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BREZOVICA, AN ABANDONNED SKI CENTER
42.181612,21.032574 / Kosovo / Sharr Mountains National Parc
Brezovica from "breza" (serbian) / "mështekna" (albanian) which means birch (Latin: Betulla alba).
I spent my childhood in this place. It's where I learned to ski when I was a kid in the '80s. Everything looked so sexy back then – the white or pastel pink lipsticks, the palm hairstyles, fluo lip balm, and colorful ski clothes.
I was very excited to go to Sharr in the summer, after 15 or maybe even 17 years, for the first time. And I was saddened to see how the place was looking like. Basically, nothing has changed – the same buildings, the same ski lifts – but everything has aged, become unused, invaded by corrosion, with broken shutters and windows.
The problem with the Brezovica Ski Center is that it's in the southeast of Kosovo, but the region belongs to Serbia. By the way, in the small village of Shtërpce (Albanian) / Štrpce (Serbian) and the surrounding areas, the Dinar (Serbian currency) is still used. So Kosovars have no rights to use it, and Serbians have no money and people to run the ski center.
As a result, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Kosovo decided to sell the ski center to investors
As I left that desolate place, I couldn't help but feel a profound sorrow welling up inside. It was as if a piece of me had faded away along with it. I came to realize that I might never encounter that cherished "Madeleine de Proust" again, no matter where my travels lead. I was torn between holding Proust accountable for his deceptive charm or casting blame on society for its unsettling direction of change.
Anyway, I was glad to see that there was still some life – some birds I couldn't identify, some stray dogs...
And then i also saw an Albanian shepherd with his more than 700 sheep and his beautiful Illyrian sheepdog, whose breed name is Sharr Dog (Albanian : Qeni i Sharrit) / wikipedia article / Old youtube documentary in Croatian