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The 'Sargan Eight' Narrow Gauge Railroad Tour (2 days)




A tiny
railway station

A dinky 
steam-powered train

A gorgeous
landscape

A spectacular
view



The sights and sounds of yesteryear


There was once a narrow gauge train, affectionately known as the Ćira (Chira). It used to cut its path through astonishing landscapes of Serbia and Bosnia on its way from Belgrade to Sarajevo. The Cira did everything: it took holidaymakers, farmers, salesmen and school children, as well as mail, milk, livestock and other freight. Both travellers and people who lived by the railway line loved it and enjoyed it - although it was slow and poured out steam and smoke. For children in villages along the line passing trains were a daily joy and they waved to them cheerfully. So for many generations this train became part of the sweet memories of childhood. Then in the mid-seventies the good old Cira was abandoned and banished as history.
 
In 1999, people decided to reconstruct the most attractive part of the former narrow gauge railway. They have done a great job. They re-laid the tracks; they renovated or rebuilt all the railway stations of the Sargan Eight. And now, the old train is again thrilling those who are addicted to heritage railways, nostalgia and romantic travel experiences.

All travelers may not have such strong feelings, but their childhood memories may well stir suddenly awake. For many of us the journey on that great little train will be more than just a charming pleasure, it will be a flashback to our own childhood days, to the bygone times we sometimes miss, to the sights and sounds that won our hearts long ago and remain with us for ever.

Tour # 15

The 'Šargan 8' Tour

2 days/1 night, by car or minivan, with a ride by 'Sargan Eight' train
 

Highlights

Šargan (Shargan) Eight, the line which was famous for a curve in the shape of the number 8, that made it possible to climb the steep slopes of the mountains Sargan and Mokra Gora, where rocky gorges and high passages are to be found all around. On this 13.5 kilometer section of track were 20 tunnels, 10 bridges and a few tiny railway stations. The voyage through this remote wilderness was slow. Impatient with the low speed or fond of the surrounding country, some passengers used to jump from the moving train, carry on their journey on foot, and wait at the next railway station for the same train to arrive. Others who stayed on the train may have been puzzled by the winding track: what way was the train going, and what way was it going to go? 


 
 Tour Program

Day 1
BELGRADE-OVCAR & KABLAR GORGE
-UZICE-SIROGOJNO-MT ZLATIBOR
Departure at 8.30 a.m. We arrive in the region of Mounts Ovcar and Kablar, where a number of old monasteries were built in Turkish times, when fervent adherents of the Orthodox Church withdrew to mountainous, inaccessible and isolated parts of the country, and visit the Nikolje monastery (dedicated to St. Nicolas) on the left bank of the Morava river. Its church is an example of the simple, rectangular form of traditional village churches with barrel vaulting and still has frescoes from the 17th century. Then on to the town of Uzice, situated in a small valley surrounded by hills and mountains and crowned with the ruins of an old medieval fortification. A short stop in town before we leave for Mount Zlatibor, after Kopaonik the second most popular winter tourism and ski resort in Serbia. Visit to the ethno village Sirogojno, with its open-air museum of traditional architecture and an exhibition of handicrafts and world famous hand-knitted clothes (some time to shop for souvenirs). Accommodation at a Zlatibor hotel. Dinner, overnight.


Day 2
MT
ZLATIBOR-MOKRA GORA (SHARGAN 8 & 'KUSTURICA'S VILLAGE')-BELGRADE

After breakfast we drive to Mokra Gora, where we board the famous dinky train for a ride along the most exciting section of this narrow gauge line, once connecting Belgrade with Sarajevo (departure at 10:30, return at 13:00). During the ride, the train makes a few stops, one of 20 minutes to let you take some fabulous photographs, enjoy the views, or have a refreshment in the cafe of a tiny and charming 'railway station'. You will also visit the ethno village 'Wooden City' built as a setting for 'Life is a Miracle', the latest film of Emir Kusturica. The amazing village was until recently just a couple of salvaged traditional wooden houses on a bluff above a spectacularly beautiful valley, but has been transformed into the modern equivalent of the medieval great monastery or university, equipped with a library, Serbia's most advanced cinema and an underground basketball arena. Return to Belgrade in the evening.

Dinner on first day. 
Breakfast on second day.
Accommodation 3*/4*/5*.

 

The 'Sargan Eight' Tour Prices

NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Please note:
Departures on request only. The tour by car (up to 3 persons) or by minivan (up to 6 persons) is with a professional driver and the guide. Your stay in Belgrade can be arranged. The tour can be combined with our Belgrade tour packages. Entrance to Churches and Monasteries on our tours requires appropriate attire. Please remember to be properly dressed: no shorts, no uncovered shoulders.

Other multi-day tours:
Monastery Tour (2 days)
Vojvodina Tour (2 days)

The 'Sargan 8' Train Official Web site

 

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BELGRADE SIGHTSEEING / BRANKO RABOTIC PhD
Phone/fax: (++38111) 386.11.53, GSM: (++38163) 854.26.48 
(Calls to GSM from inside Serbia: 063 854.26.48)
E mail: rabotic@EUnet.rs  URL: http://www.belgradetours.com/