A safe haven

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It was a grey, cold, and rainy morning... in the city. Actually, the fog and rain stayed with us even at Bjelašnica ski resort. As we stood at the Babin Do and waited for the rest of the group, we looked around and saw nothing but fog. Everywhere. It was cold and wet, and I was glad I wore my knee-high rubber boots. Even though I was not in the best of spirits, I kept thinking, i.e. kept forcing myself to think that as long as I am here, no matter the weather, I will try to enjoy as much as possible.

Who would have thought what we would discover just a few kilometers from there...

Lukomir. Blue skies, history, organic food, wonderful people.

Much to our amazement, the weather started to change with each kilometer as we approached Lukomir. By the time we reached our destination, I was surprised at how much the weather conditions have changed in a little more over an hour's ride from my home. Now I was glad I put sunscreen on my face and dressed in layers (thanks to a tip from my friend S. whose family comes from Lukomir). Good thing I took her seriously when, in response to my question about the weather up there, she responded with You never know.

Situated in a valley, yet atop a hill that goes down to Rakitnica canyon, Lukomir seemed like a portal to 14th century. We were greeted by very warm and friendly locals who were still in the village. Most of them have already left due to the coming winter. In the coldest season, Lukomir is completely cut off from the rest of the civilization, and its inhabitants leave for the nearby cities and settlements (Lukomir is the settlement at the highest altitude in B&H - around 1500 m above sea level). 

After paying respects at the medieval tombstones which lie at the entrance to the village, we took a downhill walk into the Rakitnica canyon. As we walked down, we passed by what used to be the Donji Lukomir (Lower Lukomir) settlement. Its inhabitants moved over time to Gornji Lukomir (or just Lukomir) due to avalanches that claimed lives of its inhabitants every winter (it is said that each family had at least one family member who was killed in the avalanches at some point). Now, the only remnants of this settlement are scattered old mills, with water still dripping through them.

Our two hour long downhill walk ended at the Peruća waterfall. The water was cold and refreshing. Upon the return to Lukomir, we visited a local family. They welcomed us with lunch of home made cheese and potato pies, served with organic yoghurt, and followed by coffee, and, for me, warm herbal tea. Incredible kindness and good humour of the locals overwhelmed us. They shared their food and their stories, and by the end of it all I had forgotten about the silly bad weather that was affecting my mood.

On our way back, we were again greeted by fog and rain. But the uncanny Lukomir images and experience made them much more bearable this time around.

No comments:

Post a Comment