I admit I haven’t done a ton of research on this, only because there is a LOT of information about Mount Rtanj, and because sometimes I like to think of the world as a bit magical. Wizard? YES! Wizard’s castle? EVEN BETTER! Doomsday site? Well, I’ve never been one to put a lot of faith or attention into doomsday prophesies but at the very least, it’s a neat read. We drive past this mountain to and from our trips between Belgrade and Bor and, every time, I am reminded of local folklore and international suspicion surrounding it.
Please do not take my words as fact, as my thoughts are only as I know them from what I’ve heard and what I’ve learned from my dear friend Google. Folklore has it that the mountain was inhabited by a wizard and his castle, which eventually swallowed him and his castle and his great treasure up. A small church was erected on the peak, dedicated to St. George, but it was blown up by treasure hunters who thought that the sorcerer’s gold was buried beneath. Today, the church is in ruins, but there is an effort to restore it. Restoration, however, takes money, and my feeling is that this will not happen in the near future.
Wizard aside, many people believe the mountain, with its pyramidal shape and peak barren of foliage, harbors a secret UFO landing pad that will expose itself upon doomsday. Hence, hotels at the base of the mountain get inundated with bookings for doomsday believers wanting to be present at one of the world’s salvation sites on salvation day. This, again, is what I’ve gathered from my BFF Google.
As for me, I’m more interested in the wizard. Maybe he can cast a spell so I never have to clean my house again? If I ever see him, I think I’ll ask.
I finally did it! Yes, the blog is new. After quite a few pokes and prods from North America to get my butt in gear and start a blog so I can better chronicle our journey, I happened upon WordPress. Apparently, the WordPress platform is amazing so I’m excited to see where it takes little old me.
For those of you who can remember my last post about European beachwear, I noted that I would have to put aside the great old North American insecurity so I could blend in. Well, after forgetting my go-to board shorts in Belgrade, I was left with a string bikini in Bor. Yesterday, it was 36°C and the girls really wanted to go to the pool. First, the girls have never heard me say anything negative about myself (even if I feel it), because I know they’re looking up to me. I don’t want them to grow up thinking they’re nothing less than perfect. Even when I put make up on, I explain that it’s not to make me look better but because (get this), all of my make up has SPF in it and it’s important to protect your skin from the sun. From my mascara to my blush, I put it on because it protects my skin. Itty bitty white lie, but it works.
On to the pool.
We go to the Bor Sports Center and there are 2 massive outdoor pools. An adult pool (deep), and a children’s pool with 2 water slides. It costs us $4.50 Canadian, total, to get in. The kids are instantly happy. We set up some towels on the concrete as there are no beach chairs or grass, just a cafe (of course), so you can get your Turkish coffee and gelato fix.
The girls splash their way in and I timidly take off my beach shirt, revealing a small bikini. The thing is…..no one cared except me. Every woman had the same small bikini, regardless of size. Every man wore speedos. Some young girls, even up to Rebekah’s age (10), were topless, as it wasn’t considered a big deal if they swam without tops on. All in all, we had a great time. We soaked in the sun, splashed in the pool and enjoyed poolside gelato and coffee. The only dent in the afternoon, if you could call it that, was whenever someone would light a cigarette. None of us are used to the smoke here and I hope we never get used to it. Still, it was a beautiful day.