Hotel Durmitor: Searching for trust in a city of rust

I’m a writer who never writes about nostalgia. About any kind of nostalgia.

A few nights ago, as it usually happens during the night, I was missing one’s hands.

Oh, how they knew to touch, to carry all the weight of my gray days on their palms. That night I almost felt them on my waist, on my skin, and everywhere my memories drifted. Even my memories are blind and deaf under the surge of nostalgia that I feel when I see him. And I see him often, even now when he’s on the other part of the country.

My novels, my poems are all based on love, passion and death. But not even during those nights could I ever write anything about nostalgia. It has always been a subject of which I had nothing to say. When it comes to overcoming and letting go, all I have to say is: keep quiet and put up with it, this too shall pass.

However, today I want to pay a tribute to something that is forgotten. Maybe it will be easier to write about when I’m not the forgotten one.

Or not.

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It is a national treasure of Montenegro, one of many that is left to decay and oblivion.

All my life it’s here, 300 meters from my house, and every day I’m the witness of it’s destruction. One collective suffering.

Back in the time Hotel Durmitor was wonderful, lively place, with 650 workers and a rich offer. Now, Hotel Durmitor is a ghost house.

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Montenegro is a beautiful country, but I think that there is no other nation where people care so little about their home. In general, unintelligent nation and insatiable government. They don’t sell the land anymore, now they sell the spirit and identity.

It seems that me and Hotel Durmitor, while drinking coffee in it’s ruined lobby, accept deterioration with the hope that the same will not happen with everything around us.

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The only thing that comforts me is that when their tits, brands, empty talk and deeply rooted nihilism rot, my mountain will still be there.

There’s a song that I’ve heard recently, so tender and harmless, such as those common morning coffees SOKO – First love never dies.

Dear melody fills the blue room, and it’s funny to me that I found it right here. In my life the concept of the blue room has always been a refuge.

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I close my eyes, I hear the birds and the trees, and beautiful, pastel curtains, the sound of fine crystal, the smell of fresh cakes and peace.

Here we are, quite alive.

I never let myself miss my past, to the past I can always go back. I go back often, to be reminded.

Remind myself what is the value of all what I have gave and lost.

Remind myself what is the value of what I still have.

Remind myself that I can’t be satisfied with wrong stories, cause I  know how I used to be loved.

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Durmitor, Škrka: back to the mountains

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The new morning dawned on Durmitor and it seems to me that neither this time will I spend enough time to hug this mountain the way it hugged me when I lived here. Back in the time the mountain was my cruel professor, teaching me everything that helped me to be great every time the world threw me under its feet. That’s why I feel every moment I spend here have to be special and every day I have to do something. Same thing this morning. The clouds have gathered over the Durmitor and a drop of rain tells us that we should pack up our plans into a cup of coffee in one of the local cafes. No. We will go up. If it rains, we will choose to do the shorter route. That’s what we do.

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Stožina, on the way to Dobri do

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Stožina and Valovito lake

After breakfast we drive to our starting point – Dobri Do, which is located approximately 3km from Sedlo, on the way to Trsa. The car goes back to Zabljak and now we’re here, there’s no turning back. The only way we will choose is a sharp rise which we climb until the drizzly rain and the wind increases, although I have a feeling that it will soon calm down and will let us get to the mountain hut where we will spend the night.

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We leave Sedlo behind. The track is a combination of rock and soil, and vegetation is rare – grass and wildflowers from which I made wreaths when I was a child. The climb is steady and quite tiring us, and then we reach the saddle Škrčko zdrijelo, located in the middle of imaginary path that I mapped in my head. This is the highest on the track, at an altitude of 2114m. Before the saddle is steady climb, but after it everything becomes easy, only a strong wind is trying to take us off the road.

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Our view is changed, the vegetation is different, like it’s announcing Škrčka lakes that are waiting for us. From the rain that had threatened us, now there is no trace. Above us are peaks Bobotov kuk, Prutaš, Soa and Sareni pasovi and we know that we’re close.

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We are going down and on the horizon appears Škrčko lake located at an altitude of 1686 m. We give it a moment of attention, with the intention to come back later, when we leave things in the hub, and visit the small lake located behind the home, at an altitude of 1711 m. It welcomes us bathed in the sun, and we sit for a while on its coast and absorb rays, which felt amazing after icy wind that whipped us through the mountain.

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Škrčko lake was the main goal and we spend more time on its coast.

I sit on a rock, looking at turquoise color around me. If I look up, I see the peaks that are still illuminated by the sun, even if the day comes to an end. The wind is ruffling my hair and I’m not trying to move it from the face anymore.

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-This mountain is so unusually beautiful. But how it happened? – I ask Jelena, who is sitting on a rock next to mine.

-You wish it all on your chest. But not in a negative sense, but to hug it. To hug it, and then to put it back, where it belongs – she answered.

We continue pleasant silence and watch the thin waves moving from the left to the right, as if they want to convince me that they are transient. Like I do not know that I know her more than them. The mountain taught me everything as well as that the time is just a despicable lie.

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We’re going back to the hub, which is a place with immense potential, unused. To sleep over is 5e and let’s say that it is functional. To a certain extent. Fireplace, which I saw when I came in and that made me imagine a crackling fire with a glass of wine is not working from ’86.

We are sitting on a bench outside and watch the moon that’s size of a coin, nestled between two peaks and it perfectly enhances the panorama with fluffy shy clouds crawling under and over it.

