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  • Claudia Schwab

Same, but different: Cetinje

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

How different the same place or journey can be – become. But isn't it like that with everything ?! Always changing. That's why, when I arrive somewhere, I like to run around the block a little, see where I am at. And with every turned corner my perspective changes ...

Well, here I was, on the same train again. Returning to Beograd, slowly moving away from my short (but very sweet) residency at Green Culture Arts in Cetinje/Montenegro.

I had booked a bed instead of a seat this time round, in a different kind of carriage – and its a whole different scene indeed !! No more cats, people trying to jump the train, smoking right there ... The conductor spoke English (to my shame I don't speak any montenegrian - yet) and could actually tell me where we were and when we would arrive ... (ie.: how much of a delay we had - as the train is famous for always being delayed... this time only one hour! Time really moves different here, I love it....)

On the way up, it was something of a guessing game: did he say "2 hours", "2 stops", "200 kilometers" or "20 minutes" ?? I loved it all though, both experiences. But it really did feel like a travel between two classes that exist just right next to each other...

And how it changed yet again the further north I got, as different trains brought me back home to Austria! From a very slow (careful not to tip over) journey through the night with dampened voices of people having fun, drinking and chatting, to a somewhat cleaner, faster, but also less lively journey through the alps, people hiding behind their masks and phones ...

Cetinje, what a place.

The old capital of Montenegro is surrounded by the mountains and centred around a pedestrian area with whitewashed cobblestones, a huge monastery (where one can sit and listen to the monks' beautiful polyphonic chants), and some epic buildings housing embassies, cultural centres and the like ... You can't but be inspired.

People were so incredibly nice, it hurts a little! My host Vesko was the kind of guy that would part with his socks and shoes and walk barefoot on the snow, if he thought you would need them ...

What a stunning little time warp. Hvala lepa!

(New songs in the making on a rooftop in Montenegro...)

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