The Drina, the bridge and the "Chira" train
Author: Danijela Okrajnov
Travel brings back strength and love to our lives!
I read this quote once, I do not remember exactly where, but I definitely agree. For me, the especially inspiring journeys are those in areas of exceptional and unusual natural beauties. Western Serbia is definitely that. For the purpose of this blogpost only a small part of the attractions that you must see during this visit to this part of Serbia will be highlighted.
The Potpeće cave is notable by its prominent entrance. Namely, this is the highest cave entrance in Serbia which is among the monumental works of nature. In addition to the truly spectacular passage, the steep and high walls of the cave itself left a special impression on me. Coming not far from the entrance, to the staircase, I stood and looked up, toward the sky. Its high walls look like a mountain standing above our heads, simultaneously accentuating the justified feeling of admiration and awe. I had been in another world. The entrance reminds us of a portal that leads to another dimension, as shown in the movies. Inside the cave, we’ve witnessed decorations that only nature can create.
After visiting the cave, we stopped at the restaurant Vodeničar located not far away. A wooden building next to the water, a streamer water mill still in use after a hundred years of existence and a trout pond give this place a relaxed atmosphere ideal for tasting delicious local specialties.
The Drina River, an unusual green color, just as it is here. Above the river a steep mountain covered by woods and while we are moving in the vehicle, they seem so close.
I could not take my eyes off the river.
We arrived at Visegrad and the famous bridge on the Drina. The first thing I noticed is that the bridge fits perfectly into this natural environment. This work of human hands does not in any way impair the beauty of the landscape, on the contrary, in an unusual way it completes it. The peninsula with stone of Andrićgrad is a place worth visiting. As we walked through the streets, I had the impression that I was in a Mediterranean town.
We used the opportunity for a short cruise on the Drina River. I would recommend everyone this ride by boat. On that occasion you have the opportunity to see Andrićgrad, Višegrad, the bridge, the surrounding mountains from another perspective. Certainly the cruise is a nice experience, especially in this beautiful river.
The Sargan Eight is one of the most beautiful railroads in the world. Today, this narrow gauge railway is used exclusively for tourist purposes. There is a train "Nostalgia" with an almost forgotten steam locomotive. Some time ago these trains were called "chira". Traveling with this train is really suited in the spirit of past times. I was eagerly waiting to go. Yes, they did not fool me; my expectations were fulfilled when we started. The feeling was really unusual and exciting. The fairy taley landscapes, coniferous forests, tunnels and bridges were lined up. Stations are in retro style and everything is extremely neat. I would recommend the restaurant Šarganska osmica at Mokra Gora station, as a very pleasant place for lunch, with really delicious food.
All in all, this drive should not be missed.
Drvengrad is one truly unique place. Wooden houses, wooden trails, bright green grass, clear fresh air, is what was carved in my memory about this place. Regardless of the many tourists, you have a sense of peace here. While I was going through the complex, I had the feeling that I was in a village that was an illustration for a Russian fairy tale. Here, there are a few restaurants that serve local products, hotels, cinemas, churches, theaters, and everything is subordinate to art.
The weekend spent in these places, in the community of dear people, really "added" to me the strength and love of life!
Program for this excursion: https://www.serbianadventures.com/en/adventure/view/131/visegrad-andric-grad-sargan-mecavnik-two-days-tour