6th September 2012
It was an earlier start today and our chance to experience Serbia’s version of Puffing Billy, the Sargon 8 train near Mokra Gora, 4 older style carriages pulled by a diesel engine. The interiors looked pretty original with wooden slatted seats and drop down windows. The ride up to the top took about 50 minutes with no stops along the way. There was a commentary pointing out the features along the way, the first in Serbian, and later in English, neither were of any use, just like Flinders Street in peak hour, so much noise it just blocked it out.
Bruce: Great fun on the train this morning. The back of the ticket showed the path the train takes, and the thing looks just like one of Louise’s noodle awards (see picture!). It runs up and over itself many times as it winds up the mountain. There are some extra photos just for Roger, as I know he’ll be looking for them.
The dedicated orienteers amongst us religiously followed the map on the back of the ticket most of the way.
There was a brief stop at the top just to turn the engine around for the downhill journey. 3 or 4 stops on the way down, one long enough to explore the upper terrace above the station and provide some good photo opportunities.
From here we headed to the ethno-village at Drvengrad built by Serbian film director, Emir Kusturica. Not quite movie world but it did have a cinema, some interesting architecture that served as hotel apartments and even a prison. A good place to stop for refresments (no not the prison). There were also some of the older soviet era vehicles used in his movies.
A short drive from here was the Tara National Park. Some of us took the opportunity to have a snooze along the way. The map left a lot to the imagination, but Bruce soon lead us on a route march up to the top of the hill. Our fitness levels are destined to improve rapidly at his rate. We even spent a little time acting our age in the playground.
I have to report we did see a bear, but didn’t need to run this time as it was well secured and preserved in a glass case. We timed our walk well as it just started to mist as we left the park on our way to our overnight stop at Valjevo. Today has been much cooler and a perfect day for being outside. Hopefully Kopaonik will like this.