-What is the love for the mountain, sit and freeze up – Jelena breaks the silence.

-Oh .. nothing here is important. You can be no one, with no name. Human being. Alive. I close my eyes and feel. My mountain loves me.

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Photos by my dear friend Jelena Jovićević

~ Our journey on Youtube ~

Tara canyon: ziplining over the deepest canyon in Europe

Sometimes things look so easy.

Finally everything is where it should be, or life just seems clearer from this perspective.

It’s July, the Sun’s rays emerge after a strong downpour that did good to vegetation and to myself. I have this one friend who loves rain, so there was two of us, rain lovers and we spent the whole day in the canyon where it was raining. There will be a rainbow later.

To get back to the place from which everything seems so clear.

I’m in the air, at a height of 170m, just above the deepest canyon in Europe, and if you ask me, this is all i need for a perfect day. Magic of gravity does its job and with cable long 350m, i’m easily moving from one to the other side of the canyon, while on my left side i have this amazing view of the bridge whose elegant arches are making a surprisingly harmonious combination with high, rough rocks, in which is cut, by many special, a tear of Europe, Tara – which now i observe from a bird’s perspective. Across the canyon I crossed quickly enough to let a wind herd adrenaline in my chest, and slow enough not to miss one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen.


Nekada stvari izgledaju tako lako.

Najzad je sve tamo gdje treba da bude, ili zivot prosto izgleda jasnije iz ove perspektive.

Jutro je, zraci Sunca se pomaljaju posle jakog pljuska koji je prijao kako vegetaciji, tako i meni. Imam tu jednu prijateljicu koja voli kisu, pa smo se nasle nas dvije, ljubiteljke kise i cijeli dan provele u kanjonu u kom je padala.Bice duga kasnije.
Da se vratim na to mjesto sa kog je sve jasnije.
Nalazim se u vazduhu, na visini od 170m, tik iznad najdubljeg kanjona u Evropi i, ako mene pitate, u zivotu mi ne treba nista vise od ovog pogleda. Magija gravitacije radi svoj posao i cini da, sajlom dugackom 350m, lako predjem sa jedne na drugu stranu kanjona, dok sa svoje lijeve strane imam nesvakidasnji pogled na most, ciji elegantni lukovi cine iznenadjujuce skladan spoj sa visokim, grubim stijenama u koje je usjecena, po mnogom posebna, suza Evrope, Tara – koju sada posmatram iz pticije perspektive.
Preko kanjona sam presla dovoljno brzo, da vjetar utjera adrenalin u moje grudi, a da ipak ne propustim jedan od najljepsih pogleda koje sam ikada vidjela.

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Where is it?
Big bridge over the Tara river in northern Montenegro. It is located at the crossroads between Mojkovac, Žabljak and Pljevlja, between the villages of Budečevica and Trešnjica.

Gdje se nalazi zip line?

Kod mosta na Tari, na sjeveru Crne gore. Most se nalazi na raskrsnici izmedju Mojkovca, Zabljaka i Pljevalja, izmedju sela Budecevica i Tresnjica.

Canyon Nevidio, exploring Montenegro

It’s sunny morning and we are in Shavnik, which is as I can notice, small place, but real miracle of mother nature, beautiful and could be placed in the pocket of God. The boy, who we met later, gave us instructions how to get to the start point, which is few minutes away from where we were. We came in the place named Poscenje, inebriated with the beauty of everything that surrounded us. The cook had familiar accent and when I asked him where he was from and he told me that he came from Loznica. I am happy because that accent belongs to certain people that I deeply love, but I have not seen for a long time. We were sitting on wooden bench, under the cane roof. Beside us were beautiful small bungalows, Poscen lake for which we were not sure if one could swim in it, but it looked so beautiful, especially on hot day. Soon, breakfast was served with doughnuts and honey as the best. Mmmm, that brought my childhood memories and made me feel as child again. The day before i would be careful with food, because i would have wanted that all that weight simply disappear, but that day i took one because, anyway, i was going canyoning.

Finally, we went on. Bojana, me, few more girls and guide Rajko, who was very fast, but also very careful at the same time. The sight I saw at the beginning of our little adventure was even more beautiful than rumors. In the place where river get lost in the strangest way, there you will find the last found canyon in Europe. Words are my passion , but I have to admit, when it comes to this place, they are just not enough, at least not mine words.

Even with all that beauty, canyon was very cruel in the fight with all of us who was trying to get through. As much as we were getting through it, it was getting through us too.

Temperature of water caused screams with each entrance, never mind we were in such a good suits. Entering the canyon i was making my way through the aisle which was less than a meter wide. The first few meters never came in the touch with the sun lights, because of the rocks that were stuck above my head – wild and cruel, but beautiful nature.

I heard Bojana : ” Jack! Jack!” Yes, the water was icy as the one when Rose called Jack in Titanic, with a significant difference, we wasn’t shooting in the pool.

The canyon has no mercy, cuts and scratches, than impress and than all over again. The first jump. I held my nose and I let myself fall into the icy, turquoise water. Not scary, but it is unusual. After so much time in the room I went into the canyon before I went for a walk. I love all my crazy and unusual ideas.

