Sopotnica waterfalls

Western Serbia is a region about so much can be talked, but not everything told, it can be written but there is always something new to be found. It is a landscape that will be visited once and returned every time. Be it cities, monasteries, monuments or nature, it is an area that simply knows how to possess the heart again and again…Zlatibor and Prijepolje are not close. The distance is about 80km, but one day trip to the Sopotnica waterfalls, and then to the Mileseva monastery, why not? It’s not at the end of the world to say it’s far.

I know, roughly, that the Sopotnica waterfalls are near Prijepolje, on the way to Montenegro, but again, the famous question, how to get there … I searched the internet and that doctor Google says there are two roads. Well, if I miss one, there’s another. Don’t worry, we can go on a trip… No worries? What about Taorska vrela and our last trip? Well, that’s where I thought… It can happen to miss the season suitable for a visit this time again?! It can’t be, it won’t…

Sopotnica waterfalls

Many people travel in the summer to the sea, to the neighborhood, in Montenegro. A good part of them cut the curves on the road, gamble with their own and other people’s lives. It risks turning a wonderful age into a nightmare of life. Slow down and take a look! The sea will not run away from you, it will wait for you … I can’t address this topic when the route Uzice-Zlatibor-Prijepolje-Brodarevo is in question. This is always on my mind when I visit this part of Serbia…

But it was Indian summer, beautiful and sunny, so many were still out of the way, so the ride was ideal…

Prijepolje is not “just a small town on the way to the sea”, it is a small town that is proud of its sights, a place that offers so much … Vakuf Mosque, Clock tower, Lim river and special nature reserve Milesevka, as well as a museum in Prijepolje are only the part that is available to you…
And, what about the Sopotnica waterfalls? Well, they’re there too… Somewhere…The yellow, well-visible sign for the settlement of Sopotnica cannot be missed (you know which sign I mean?!)… The winding road led parallel to the highway, along the river Lim. Although the navigation kept taking me back to the highway, I did not give up on the mentioned signpost… Just in case, I have asked a gentleman are we were on the right path. “Yes, it’s the road to Sopotnica and the waterfalls. It’s about ten kilometers away,” he replied, to himself, in his chin, barely understandable, cleaning the golden autumn leaves in front of his house. Still, thanks for the answer.

waterfall

The road took us more and more to the mountain. The road took us more and more to the mountain. Ten kilometers is not a distance, and I was hoping for a lookout point from where I will enjoy the beautiful view … It was beautiful. To a certain extent…

Suddenly, the end of the asphalt, only cobblestones and holes on the road … The road became narrower and narrower, cars could hardly pass, and the bushes covered the view on the valley. I didn’t even think about the lookouts anymore. I just hoped that no one would come to meet us, because there are no passes. The longest ten kilometers in the last period…

Uphill’s and curves changed one after another, along a bad, narrow dirt road that replaced cobblestone somewhere. I just waited for the suffering called driving to pass. This is not the way for waterfalls, and if you are unsure which way to go, DO NOT GO THIS WAY! That is not the way. It is nothing. And don’t forget, there is only one way to waterfalls and Sopotnica, and that is not this one! Do not turn at the sign for Sopotnica…

After almost an hour of driving (for about ten kilometers?!), we came across an intersection and asphalt. Up, up the hill? No way, I’ve had enough uphill… Let’s go straight, we’ll ask someone for the right way. It was the right choice. Soon we came across a mountain lodge. We arrived…

We continued on foot, next to the mountain lodge and church… The road to the waterfalls is nicely marked: turn right, across the meadow.
According to the locals we found at the foot of the waterfall, the name of the river comes from the word “sopot”, and means roaring water. The legend is old and dates back to the time when people moved here, they say from Pester. The first settlers heard a gentle voice from the mountain Jadovnik, which asked them whether to give them luck or water. The locals decided for water… And for luck, they will take care of themselves… That’s how the river and waterfalls came into being.
The sound of water can already be heard in the distance. It’s good, there’s a waterfall, I said to myself with relief, remembering the Taorian experience.

church

Postcard view… Ice water. Honestly, the first thing for us was to quench our thirst with clear water (one of the few places where I dared to drink water from a stream), and of course, to fill our bottles for the trip.

The mills, some still whole, and some dilapidated and more spooky, but they certainly fit into the surroundings. The waterfalls that follow, one after the other, as if they were embroidered, with a thin stream of water, as well as the roar that evokes the power of nature… Nature creates a picturesque beauty, more beautiful than man has ever done.

watermill

The highest spring is at 1,150 meters, while the highest waterfall is 25 meters high. They say the rest are about 20 meters high. In the upper course, the river crosses over tufa terraces (a rock composed of the finer kinds of volcanic detritus usually fused together by heat), and the “trademark” of this river is tuff limestone, formed by the deposition of calcium carbonate on moss and leaves. The stone is soft and could be cut, so people often exploited it…

The most beautiful view is at the foot of a large waterfall, on the bridge… One small river presented itself in its greatest beauty and strength… And behind you there is a beautiful Montenegrin mountains view…

In fact, the possibility is in front of you. It all depends on whether you prefer to sit and enjoy the view away from civilization, or to walk along the stream and admire the waterfalls, from the miniature ones to the biggest ones. And there are mountains that stand in the palm of your hand. All in all, it is up to you to decide, but you must visit the Sopotnica waterfalls. Visit them, enjoy…

beautiful view

To return, we took, of course, the other possible route, through the village of Lučice. The road turned out to be easy, the only “adventure” was crossing the river Lim, over a bridge covered with planks along and across…Remember, there is only one road to Sopotnica, and that is this via Lučica.

But when you decide to return home, take your trash with you. The garbage is a problem, which I personally do not understand. People visit nature, admire it and in the end leave their traces behind… Not thinking about their children, grandchildren, who would probably enjoy the natural beauties. However, it all depends, if we give them the opportunity to do so and preserve it for them…

And for the end?! I return again to those spooky Taor springs where a black snake appeared and drank spring water. Is Sopotnca threatened by the same danger? According to Mirela Veljović, nature lovers have raised, the inhabitants of Prijepolje and members of the mountaineering club Kamena gora, have raised their voices… They oppose the construction of the mini-hydro power plants “Lipovica” and “Vir”. They want to preserve the nature as they inherited it…

Is Sopotnca threatened by the same danger?

I wish you a lot of success in your efforts, because, “in addition to 85 built, more than 800 new small hydropower plants are planned in Serbia, which would irreversibly destroy Serbia’s river wealth”, warn the World Fund for Nature Protection…

Will future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the waterfalls or will they only hear the story of them?

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