In the surroundings of wonderful plunging into the abysses, bellow the steep slopes sometimes more of a thousand meters deep, cutting forcibly its very way between the Bjelasnica, Sinjajevina, Ljubisnje and Durmitor mountains, flows one of the most beautiful Montenegro rivers, the TARA river. Like a cut furrow between mountain peaks, the clear- water mountain river flows, and its very waters, from time to time make for wonderful landscapes in tame and fertile valleys in which acres, orchards, forests and meadows may be seen, with its flocks of sheep and goats, very often together with game graze. The river flows even further through the abyss, over it, on its stony slopes the lonely pines to skies pointing, which, the poet would say, from the very stone grow, the stone which plunges itself down, to the depths. The river flows, like hiding from amorous looks regarding the cascades, the stones hidden well bellow, in the depths of the river waters, but, like many things hidden, seen because of its very clear waters. And so Tara flows, like looking for somebody innocent, like herself, to give herself to him. So beautiful, so clear all along its flow, forcing those in love with her to name her THE TEAR OF EUROPE.
The Tara canyon, unique in its depth of usually thousand meters, someplace even a thousand and three hundred meters deep, is placed right behind the Grand Canyon in Colorado, USA. Tara, at its end making confluence with Piva, and giving birth to Drina, is some hundred and fifty kilometers long, and is the longest Montenegro river. In its part through The National Park Durmitor, Tara has a mean fall of 3.6 meters/kilometer, making a host of waterfalls and cascades possible, thus creating with its uniqueness THE MONTENEGRO COLORADO. All along its flow, Tara gets large quantities of water from numerous sources, and quite a few tributaries.
The most important tributaries on the left Tara side are Ljutica and Susica, and the most important tributaries from the right side being Vaskovaska rijeka and Draga. The most important source is the source Bajlovica sige, a source placed on the left bank of the Tara river giving to the Tara a few hundred liters per second, where the water sourcing from the Bucevica cave falls into the Tara more than thirty meters high, and more than a hundred and fifty meters bright. Very special are the Tara cascades. The roar from the cascades is heard on the very peaks of the canyon. There are more than forty cascades, the most famous being: Djavolje lazi, Sokolovina, Bijeli kamen, Gornji tepacki buk, Donji tepacki buk etc. Because of the quality of its water, and because of its unique ecological system, Tara in 1977 was put into the programme “Covjek i biosfera” (Men and Biosphere) and inscribed into the ecological biosphere reservations of the World, being thus protected under an internationally issued convention.
The flora of the Tara has right to this day many species of plant life saved from ancient times. What’s more interesting, many species have succeeded in guarding some of its primeval qualities, which were characteristic for times past. Thus, in the Tara valleys we may find some leftovers of the tercial flora right out of the last glacier period. Beside this flora, the plant life in the canyon is characterized by forests having very different species: cerris, ash tree, beech, black beech and birch. Great parts of the canyon are overgrown with needle trees, a special place being reserved for the black pine. The most interesting specimens of the black pine are those which hang on naked stony slopes by its very roots, and thus hang over precipitous abysses. But, the most famous locality of the black pine is the locality where the black pine is part of the primeval forest, in a part of the canyon called Crna poda. The Crna poda are a very closely guarded natural habitat, a Natural Preserve on its own. Here some specimens of black pine may be found, some more than fifty meters high, some of which are more than four hundred years old.
The massive of the canyon is a excellent habitat for the wild goat. This very nearness of canyon and mountain gives the wild goat the possibility to seasonally migrate, in the winter from the cold peaks to the canyon, and vice verse, in the summer from the hot canyon to the lofty peaks. The wild goat, is, an inhabitant of lofty peaks and stony slopes, easily moving on stony places and mountain canyons. Beside the wild goat, as regular inhabitants of the canyon region there is the roe deer, and wild boar. The Tara is rich in fish species. In the river the brook trout may be found, huchen, chub, the clamp etc.
In the place called Djurdjevica Tara there is the great bridge, the building of which was started in 1938, and finished in 1940. This bridge in time became one of the symbols of the river. Disregarding that the bridge for sure was built by human hand, by its very beauty, by its noble lines, when looked upon from the lofty peaks its certainly looks like one of the Tara curves on its long journey to the confluence, it perfectly became part of the natural surroundings like the very bridge be built by Nature itself. During WW II the bridge was destroyed, like much else, but in the year 1946 it was rebuilt. The bridge is 154 meters long, and at its highest bow it is 135 meters above the banks of the Tara.
An excursion to the very precipitous slopes of the canyon is an adventure in its own right, the view is breathtaking. From this viewing places especially Curevac (1625) is to be mentioned. From this viewing place on one side the panorama of Durmitor might be seen, and on the other hand the meandering flow of the Tara, among the stony peaks. From Curovac a wonderful look on the village of Tepac may be cast, with its houses and gardens, spread in an enlarging in the canyon. If on Curovac you hold your breath and listen carefully, you may hear the roar of Veliki buk, some thousand meters bellow. Its a place of very strong positive vibrations: you will leave content, happy and with an unforgettable experience. Nearby are Tmora a place only seven kilometers from Zabljak, a place you will reach walking through a wonderful primeval forest were you may hear the silence of the primeval peace and feel the perfection of the whole nature.
Your look will reach also wonderful, colorful villages, you may see ye olde bridges on the Tara, you may talk to the locals which will tell you the story of the cohabitation with Durmitor. But, above and beyond all: you will learn to respect and understand mother nature and its gifts.
All this beauties and celebrities of the TEAR OF EUROPE are nothing unless you once drink from the pure, cold and tasty Tara water, unless you hear the roar of Tara cascades, unless you look down to the very bosom of the Tara. If you live it through, you will eternally fall in love with Tara, always to return.