I felt good. I kept asking Bojana: ”Do you feel this?” I wanted her to feel the same as me. iI looked behind me, she was there, I was surprised how calm she was. I thought she will be scared, but she wasn’t, so I was thrilled. Time was going so fast. Fast swimming between the enchanting narrow passages, to pool out as soon as we can, from the icy water in which the body loses strength and sleep overtake us, than few steps on dry, catching the sun’s rays and power for the next part.

The water was clean, but colored because of rock that was around and through a thin gap I saw a piece of heaven. I didn’t see my foot, so it went down into the hole. I hurt my knee. It didn’t hurt much, but it hurt irritating. I continued, adrenaline didn’t allow the knee to slow down. On the next few jumps, there was whispering ”is this the highest one?” Shake of the head and sighs of fear, but no one thought that’s a bad idea, on the contrary. Then the moment came for the highest one, I looked down, turquoise water, framed by cliffs. Seven meters bellow me, but from my perspective it seemed a lot more. It took me a second to pull myself together, perhaps to count to ten, but the guide was trying to help me, pushing me a little. But he did it wrong, when I was already going to jump, so I rotated in the air and I fell in the water right to the face and stomach. I floated in the icy water, no air, and completely unable to move my arm at least. However, I felt the water ejected. In contact with air, my lungs were aching for air, trying to breathe as much as possible, but I felt like it wasn’t enough. However, after few minutes everything was fine. Everyone around were frightened and those who stayed behind me, they went down the ladder. My face was completely blue, my body was in pain and I was freezing, but we continued. I felt exhausted, I barely walked through the water and It was so hard to climb the rocks. I complained Bojana that I’m loosing concentration, but she said: ”No, you can’t!”, just what I told her about twenty minutes earlier.

Again straits, swimming, rapids and then I realized I was standing at a new jump and I was shocked. But a few seconds later, after I looked around, I realized that was the most beautiful one. The water was warmer. The air was warmer. And the plants were around us. I closed my eyes and jumped. I enjoyed the moment, A bit of swimming and I realized… the end. I was happy because I was exhausted, but also so thrilled. I soaked up the sun’s rays, vomiting energy. Photo for the end.

We climbed for an hour at an incredibly steep mountain, through the woods and then descended down the little road, to the start point.

We are happy. I’m happy.

I’m happy for this experience and I feel privileged. I really think that I know how to choose the best places on this side of the universe. 🙂

 

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Jutro je i Sunce nam zeli dobrodoslicu u novi dan. Nalazimo se u Šavniku, koji, primjećujem, jeste nešto najmanje sto sam ikada vidjela, ali je divan, čudo prirode, skupljeno u jednu šaku.

Dečko, koga kasnije upoznajemo, preko telefona nam daje instrukcije, kako da stignemo do početne tačke, udaljene par minuta vožnje. Stižemo u mjesto Pošćenje, opijene ljepotom svega sto nas okružuje. Primjećujem poznat naglasak i pitam kuvara odakle je. ‘’Loznica’’, odgovara. Radosna sam jer je to naglasak nekih ljudi koje volim, a koje nisam dugo čula.

Sjedimo na drvenim klupicama, pod krovom od trske. Pored nas su predivni, mali bungalovi, Pošćensko jezero za koje nismo sigurne da je za kupanje, ali tako lijepo izgleda, pogotovo na vrelom danu.

Uskoro stiže doručak, na vrhu trpeze, priganice i med. Mmmm, kao kada sam bila dijete i kao da ponovo to postajem. Juče bih pazila, jer zelim da ovi kilogrami koji su ostali na meni što prije nestanu, ali jutros ću uzeti jednu, i onako idem na kanjoning posle doručka.

Vodič Rajko, brz, ali pazljiv, ja, Bojana i jos par djevojaka iz grupe, krećemo u kanjon o kom sam mnogo slušala i ono sto vidim je mnogo ljepše od svih priča koje sam o njemu čula. Tamo gdje se rijeka čudno gubi, nalazi se poslednji osvojeni kanjon Evrope.  Riječi su moja strast, ali priznajem da često nisu dovoljne, bar ne ove moje. Pored svoje ljepote, kanjon je jako surov u borbi sa svima nama koji se probijamo kroz njega. Koliko mi prolazimo kroz njega, toliko i on prolazi kroz nas.


Ulazeći u kanjon, probijam se kroz prolaz, širok manje od jednog metra, koji nikada nije vidio Sunce, ispod stijena koje mi zaglavljene stoje iznad glave, kroz divlju i u svojoj surovosti, prelijepu prirodu.

Pri svakom ulasku u vodu, i pored odijela od neoprena, njena temperatura izaziva vrisak. Bojana doziva: ‘’Dzek! Dzek!’’ Da, voda je bila ledena kao ona kada Kate doziva Leonarda di Capria u Titaniku, uz značajnu razliku, mi nismo snimali u bazenu. 🙂

Kanjon nema milosti, reže i  grebe, prkosi, zastrašuje, pa zadivi, a onda, sve ispočetka.

Prvi skok. Zatvorim nos i prepustim se padu i ledenoj,  tirkiznoj vodi. Nije strašno, ali je neobicno. Posle toliko vremena u sobi, nisam izašla da prošetam nego sam otisla u kanjon. I volim sve svoje ludosti.

Osjećam se dobro. Zapitkujem Bojanu: ‘’Imas li osjećaj?’’ Želim da osjeća isto što i ja. Pogledam iza sebe, ona ide, iznenadjena sam  koliko je staložena. Pomislila sam da će se vise plašiti, ali nije. Bila sam oduševljena.

