Peja arrived in Niksic, to his in-laws. He visited the Museum and saw the Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey! Well, it was not McConaughey, but they did resemble one another.
Today was the most relaxing day so far. I stayed with my wife’s family in Niksic, and I placed the bike in the garage for the well-reserved rest. I also oiled its chain as it was about time. When I 'fed my loyal horse', Jumbo from Niksic called and asked me if I wanted to grab some coffee. He introduced me to his friends in a café named Blue Brothers Café. A great place with great music. :) His friends told me briefly about the history of Niksic during the World War II and the resistance of the citizens of that municipality. What I heard from them was that this municipality had historical significance right from the beginning of the attack of the Axis powers on Yugoslavia. Our royal family ran away from our country from the airport in Niksic.
But, let’s go one thing at a time.
Jumbo first took me to the Museum of Niksic. That museum is not dedicated only to the period of the World War II, but to the complete history of the municipality, which dates back before the appearance of organized social communities. From prehistoric excavations, over the Middle Ages, the Great War, all the way to the period which is the topic of this photo report.
The museum contained pictures and authentic items which partisans from that region had used. When you enter the first room, what captures your attention is a large-format painting of the well-known painter Petar Lubarda. Who is familiar with his work knows that on some of his works of art, the entirety on the canvas can be perceived only if you step away from it enough, since only then what seems to be randomly splashed paint in fact gets its shape. What can be seen on that painting I won’t tell you. :) The museum is worth visiting when you find yourself in this town, so see for yourself.
In the next room, there were various objects, photographs, painting and weapons. One Schmeiser rifle is believed to have belonged to none other but the national hero Sava Kovacevic. Diagonally from that showcase was a picture of him. Although Sava had a smile on his face, he seemed to me like an old wolf and a cunning fighter. His posture was a little laid-back, but his facial characteristics presented him as a strong character.
On the other wall was a photograph from a Hollywood movie starring Matthew McConaughey. :) Of course it wasn’t – that was a photograph of Ljubo Cupic, but you must admit that the said actor uncannily resembles this national hero. Here is a movie for Matthew McConaughey and an interesting professional challenge. :) I must admit that the first moment I saw the photograph, I was taken aback. That photo had been taken by an Italian photographer during Ljubo’s trial, just at the moment when the judge had pronounced the sentence – death by execution. The smile which had been immortalized had become well-known during the war, but as we see, long after the end of the war, it still tells us the same story. It can be said that Ljubo literally laughs in the face of death. He was executed soon after, but the photograph has remained till this day and kept that priceless moment alive. For a long time, it was thought that the photo had been taken in the moment of execution, but Jumbo’s friend and the curator in the museum told me that that was a mistake and that the photo had been taken during the trial. I can only imagine how surprised the photographer had been when he had developed the photo. Instead of seeing a sad, horrified and furious face, he had seen Ljubo with a smile. :)
After the museum, Jumbo took me to the monument on Trebjesa. It was not as great as the monument on Kozara, but it was easy to spot it from the road. The odd shape of the monument reminded me a little of some kind of seal. The circle was perpendicular to the ground, fixed on the massive body, with a stylized five-pointed star. The body was surrounded with plates bearing the names of the murdered. Around it were plateaus on two levels, joined with stairs. On the vertical stone plate leaned against the body, there was an inscription: “Your valor will be revered by your descendants for centuries”.
I’ll see what I will do next and how I will organize myself. I must get to Sutjeska, but every time I head for it, something stands in my way. I’ll have some more rest with my family and slowly plan my next move.