From Sea Urchin to Craggy Mountain

Not content to merely look at the imposing Montenegrin mountains, I had to meander three hours on switchback and winding roads to Zabljak, an enclave of summer sports that required down vests and leggings. I’d just gotten an understanding of the sea-happy coast; now it was A-frames, après-hike, goats and beer. Trying to categorize the place, I flashed on sleepy Alpine ski town, German physical culture obsessions, and soon, the meadows of the Sound of Music. The mind jumps to what it knows and delights in comparisons and adjustments.
Once we started walking, I started paying more attention to what was really there – the towering pines, apparently virgin growth, cluster around glacial lakes and a National Park. Entrepreneurism, until the recent flurry of tourism, is represented by little stands of berry and mushroom sellers (chanterelles, porcini!) at every turn. Scattered on the slopes are spotty little villages in disrepair, disintegrating into the soft hay. Cows wander up the slopes of mountains. On the higher elevations, an array of smart hikers – lanky locals, Serbs, Hungarians, British, French – in serious hiking boots, poles and tight pants, attack the superb organized hiking paths. Models fill bottles from the mountain spring where a saint is thanked for the source.  It’s a gesture, though maybe more than that – the big picture here is nature and the emerald lakes, “eyes of the mountain,” that see it all.

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One Response to From Sea Urchin to Craggy Mountain

  1. Tom D'Evelyn says:

    Thanks Jill for this vivid get-away! It has a dimension of fantasy— those models —models!— capturing pure runoff— that only heightens the plaisir! We feel your awareness, your indulgence, as you carefully guide us where only your skillful imagination allows us to go.

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