Sekundu po sekundu, otkucao bi cijeli sat, koji ne bi smo ni osjetile. Brzo plivanje izmedju zadivljujuće uzanog prolaza, da bi se što prije izvukle iz ledene vode u kojoj tijelo gubi snagu i obuzima nas san, par koraka po suvom, hvatanje sunčevog zraka i snage za sledeći dio.

Voda je čista, ali obojena stijenama koje je nadvisuju i samo kroz tanki procjep vidim parče neba. Ne vidim kuda hodam i noga mi propada u udubljenje. Povrijedila sam koljeno. Ne boli mnogo, ali boli iritirajuce. Nastavljam dalje, adrenalin ne dopušta koljenu da uspori.

Na sledećih nekoliko skokova čuje se šaputanje ‘’da li je ovo taj najvisočiji’’? Odmahivanje glavom i uzdasi straha, ali niko ni ne pomišlja da mu je krivo što je tu, naprotiv. Onda je došao momenat i za njega, pogledam prema dole, tirkizna voda, uokvirena liticama. Sedam metara ispod mene, ali iz moje perspektive čini se mnogo više. Treba mi par sekundi da se saberem, možda da izbrojim do deset, ali vodič  pokušava da mi pomogne, gurnuvši me  malo. Medjutim, to je uradio pogrešno, u trenutku kada sam ja već krenula da skočim, zato se u vazduhu rotiram i na vodu (ne u vodu) padam licem i stomakom. Lebdim u ledenoj vodi, bez vazduha i potpuno nemoćna da pomjerim barem ruku, kako bih se izvukla na površinu. Ipak, osjećam kako me voda izbacuje. U dodiru sa vazduhom, moja pluća pokušavaju da udahnu što više mogu, ali osjećam kao da to nije dovoljno. Ipak, posle par sekundi, sve je u redu. Svi oko mene su  uplašeni, oni koji su ostali iza mene, posle toga što su vidjeli, silaze lestvicama. Lice mi je potpuno plavo, sve me boli i smrzavam se, ali osim toga, u redu sam. Krecemo dalje.

Osjećam se malaksalo, jedva hodam kroz vodu, jos teže prelazim stijene. Žalim se Bojani da gubim koncentraciju, na šta mi odgovara ,‘’ne, to ne smiješ’’, isto što sam ja njoj rekla dvadesetak minuta ranije.

Ponovo tjesnaci, plivanje, bukovi, a onda , preneražena shvatam da stojim na novom skoku. Ali par sekundi kasnije, nakon što sam pogledala oko sebe, shvatam da je najljepši do sada. I voda je toplija. Vazduh je topliji. I biljke su oko nas. Zatvaram oči i skačem.  Uživam u sadašnjosti dok me voda izbacuje na površinu. Malo plivanja i shvatam  ono sto su  vodiči prećutkivali posmatrajući efekat iznenadjenja. Srećna jer mi je kraj potreban posle par sati aktivnog prolaska i toliko oduševljena da bih se sjutra vratila, upijam zrake Sunca, povraćajući energiju. Fotografija za kraj.

Penjemo se skoro sat vremena uz nevjerovatno strmu stranu, kroz šumu, a onda silazimo putićem do početne tačke. Srećne smo. Srećna sam.

Srećna sam zbog ovog iskustva i osjećam se privilegovano. Mislim da umijem da izaberem najbolja mjesta na ovoj strani svemira. 🙂

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                                                                              photos by Dimitrije Labudovic

 

Paragliding in Montenegro: Brajici, Budva

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Green window frame, the view that shimmers in the morning sun and it seems to me that I slept all night with tingling in the bottom of the stomach  and  a sweet trembling in my hands . It seems to me that this clumsy fear, riddled with excitement,  is a sense of the whole story, forgetting that the true meaning is waiting for me. I eat my muesli and I drink squeezed orange juice, while I’m catching  a big smile on my face . One smile full of love. True smile. This morning I’m again in love with something. Intoxicated with the idea.

I’m walking along  the coast to the old town Kotor , where I’m picking up Adam , a wonderful guy from Australia. We catch the bus to Budva, but first we’re waiting for the lady at the counter to finish her breakfast, and then buying pretty expensive tickets. Every next time I’ll hitchhike.

And here we are finally. The driver picked us up and drove us to the beach at  Becici, the finish point for paragliders. And from here I’m talking about my story, I leave to Adam his part of it, although I know he liked it.

I stand on Brajici hill and watch the bright blueness as it glistens in the sun . I hear  the voice of my instructor and ‘ partner ‘ calling me. Time to go.

Butterflies in my stomach  are slowing down and seconds in which I prepare safety belts are becoming longer. We are ready and now we are waiting for the right wind. I feel every movement of the air on my skin and then , we start to run and strength of our bodies drag thin rope behind, while the bright colored glider rises towards the azure. One second separates us from the moment we are apart from  the ground and soar into the sky over Brajici. A smile is there, instead of a sweet pain, interwoven with anticipation as the wind accepting my shoulders like the soil never had. ‘Keep your feet on the ground’ has never seemed  more like nonsense .

I observe the motorist, hundreds of feet below me, while he is going into a curve, closing my eyes, feeling every part of my body in ecstasy. In my case, this is not adrenaline experience, it’s more a knowledge about the beauty of life. Beauty of the Adriatic, festooned with miniature boats and fragile bodies shadows, floating in the blue water. Beauty of each moment and my presence in them .

