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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : Ex-Yugoslavia Part 4: Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo

Serbia, country where the government was centralized at the time of ex-Yugoslavia. The country is reduct in the name of Serbia today after Montenegro proclaimed its independence in June 2006. Today, Kosovo tries now to obtain its independence and this is in a delicate situation that I wanted to visit this important place of Balkans.

After the death of Tito in 1980, Yugoslavia lost quickly his force to unify the different republics until you know now, the big separation. Serbia wanted to keep on the same way of Yugoslavia and didn't see well the successive departures of Slovenia, of Croatia, of Bosnia-Herzegovina and of Macedonia, Serbia was in war with all these countries and was qualified as guilty country by the international community.

The end of the war has seen an intervention of NATO which bombard in particular Belgrade in 1999 

We still can see the bombardments in Belgrade

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Serbia is still taking care to keep a part of its territory locates in its Southern part: Kosovo. The situation is currently turbid because none of the two parts seems to find an agreement. Thus Kosovo wants to acquire its independence contrary to Serbia.

 

The first time i entered Serbia, I was caming from Croatia and I had to adapt with the change of alphabet. Indeed, in Serbia we use the Latin alphabet and the Cyrillic alphabet. 

It can be a problem when we are looking for a street

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The premiere city that I have visited was Novi Sad in the North of Serbia, in the plains of Voivodine. Architecture is there from austro-Hungarian influence. If we compare with other cities of Balkans (like Sarajevo for example), we can realize the great difference in influence in the differents places.

 

In this picture you can see the different style of architecture {Liberty Square, Novi Sad)

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Likewise, orthodoxe Christianity is the main religion in Serbia. In Belgrade, we can see there the second larger orthodoxe temple of the world after the one in Moscow.

 

Saint Sava Temple in Belgrade

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Belgrade... the translation does mean "White City". I don't know what you think, but for me, the city is actually more grey than white. Let's take these two examples of places which are in the center.

 

The street of Prince Michel, the most important pedestrian street of Belgrade

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The Place of the Republic, the unavoidable meeting square of Belgrade.On the left you can see the National Museum and in his right the National Theater.

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After Novi Sad and Belgrade, I went to Uzice, in the Western center of the country and in the mountains. A this time of the year of course, mountain rhymes with snow. So under snow, I could visit this city where it is not a lot to see by the way. I could concentrate more on the way of living of the Serbs. I had the chance to be accomodated by Milos thanks to couchsurfing, this one explained to me that the life is currently difficult for the Serbs because there is no chance for the country to add quickly to the European Union, which would facilitate the development of the country. 

The panorama of Uzice let you see that there still many communist buildings in Serbia. Besides that remains to me that Milos also said to me that all the administrative system still lives under a communist organization. Milos let me think that there is still work to do to realize the transition.

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Montenegro, independent since 2006 

Montenegro is thus a real State since the last year. It was the last to leave ex-Yugoslavia and its last membership to a state was under the name of Serbia and Montenegro.

Here, I could find the European currency: Euro.

Montenegro got several interessants touristics corners. The coast, keeping on of the Croatian coast is really attractive. If you pass by some days, stop at least in the towns of Kotor and Budva which are very nice town along the Adricatic See.

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Likewise, I think Montenegro has the possibility to develop himself easily thanks to tourism, We can find there natural landscapes which cut the breath like the Tara canyon, in the East of the country.

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If you keep on walking in the mountains, i am sure you can be interested by some hiking ways

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Otherwise the capital Podgorica doesn't have anything extraordinary. However, in these situations where the place deserves not much of interest to the visit, I always meet extraordinary people who accomodates me and I take care to rest me, and for sure to having some fun!

 

Some pictures of Podgorica

The Millenium's bridge

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Slobode street, one of the main street of Podgorica

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From Montenegro, i went to Kosovo, where the situation is absolutely different...

 

 

The question of Kosovo

The question of Kosovo is so much complicates that I would not adventure in hazardous explanations but just on things which I could there see and who can perhaps help you to understand a bit more the country. First of all, Kosovo is not recognized as a state so far but is still a part of Serbia, this is why Kosovo is asking for its independence. Kosovo is not a state but igot a border which I crossed. Kosovo got also a mobile network and got a currency... finally not, it got two currencies.

Indeed, in the places of Kosovo occuped by Serbs, we use dinar, the Serb's currency. In the places by Albanian (approximately 90% of the territory according to a census made in 1999), we use euro. At the time of my entrance in Kosovo (still by hitch-hiking of course), I had the impression to be Frodo entering the Mordor.. 

Have a look on one of my first sight of Kosovo after the city of Kosovska Mitrovica

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Arrived in the capital Pristina, the situation is not really better. The city get ceaseless cuts of electricity and in front of each store we can find generator of electricity which make an incredible noise.

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In same logic, water is cut during the night, which obliged my host has to make water reserves for the night.

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The situation wasn't finish in Kosovo, we can see vehicules of UN a little everywhere downtown and in the country, the same for the vehicules of the KFOR (international force military of NATO) which has to stabilize the area.

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I went anyway in the hightown to give you an idea of the city, have a look on the panorama of Pristina

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I leave the highttown in direction of Macedonia, last of the Ex-Yugoslavia countries i go to visit.
I see you there then!
Tchao Jeremy



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