A quick escape

Montenegro. It’s just the two of us again. On the road, with a car, driving towards our expectations.

It was urgent to depart as soon as we finnish with all the pre-holiday obligations and work. And we did. The last time we went to Balkan we drove for 6 hours, stopped the car in a small unknown village, dogs were barking, it was around midnight … We went to sleep in the tent by the river when outside was 1 freezing degree. This time we booked a room in Banja Luka and outside was 1 freezing degree.

Our plan was to go shortly through Bosnia, to the Albanian Alps, do some mountain hiking and roam around villages, abandoned because of the winter. We made it all towards the border of Albania and Montenegro but not any further as we got too overwhelmed by Skadar lake.

Uroš was to Montenegro in the autumn (Ghosts from Montenegro) and, beside Durmitor, visited another part of Skadar lake. He got fascinated by Montenegran nature and people, decided we should come back together. The experience is always different in two.

Firstly, we stopped in Bosnia to go skiing at olympic Jahorina, bahklava tasting in Travnik and seeing the sand pyramids in the middle of nowhere, in Daničići. We continued to the Montenegran border and stopped in Foča for lunch. It was pleasant to be in Bosnia again after two years, when we first did some performing on the streets of Sarajevo together.

On the photo below you can see a house with an arch where we stayed for a while in Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro, with Ivan and Ljudmila. They are an older couple of experience from all over the world and sense for involvement and leaving you your own space. Ljudmila roasted us smoked fish she caught on her own and home made rakija for a welcome as we laughed at Ivan’s jokes spiced by Kusturica-movies-like humour. When he tried to interrupt her because he was so into the discussion, she confidentally took her own space for speaking with a prominent Russian accent. I was impressed by this woman and her genuine power.

Radno vrijeme: od 6:00 do – dok se ne napijemo. / Working hours: from 6.00 till – we get drunk.

We were discovering the nearby surroundings, gifted with high amounts of water in the coming spring. I was constantly thinking about when do we have to leave this place and the “trees are travelling slowly” seemed a bit absurd all of a sudden.

Uroš found a dry root by the river and he wanted to take it home as a memoir. He is always collecting stones, cones and little wooden objects. I wanted to carry it on my head for a while. Then I packed it on the backpack, tried to fix it on, and broke it. Such a banal and reckless action that makes me think of how do we care for the things that are important for the people we care about.

Skadar lake was a peaceful resting place. February was perfect as we were the only visitors in the village. We only bumped into a little French family with a van. They stopped at the viewpoint and we were staring into the same river curve. Nobody said anything, they just quietly continued their journey and so did we.

There are countless abandoned buildings by the roads that are left to dogs and random visitors. We really are random visitors. I could feel the forgoten grasp of the strange lifestyle we had last year when we were on the road for a year. Knowing you are there, at a certain place, as permanently as a doughnut bite, makes you feel less anxious about what the unknown places will bring you. But it does make you feel anxious about the everyday life in your hometown.

We ate doughnuts while rowing through the river estuary just to taste the spring carnival happening nearby. We pretended we are badass just for this photo.

From our beloved Skadar we were returning by the sea. We visited Kotor, strolled around the old town and got scammed for the fee of the city fortress. I was angry to be so naive even if it was only for the price of an avarege pizza in the pricey historical city! The views were worth a walk up the hill thaugh.

… and we went from our home couch to the one on the street to see how it feels like being somewhere else again. To look at strangers and at each other more. I haven’t played accordion a lot, juggled, sang, drew or hiked mountains but we had everything with us. We had all the equipement.

We never learn. Apparently I wanted so much of this travel but what remained was me taking a break from discipline and responsibilities. One evening in Perast we were talking about what are we doing and why we don’t feel as calm as we expected. We are still questioning it.

The thing I figured out was that no matter where we are, we feel the same kind of restlessness. At home and on the road. I tried to escape the feeling but it didn’t work so I will rather accept it and be restless a little longer. Just to learn to accept it.

Text: Eva

Photo: Uroš & Eva