2023-08-05 14:39:38Pikëpamje SHKRUAR NGA MONIKA STAFA
Monika Stafa

The taxi turned into the cobbled alley called Baja Pivljanina, in the direction of the old monastery in the former capital of Montenegro.

In Cetinje.

The newly opened crowns kept the freshness of the morning, despite the unusual warmth of the July sun. The royal family of King Nicholas I once lived here.   

Stories show that he was an optimistic king. The last king of Montenegro, before he was swallowed up in the first Yugoslavia, in which he was lost, and he said his name in joy as he returned the famous glass of wine to these parts, how many goats and goats there are, this country will not be defeated!

Like all stories, Krajl Nikolla's also does not need to be argued. "Black Mountain and the Mountains" lives from the mountains.

The taxi passed the corner of the alley. A row of low houses with facades decorated with pots of magnolias in the windows came into view. On both sides of the street, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. In the depths of the large gates of the houses, the eye takes in the inner courtyards.

But why this mountain myth in the country whose name is also connected with the mountain?

Enjoying the undulation of the landscape, it might cross your mind that maybe the mountain and the sea here are not so friendly to each other. And so it happens to me every time I travel.

The fairytale view of the sleepy town dissolves as soon as you step out into the square. The taxi crosses the district and stops in front of the city museum. A little beyond the monastery square and straight ahead, as far as the eye can see stretches a crown of forest wrapped in a heavy shade of coolness.

The building used to be the royal palace where King Nicholas I lived with his wife Milena. And his five daughters. Nicholas I's daughters all married princes and kings. For this reason, the King of Montenegro also had a beautiful nickname - the father-in-law of Europe - a nickname that he shares in modern times with only one king. With that of Denmark.

The glory of history, more than the taste of beauty, has always excited me to touch this place at a time I look forward to during the year. And this is reinforced if you ask the locals what the anthem of this country mythologizes.

Like Albanians, Montenegrins also get confused when it comes to the anthem. Wait: "Oj svijetla majska zoro; Majko naša Crna Goro": "O bright dawn of May / Cerna Gora our mother".

Then how does it continue, he asks the daughter of the lady of the house where we are staying for the holidays.

You ask me? When you don't know, how will I remember? They exchange not words, but verses with each other, until it seems to me that I have found the key to what I am looking for: "Volimo vas, brda tvrda" - we love you and the strong mountains, Montenegrins say to their country. And it continues: "We are sons of your rocks".

It seems as if "Primorje" and "Crna Gora" are two almost different things. The mountains on one side and the coast with its beauty on the other side; the pride of history bubbling within the anthem and the attraction of tourists to the coastline.

Gone was the red carpet in the regal marble lobby of the wide oval staircase. But the beauty displayed behind the long Art Nouveau windows that looked out onto the walled courtyard on all sides softened this boredom-inducing absence.

With Mom's "Wizard" and two or three other books about the mythologies of the peoples of Europe in hand, my vacations in the neighboring country had started.

Nature and history. This must have been my best choice: the spirit of the Renaissance, the spirit of Christianity, the land of monasteries and the coast that folds with bays and modest islands in their remoteness. They are the ones who wait everywhere in this country.

Somewhere on the left is the monastery of Rotac, where it is said that the first Albanian book was printed. Do you mean it to be true?

Books about myths talk about prehistoric facts about the origin of peoples, cities or the lives of craftsmen. Today the myth of Cadmos, who is considered by scientists as the prius parens of the Illyrians, still rules along this coast.

You surely know that Cadmos, one of the sons of the goddess Europa, together with his wife Harmonia, was driven from Thebes and settled in these parts. Harmonia gave birth to two sons, from whom we enjoy the city of Durrës today. This is the reason why Durrës carries the value of a city with the origin of music and life-giving sounds.

How similar are the "enemy" peoples of the Balkans! Peoples who dueled among themselves, as did Europeans until the 18th century, but the Chikas also kidnapped each other. Very distinguished by their beauty. Just like Halili of the heroic Albanian songs, who probably would never have been remembered for marriage if it wasn't for the order of his big brother. The first went out in the country with chats, the second for beautiful girls.

You can understand Montenegro somehow without the sea. You can understand it even without antiquity. But you can never understand it without the Negoši?s. As if you can't understand it without the mountains. Even without the mountains with traditional Albanian holidays. There are plenty of such parties here.

This is a people who live from shrines, find rest and peace by meeting with themselves and the gods in them; guards the shrines and if they succeeded they take them from others, but those of Albanians, of Catholic Albanians, you can hardly find anywhere else, except in the relations of prelates, apostolic visitors or bishops.

So I always ask, is it good or bad to behave in a secular, centuries-old, maybe somewhat pagan way, without excluding profane behavior, with the country's cult buildings?!