"The situation here is worse than in the rest of Europe: abandoned houses and dying villages. Young people reject rural life, they all move to the city or go abroad.
Looking at the itinerary of our crossing of Europe on a map, we understand that coming to Serbia was quite a detour. We did not really take the most direct way to connect Portugal to Istanbul. But how to cross all the Balkans, all the ex-Yugoslavia while making the impasse on Serbia? For months, we have been fascinated by the history of this part of Europe and we wanted to discover a little more about the people who played such an important role there.
Arriving here at the end of November meant discovering the country during the wet season when the days are almost the shortest of the year. Honestly, we didn't give Serbia the best chance to seduce us.
The lake of Zavoj was created by a landslide in the 1960s. The river was blocked and the village of Zavoj was completely flooded. Later, the dam was consolidated and turned into a hydroelectric dam. The lake is therefore neither completely natural nor completely artificial... Beautiful second homes are planted all around the lake but our favorite thing was the small floating huts made of bricks and mortar.
The canyon is an important part of the geological heritage of the region. Jurassic sediments and fossil remains were created in the deepest parts of the sea. Like the Grand Canyon in the United States, it is made of composite layers that give it its special appearance. The layers form a magnificent series of waterfalls in the riverbed.
The Babin Zub (in French "dent de grand-mère") is one of the summits of the Stara Planina mountain range ("the old mountain"), the one we will follow later in Bulgaria, almost to the Black Sea. After a day of climbing, the sight that awaited us at the top left us speechless. A sea of mist was galloping down the slopes of the mountain.
"Here, the situation is worse than in the rest of Europe: abandoned houses and dying villages. Young people reject rural life, they all move to the city or go abroad. The doors of the houses are covered with death notices. Not easy in these conditions to meet people, to discover the soul of this country."
In Serbia, we explored only one region. Located in the south-east of the country, this former mining and industrial region is today reputed to be the poorest of the country. The villages are sadly all deserted. For lack of employment, all the people of working age have joined the cities.