A childhood on the mountain
We all have our beginnings.
I like to share with you a story about how my beginnings on the mountain were like.
Blog by Snezana Djuric, Arduua Frontrunner
and a continuation of the story…
Different shades of success
Me and my grandmother
I live in the city, that’s where I was born. But my mother was born on a mountain, and my grandmother still lives there. It is a mountain mass in Western Serbia, 150k away from the house where we live in the city.
The village belongs to a mountain called Zlatibor, but is actually located between three mountains, Zlatibor, Zlatar and Mucanj. Grandma’s house is at 930m above sea level and the highest point of the village is at 1280m above sea level. It is not very high compared to which peaks exist in the world, but it is a real wildlife, and I like it the most J.
When I was a kid, I always went there when it’s summer. I will be with my grandmother for at least a month. With my parents, brother, sister, cousins …
There is no flat in my village
I always say that there is no flat in my village. It’s just in the house, outside or going uphill or downhill :D. One of the reasons I have stayed in the village for a long time is that there is cleaner and better air there, and I had trouble breathing. So, my grandma always had a way of healing :)!
Working on the field
She has a cow, sheep, pigs, chickens … and raspberries Many raspberries! I always drank fresh milk, ate quality food and spent time outside. As everyone knows, or may not know, there is always something to do and help in the village. For example, in my village there are a lot of meadows, mowing grass and collecting hay for a cow. Which means, let me explain a little more precisely … People mow the grass during the day, grandma, mother and I prepare their food and carry it to the meadow. The meadows are away from the house, of course going uphill :D. When the grass dries, it is harvested in one place. Which means we go again the next day and goes to the meadow and works all day :). You can see what it looks like in the pictures …
Which means, since I was a little kid, I’ve been doing trail, I just didn’t know it at the time: D!
What we were still doing was picking raspberries. Raspberries are harvested for about 40 days in the summer. They last so long. So, getting up early every day and picking raspberries until the evening :). Of course, take a break for food, water … Just under the raspberries we made a wooden table and benches, and here we eat, we drink, we rest. Tables and benches are under the apple tree.
Nothing was hard for my grandmother
My grandmother has always fascinated me. She always seemed like nothing was hard for her. She got up early, visited the cattle, fed, milked the cow, then picked raspberries, then again at noon went to see the cattle, then returned to the raspberries, and again in the evening the cattle …. I learned a lot from her about life and work. I could never tell her that it was difficult for me to do anything. I see her who is so much older than me and do it all through the day … how can it be difficult for me?
I was always told by my parents, my grandmother, and the people from the village that they took me to the meadows as a baby :). They say they let me sleep on a blanket in the meadow while they work. I even woke up to them once and rolled down the meadow :D. I’ve always loved hearing those stories.
My very first trail-run
With my brother and sister, I always thought of different games. But we were always outside. We were never bored; the day was always full. When you are in the country, you cannot lie down all day, something must be done. So I was always in charge of – go get this, go bring it, run to the house and bring us something…So, like I said, it was trail just I didn’t know ;D!
We went uphills for hours
One day my grandmother told me that the next day I would go with her to her sister, who lives in another village, across the mountain, and of course we would go walking because we cannot do otherwise! Well, ok. Do what you must do :D.
We left early in the morning as soon as the sun came up. The grandmother brought one bag where she put a bottle of water, a slice of bacon, cheese and bread. Because it is eaten on the mountain, and it carries with it when walking for a long time … We went, of course, uphill. We passed meadows, woods, clearings … my grandmother used to tell me what place was called, because each meadow had a name. When we were below the top she took me to a source of water called cold water. We freshened up, poured cold water and moved on. The sun was already warming up. We reached the top where birds were flying all around us. It was a fascinating sight for me. We paused to eat something, my grandmother explained whose hut, called the top, showed me where to go next.
Then we went downhill, crossed a rocky side, and out on a country road. We went downhill for about an hour and reached the river at the foot of the two mountains. This is where the village started, we passed the place where fish are found and some houses.
We had another uphill ride to the house where her sister lived. I don’t remember being tired or feeling sick. It was all interesting to me. we spent some time with her sister, talked, heard stories from that village, and it was time to go back. We had to go back before sunset. I remember asking my grandma how are we going back? The answer was yes just as we came! I didn’t say anything :D!
We returned a little different way than we came, but just as interesting. It was wonderful for me to see the peaks in the distance, other villages on the hills across, and listen to all the stories about the mountain.
When we got home, I was able to eat, and I fell asleep very quickly. I remember that the next day I got tired. So, that was actually my first trail. I didn’t run, of course, I didn’t even know how many miles we had travelled, I only know that I went for several hours across the mountain to be with her sister for 2 hours and to come back for hours!
And so, every year, during the summer, I spent time in the countryside, on the mountain. Every year I learned something new and kept repeating the old one.
The people in the mountain village are very strong and durable
And winter is just a special story … Winter games in the snow and that wilderness …
Another very important thing. I can’t reach my house in the village by car. Previously, we walked a lot from where we parked the car to the house. It’s a smaller distance now, but I still can’t get home by car. There is always a part to walk.
My mother had to go to school for a few hours when she was a kid. So, genetics is my good side :).
I have always been able to respect all this, I know how many people work in mountain villages, how strong and durable they are. Now I don’t have time to spend a month in the village, but I go whenever I can for a day or two … as far as my obligations allow. When I started running the trail and travelled many miles, my grandmother just told me – well, only you will be crazier than me!
Baba is much older now, she can’t walk that much … but for example, when sheep run away into the mountain, who do you think is going to bring them home??? J
It is a priceless feeling when you can help someone who has done a lot for you ….
Turning back to the village
The village is called Visoka, which literally means High.
About a month ago, I went to the village, and went the same way she led me across the mountain. My friends came with me. I explained everything to them like my grandmother did to me when I was a kid …
This is me, and here is where I come from.
/Snezana Djuric, Arduua Frontrunner
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