The content and opinions expressed in this blog are mine. They do not represent the US Government or US Peace Corps - Jud Dolphin

Sunday, May 1

Tito's Train

At every station along the way, an attendant stands at attention
and signals the train onward
Here I go for a journey on the Tito train line.  It leaves Belgrade for Bar  Montenegro.   Unlike the luxury cars of Tito's time, passengers sit six to a compartment.  

The seats are covered in plush velvet though no longer prime time.  Think shabby and somewhat stained.  It's an old old train.  Still I'm not here for luxury, but rather the spectacular scenery that lies ahead.  

It's named for Tito since he had it built during his 35 years as leader of Yugoslavia and used it frequently.  

Concrete forms criss-cross the mountainside.  
It was a big public work project as you can see the immense amounts of cement used to stabilize the track's slice through the mountains.  
Yesterday I attempted to visit  his grave site,  but it was locked down.  I didn't get to see much - just the outside of a memorial/museum building.  

After all It's Good  Friday,  according to the Orthodox calendar, or as they say in Serbia, Heavy Friday.

I had promised Neshko's father that I would honor Tito by going.  

He tells me that he owes his good life to this leader.  With little education, he always had work and raised a fine family. On several occasions, I enjoyed his hospitality.  His son, my friend Neshko,  has a graduate degree and now works for positive social change in Macedonia.  Many say that Tito made communism work.  I'm sure there's a shadow side too, but the people of this region talk about a lot of good. It makes me curious to learn even more.  

The train ride connects a land locked Serbia with  the coastal mountains.  One hour into this 10 hour trip, I've passed through 14 tunnels.   I know, cause I'm counting on the back of my ticket. Just a little obsessive compulsive - huh?

Outside,  I'm slowly leaving the city and entering a mixed area of ex-urban living.  
Notice the clusters of newer homes - all with red tile roofs.  See the more traditional villages and fields lush with Spring life.  And then there're nasty belching industrial stacks.  Where's the EPA?

I'm thinking this scene will become a watercolor
Within a couple more hours,  I enter a rugged mountainous area thick with forest.  A few isolated homesteads dot the hillsides.  Two men tend several dozen bee hives.  There are no other houses in sight - so very interesting.  

The tunnels keep coming at me.   I count over 50 now. In total I'm told there will be over 260.  It's beautiful.  My train compartment window frames each landscape.   I'm captivated.  Enjoy a few as I'm doing.... 
Notice the aqua blue colors in the water

As I enter Montenegro, granite peeks through the forested mountains

Clouds are marvelous 
Underneath a high tressel a river zig-zags towards the sea

Imagine living in such a beautiful place
Do you know what this might be?  The signage says 1921,
I'm clueless.
By the way, I stopped counting tunnels after about 4 hours.  My total was 123 - although I nap for about 20 minutes.  I guess I'm not so obsessive compulsive after-all. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and mesmerizing sights! I certainly felt that I have been at these places while going through your post. Keep sharing these wonderful pictures!