Friday, April 29, 2011

The ECO Team in Action!

During spring break, the ECO team at school made birdhouses as part of our third project. They will be taken into the forest and put in the trees. I walked into school today to the site of them all ready to be installed. Look how fantastic they are! So proud of my kids.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SERBIA: Belgrade Pics!

Here is the second part of the pics! We stayed in Belgrade, Serbia for two nights exploring the city, eating more amazing food, and enjoying the nice warm weather. The hostel we stayed at is Sun Hostel, and we definitely recommend it as it was beautiful, clean, and the staff was wonderful. So here you are-Belgrade Serbia!

On the train to Belgrade!

Sun Hostel in Belgrade-So cute and cheerful! Oh an Aron is napping on the bed.

Sooo. Freya and Aron ordered a "hamburger" from the menu at this traditional Serbian restaurant, excited to get a real burger after so many months. This is what came out of the kitchen. A patty in grease. Um...bun anyone?

This is what came out for me. I couldn't tackle this bad boy. Chicken with some cheese sauce fried to all hell. Ugh.

The courtyard of the Sun Hostel. We had our morning tea out here!

BEAUTIFUL flowers in front of this Government building in Belgrade.

More beautiful tulips.
While walking to the Republic Square we came across this awesome building. Not sure what it is used for.

Where we are breakfast the first day. Classy!

My meal. Yes those are little pancakes.

Walking along the Pedestrian Road from Republic Square.

Walking down the Bohemian Street. The weather was awesome!

More beautiful flowers!

Bohemian Street. Known for the most amazing bars and at the end-the "Green Market" which sells fruits and vegetables (but if you ask real nice they will give you the homemade Serbian liquor too.)
Thank goodness there is an English translation on here.
So on our walking tour we ran into this graffiti. The "hooligans" (disgruntled youth of Belgrade-basically a gang) designed this and there are men who sit out front and guard it. No lie. It says something like we will we will give up our money and our women and our homes, but never each other. We managed to sneak a picture.
Worst inflation in the history of the world about 15 years ago. Old bill our tour guide had.
We passed the zoo. You know why I took this picture.

Heading into the fortress-20 centuries old!
We've arrived!

The fortress.
Our awesome tour guide-free 2 hour walking tour of Belgrade!

Oh just me and a fortress built in the 1st century. No big deal.

And two rivers diverged into one...
More of Belgrade.

Onward we go!
This poor guy could barely walk without stepping on his ears.
The famous ? Restaurant! It has been there for sooo many years. The story is that the owner had put a "Bar" sign up at first, but because it was across the street from a Church the priest said he had to take the offensive sign down. The owner took it down, replaced the sign with a ? sign and it stuck. Years later it is doing better than ever.

Drinking the traditional liquor of Serbia. It was STRONG.

Best meal EVER. Yes that is a pot of lamb cooked for 6 hours in a traditional Serbian kitchen.
Largest Orthodox Church in Serbia-holds 10,000 people and has been in constructed off and on for 100 years.

Inside-it really is huge!

Gorgeous fountains at dusk.
Buildings bombed by NATO in 1999. They left some still standing as monuments.

More bombed buildings.

Finally back to Romania!


You asked for pictures-you got 'em!! There are so many I had to pick and choose but these are my favorite. Serbia pics up in the next post. Enjoy!
You know you're in Peace Corps when....

On the train to Sarajevo..Bosnia is a beautiful country!

In the mountains we ran into some snow...

Part of the Monument to Murdered Children-all these children died in the Serbian siege from '92-95.
Oh Hey Culture Center of Iran.

Beautiful Orthodox Church

Loved this statue.

Awesome chess game being played in park. I assume these men were discussing strategies.

Sarajevo is FULL of cemeteries. I mean FULL. These old stones are in a random park.

Freya and I in front of some gorgeous flowers. So glad we went in the spring!

Entering into our first mosque in Sarajevo.

This was amazing-a tunnel built during the war that gave the citizens of Sarajevo a door to the outside world. Food, supplies, and people were brought through this tunnel which was created by engineers from Bosnia. Only 25 meters are left of the 850 meter tunnel.
I'm in love with this city. See the snow capped mountains?

The path that led to the second largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. However we weren't allowed to actually walk down there because there are still LAND MINES from the war. I was content to stay where I was.

Some amazing traditional cakes our hostel hostess, Jasmina, bought for us. (Plug for Jasmina-if you are EVER in Sarajevo stay at Hostel Enjoy. She was amazing!)

Went to the Latin Bridge, location of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, which as we know ultimately let to the start of WWI.

Picture of the assassin and event.

We went to the site of the '84 Olympics and visited the stadium. Finally found our way inside after walking around the whole thing!
Well. Isn't this interesting.
Do you see the Olympic Rings?! And yes-another Cemetery.

That first mosque-at night.

Jasmina treated us to a traditional breakfast too. The meal was made on this fire.

Amazing mix of cheese, sausage, and spinach. Washed down with drinkable yogurt. AMAZING.

Then she took us to get tea directly after. Most delicious tea I've ever tasted. Look at that morning face!

Pretty much every building has some sort of damage from the war. This is just a sample...

Ah-so beautiful!! Walking along a pedestrian street in from of the Sacred Heart Church.
The beginning of the Turkish Quarter-markets filled with everything from tea, jewelry and handmade coffee sets to scarves and ice cream.


After hiking up a large hill, we had this view. Stayed for a looong time just enjoying the weather, the moment.

Loving Life.

Freya and I. Yes we stayed awhile.

See those mountains again?

Aron and I investigated the OTHER side of the hill. We weren't disappointed.

Walking on some fortress ruins.

I liked this graffiti.

So green.

This man was making those coffee sets I was talking about. He was so nice and so skilled.

Largest and Oldest Mosque in Bosnia-Husrev Bey's Mosque.

Call to prayer, obviously.

Traditional food-Cevapi! Mixture of Pita bread, meat, onions and a white cheese sauce.

Inside the Husrev Bey's Mosque

I think we pull off the look well.
Maybe not appropriate RIGHT after the mosque pictures but this is the local beer, Sarajevsko. No complaints!

Can you see me taking the picture? Oh Aron is there too.

Sad this is blurry, but we met an American (next to Freya) and a man from Greece in our hostel. We all enjoyed some traditional food and Alex from Greece gave me an entire itinerary for my future trip to Greece. WIN.

Essential train items. Journal, books, sunglasses, Nalgene with water, candy, and Skip-Bo.

Pulling away from Sarajevo-next stop: Belgrade!