I was walking in the beautiful Balkanic countryside of the Durmitor national park, when I saw an ugly derelict building on the side of one of the nearby hills. It was a nice holiday, yet I felt a magnetic pull towards this place, despite it looked rather sinister.
The first time I saw the abandoned hotel I decided not to visit it, instead I just gazed at the crooked building with its 19th century big slanted roof, and I noticed how the vegetation around it seemed to be very nice despite it contrasted entirely with the abandoned big decadent construction.
This place was a nice part of the countryside, there were many tall trees, red coloured flowers, black birds, there was an overall original mix of fragrant scents in the air and I wanted to get on with my travels. I carried on walking North with my rucksack.
I had seen many original places on this Balkan tour, from the white city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, known as the city of light, to the dark shaded sea side resort of Herceg Novi in Montenegro with its Indaco sea and many levels of habitats up the mountainside, also known as city of stairs. Both places had very nice seafood.
I had visited the Skadar Lake and the birds, and fish that inhabit it. There were amazing views of uncontaminated natural landscapes. I had also been to see some of the various Churches and Mosques that I passed by on my way inwards towards the Montenegrin Mountains of Durmitor.
Clearly, I could not bother to visit every single construction I stumbled into, otherwise it would not be much of a vacation. At least that is what I thought until I started getting recurrent dreams of the big hotel on the side of one of the local Durmitor park mountains. It seems as if some constructions are better off not visited after all.
As I have already mentioned, on the first afternoon I saw the abandoned hotel, after a short moment of strange attraction, I decided to carry on my walk, I needed to find a place to stay a few nights, so that I could visit this area of the Balkans. There were many different shades of dark green, red, brown, purple and black coming from the vegetation, and I was confident I would soon find a relaxing place to help cure my asthma and weak nerves that tormented me so much in the big city I live in northern England.
The village of Gu-Ah was inhabited perhaps by only 30 or 40 people, but it had several room rental workers hiring a room for tourists. I soon managed to get myself understood by a man who was selling dark red wine on the side of the road. We communicated mainly with sign language because we did not speak the same language. I eventually understood his name was Stanislas and that he was famous for selling good quality wine. He kept on urging me to taste some of it. I finally tried it, and it had a good full taste. He really lived up to the reputation of a good salesman.
I gave him a coin for the glass of wine I had drunk, but despite he insisted, I refused to buy an entire bottle. I thanked him, hence I pointed at some of the houses in the background and showed him my luggage.
Thus I convinced him I was really looking for a room to stay for a few nights. He called out to someone in the background by shouting at a house nearby. A man wearing only trousers and a vest came outside an old village house. This black haired and robust man was called Vojislav and he spoke English. He was very kind as he took me straight away to his next door neighbour Mrs. Vlaovich. They briefly spoke to one another in their language, and soon she said that she could rent me a room for a small price.
I immediatley felt relieved as I left my rucksack on the bed in the tidy bedroom and I payed the weekly rent. There was a scent of lavanders coming through the open bedroom windows. I could certainly be on holiday whilst not irritating my fragile nerves this time. Yet, it had not always been this easy. Once in Dubrovnik I had to speak to five different people before I could pay rent for a room for just a few days. Even then it cost quite a bit. Instead, Mrs Vlaovic was a relaxed old lady with nice manners, and she said that I could have breakfast included in the price of the rent.
One of the things I liked about being on holiday in the balkans was the clean air in many places, another nice thing was the mostly slow and relaxed pace of life. There was a small fridge on one side of the entry, it could be used by guests. The room renter had a kind looking medium sized black dog of unknown mixed breed who followed me around the house and looked at me with curiosity.
The bedroom I hired was large and the furniture was a nice dark brown vintage style. The view from the bedroom window was outstanding, it looked on to a valley full of trees, rivlets, plants and flowers, and above all, there was very clean air.
I could hear some distant music coming from the valley below, there were some strange melodies that I had never heard before, and judging from the bedroom window it seemed to be coming from a small open air festival or public gathering with dances and percussions going on and off with balkanic violins continuing in the background their strange melodies.
I soon opened my luggage and left my clothes in the wardrobe, I decided I wanted to go to look closer at the gathering in the valley. It only took me five minutes to march down to what a closer look revealed as some kind of village festival with gypsy dances. There were many middle aged and old people dancing with strange old clothes from another period. The dominant colours of their dress were black and red. I soon turned sideways and tried to speak to two of the guests who were drinking dark wine on the side of a hill, as I did not feel enthusiastic about barging directly into someone else’s traditional festival.