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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We couldn’t believe this building was a high school but it was confirmed.
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.
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).
The old cemetery of Niš is right next to the burek bakery. Like the rest of Niš, it is charming and eery and overgrown.
In closing, here are a few additional photos: