Monday, 2 December 2013

Trapped in Narnia

I took a train from Belgrade to Uzice, which was a challenge in itself.I managed to identify the train from the departure time but in place of a platform number was something that looked like aytobyc in cyrilic lettering. Remembering the guide the day before told me C is S I translated this to autobus, = bus, ah!

At this point I was approached by a man who explained in broken English that there was no train but I could go all the way in his taxi.Ignoring this I managed to find the information desk and was told that the problem with the line was fixed and I should wait on platform 2.

Finally slightly over an hour late a train arrived and I got on for what turned out to be a slow limp through the snowy countryside up into steep forested mountains that looked like they had ever seen a human and finally down again to Uzice. As I stood on the platform checking the directions to my couchsurfing hosts house she found me and explained that we would be spending the evening at her friends flat in the city so I left my bag in left luggage and we spent a few hours climbing up through the snow to an old fortress above the city.

Then we walked the length of the city to buy wine for the party and ended up in a 7th floor flat where they served burek, a kind of pie made with crumbly cheese and puff pastry, and rakija, a homemade brandy you could use to run most cars and there were a number of confusing conversations that were only partly in English on subjects from music to non existent countries, one of the guest was Macedonian and had a letter from the Greek government telling him there was no such place.

Finally it was time to collect my bags and take a taxi out to my hosts house outside town, where I fell asleep almost before I had worked out the sofa bed.

The next day, wanting to walk in the hills we went to Zlatibor, a sometimes ski resort in deep snow and managed to spend several hours getting not very far up the smaller hills. The snow depth varying from a few cm to waist height did not make for the easiest going.

In the morning I was planning to get the 11am bus to Sarajevo and bought a ticket, I was then directed to platform 10 and when the bus arrived tried to board, no luck. Eventually I established my ticked was for a different company but by then the bus had gone and the only option was a 3pm bus to Visegrad just over the border and an onward bus at 1 the next afternoon so I wandered around the town, which put me in mind of what Narnai might have been if C S Lewis had come to terms with the industrial revolution.

Visegrad turned out to have an Ottoman bridge, a lot of snow.

And a cemetery by the Orthodox church where all the death dates were 1992, I will leave you to think why this might be.

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