Running in the mountains next to my apartment. Every day, I make it up the tortuous hill. Everyday, I make it out the winding one lane road to the mountain. Everyday, I make it past the staring. No one runs here, it seems.
(But I have seen a couple of other runners on this hill. And yesterday, two women on mountain bikes, and tow tourists hiking up the road. You can’t go hiking really due to mines. So, you end up on a road. )
The run is amazing. It is an out and back. I go a bit further each day. This is perhaps a 5%- 10% grade, that snakes up the hill in a Z formation. I can only concentrate on this run. For once, I don’t think of anything.
Before I turn around, I stop and look. The entire city of Mostar is spread below. The city is cradled in the middle of mountains. To the south, you can see the valley and more mountains. TO the north, mountains seem to enclose the city. I know there is a road and a number of tunnels through the mountains to the north. To the west, sprawls the city with road, small houses clinging to the edge of the mountains and a group of tower blocks and more mountains framing in this sprawl of houses. Some days, I can smell smoke from wood fires, and see a haze over the city. All around me are thin cypress trees, and rocky mountains. Once in while, I will hear cow bells. Once in a while I will see a mountain goat.
Heading back on the road is easy. How do I make it up the mountain? It gives me the stamina to get through another day in this unfamiliar and divided city.
Back home, I run on a suburban/urban running trail, with dogs, cyclists. A runner is not out of the ordinary. Here, every run seems like a victory.
I will miss the clean air I breathe on the mountain top. i will miss the view. I will miss the victory of making up the hill.
a blurry Jpg from my generic mp3 player!