Knjazevac Museums~ Zavičajni muzej Knjaževac

The yellow building with the statue on top is the largest museum in town. It houses a continuous collection as well as short term exhibits.

Zavicajni means homeland. This museum is all about the homeland. Local artifacts and exhibitions of local art and history are displayed.

The entrance of the museum. The grand old home was built by a man who owned a long ago coal mine in my  hubby’s village Vina. Now, it is well-kept and a glorious reminder of antique architecture.

A work of art by a local artist, Dragoslav Živković, and the reconstruction of homes created by the orignal inhabitants of the region  ages ago. The cavemen type of people even left their mark in local caves with drawings! Cool, huh?

Just a few weeks ago, I went to check out the new fruit exhibits, and the very exciting ancient Roman artifacts found just a few miles down the road!

An aerial photograph of the excavation. It is a massive site.

Ravna, a village 6 or 7 miles from Knjazevac is the home of the most recent archeological dig in our region.

Painstaking work  by international groups of archeologists have unearthed some amazing finds. Including glass goblets! How freaking awesome is that!?

glass goblets and a glass vase

I got to talk to the Senior Curator of the museum, Milena. Her English is spectacular. We had a great chat. The most spectacular part of the visit was being shocked with meeting another American. I have NEVER run into a foreigner in my little town. Coming in contact with one of my own peeps was a complete shock.

He was a Dept. of State guy doing some public relations stuff, repairing relations with Serbia. His advice to me was to basically be friendly and help mend the tear between Serbia and the United States.
Some days, I think I am days I think I am very diplomatic… other times, not so much.

Please come visit our beautiful town and museums. We have lots to offer! Just like the rest of Serbia!

Morning Stroll

The window treatment is ingenuitive! Old fence gates are now decorative protective iron bars. Brilliant!!

Good Day all. I got up super early this morning! It was like 4AM! I couldn’t sleep and so I got up. I was up in time to watch the sun rise.

There is a convertible bed that slides back into a chair. With it in chair mode, Munckin lacks the big step up that allows her to climb on the desk and create havoc all over the house with the craft bits.

I made some Turkish (put some hair on your chest) coffee and drank it while I spent some time organizing the back room. Now, the Mini Me  can’t climb the shelves.

When I finished this long needed task, I hung the laundry on the radiators and made it outside at the crack of 8. That is early for me my friends.

Briskly, I made it to the other side of town I decided to stop in at the church to pray since the doors were open.

Liturgy was being sung. It was ancient sounding and beautiful. Four large men executed the ceremony. Big traditional robes covered in vests and jackets kept them warm.  Four people beside myself stood at the back ignoring the cold hugging their coat clad bodies. I stayed til the end. I left as the Fathers of the church were making their way towards me and the exit. I never know what is expected should they great me and I was having a little Srpski language stage fright. (That happens all the time!) Better to get out while the getting is good I say.

Downtown was cluttered with folks heading to work and school. As I passed this interesting old building, I saw that at the very top, there were weeds growing from the gutters. So much character every where!

Kids headed to school chatted happily and popped into the Pekara (bakery) for breakfast.

This driveway/entrance is framed by such a lovely gate. The neighboring building was a mini market and agricultural mercantile. Delivery men or just workers were standing outside having a good time chatting and were puzzled at my snapping a pic at the normal everyday Serbian gate. They chatted at me. I didn’t comprehend much and just smiled. I asked if they wanted their pic taken and they were agreeable.

Usually, I would show them the pic, but I was feeling bashful. I just smiled and walked away after some more misunderstood banter.  Sometimes I get so shy!

The cold got to be too much to bear, so I went to grab a burek and went home for burek and jogurt  breakfast. Then, I went back to sleep in the living room not wanting to wake the Muppet and her Furry monster dad. I slept til the little one padded out to the couch where I lay and asked for milk. Then the day really began!

 

Tolstoy Ties

During our road trip to Krusevac we make a quick stop to a gorgeous monastery. Sveti Roman is nestled in a clove of hills and has the most refreshing spring  just outside the gates. Down in the gully where the spring becomes a stream, it is cooler. The fallen leaves everywhere create the distinct smell of fall.

