The Hotel Mecavnik was the only place to stay within the Kustendorf/Mecavnik/Dvornek/Mokra Gora complex. Spread out along the main street, room were built on downhill levels so as not to detract from the village itself. No two rooms was the same; each uniquely painted with decorated furniture, and different views of the countrywise. Free Wi-Fi was available in the Italian Bar decorated with posters of Che Guevara and other revolutionaries. Hotel Mecavnik also had a swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna. Steve and I couldn’t believe that Explore had actually booked the group into a four-star hotel; an unusual experience since Explore Worldwide hotels are traditionally two-star, three-star, and small pensions.
Good food, and wine but nothing to do once you’ve walked through the entire made-for-movies-and-tourism complex. Not an entirely bad thing in this busy 14-day tour of the Balkans. The streets emptied out when day tourists left in the late afternoon, and they really got a move on when the weather changed. (Mountains always make their own weather.) Lightening bolts flashed through the skies without rain, creating havoc with outages over the next several hours.
Weather changes continued through the next day as it became cold and freezing. We pulled out socks, sneakers, warm jackets and put away the Tevas.
Breakfast was followed by hours of boredom until vans left at 1:00p for the five-minute ride to the Sargan Eight train which left at 1:30p. (If a person had to be “bored,” the Hotel Mecavnik was the place to be bored in.)
The Sargan Eight was completely full and our group scrambled to find decent seats on the train carrying 150 persons. Two trains were operating this afternoon. (Just our luck…why couldn’t at least one of them been running yesterday!) As many as four trains ply the very slow 7 kilometer/5 mile distance during the height of the summer. The original line ran between Sarajevo and Belgrade until closed in 1974 and a small section was renovated by the Serbian government between Mokra Gora town to Sargan Vitasi. The Sargan Eight name comes from the unusual figure eight loop the train completes.
Steve and I had no interest in riding the Sargan Eight and brought books with to read. Steve sat in the cafe for hours with Marco and Igor schmoozing while I read in the van.
Off the train at 3:30p, Sinesa hustled everyone into the vans and off we went towards the borders of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, only 20-minutes away. A fast border crossing since Serbia didn’t stamp us out and Bosnia didn’t stamp us in.
FYI: Sargan Eight comments from the group? “Fun..interesting…” Not a “don’t miss, fabulous” from anyone who took the ride. Make your own decision.
Now for the Bridge over the Drina…