Men’s toys on the mountain railway

Having woken up in the gnomes’ houses in the pine forest, we have a gnome’s breakfast of nettle fritters, curds, hedgerow infusions & home cured ham.

We travel to Mokra Gora in the poring rain and there take the Sargan Eight up to, you guessed it, Sargan Vitasi. The reason it is called Sargan Eight is that it loops up the mountain through wonderful scenery and the track follows a figure of eight path to get to the top.

The journey starts from Mokra Gora.

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At the top the engine goes up, comes back, goes past, comes back and the back becomes the front – if you see what I mean.

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And off we go down again.

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This is the engine driver!!

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And this man is really important because he wears the hat & blows the whistle!!

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Accommodation that night is in another gnome’s house in a replica tradional village called Kustendurff built by film director Ernier Kusturica ( I’ve never heard of him). Very quirky – a bit like a wooden, Serbian Port Median.

Have a look

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This lady is a living person!

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A long wait at the border to take us into Serbia

The deep gorges & towering mixed deciduous forest of Montenegro give way to rolling alpine meadows & lakes of Serbia.

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Your monastery for the day is Mileseva.

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This guy is the best.

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We spend the night in the pine woods and rebuilt 19th century village houses of Sirogonjno. Some artefacts:

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We are driving north west through the Zladibor mountain region and then west to Sarajevo which you have all heard of.

Following the Moracha & Tara Gorges into the mountains

Anyone who likes a road trip with deep, precipitous gorges, huge, towering trees and winding narrow roads should do this drive. Just like the limestone country of the Cevenne & Ardeche in France.

First stop is the peace of Moracha monastery.

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A stop for fresh fruit – the family get their produce out for us tourists.

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A stop for lunch on the River Tara. This bridge at one point in time was the longest bridge in Europe – until they built a longer one somewhere else!!

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A fun thing to do is the zip wire across the gorge. This is how to do it.

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This is how not to do it – hang in the middle and require rescue

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From here we travel up to 1400 metres and the ski area and another national park. A walk around the glacial lake clears the head in the cool clear atmosphere.

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From sunbed city at Bodvar up to the peace of Skader Lake

Got to show you this from last night. The storm clouds gather over the island outside Kotor.

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This led to a huge storm overnight with thunder, lightening & torrential rain. We left the damp streets of Kotor to wind our way down the coast to Bodvar. A lovely mediaeval fortified town with any patch of beach hosting cheek by jowel sunbeds.

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Work this one out.

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From here we head inland up to the mountains & the green tranquility of Virpazer on Lake Skader in the national park.

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After lunch in this small lakeside village (grilled eel in my case – a local speciality; come on, got to be tried once) we take a leisurely trip around this huge lake.

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The skipper & his mate!!

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I forego a bevvy at the local bar on my return.

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Hello the Balkans – waking up in Kotor, Montenegro

Norway, Switzerland & Scotland all rolled into one. Fyords in the sun come to mind, well at least in the morning before the rumbling thunder and lightening comes ever closer.

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Sunday in Kotor & the church of St Gryphon. Anyone ever heard of him?

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The band plays outside in the square

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And parades through the streets.

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For some it’s just too much.

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