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Report - The Balkans, Summer 2009

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Johno, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Johno

    Johno 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Here are some photos of the Balkans I took this summer which I thought may be of interest to some viewers.

    But first: The Paris Catacombs aren't in the Balkans but France is kind of on the way
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    Lichtenstein is also on the way. Whilst I was there I decided to climb this mountain.
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    As I got higher and kept popping in and out of the cloud the path got stranger and stranger. It was like the entrance to Mordor - really desolate and rocky and now becoming very very steep. Increasingly, sections of the rock had wires attached for people to clip onto but I obviously had no harness. Indeed, I was woefully underprepared in jeans and trainers and no one knew where I was.
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    Still, I pressed on, starting to see occasional patches of snow and crossing precarious little wooden bridges whilst constantly saying out loud, "You have got to be kidding me"
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    It seemed I had developed a severe case of Pressonitus though and was determined to get to the top.
    Eventually, of course, I did. It wasn't that spectactular, all I could see was cloud.

    Central Belgrade, Bomb damage from the 1999 NATO bombing campaign. The graffiti says something about Kosovo; a point of contention with some Serbs.
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    Homophobic graff.
    Apparently a gay pride rally was organised in the city a few years ago. Someone told me that were two rival football gangs who were sworn enemies. If members of these gangs met in the street they would pretty much fight to the death.
    However, for the gay pride parade they teamed up and beat the crap out of attendees and police alike.
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    As soon as you arrive in Sarajevo you start to notice damage from the war on virtually every building older than about ten years.
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    On the left is typical bullet damage, on the right are typical Sarajaven girls.
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    Sarajevo Roses.
    It is estimated up to 300 shells per day were fired into the city during the siege. Following the war areas of blast damage were filled with this hard, red resin as a sort of memorial.
    This one is on the side of the Sarajevo Cathedral.
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    This picture is typical of the Bosnian attitude to smoking. These guys are all sheltering from a sniper but lots of them are having crafty fags.
    During the siege there were long periods of no power or water but amazingly the Sarajevo cigarette factory managed to continue production throughout the entire war.
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    The next day I missed my train but got on a bus to a town about three hours away called Mostar.
    There was some bitter fighting here and the former front-line cut a clear scar through the town.
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    Many buildings were simply abandoned, this one still had sandbags inside.
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    "The broadcasts, like their prayers, went unanswered and ignored. God, like the rest of the world, just watched in silence."
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    I went into a severely damaged building, the former Ljubljanska Banka tower, and had a look round. I was a bit wary of walking around the rubble but figured if I stuck to the cleared paths I would avoid any UXO.
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    Looking out over the former frontline
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    I found this trench coat with the arms tied tied together behind the back with electrical cable. It was slightly freaky...
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    The upper floors were long scoured of stuff by nature, fire and looting but the first was awash with old computer equipment and papers.
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    Documents from 1994
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