Balkans Day 22 - Nis

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October 2nd 2018
Published: October 2nd 2018
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It’s our last day before dropping the hire car in Skopje. We are breaking the journey in Nis, mainly because it’s half way between Belgrade and Skopje.

Nis has 3 very diverse tourist attractions; the 4th century Roman palace of Constantine the Great, an 18th century Turkish fortress and a 20th century Nazi Concentration Camp.

It’s pouring with rain and takes almost an hour to fight our way out of Belgrade through the rush hour traffic, despite the old man going native and driving through red lights, in bus lanes, over pedestrian crossings etc.

Eventually the rain clears and by the time we reach Nis it’s 20 degrees and sunny. After Novi Sad and Belgrade, we aren’t expecting to like Nis, but it’s actually quite nice.

We walk through the pedestrian precinct to the fortress which houses the City Park; a mixture of the things you’d expect to find in park, but every now and then, the remains of a Roman bath house or an Ottoman mosque. We stumble upon the Nisville Museum which contains quirky mementos of the country’s annual jazz festival.

Next, the Red Cross Concentration Camp. The Nis Camp was like other Nazi Concentration camps in most ways. Two slight differences; firstly it was the only camp where prisoners attempted a mass breakout. Secondly, the local partisans fought hard against the Nazis, who implement a quota that for every German killed, one hundred locals would die (with 50 executed for every German injured). Thus, the Camp served as a holding area for victims to fulfil this quota. These men, women and children were then taken to nearby Bubanj Hill and slaughtered in their thousands.

Once we have had our fill of culture, we complete our afternoon in Nis with our last Serbian meal; peppers stuffed with cheese, and of course, sausage.

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