Philip Morris headquarters.  We were told by our CS host that many farmers in Central Serbia grow tobacco.  The facility was originally locally owned but when it was taken over by PM, farmers were told that the variety of tobacco they were growing wasn’t acceptable.  Farmers went 2-3 years without a crop as they switched over.  Many people work at PM but word on the street is that it isn’t a good company to work for.

nis phillip morris3

nis phillip morris

nis phillip morris2

Building next door to Philip Morris

Building next door to Philip Morris

Burek

We enjoyed one of our favourite greasy snacks – Burek.  Burek is a cheese or meat or cheese/spinach pastry that is accompanied by a glass of drinking yogurt (plain).

Burek central

Burek central

Sir (cheese) version hot out of the oven

Sir (cheese) version hot out of the oven

The server can’t explain how we missed the meat burek two days in a row - sold out!

The server can’t explain how we missed the meat burek two days in a row – sold out!

Cemetery

The old cemetery of Niš is right next to the burek bakery.  Like the rest of Niš, it is charming and eery and overgrown.

nis cemetery1 nis cemetery2

In closing, here are a few additional photos:

Learn English by Christmas!

nis benetton

How come nobody’s playing in the park?

nis wood

I prefer the burek bakery