National Geographic : 1962 Jun
Bread for the brothers of Bachkovo. Monks them selves planted the grain and harvested the crop. "Peace!" proclaims a sign in eight languages near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Reading clockwise from the lower left, the word appears in English, Bulgarian, Slovene, French, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, and German. Vil lagers ride to jobs on a cooperative farm. at the front door. It was early for lunch, and the mustachioed proprietor explained that the roast pig wouldn't be finished for half an hour; so we munched on good home-baked bread and ripe red tomatoes while the main course browned and crackled over the coals. When the cook decided lunch was ready, he took a wicked-looking knife from his belt and sliced generous portions from the back legs. The meat was sweet and tender, and the crisp skins made gluttons of us both. A few chickens wandered in and out, pecking at crumbs on the floor, but the top of our wooden table was scrubbed clean. We finished with a plate of peaches and apples from trees which stood in the dooryard. Then, reluctant ly, we took the road to Nis. We hurried because the previous night we had confirmed reservations by telephone in the modern Park Hotel. When we arrived, no one had ever heard of us or our reserva tions. There wasn't another room to be had in or near the town, and we finally parked in 772 a field and slept in the back of our station wagon. There was ample space, but unfortu nately the sun rose at four-thirty; so we got little sleep. Peter and his men, however, had fared far worse. After the disaster at Zemun, the Byzan tine authorities had decided that the Crusaders must be kept under constant escort. Under orders from Emperor Alexius in Constanti nople, the governor had strengthened his gar rison at Nis, and when Peter appeared, the Crusader was asked to give hostages for the good conduct of his army. Peter's Army Slaughtered at Nis At first the Crusaders' reception was friendly. Local farmers not only helped them purchase food but also donated from their own stores; some even joined the Crusade. Then a clash between townsfolk and a group of marauding pilgrims grew into a pitched battle, the governor unleashed his garrison, and shortly Peter's army was a beaten mob.