Road of death
There are several roads in the world that can rightly be called “death roads”. Every year they take dozens of lives of drivers and passengers. These roads do not forgive the slightest mistake, and adverse weather conditions make them even an attraction for death for even the most experienced drivers. I was "lucky" to ride in the nasty, slushy weather through one of these, and fully feel the breath of death on steep and wet serpentines.
Photos and text by Alexey Marakhovets
1. Meet the Kolasin-Podgorica highway in Montenegro. And God forbid you to get on it in the rain, and even more so in the dark.
2. The Montenegrin ski resort Kolasin with the capital Podgorica connects 70 kilometers of the most picturesque road passing through the canyon of the Moraca River. On one side there is a cliff, on the other - a bottomless abyss, at the bottom of which a mountain river boils.
Until recently, this route was the only way by which it was possible to get from Serbia to the sea coast of Montenegro. This is an international highway, on which there are heavy trucks and numerous regular and tourist buses.
3Of course, the track is very beautiful. Green mountains, gray, sheer cliffs, numerous tunnels and bridges, blue ribbon of the river, winding somewhere below.
6. But not only beautiful views will accompany you along the way. Memorial plaques, crosses, portraits of people who parted with their lives in this place. Sometimes the road takes even whole families. It feels like you're driving through a graveyard.
7. The deep abyss leaves almost no chance of a car and its passengers flying off a slippery road. Survivors may consider themselves lucky, if it is appropriate to talk about it at all here ...
9. The most terrible accidents at these sites occurred in 2013 and 2004. 4 years ago, on June 23, 2013, a Romanian bus with 50 passengers flew into the city from a height of 40 meters near the Moraca Monastery. 18 people were killed and another 29 were injured. The driver exceeded the speed on a slippery road and lost control.
10. But the most heartbreaking tragedy happened on the continuation of this route, already on the side of Serbia, near the border village of Gostun in 2004. On the fateful date of 04/04/04, the Lim River claimed the lives of 12 Bulgarian children.The bus with the children was returning from a tour from Dubrovnik in Croatia, when on one of the turns he overheated brakes failed at high speed. Breaking off a cliff, he literally flew into a stormy, deep and cold river.
11. The residents of the nearby Montenegrin town of Bijelo Polje and members of the soccer team training here were the first to arrive at the disaster site. But the depth of Lima in this place is 6 meters, and without special equipment it was almost impossible to get children and adults out of the sunken bus. Still, by common efforts, 38 people were saved. But 12 small inhabitants of Bulgaria remained buried at the bottom of the river.
12. In place of a terrible tragedy, the parents of the dead children installed a memorial complex with a sculpture in the form of broken angel wings.
13. On the plates - the names of 12 children. Nearby are always fresh flowers and soft toys.
14. Since 2011, there is another route that you can get from Serbia to the Adriatic coast of Montenegro - Zabljak-Niksic-Risan. Wide, smooth road, without serpentines, with chippers and fences in dangerous places. All sensible people choose it, if they want to quickly and without adventure to get to the sea.