I would fly every day . Budva looks stunning from this perspective and I’m immensely glad that I got the chance to see it .

So far I’ve flown twice, no, not enough . I recommend this experience from  the bottom of my  heart. And yes, feel free to bring a beer ‘ up ‘.

 

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Braici , above Becici , one of the most attractive points for paragliding in Montenegro.

 

 


 

Zelena okna uokviruju more koje svetluca na jutarnjem Suncu i cini mi se da sam cijelu noc prespavala sa trncima u dnu stomaka i slatkim treptajima u dlanovima. Cini mi se da je ta nespretna bojazan, protkana uzbudjenjem, smisao cijele price, zaboravljajuci da me pravi smisao tek ceka. Jedem svoj musli uz cijedjenu narndzu i hvatam siroki osmjeh na sopstvenom licu. Onaj zaljubljeni. Istinski. I ovog jutra sam zaljubljena u nesto. Opijena idejom. Uzurbano prolazim kotorskom obalom do starog grada, gdje kupim Adama, divnog decka iz Australije, kog sam cijelo vrijeme jurila, smarajuci ga selfijima. Hvatamo bus za Budvu, prvo sacekavsi da gospodja na salteru zavrsi svoj dorucak, a zatim kupivsi ne bas jeftine karte. Svaki sledeci put cu stopirati. I tu smo napokon. Vozac nas kupi i vozi na plazu u Becice, gdje slijiecu paraglajderi. I odavde ja pricam svoju pricu, Adamu ostavljam njegovu, mada znam da mu se dopalo. Stojim na Brajicima i posmatram jarko plavu kako se presijava na Suncu. Cujem glas mog instruktora i ”partnera” u tandemu kako me doziva. Vrijeme je da krenemo.

Leptiri u mom stomaku se polako bude i sekunde u kojima namjestam sigurnosne kajise postaju sve duze. Spremni smo, i stojimo cekajuci pravi vjetar. Osjecam svako pomjeranje vazduha na svojoj kozi i na ono pravo, pocinjemo da trcimo i svom snagom svojih tijela vucemo tanke konope za sobom, dok se paraglajder u jarkim bojama dize prema plavetnilu. Trenutak nas dijeli od momenta kada cemo se odvojiti od tla i vinuti se u nebo nad Brajicima. Osmjeh olaksanja ustupa mjestu slatkom bolu, protkanom iscekivanjem i vjetar prihvata moja ramena onako kako tlo nikada nije. Ono ”spusti se na Zemlju” nikada nije izgledalo kao veca besmislica.

Posmatram motoristu koji par stotina metara ispod mene ulazi u krivinu i zaklapam oci, osjecajuci svaki djelic svog bica u ekstazi. U mom slucaju, ovo nije adrenalisko iskustvo, koliko spoznaja same ljepote zivljenja. Ljepote Jadrana na kojem su nacickani minijaturni brodici i krhka tijela koja plivaju u plavetnilu kraj obale. Ljepote svakog trenutka i prisutnosti u svakom od njih.

Ja bih letjela svakog dana. Budva najljepse izgleda iz ove perspektive i neizmjerno mi je drago sto sam dobila priliku da je tako vidim.

Do sada sam letjela dva puta i ne, nije dosta. Preporucujem ovo iskustvo od srca. I da, slobodno ponesite pivo ”gore”.

Gdje?

Brajici, iznad Becica, jedna od najatraktivnijih tacaka za paraglajding u Crnoj Gori.

 

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Durmitor Ice cave: Hidden winter in Montenegro

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I was born and raised on Durmitor Mountain and I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to be surrounded by the art of Mother Nature for so long. I think that the contours of the mountains, glaciers, lakes, mountain plants and that crispy air has had a big impact on who I am today. My house is located near the entrance of the Durmitor National Park.

A few days ago we had planned something for this morning. If you live in Zabljak, either to go to the shop, have a coffee in some of the local places (Kino pub and sometimes Or’o – when they don’t play shitty music) or have a walk with a friend, you always see the peaks of Durmitor, sometimes illuminated by the sun, sometimes immersed in fog. But they are always there to remind you that you are not where you should be. The Mountain is calling. After a few warnings, we decided to climb up to one of my favorite places on Durmitor. If I may choose a favorite.

If you look from Zabljak (1456 m) town (highest town in the Balkans) you will notice easily on the right side of Durmitor massif, one peak with a very special outlook and form which makes it a very important part of Durmitor’s panorama. Because of it’s rounded peak, Durmitorians gave this peak the name “Obla Glava”(Rounded head). This peak is very famous because of Ledena Pecina (Ice Cave), which is placed on the NE side of the Obla Glava massif. The ice cave is the natural beauty of Durmitor National Park. In this cave there are beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations made of ice. It’s one of the closest things to the Zabljak that one should visit on Durmitor, so we decided to do it. Black lake is the starting point for a lot of trips on Durmitor, so, when we woke up, and finished our breakfast, we went to the Black lake, which is located 2 km from the center of Zabljak. The easiest and the most beautiful way that you can reach the Ice cave is via katun Lokvice (summer pasture), where you can see the most diverse landscapes as you go on. The road is not overly demanding, and you need 3 hours to reach the cave. We went a little bit longer this time and went a more difficult route by Crno Jezero (Black lake) (1416 m) – Jaksica Mlin (1514 m) – Stari Katun (1931 m) – Ledena Pecina (Ice Cave) (2303 m). This hike is not difficult, but we are taking breaks.