A quick walk up the hill and through the beautiful gate…

This is the final resting place of Count Nikolaj Nikolajevic Rajevski.

He was one of the many Russians who left his homeland to come and aid the Serbs in their fight against Turkish occupation in Serbia  in solidarity of Slavic brotherhood and Orthodoxy. . He was also allegedly  the basis for Ana Karenina’s lover, Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky .

I cannot think of a more beautiful or peaceful place to rest. The monastery grounds are immaculately kept.

The mosaic walkway is done completely in stone washed soft and round by water, collected over time and placed just so to created the most amazing designs.

Learning about the History here is NEVER short of amazing. I hope you enjoy hearing about it too.

Dobar dan (Good Day) Y’all!

Photography Friday Road Trip~Крушевац

Every road trip needs some good music!. I love this song.

A few weeks ago we went to the medieval capital of Serbia, Krusevac. This long-standing city is home to about 60,000 people. I was really impressed with it.

I totally wanted to get a pic with this guy, I mean the statue. But I am only knee high and he is the grasshopper.  Jumping up onto his lap like he was Santa was out of the question! 😦 But had I gotten up there, I would have had to ask if it was a sword in his lap or was he just happy to see me!  🙂

Krusevac has been in place since at least 1371, when Emperor Lazar was living. While living, Lazar was something like a Duke or Lord.  He was responsible for gathering the troops to fight the battle against the Turks who later beheaded him. After his death, he was raised to Emperor out of respect. His wife, Milica, went on to be the ruler! Hello forward thinking back in the old days. Now, not so much.

This town has its own chic feel and flavor. And so much history smack dab next to modern life!

Before a walk about town we opted for a quick alfresco lunch.

I got the Pizza and he got the schnitzel with mash potato, a roll and cabbage salad. In all my time here, I have never seen schnitzel with noodles. Kind of a bummer. Maybe I need to go to Austria? On a side note, the hills are alive here, but with the sound of kolo music! If you don’t get any of these references you must watch “The Sound of Music” once more!

I was pleased to see that lots of old couples walked happily arm in arm in this gorgeous grad. I don’t think I have seen that anywhere else in Serbia so far.

The most astonishing to me in this Balkan city was the dress of the women. Normally, in Eastern European countries, the women are always and I mean always sporting 4 inch+ heels. In this city, women dressed stylishly, and sensibly. Heels were low or non-existent! Holy Cow! I think they must have been breaking some unwritten Eastern European code! Can I get an Amen?

There is a park where the ruins of the old fort stands. Most of it was destroyed during the war with the Turks. Now children play ball with their grandparents watching over them, and others taking a stroll or sit on benches and enjoy that peace that now resides. An old Museum sets just to the side presiding over the history and ghosts.

Imagine you’re the kid who lives in the Green house. You ask your friends to come play in the fort in your backyard! Forget cowboys and Indians! Lets play Serbs and Turks!!

You know the people who built these homes in the wake of ruins must have found some cool stuff in their back yard while digging to create their new homes!! Talk about cool building stories!

That lucky kid’s back yard! Seriously, How freaking COOL!

Within the fort stood the most beautiful old Church.

This impressive structure was a sight to behold.

The amount of detail begs you to look at it for ages to take it all in.

The Celtic style knots that circled the doors and windows were fabulous.The magnificent double headed eagle graced the top and bottom of the window above.

The grounds all around are an ancient battle field. At one entrance there was a painting of Kosavka Devojka. She is the Serbian version of Molly Pitcher during the American Revolution.

Kosavka walked around the battlefield of Krusevac when the Serbs were fighting the Turks in 1389 during the Battle of Kosovo.

This is a print of a famous rendition showing Kosavka watering a fallen soldier. Compare this beauty with the typical image of Molly Pitcher with a cannon.

Molly is just a few thousand miles east and a few hundred years later…

Battle of Kosovo 1389

Battle of Monmouth 1778

Two peas in a pod.

Even thousands of miles away from home you can find similarities in just about everything if you look hard enough!

Krusevac is a great city, lots to see, and some great shops too! If you are in this neck of the woods, you should check it out.

Photography Friday~10.4.13

I was taking a bimble around the village not long ago with the good camera. Finally, Hooray!!

