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Friday, 6 June 2014

When I go trippin'

Hey there!

I went to a one-day road trip on Sunday, to a very important village. It is a historic heritage site, and the birthplace of the Father of our written language as we know it today.

The ride was about 2 hours long, and it wasn't just a sporadic journey that we went on. The truth is, there was a national competition in language, and one of the girls from our local high-school was going; so we gave her and her teacher a ride. (When I say "we" - there was the two of us, my childhood-friend-turned-colleague and me).
If you ever asked me, I'd never even guess that I'll will one day work with the friend from my earliest childhood. We were in the same "gang" when he would come to visit his grandparents in my street, every summer. One thing I remember is how much we all loved cycling, and the fact that he never brought his bike here, so we always borrowed him one of ours.

That is why we laughed our lungs out when we saw this

Last time I was visiting this village, it was much more simple, and lot less tourist-friendly. It's been almost a decade since then, and this place now looks different . For instance, this bike you see in the pictures. It's a perfect way to focus one's eyes on the area surrounding him/her, and in that way show people there's another little path to take.

This is a reconstructed small water-mill
Every village had one, and it was a communal good
(meaning: you brought your own grains and had them grind here - the fee was
not monetary, but a portion of the grain was given to the mill-keeper)

The reason why we came here was not just having a fun ride and day-with-friends, but to see the heritage site that I believe all should see (and we do: every primary school has a visit to this site planned, so that every child can come to the "source").

The paved path leading to the house

When I first came here, I was a child. The sight came to me a chock. I remember (please, don't judge me, I was 6 years old) I took a look at this cottage and said "There's a privy, now where's the house?"
I feel that I need to elaborate this. You see, these cottages were built in 19th century. And, in 19th century, in our part of the country, we had large houses made out of solid materials, we had water systems fully functional, we had roads.. So, first time I've seen these I felt some strange shivering - as I've came back in time. Way back in time; because our houses were in this stage back in the 14th century. That's why the six-year-old me failed to understand that those small privy-looking cottages were places where folks lived.

The inside of the cottage

Cottages are quite small. The sizes are about 35 square meters (376 square feet). And everything was in one room, as you can see here.

This is the cottage of Vuk Karadžić

When making ethno-park, special attention was paid to the desire to permanently mark and preserve the memories of Vuk and his work, and to preserve the natural environment and spatial values.
In 1933. at the place where Vuk Karadžić family home was, the memorial house was built, two-piece log cabin, part of the basement, covered steep roof. One part of the chalets are house and room, and other warehouse, kačara and corn-store. House is a department with open fireplace, furniture and dishes, characteristic of the houses from the 19th century.
The room contains a bed, table, bench, icons, gusle, and Vuk's portrait from the 1816 (this portrait was not originally there). 

The long-forgotten fencing.

We had a long time, so we went hunting for a present for our families - a memorabilia of this place. We went up and down the hiking trail, and when we finally got tired, we sat down in a restaurant with the funniest name. It's called: "The Draught" (indeed, like to cool air running through the room)

You know what this is?
It's Serbian coffee. (a variation of Turkish coffee)
(and my friend is stealing my Turkish Delight)

In case you have read the Wikipedia article on this coffee of ours, and came across some paganistic moment about telling future from coffee residue.. I must tell you: yes, some women here are taking the fortune-telling quite seriously. :)

I do like coming to this place, it makes me aware of our history like no other. This is the place where the man behind the words was born. Without him, we would probably have some variation of Bulgarian language, but not our own.

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