The Ice cave is our goal, but each step that we are making to reach that goal is so delightful that we have to stop and save it somewhere in our heads to always have that picture with us. And of course, with every step we can see spomenak (forget me not), my favorite flower. I have to pay attention to that beauty and Violeta as my friend is urging me to over and over again. And I swear to you, anywhere else food is not as tasty as when you take it up the mountain. Especially chocolate. I always carry chocolate, because it can give me strength in the moment. The best chocolate you can find in Montenegro is Najljepse zelje, remember that. Any place that you choose is wonderful, because it’s Durmitor, but this one I particularly like.

My favorite childhood memory is that morning, when I open my eyes and peer through the window to see snow topped pine trees and a metre white-layer of snow that has fallen over one night. I still remember that smell of winter and sparkling snow that I loved so much. One morning, every year when the end of winter came, I would take a plastic bowl and fill it with snow and keep it in the freezer until next winter. And then came the moment when I realized that Durmitor does that for me; somewhere in his massive body he carefully preserved the eternal winter, winter that we visit to this autumn day.

When we came to the Ice cave we were so tired. All the way to the cave is quite steep, so we sat down and took out all the food that we brought and ate the greater part of it and drank beer, Niksicko beer. Then it was time to get down there. At the entrance, which is pretty steep and covered with snow, it’s great if you have a rope, which we had, but it is not necessary. You can just dig your shoes into the snow. For this tour you don’t need anything more than hiking shoes, beer and chocolate.

We were greeted by a hall of eternal ice and snow. At the bottom of the cave, there are numerous icy stalagmites, some small, and some a few meters high. At the end of the summer season they are smaller, as they were this time. We walked around the stalagmites and breathed the cold air that looked like cigarette smoke. We were in there for about ten minutes. Two of us, one guy from Zabljak and a bunch of Russians. Before we came out of the cave, we sang Russian songs, while the cave echoed our voices and we were all happy and very calm. All our problems were 2160m below us. That’s why we love the mountain.

We decided to come down over the summer pasture of Vuk Kovacevic, which is a little easier and a shorter way, but delightful. If you pass this way (Katun Lokvice), come and visit Vuk. He lives there in the mountains and does not speak English, but people can make some kind of conversation in Serbian, Russian, or simply gestures; very interesting man. I mean, he lives high in the mountain all by himself. So, if you are on Durmitor and want to go to this magical place, you don’t need a guide, a map is enough. This is one of the shortest, but not less impressive tours. In September hiking is more impressive than cave. So, if you can, do it in the spring or beginning of summer. We did it in September and it was beautiful, but the snow had melted. If you have just one opportunity to go there, choose the right time. I will share some photos with you, so you can see how it looks in autumn. Anyway, I think that the Ice cave is the perfect place if you want to find your moment out of time and out of space. In the heart of the most beautiful Montenegrin mountain.

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Hidden beaches of Montenegro: part one, Canj

We all encounter those moments when we want to escape to a different reality, dimension that will wash out all the things that we worry about and that will set us free, at least for a moment. For me, it is water. Any water. It helps me learn how to live in a present moment, how to not let „the art of here and now escape me“. When I realized what I want to be in this life and that I can only be a writer and when I wrote a novel, which you will hopefully soon read in English, again I followed the element of water as the nearest and most getatable salvation. Even the title of a novel was Take me to the water.

So, a year ago I realized that I want to wake up every morning with a beautiful sea view. I want to have a coffee on the sunny terrace just a few houses from the beach and to be, you know…happy. Happier. And I did it. I moved to the Montenegrin coast where I found a couple of places that were perfect to me. Those are the places where I can hide when it’s not a good day to turn that day into hours of peace with myself and all that surrounds me.

Montenegrin coast is 293 km long, from Ulcinj until the end of the Bay of Kotor. There are about 100 beaches, with a total length of about 70km. My favorites are those hidden beaches, untouched natural pearls.

One of the most beautiful hidden beaches is in the Canj. Canj is absolutely not the place to choose when you plan your route. It is a little coastal town – village and there is not much to see, but I suggest going to one secret place right there, in Canj. This is a great place for you if you are staying in Bar, which is less visited than Budva and Bay of Kotor and where prices are much lower.

Tucked in a Mediterranean ambience between the Adriatic Sea and Skadar Lake, Canj is placed along the bay between Petrovac and Sutomore as a part of the Bar Riviera which is 50 km long.

Canj can be reached through coastal road by car, bus, train (the most attractive European railway whose route takes you from sea level to 1000 meters above sea level), boat or plane. The nearest train station is 4 km away and it’s located in Sutomore. Airport Golubovci in Podgorica is 41 km away and Tivat Airport is 54 km away from Canj.

Right there is beautiful place where I find peace, and where you can enjoy and find what you are looking for if you like hidden beaches.

When you arrive at the main beach in Canj, which is wonderful but full of families that have come to rest in this quiet part of the Montenegrin coast, on the left side of the beach you will see rocks from which sparkling waves bounce off and which at first glance look like the end of the beach. However, they are only beginning. Behind them you will find hidden paradise where almost certainly you will be alone, because hardly anyone knows about it, and it’s not possible to reach it but by climbing all the rocks or by boat. I would always (when I’m not really tired) choose to climb the rocks because peaceful day turns into an adventure and it gives you the adrenaline rush for that day.

