Posted on August 3, 2012 by vicki
Tags: montenegro, tour

My great-grandmother grew up in Herceg Novi and emigrated to Australia as a proxy bride in the 1930s. This was one of the reasons I wanted to visit the region. I had an address for her relatives and we looked it up.

The address turned out to be an old block of flats up a steep hill that overlooks the town. I compared the name I had with the list at the door and we went up to the sixth floor and knocked. A woman answered with a puzzled look. I anticipated that she didn’t speak English and had drawn a basic family tree. She recognised the name of my great-grandmother immediately, her suspicion turned to pleasure and she welcomed us in.

The flat used to be occupied by my nana’s sister, Cmilja, but she apparently passed away last year. Now her son, Nedeljko, and his wife, Jovanka, are living there. Jovanka phoned up her daughter, Svetlana, who arrived about ten minutes later. She could speak some English and translated well for us. They showed us a few pictures and we said goodbye shortly after.

It is really nice to see the region in which my Nana grew up. I can’t believe she traded this for Kalgoorlie - it must have been really difficult. I’m also wishing that the Slav in me was a bit more concentrated at the moment - maybe then I wouldn’t be going through so much sunscreen!

Vicki with Jovanka, Svetlana and Nedeljko

Vicki with Jovanka, Svetlana and Nedeljko