Simultaneously, I was pushing the Munchkin in her dog cycle that she is too short yet to peddle. I was so focused on her, crying and fussing, I didn’t realize why the camera wasn’t focusing. It was on “Manual Focus” (Wah!  Mental tantrum!)

I did get some decent shots anyway. Not great, but decent.

This gate is a gorgeous pop of color in any season. It is kind of an unexpected delight for the eyes.

Yellow flowers along the fence are the village welcome sign for all who enter.

Almost every house has peppers hanging to dry some where on the house. I love them as a vibrant red decoration.

In this picture, see if you can find: 3 tires, 2 doors, and one bath tub.

I would love to fix up this house and make it mine! I love the arched windows and doors. Gorgeous.

I even love the weeds growing under the window.  Is something wrong with me? I have porch envy with this house. I would love to have a cup of tea there and enjoy the view of the back yard/garden and the creek below. 

Eater pastels come to mind with the look of these two beauties. We looked at them 3 years ago when we were considering buying a home in the village. Only one had an indoor WC or Toilet. Mold was everywhere at the back of the yellow house because it sits back against a hill and because they used porous rock to build. But I still like to have my own mental International House Hunters moment when I look at them.

Happy Weekend all!

Photography Friday~ Sheep

A typical day in most Serbian villages is something you may see as fairy tale book illustration. I know I have made these references before and I am positive I will again.

These pics are from my visit earlier this summer to Zubetinac. I love that village sooo much! Too bad the roads are an utter disaster and the muz is against driving their in fear of ruining “his” car. 😦

Baba Mary and her lambs

Baba Mary and her lambs * (Notice the chinese “crocs” she is wearing. Lots of farmers are forsaking their traditional plastic foot ware for these nowadays.

Baba Mary and her grown up lambs a.k.a. sheep passed the village house every day 2x. Their passing was announced by the clanging bell on one or more of the sheep.

SONY DSC

Ring your baeeeh eehh elll Ring your bell!

They pass pretty quickly, I had to run to get the camera to get these shots. I just loved watching them follow the shepherdess. She was one of the sweetest ladies we met in the village.

SONY DSCMary and her flock were on their way quickly. The sheep are always grabbing a bite from their favorite fast food “drive thru”!  A spot of grazing here and there and then off like a shot to catch up with the rest of the crew.

This is why I love Serbia. The antiquities and the bit of surreal-ness that is for real every day!

* The song lyrics that inspired the renaming of the Baba are below thanks to Wikipedia.

Song[edit source | editbeta]

In the 1830s, Lowell Mason set the nursery rhyme to a melody adding repetition in the verses:

Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
which was against the rule.

It made the children laugh and play,
to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,
till Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
the eager children cry.

“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
the teacher did reply.

Site credit

Dobar Dan 🙂

Munchkin Tuesday Little Rock

Perfection~ an old Turkish style Serbian house. I am in LOVE!

Sunday we went to a friend’s village for a Slava. (One of those Big Thanksgiving type dinners that are related to a saint.) We went to a village I had only previously driven through before. Gore Kamenica or Upper Little Rock is the name of the town, like Little Rock, Arkansas. It reminds me of the country song, “RockyTop” and it as just as country as the song!

The food was nothing less than spectacular, Fresh from the garden veggies, Home made  cheese from the cow and the sheep’s milk! YUM! Roasted lamb and of course, Rakija!

The Munchkin didn’t allow me to eat much, soon we were off to play with the other kids and eventually took a walk.

Just down the road we ran into some other familiar children and soon out the front door comes a friend of mine. How Fun to run into friends in a town half an hour from home!

Mosquitoes and rain drops drove us back home after seeing some gorgeous fairy-tale village scenes.

Old Serbian Home

Old Serbian Home

This old house was just the tip of the iceberg. So much to great stuff to see. I could walk around these old villages for eternity. Ideally with the good camera and no Munchkin. 😉 Chasing after the Speedy toddler impairs the view. Here are a few more phone pics for the road!

Check out this chicken walk!

 

Doesn’t this look like something you would see in a movie?

End of the blurry pics.
Happy Tuesday! Dobar dan.

