Mokra Gora - Sargan
Near Bosnia-Herzegovina border
Sargan Eight Railway
Located near the Bosnia-Herzegovina border, the small village of Mokra Gora is best known for its spectacular Šargan Eight Railway. Designed in a figure eight loop, engineers in the early 1900’s were able to work around the steep cuttings and narrow gorges (300 m vertical difference between the two stations Mokra Gora and Šargan-Vitasi even though it was only a 3.5 km horizontal difference) to create this beautiful section of railway. Although the train route no longer serves its original purpose of connecting rural villages between Belgrade and Sarajevo, this short section has been restored back to its original 1925’s glory and is now a successful tourist attraction.
Nearing the train station, I spotted a traditional-looking village on top of a hill. It was the set constructed for the 2004 film release Life is a Miracle. Like other buildings of the area, the roofs were quite steep to accommodate the heavy snowfall. Wood was the dominant building material, used both for construction and decoration. I especially enjoyed the unique church with its carved interior wood and the views from the plateau. The taxi driver pointed to the hills in the distance, which he said were in Bosnia.
Šargan Train Station
The road to the Šargan train station paralleled the train tracks in several places. In other areas the railway went through tunnels. Even though I wasn’t taking the museum train, the view still was beautiful. At the train station were restored buildings including a museum with souvenir shop and café. Climbing up the steps, I walked past the end-of-line turnstile and up to the constructed waterfall. Walking through the pine forest (and pretty pink pine-like flowers), I saw another train tunnel and great views of the area.
On the way back to Zlatibor, we spotted an older woman by the roadside. Beneath her black scarf one could see her white hair with a thin braid across the top. When the driver asked her if I could take her photo, she smiled (many teeth missing), tapped her wooden “cane” and seemed thrilled. After I took a few photos, she held my hand, kissed my cheeks several times, and reached into her pocket to pull out a few nuts. Such warmth and generosity. Shortly after waving goodbye, it began to rain. Back in Zlatibor, I ordered Komplet Lepinja at a restaurant recommended by a teacher. After looking through the crafts stalls and purchasing some of the famous Sirogojno sweaters for my family, the sky once again grew heavy. It would be a good time to get caught up on some reading in the hotel and look at my photos.