So, even if it looks scary, just climb over the rocks. It will take you half an hour, approximately. Then you’ll recognize that you are on the right place and you will feel that it was worth it. The third beach in the rocks is your destination. It’s the most beautiful of all and it’s all yours. Cancel the plans for the rest of the day, because you will stay there until dark. Also, bring some food. Sunset looks extra nice from this place. If you’re really lazy take a pedal boat, kayak or something and go to the third beach.

In the rock on the right side of the beach there is a small natural pool a few meters deep, which is an attraction itself. You can dive in and emerge on the other side of the rocks.

Summer would not be summer without these days, and beaches of Montenegro are one of its best trumps. Each is breathtaking and this is just one of them. Today, I have summer in meeven if the summer is not here. Since I live this close to the water I somehow don’t care for the seasons.

So, here I am. I have salty water, mountains, sand, friends and smile and I know that, very soon, everything will be okay. Until then, I know where I can hide.

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Durmitor mountain: fairytales of valley Lomni do

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If we would transform our lives into a mosaic of moments, it would be the most valuable work in human history. Long time ago, from one dear book I have learned  that the mosaic is a guide for the personal legend. That legend that we all have, while confused and discouraged we are looking for meaning that is so simple and too large to be visible to the naked eye. Some of us feel that the only purpose is to live that legend and to be happy. When you are happy, your mother is happy, and your child , and your friend is happy, nature is happy, the universe, and God.

Yesterday morning I woke up, enjoyed my bath gel with the smell of olives, until the water became completely cold , stopped by to buy espresso and took a bus to Žabljak.

This morning I was at the place where I haven’t been for the years, where not many people walked for the years, but long time ago there were the hosts and housewives, and children, merchants and shepherds.

That’s the place hidden in the massive of Durmitor mountain, place  where important parts of my character were made, where you can hear the crickets, as they sit on your shoulder, where if you take a bit longer gaze into the mountains, you can see the spindly deer running.

I feel so peaceful there, like that is not the part of this world. It’s so pure and out of any evil. I’m safe there. I’m myself there. Fu**ing fairy there. J

Durmitor is stunning, every part of it (I would say it’s the most beautiful mountain in Montenegro), but Lomni do is special for me. All that peaks, that amazing valley, the view, the smell and one of my favorite lakes – Modro lake. Modro lake is placed 800 m far from the road Žabljak – Sedlo – Trsa. It’s is situated 11 km from Žabljak town. Its altitude is 1609 m, the surface is 7300 square meters. Maximum depth of the lake is 3,3 m. Its coast is long between 630 m and 700 m and is mostly stable during the year, without any decreasing and increasing of water level. The wildest part of lake is on its southern side, below the rocky massif of Ranisava peak.

Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself, so this place, more than others, make you be in the peace with yourself, and every single person should feel the way I feel when I’m sitting on the rock above Modro lake, looking at the most beautiful scenery in the world. Feel endless. Small and infinite at the same time, cause we are small and we are infinite.

Today, when I got back to Žabljak, I felt something like that. On my way to buy bread, in front of the shop, on the bench was guy in his late twenties, with bright eyes, the beard, the dirty clothes, with hiking shoes and a huge backpack. He followed me with curious eyewink, and I wondered if he is traveling alone, from which point on the globe he arrived, if he was hungry. If he felt good in Montenegro, in Zabljak. With bread I bought Snickers, because when I was on the mountain in these boots and with that backpack, it was certainly the best snack in the world. I asked him if he was tired, I found out that his country is not that far away from Montenegro (Bulgaria) and gave him a candy bar. I will describe his face properly if I tell you to imagine Santa Claus when he was young – pretty face, good-natured, sparkling eyes and the beard – perhaps as many inches as cities he visited. He rolled a cigarette for me, we talked for a long time, and then parted .

My house smelled of homemade cookies with cinnamon, I made coffee with milk, listened I’m into you on repeat and smiled paying tribute to a wonderful, wonderful day.

 

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Kada bi smo živote pretvorili u mozaik momenata, to bi bila najvrijednija djela u ljudskoj istoriji. Davno sam iz jedne drage knjige naucila da je taj mozaik putokaz za ličnu legendu. Onu koju imamo svi dok zbunjeno i obeshrabljeno jurcamo trgajući za smislom koji je tako jednostavan i prevelik da bi bio vidljiv golim okom. Samo neki od nas osjete da je jedini smisao proživjeti svoju legendu i samim tim biti srećan. Kada si srećan i tvoja majka je srećna, i tvoje dijete, i prijatelj ti je srećan, i priroda je srećna, i univerzum, i Bog, i sve čije si je srećno.

Juče ujutru sam se probudila, uživala u kupci sa mirisom maslina, sve dok voda nije postala potpuno hladna, svratila po espresso za ponijeti i sjela na bus za Žabljak.

Ovog jutra sam se našla na mjestu na kom nisam bila godinama, na koje nije mnogo ljudi kročilo godinama, a nekada je tamo bilo domaćina i domaćica, i djece i trgovaca i pastira.