 

Photography Friday~ Thessalonika

my first (not really) jumping pic

Thanks to my awesome travel buddy who thought of the idea!

She looks really graceful!

No time to day for writing much so here are some fun pics of the city.

The White Tower

Random folks family time in Aristotle Square

yummy Easter bread and other scrumptious baked treats.

The sign on the red canopy below says, “pop corn”.

One guy holding at least three lamb carcasses. Ya don’t see that everyday… well, I don’t.

One more pic for the road. Happy Weekend.

A beautiful Easter display with lots of eggs colored red. The most common color for eggs in this part of the world.

Hope to be writing again in a day or two. Busy time of year here.
Dobar Dan!

Photography Friday~ Fences and Gates in Vina

While the men were at work this week, I was left again with the booger, She had refused a nap in  Baba’s bed, and I ended up taking a walk with my one ton munchkin in my arms. Inevitably, as I ventured just a little ways from the house, she fell fast asleep. Dead weight, awesome! But actually was, She had a good nap, and I got some good exercise.

Camera in hand, balancing the little freight, I snapped away at the scenery. This time gratefully,  no dogs followed me as they have in the past. And no geese honked warnings. The baby slept in peace.

In the Gypsy village. a large section  is fenced in solely by bed springs and maybe couch mattress springs. Children and chickens remain within the confines of so many springs.

Gates and fences seem to be a must in this part of the world. Only large apartment buildings are left without fences. Probably best this way, as stray and family dogs roam free and can leave presents/stink bombs wherever they like. One very good reason to have a fenced in yard.

Another good reason is the trash. Here, it seems, too few people have manners enough to walk their trash to a rubbish bin. Serbia, an otherwise gorgeous country. is on big trash bin. It is rare to find a Serb who respects their home enough to keep it clean. I has bothered me so much at times I have gone out and cleaned it myself.

I guess I should look at that as an opportunity for improvement? There are a few , just like back home. 😉

This was my favorite gate of the trip. Chicken wire attached to a wood frame, with a fancy iron gate. Simple and beautiful~

Dobar Dan

Photography Friday Celebrates Serbia’s March 8

Hello Friends, Happy 8th of March! It is International Woman’s day. This is an old Communist holiday celebrating women. Men everywhere are lined up to buy flowers and other random gifts for their moms, daughters, wives, etc.

On my way out today to take pics for my photography Friday post, I past a flower shop. In hindsight, I should have taken a picture of all the people waiting outside for the flower arrangements. I was shocked at the number of adults and children outside standing and sitting where they could. Maybe next year.

I will take something to the mother-in-law tomorrow. She loves this holiday.

On to the pictures! I walked to the other side of the yellow bridge today. That is like the other side of the tracks in some towns. Lots of gypsy people live there. I met one gypsy lady today and she spoke English!  This was her gate.

Image

After I snapped a pic of her  beautiful gate, she came out and a little boy followed but lagged behind. She was super friendly and just wanted to know why I was taking a photo of her home. I wish I had taken time to talk to her more. Another time.

This is the house next to hers, what contrast.

I was trying to beat the setting sun and the dark clouds that were threatening rain.

As I climbed the hill I got a nice glimpse of the looming clouds that hovered over the valley. The morning and most of the afternoon had been gorgeous. In the 60’s. I barely needed a jacket! And you can see from a few pics that laundry was hanging in lots of yards.

Some Baba  had her naughty black stocking on the line here. 😉

Check out this creative clothes line! Whatever works.

Along the same line of thinking, there are some unorthodox shelters here for storing wood. I thought the first one here was rather a lovely idea.

It’s not like a gazebo would be used very often in the winter. What an ingenious seasonal use!

This one is quite inventive as well.

Lots of dogs were out to great walkers today. This old yellow lab was my favorite.

On the way home it started raining. I manged to snap just a few more pics worth posting. This lonely window in an empty old house was worth the time, and I liked the way it looked when I gave it the sepia treatment.

I headed down another road to make my way home. The hilly terrain here has inspired creative architecture.

By this time it was really raining, and I hurried on my way way. But I noticed the prettiest red gate and had to get one last photograph.

Hope you enjoyed the pics
Dobar Dan

and P.S. Thank you all for cheering me up yesterday!