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Category: Holidays :-)

“Trst je naš”

“Trst je naš”

Last week I enjoyed with my wife a small holiday in the region of Trieste, in the Northeastern corner of Italy. We were in Grado (beaches), Muggia (a small nice village on the coast) and Trieste itself. Trieste has an amazing history and lies on the border of the Roman, the Germanic and the Slavic world.

15/07/2018: Trieste as seen from Monte Grisa.

Until the First World War this city was the main harbor of the Austrian-Hungarian empire and thus an important city.  The Austro-Hungarians built the “Südbahn”(=Southern railway) , connecting Vienna with Trieste which boosted the harbor of Trieste further. It was, and still is, a free port and the most important harbor for Central Europe or in German “Mitteleuropa”.

14/07/2018: Trieste, the Canal Grande (Grand Canal).
14/07/2018: A view from the castle of Duino, close to Trieste.

After the Second World War the Yugoslav troops liberated Trieste from the Germans, but that lasted not long: the city came after 40 days under British / US military administration. In 1947 Trieste became the “Free Territory of Trieste”, an independent city state under UN protection. In 1954 Trieste, part of zone “A”, became Italian and zone “B” became part of Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslav partisans wanted to have Trieste and their sentence was “Trst je naš” (Trieste is ours). They did not get it, but now it doesn’t matter any more as the whole area (Zone A and B, plus the whole of Istria) is now in the European Union and the borders disappeared. Triest, Trieszt, Trst, Трст or Τεργέστη is a pleasant city where the Germanic, Roman and Slavic world meets. Depending of your view the Balkan starts or ends here, Italy as well and yes once back in the old days also the Austro-Hungarian empire. I can strongly recommend to visit Trieste and the region, because it is a very interesting city & region and can´t wait to go back.  As Dutch living in Serbia, loving Italy, I almost want to say:  “Trst je naš!”

14/07/2018: a statue of the famous writer James Joyce who lived also in Trieste.
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2017 in 10 panorama pictures

2017 in 10 panorama pictures

Here a different year overview than all the other ones 🙂 : the year 2017 in 10 panorama pictures, I made them all myself and you can click on them to view them larger. Enjoy and of course have photogenic 2018 🙂 🙂 🙂 !

1: Snow in Miločaj (Serbia), with a temperature of -20 Celcius, 08/01/2017.
2: Roma (Italy), 01/02/2017
3: Saint Peters square, Vatican city (Vatican), 03/02/2017.
4: The Hague (the Netherlands), 22/05/2017.
5: Sailing near the holy Mount Athos (Greece), 12/07/2017.
6: Watching the sunset from Kraljev Sto (alt.1104 asml), a mountain near Divčibare (Serbia).
7: Climbing in the Ovčar-Kablar gorge, the “Serbian Mount Athos” (Serbia), 23/09/2017.
8: Beograd (Serbia), view from Kalemegdan, 12/12/2017.
9: Beograd (Serbia), view of the fortress Kalemegdan, 12/12/2017.
10: View from the fortress Kalemegdan in Beograd (Serbia) on the Sava river. The mountain on picture number 6 could been seen even from here, 12/12/2017.
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Serbian integration lesson: “the Greek beaches”

Serbian integration lesson: “the Greek beaches”

It is almost 3 years ago that I moved from the Netherlands to Serbia and slowly but surely I integrate more and more into the Serbian society. I have to admit that it is not always easy and my patience is tested many times, but  patience is always rewarded. The holiday season is in “full swing”  so I want to share my Serbian integration experiences regarding this topic here on my blog. So where do Serbs go? It is actually very easy, because most Serbs are mostly going to the ” more”. “More” is Serbian for sea, so my wife told me all the time, ” this we need for the more” , ” that we need for the more”. As I am from the Netherlands which is a true sea nation ” more” is a pretty wide term for me, but for Serbs it is pretty clear: it is the sea in Greece or the sea in Montenegro. Greece is the most popular destination, with the peninsula of Chalkidi (which is below Thessaloniki) as number one destination.

July 2017: boat trip mount Athos (Greece), photo made by myself.

So we went this year for the second time to Neos Marmaras (link) which is a lovely place on the “second finger” of Chalkidiki. My wife discussed with her colleagues  already months before which are the nicest beaches there and where to go. My colleagues also told me where to go and which place is where. On the Serbian state TV you have a program, 24SAT, which describe ever possible way to Greece (and Montenegro) and where to stop, eat &sleep. Unfortunately you can ‘t make everybody happy as I have 1 colleague from Montenegro who was angry with me, because I went to Greece and not to “his” lovely & beautiful Montenegro: sorry Jasco ;-). And so I have more Serbs around (if not all) me who went to Greece or soon will go (and yes Jasco, one family member of me is going to… Montenegro).

July 2017, City beach in Neos Marmaras (Sithonia,Greece), photo made by myself. 

Moral of the story: since I live in Serbia my knowledge about Greece is increasing very fast. I know Serbs have to work hard and a lot the whole year so I wish them all happy holidays and of course I wish that to everybody else as well ! Enjoy your holidays!

July 2017: Sunset in Parthenonas (Sithonia, Greece), photo made by myself.
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Thessaloniki Railway station

Thessaloniki Railway station

Last wednesday (05 July 2017) I was at the railway station of Thessaloniki in Greece.