To je mjesto skriveno u masivu Durmitora, mjesto gdje sam izgradila bitne dijelove svoje ličnosti, gdje se cvrčci čuju kao da ti sjede na ramenu, gdje ćeš ako se malo duže zagledaš u pravcu šume ugledati vretenastu srnu u trku.

Osjećam se tako mirno na tom mjestu, kao da ono nije dio baš ovog svijeta. Tako je čisto i izvan svakog zla. Sigurna sam tamo. Svoja sam tamo. Je*ena vila sam tamo.

Durmitor je nevjerovatan, svaki dio njega (rekla bih, najljepša planina Crne Gore), ali Lomni do je posebno mjesto za mene. Svi ti vrhovi, predivna dolina, taj pogled, miris i jedno od mojih najdražih jezera – Modro jezero. Modro jezero je skriveno 800m od puta Zabljak – Sedlo – Trsa, na 11km od Zabljaka.

Nalazi se na visini od 1609m, dok mu je površina 7300m2. Maksimalna dubina jezera je 3,3m. Obala mu je duga izmedju 630 i 700m. Tokom godine je stabilno i nema znatnih promjena nivoa vode u zavisnosti od godišnjeg doba.

Čovjek je dio prirode i svaki rat sa prirodom, rat je sa samim sobom, a ovo mjesto, više nego druga, čini da budeš u miru sa sobom. Svako bi se trebao osjećati onako kako se ja osjećam kada sjedim na stijeni iznasd Modrog jezera, posmatrajući najljepšu panorama svijeta. Osjećati beskraj u sebi. Jer smo tako mli, a tako beskrajni. Tako divni.

Danas, kad sam se vratila na Žabljak, osjetila sam nešto slično tome. Krećem da kupim hleb, a ispred radnje, na klupi, sjedi momak u kasnim dvadesetim, svijetlih očiju, sa bradom, u ishabanoj odjeći, planinarskim cipelama i sa ogromnim ruksakom. Radoznalo me prati pogledom, a ja se pitam da li putuje sam, sa koje je tačke na globusu stigao, da li je gladan. Uz hleb kupujem i Snickers, jer kada sam ja na planini u takvim cipelama i sa takvim ruksakom, to je zasigurno najbolji zalogaj na svijetu. Pitala sam ga da li je umoran, saznala da njegova zemlja i nije tako daleko, iz Bugarske je i poklonila mu čokoladicu. Njegovo lice ću najbolje opisati ako vam kažem da zamislite Deda Mraza kad je bio mlad – lijepo lice, dobroćudno, svjetlucave oči i brada – možda onoliko centimetara koliko gradova. Smotao je cigaretu za mene, pričali smo jako dugo, a onda se rastali.

Moja kuća je mirisala na domaće kolače sa cimetom, skuvala sam kafu sa mnogo mlijeka, pustila I’m into you na repeat i osmjehnula se odajući počast predivnom danu.

 

 

 

 

 

Kotor, Montenegro: Ain’t no love in the heart of the town

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Two years have passed since i have been living in the most beautiful city in the world, or at least one that is listed as the most beautiful to visit this year. I’m not saying that I’m not happy and grateful for it. In fact, when I started my blog, I wanted to write about Kotor. And I promise, I’ll write.

When I moved in here for the first time I strongly believed in the soul of this city, and then it was so hard to find it. At first glance, Kotor evaporates with it’s spirit, but at the first touch, every stone of this city is so cold and gray. Ain’t no love in the heart of the city! Ain’t no love in the heart of the town!

Kotor makes you feel alone if you spend enough time here. People come and go, and you stay between these stones , and the stones are not the place where you should be. It seems to you that the sea is no the sea anymore and the water is not the water in which you can come to quench your thirst.

But you’re so thirsty.

Oh and sometimes you wake up in the morning, and that view welcomes you.  The view that makes you feel guilty for saying that Kotor is gray. Some mornings are shining painfully, and they makes you feel bad that you’re not glowing with them.

You’re wondering if you’re depressed or if all this city is depressed and at times you can’t find the answer to this question.

I asked for months.

Then I stopped.

Because then came spring and Kotor .. oh, Kotor – lying again.

Or only then telling the truth.

Kotor can bring you a good man, who is just passing by. Kotor can bring you the morning sunlights to wake you up in the morning and the smell of coffee.

It almost brings you that coffee to your bed.

And you forget that it was cold.

As a lover for whom you are attached, and when you play strongly, forget that he played a cold.

And you’re hugging him and kissing, you dance in the narrow streets that are the most beautiful streets in the world.

And my God, they are the most beautiful in the world.

It brings you beautiful people. Friends, lovers, drifters, travelers. It brings you wine, smiles, hugs, stories that you will remember forever.  It brings you yourself. It makes you question yourself as the best psychologist, makes you be alone with yourself, so you can be the best version of yourself when you’re with other people. It makes you become the stone. The stone with a soul. And what, in this world, is more precious?

You do not care, your beloved  took you under his wing, forcing scents and sighs happening after your steps and tells you that you’re beautiful.

A woman is even more beautiful when she walks through the streets of The old town.

And you’re telling to Kotor that it is beautiful.

You’re falling in love.

Write a poem about it.

And you know it will hurts as soon as first winter comes.

But it’s okay.

After Kotor you will be the beautiful, stunning rock.

And you have to be a rock in this mad world.

Just don’t forget the soul.

Kotor haven’t forget its soul.

(just too good at hiding)