On the 9th October 2004 I was here the last time. Why I do remember ? I do remember as it was from here where I took the train further into the Balkans: first to Skopje and afterwards I also visited Serbia and Bulgaria. Thus, it was from here I took my first steps into the Balkans.

Not a lot has changed since then, as you can see below on the picture I made on the same spot, but then almost 13 years later. 

The only thing which changed is that I am married to a beautiful lovely Serbian lady and that I live in Serbia now which is in the the heart of the Balkans….

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Naissus (Niš) at the crossroads of South-East-Europe

Naissus (Niš) at the crossroads of South-East-Europe

Naissus or in modern times Niš is the third largest town in Serbia. It lies on the crossroads of South-East Europe: to the North you will find Belgrade (and further Northern/Western Europe) to the South you go to Athens and to the Southeast towards Sofia -Istanbul and further towards Asia Minor. Niš is also the birthplace of Constantine the Great, a Roman Emperor.

We went for a long weekend to Niš and we enjoyed it: it is a very nice town were the people are very friendly and when you are used to Belgrade everything goes a bit more “samo polako” (just relax). Is the mentality of the South ( it seems to exist in every country) ? The splendid nature around Niš ?  The rich culture and history ? The good food and drinks? I don ‘t know , we just enjoyed it and that’s what count. Here some small impressions of Niš.

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The Nišava river flowing through Niš.
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The “Istanbul” gate of the fortress of Niš.
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The bridge over the Nišava river.

 

Sunset as seen from the fortress wall towards the university.
Sunset as seen from the fortress wall towards the university.
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A square in the city center of Niš.

 

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The “Latinska” church in Gornji Matevac (near Niš) from +/- 12th Century.

And if you do not believe me of Niš being on the crossroads , here a traffic sign in the center of Niš:
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Chalkidiki = “boring”

Chalkidiki = “boring”

Chalkidiki is in Northern Greece and it has three peninsulas. Currently we are visiting the second one (the middle finger some people would say) and we have to admit, it is really boooring….  See the pictures and judge yourself.

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As you can see: nothing interesting here.
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They did not tell us that the sea has waves…

 

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As you can see the coastline is really boring.

 

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And then those stupid flowers everywhere.

 

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The sunsets in Chalkidiki are also nothing special, just like the ones from the movies.
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Better leave your slippers and sunglasses on the beach and run as fast away from here….

Hope this photo impressions helped you to understand that actually it is really boring here and that there is nothing to see here in Chalkidiki.

ps) for those who do not understand irony: we really love it here, it is so beautiful and the people are really friendly 🙂

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A picture a day in the year 2016! Overview 1st-15th January

A picture a day in the year 2016! Overview 1st-15th January

I try to make every day a picture this year, let’s see where it ends. Here pictures I took from 1st January till 15th January 2016:

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A Greek cat on Sunday

A Greek cat on Sunday

I spotted this Greek cat on a terrace of a cafe in the Plaka area of Athens…. Life is beautiful 🙂

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Athens, Greece: 31th May 2015
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Time flies

Time flies

I was so busy last weeks and so many things happened that I will not name them all here. I have been around New Year two weeks in Serbia and Bosnia and that was of course really nice again, pictures can be found here. Every time I am going to Serbia I have the feeling that I feel more and more home and that thanks to the nice friends I have there: Hvala vi!

When I was in Serbia we visited a monument for Miloš in Miločaj, see previous blog post and we were interviewed by Serbia’s daily quality newspaper “Politika” as you can see below.

art01 Original article on the website of Politika.

If you can’t read Serbian, no problem, the article translated in English can be found here. Yes,a s you can see (when you clicked on the link about the article) we have now also our own website online about our (re)search to the Serbian WW1 soldiers who died in the Netherlands. We have two domain names: www.servische-krijgsgevangenen.nl and www.secanje.nl , please visit those sites and spread the word: we have spent a lot of effort to put it online and we will continue to expend it.

Soon in it is carnival in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which I will not celebrate too much this year, although the Sunday parade cannot be missed of course. After that a good friend from Serbia is coming over and then it is just a couple of weeks later when  spring will start: time flies…..

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And again: Serbia

And again: Serbia

Yes, and again I will go to Serbia :-). I started this year in Belgrade, capital of Serbia, and now I know I will finish this year also in Belgrade. I am looking forward to it of course. Those who know me personally they know that I had a very though year, but it is time to look forward. There is no better healing then to return to the place where you have started.

This year I started in Belgrade, so I felt that I had to finish this year it there also over there.  I will be with a lot of lovely friends from there and I hope I will visit my friends in Novi Sad, Kraljevo and Doboj (republika Srpska-BIH) as well. Everything is possible, “U Srbiji je sve moguće”, so I will see and not to worry too much about the program :-).

I already got so many times questions like: why do you like former-Yugoslavia? Why do you like for example Serbia and Macedonia? Why are you learning Serbo-Croatian?  I still can’t answer those questions for the fully 100 %, because I simply don ‘t know. I asked myself those questions already many times and I still did not got all the answers myself. Maybe sometimes it is better not to know everything.

It is all about feelings, my feelings, and these are always difficult to express. For me personally it feels simply good and then it is an easy choice of course….

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